Monday, June 4, 2012

Paul Krugman: We Have A Republican Economy–And It Doesn't Work

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman exposes the "gigantic con game" that is Republican electoral strategy. Contrary to GOP distortions (including Romney's), spending has gone down under Obama, actually to the detriment of the economy. The GOP has obstructed further stimulus and insisted on continuing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. These policies have been harmful–and because of that, the Republicans will continue upholding them in their quest for victory in November. The administration has been too reticent in "exposing the con"; Krugman advises Obama to adopt a Harry Truman "give 'em hell" stance toward the "do-nothing" Republicans in Congress. Excerpts follow from "This Republican Economy":

What should be done about the economy? Republicans claim to have the answer: slash spending and cut taxes. What they hope voters won’t notice is that that’s precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams.

So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed.

...Isn’t Mr. Obama a big spender? Actually, no; there was a brief burst of spending in late 2009 and early 2010 as the stimulus kicked in, but that boost is long behind us. Since then it has been all downhill. Cash-strapped state and local governments have laid off teachers, firefighters and police officers; meanwhile, unemployment benefits have been trailing off even though unemployment remains extremely high.

...[The Obama administration's] best bet, surely, is to do a Harry Truman, to run against the “do-nothing” Republican Congress that has, in reality, blocked proposals — for tax cuts as well as more spending — that would have made 2012 a much better year than it’s turning out to be.

For that, in the end, is the best argument against Republicans’ claims that they can fix the economy. The fact is that we have already seen the Republican economic future — and it doesn’t work.

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