Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Krugman Envy

I appreciate clarity of thought. I appreciate succinctness. I suppose because I don’t feel as if I possess either.

How does Krugman do this -- seemingly off the top of his head? This is his blog. It isn’t a column. It’s not like he doesn’t teach, travel all over the world, appear on dozens of TV shows and write two columns a week for the nation’s greatest newspaper. I feel so inadequate.

In responding to this quote from Thomas Friedman;

We know what to do — a Grand Bargain: short-term stimulus to ease us through this deleveraging process, debt restructuring in the housing market and long-term budget-cutting to put our fiscal house in order.

Krugman says:

That is, what Tom describes as the centrist position both parties know they should adopt, but refuse to do because of partisanship on both sides, is in fact the actually existing position of the Democratic party — a position that Republicans denounce as “socialist.”

I get this all the time from my Republican friends when I argue we need stimulus: “We have to pay down our debt”. That is true. But I always take it as a given -- a “big duh”. Of course we have to pay it down. The point is we don’t have to do it right this second.

Right now the house is on fire and we need to put out the fire. We’ll still owe the money we borrowed even if the house burns down. We need to save the house first and worry about paying the mortgage later.

Yes, it will be hard to win the fight to raise taxes when times are good again. Personally, I think that is what worries the Republicans the most about the future. When times are good and it’s time to act like adults, pay our debts and sock some money away...they’ll still want to cut taxes, fight any increase and refund any surplus the government might have. Just like George W. Bush did.

Don Brown
September 27, 2011

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