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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Paul Krugman,"Obstruct and Exploit": The Republicans Are to Blame, Yada, Yada, Yada

And Paul Krugman has the audacity to call Paul Ryan a fraud?

In his latest New York Times op-ed "Obstruct and Exploit" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/10/opinion/krugman-obstruct-and-exploit.html), Krugman begins with a question:

"Does anyone remember the American Jobs Act? A year ago President Obama proposed boosting the economy with a combination of tax cuts and spending increases, aimed in particular at sustaining state and local government employment.

. . . .

The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

. . . .

But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president’s policies have failed."

Krugman goes on to claim that even when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010 ("for only a few months," as the good doctor would have it), the Republicans were responsible for obstructing Obama's efforts to remedy the economy by means of filibusters.

The Republicans "prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies"? I have a question for Krugman: Does he remember the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"), a Keynesian economic stimulus package, enacted by Congress and signed into law by Obama in February 2009, intended to create and safeguard jobs with immediate effect. Well, ARRA, which was enacted notwithstanding those nefarious Republicans and which had little beneficial effect on the economy, is "surprisingly" not mentioned by Krugman.

Krugman's much vaunted American Jobs Act? The doctor fails to mention the anticipated cost of this proposed legislation, i.e. $447 billion. Krugman tells us that the act would have added 1.3 million jobs by the end of 2012. So divide $447 billion by 1.3 million jobs, and what do you get? Taxpayers would have been saddled with a cost of $344,000 per job.

The American Jobs Act also called for funding a "Pathways Back to Work Fund" in the amount of $5 billion, although it was never quite clear who would administer these funds or for what exact purpose they would be dispensed. Honestly, does this make sense to you?

Although Krugman would relieve the president of all responsibility for America's economic malaise, he also fails to mention that notwithstanding Republican "obstructionism," Obama has managed to add, over the course of only three and a half years, some $5 trillion to America's total of $16 trillion in debt.

Apparently, notwithstanding Krugman's protestations, the Republicans have done a very poor job of getting in Obama's way.

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