Friday, July 08, 2011

Quotable: Krugman On What Concerns Progressives About Obama

"It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth."
~ Paul Krugman in the New York Times, on "What Obama Wants"
Sometimes I wonder whether there's a conspiracy in the cable networks to keep certain views off the air. Clearly it's true with respect to academics of the left like Noam Chomsky. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, even in his non-confrontational geeky way, would consistently demolish the pompous musings of idiot pundit George F. Will. Suddenly, Krugman was no longer welcome anywhere within video range of Will. Nor has he been seen with great frequency anywhere else. There are few commentators on American politics today who can articulate the anti-Establishment outside-the-Beltway position with the authority and clarity of Paul Krugman. Here's more from Krugman:
"One striking example of this rightward shift came in last weekend’s presidential address, in which Mr. Obama had this to say about the economics of the budget: “Government has to start living within its means, just like families do. We have to cut the spending we can’t afford so we can put the economy on sounder footing, and give our businesses the confidence they need to grow and create jobs.”

That’s three of the right’s favorite economic fallacies in just two sentences. No, the government shouldn’t budget the way families do; on the contrary, trying to balance the budget in times of economic distress is a recipe for deepening the slump. Spending cuts right now wouldn’t “put the economy on sounder footing.” They would reduce growth and raise unemployment. And last but not least, businesses aren’t holding back because they lack confidence in government policies; they’re holding back because they don’t have enough customers — a problem that would be made worse, not better, by short-term spending cuts.

In his brief remarks after Thursday’s meeting, by the way, Mr. Obama seemed to reiterate the Herbert Hooveresque view that deficit reduction is what we need to “grow the economy.”

People have asked me why the president’s economic advisers aren’t telling him not to believe in the confidence fairy — that is, not to believe the assertion, popular on the right but overwhelmingly refuted by the evidence, that slashing spending in the face of a depressed economy will magically create jobs. My answer is, what economic advisers? Almost all the high-profile economists who joined the Obama administration early on have either left or are leaving."
Why is Paul Krugman barred from making his voice heard on the great debates of the day beyond his New York Times columns?

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