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Monday, September 28, 2015

Paul Krugman, "The Blackmail Caucus, a.k.a. the Republican Party": "A Terrible, Very Bad, No Good Speaker of the House"

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "The Blackmail Caucus, a.k.a. the Republican Party," Paul Krugman rails against John Boehner, whom he describes as "a terrible, very bad, no good speaker of the House." Krugman continues:

"For me, Mr. Boehner’s defining moment remains what he said and did as House minority leader in early 2009, when a newly inaugurated President Obama was trying to cope with the disastrous recession that began under his predecessor.

There was and is a strong consensus among economists that a temporary period of deficit spending can help mitigate an economic slump.

. . . .

Republicans did manage to put a severe crimp on federal spending, which has grown much more slowly under Mr. Obama than it did under George W. Bush, or for that matter Ronald Reagan. The weakness of spending has, in turn, been a major headwind delaying recovery, probably the single biggest reason it has taken so long to bounce back from the 2007-2009 recession."

A temporary period of deficit spending can help mitigate an economic slump? As reported by The Washington Free Beacon two weeks ago in an article entitled "$2.88 Trillion: Gov’t Collects Record-High Taxes in First 11 Months of FY 2015" by Ali Meyer:

"The federal government collected a record amount of taxes in the first 11 months of fiscal year 2015, exceeding $2.88 trillion in revenue, according to the latest monthly Treasury Department statement. Despite the revenue, which is still a record amount when adjusted for inflation, the federal government ran a deficit of $529 billion."

Yup, the US federal government, despite record high tax collection, is still running a deficit. That's quite an accomplishment.

According to Krugman, who complains that Republicans put a "crimp" in federal spending, "the economy nonetheless did well enough for Mr. Obama to win re-election with a solid majority in 2012." Well, how about judging Obama according to his own standards? On July 3, 2008, Obama stated:

"The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."

US national debt has now reached an unsustainable $18.4 trillion, amounting to more than $57,000 for every American man, woman and child, and some $155,000 for every American taxpayer. But who's counting?

1 comment:


    Krugman still listened to Stephen Roach until 2008...