by Paul Krugman
When historians look back at
2008-10, what will puzzle them most, I believe, is the strange
triumph of failed ideas. Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong
— yet they now dominate the political scene more thoroughly than
How did that happen? How, after runaway banks brought the economy to
its knees, did we
end up with Ron Paul, who says “I don’t think we need regulators,”
about to take over a key
House panel overseeing the Fed? How, after the Clinton and Bush
administrations — the first
raised taxes and presided over spectacular job growth; the second cut
taxes and presided over
anemic growth even before the crisis — did we end up with bipartisan
agreement on even more tax cuts?
The number one answer is Obama's failure to lead.
He has ignored the Clinton blueprint for success.
When you raise taxes on the super-rich, good things happen.
The answer from the right is that
the economic failures of the Obama administration show that
big-government policies don’t work. But the response should be, what
For the fact is that the Obama stimulus — which itself was almost 40
percent tax cuts — was far
too cautious to turn the economy around. And that’s not 20-20
hindsight: many economists,
myself included, warned from the beginning that the plan was grossly
inadequate. Put it this way:
A policy under which government employment actually fell, under which
government spending on
goods and services grew more slowly than during the Bush years, hardly
constitutes a test of Keynesian economics.
Is Obama following the Bush Doctrine that every move he
makes must be the opposite of what Clinton did?
Is Clinton so hated that we can't go back to doing what he did that
made America so economically strong?
In 1993, every Rethug gave his Nancy Grace Guarantee
policies would bankrupt America
and the exact opposite happened - but today's Democrats can't even
out how to Monkley-see, Monkey-do.
Clinton created the blueprints for how to get elected and how to
govern, but maybe
22 million new jobs and a giant surplus isn't worth "going back to the
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