Paul Krugman — A Failure To Rise To The Challenge

Paul Krugman, who doesn’t believe the spending is big enough, on the politicians:

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach — a feeling that America just isn’t rising to the greatest economic challenge in 70 years. The best may not lack all conviction, but they seem alarmingly willing to settle for half-measures. And the worst are, as ever, full of passionate intensity, oblivious to the grotesque failure of their doctrine in practice.

So who are the best, and who are the worst? In Krugman world, the best are those advocating spending, and the worst are those vociferously opposed to it on ideological grounds.

But I’d disagree. The best* are those opposed to it, but tremendously lacking conviction because they were grotesque in trying wasteful spending while they were in power. The worst are those advocating spending, dreadfully unaware that the previous administration spent us into this mess.

As Krugman states:

In both the House and the Senate, the vast majority of Republicans rallied behind the idea that the appropriate response to the abject failure of the Bush administration’s tax cuts is more Bush-style tax cuts.

And the Democrats rally behind the idea that the appropriate response to the abject failure of the Bush administration’s easy credit and deficit spending is for the Obama administration to push more easy credit and bigger deficit spending.

Face it, folks. The easy-credit deficit-spending team, pleading for us to follow them into the abyss, are rather sure of themselves. The Republicans, in the knowledge that they got their tax cuts but proceeded to push for easy-credit deficit spending anyway, are getting the comeuppance that we libertarians predicted during the entire Bush administration.

The Democrats are blind to the fact that their plans have been tried and have failed for the last eight years. The Republicans may have suddenly returned to their stated ideology, but after eight years of waste and incompetence are not trusted.

Like Krugman, I have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Because while his pains may be allayed by vast spending which he may get, my personal Pepto-Bismol — the contraction of government — isn’t on the menu.

Hat Tip: Ezra Klein

* I hesitate to suggest that the Republicans are the “best” in any sense over the Democrats… It’s like arguing whether haggis or tripe are the “best”. But when you’re hungry, and allergic to tripe, even haggis might be palatable.