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The parallel isn't perfect--after all, Paul Krugman isn't likely to resign or be fired for writing his columns at the New York Times.  General Shinseki, also, was never as vociferous a critic of the Bush Administration as Krugman.  Yet the cases of both men are astoundingly similar: both have been discounted and even ridiculed for speaking their minds and telling the truth about a hugely imminent national policy.

In 2003, when Gen. Shineski offered his estimate of the number of troops necessary for the invasion and its aftermath--400,000--the number was mocked the Bush administration as "wildly off the mark." In retrospect, following this recommendation would have saved American lives and money. Enough money to pay for, say, a stimulus.

In 2009, when Paul Krugman offered his estimate for the size of the stimulus most likely to stave off further economic peril--approaching $2 trillion dollars--he was subtly derided as a "liberal economist" (as if liberal could possibly remain a stigma after the repudiation of everything conservative), and his ideas were outright dismissed as extreme.  

Like Shinseki, Krugman is right.  $825 billion alone won't do the trick.  As in Iraq, I fear that we are on the verge of sending too few troops into our upcoming economic battle.  

I reluctantly support the current compromise, but we must recognize that it is simply not enough.  If Obama hopes to maximize our chances for economic recovery, he must propose and enact a massive public works program that far transcends the bill that stands ready to pass.  

We can't stall.  Within the coming months, Obama and the Democrats need to pass an extensive stimulus--and this next time, I suggest that we go it alone, without the Republicans.  We offered an olive branch and they didn't take it; now, we move on.  We don't need them, and they lost.

Originally posted to PrnCaspian3 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 10:42 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  No he is not n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Powell on palin: I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president.

      by vc2 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:14:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Explain. (0+ / 0-)

        Obviously he's not the same exact guy, so don't tell me that.

        •  The one thing that almost all economists (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          agree on is that these are uncharted waters.  No one can be sure of the right answer. Krugman has his view, but it is also countered by many top economists.  Actually if you take the total of most there is a sort of consensus that obama has it right over all while each has their concerns.

          Shinseki's pov was imo an obvious one to anyone who knew even a tiny bit about the ME and iraq.  Only low info voters believed otherwise, history has shown for centuries that not only are religious factions the whole reason for war/violence but Iraq  was clearly an example of a secular dictator keeping things together by his very brutality.  Invading was going to make sectional violence erupt and only rummy and wolfowitz could think otherwise.

          Krugman is a keynsian par excellance, and a superb economist. He may or may not be correct. I agree with him that the package is to small but i do not agree that it is usless or won't help.

          Because NO ONE knows the answer to this situation.  Obama's idea of combining spending with tax cuts makes the most sense given that. He will and can adjust but right now there has to be some faith.

          If you decide to take Krugman as gospel then you can be assured there will be no bill for months.  Something is better than nothing when it comes to making jobs.  

          Powell on palin: I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president.

          by vc2 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:50:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Best guess is that its short (0+ / 0-)

            It's pretty obvious when you look at the charts that 400 billion a year is way to small.  There are NO expanding sectors of the economy loclly, or even globally, plus the global finance system is in ruins.

            Plus, the entire economy is leveraged to the hilt.

            400 billion a year is useful, but pitifully little.

  •  Paul Krugman is the new Paul Krugman (7+ / 0-)

    He's always been discounted as a 'liberal' economist. That word liberal is such a pain in the ass. It's so easy to argue against liberalism because it sounds like what it's not: that we want government to do everything. As opposed to the truth which is progressiveness that we want government to work well in the areas where it is deemed necessary. And the real truth which is we wouldn't have to have government get involved in so many areas if depression era safeguards weren't gutted. They complain that government doesn't work and then when in control they create a scenario that demands as it's only solution more government. How ironic and sad for us all.

    Krugman was Shinseki from the outside. He was one of the first and loudest critics of the Bush administration's economic and foreign policy. The Great Unraveling from 2003 details Krugmans columns that ripped the Bush admin from the start and Alan Greenspan from before Bush TOOK office. Food/Health Issues! Vote on Best Blog 2009!

    by CornSyrupAwareness on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 10:52:51 PM PST

    •  Better put, Shinseki is a mini-Krugman (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferallike, FightForJustice, addisnana

      because he was never a vocal critic of the Bush administration.  Krugman has been right on a number of things...but my point here is that both of their respective estimates were closer to the mark than those offered, and both should have been adopted.

    •  Damaged by the Dow September 2, 2001 (6+ / 0-)

      In late 1999--abotu the time when George W. Bush first announced his tax-cut plan--I had lunch at a beer and pizza joint, the sort of place that has a TV over the bar where the patrons can watch ESPN. But the TV wasn't tuned to ESPN--it was showing CNBC. I thought to myself, "This will end badly." And it has...

      It's important to realize how much of the late lamented budget surplus was the result of the bull market. Tax rates didn't increase between 1994 and 2000, but tax receipts as a share of GDP surged, largely because of the extra taxes paid on all those capital gains. The result was a fale sense that there was plenty of money in hand, that big tax cuts would fit comfortably into the budget a. And the Bush tax plan was formulating when such delusions were at their height...

      But one thing we have learned about this administration is that it never responds to altered circumstances by changing its plans; all it does is change the sales pitch...
      In any case, immense damage has already been done. The stock-market bubble led to bad political decisions as well as bad business decisions; and we'll be paying the price for many years to come."

      That's Sept 2, 2001. Look at what a solid read he had on the whole situation only 7 months+ into the Bush presidency.

      He should really reprint that book and call it I TOLD YOU SO. Food/Health Issues! Vote on Best Blog 2009!

      by CornSyrupAwareness on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:03:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  oh, he was prescient! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, ramsfan

        I've been reading him for ten years now, and his blog since the NYT started that...and he's been spot-on through this whole mess. Roubini & Stiglitz are no slouches either.

        So why is O listening to Summers & the by now discredited) Chicago School?

        GOP: Turning the U.S. into a banana republic since 1980

        by Youffraita on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 12:30:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman has said he has been in contact (0+ / 0-)

    with the Obama team before the inauguration. just sayin.


    by robertacker13 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 10:59:56 PM PST

    •  So? (0+ / 0-)

      Is that supposed to mean that they are heeding his advice?  Because they aren't, and they should be.

      •  like i said (0+ / 0-)

        "just sayin". meaning, for the record. you can make your own conclusions based on that information. after tomorrow, i'll make mine, if they continue the morally hazardous 'bad bank' course.

        but eric shinseki by the way, never spoke out against the bush administration. he only gave information that bush didnt like about troop levels while he was employed by the bush admin. for that he was fired. as a person who has family in the military, those in uniform are not in position to make political attacks or criticisms of the president. it's not allowed. and also, krugman is not employed because he says he refuses to work in the whitehouse. and krugman's not the only one with good opinions. delong, baker, roubini might be others you should look into.


        by robertacker13 on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:56:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Talk to Olympia Snowe, Ben Nelson, Susan (0+ / 0-)

        Collins, Joe Lieberschmuck, Arlen Specter, and Harry Reid-- they hold all the cards on the final stimulus bill.

        Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 12:14:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Absolutely wrong. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The House/Senate conference committee will determine the final bill.  Then, it takes only 51 votes (you can't filibuster a conference report).  So the Senators you listed aren't needed any more.  They're done.

          •  Yeah that's right but we were discussing (0+ / 0-)

            the bill that had to pass to get to conference, not the final product. On the final product, you are correct and make an excellent point, so I stand corrected there. However, while I'm sure we'll usually see many cuts or other bad parts changed in conference this time and in future bills, the bill that goes to conference will be the template for the final bill-- and Nelson, Snowe and crew will have shaped it so their influence will still be great. Thank goodness they won't have the final word in conference. Thanks for your point of clarification, it's a very important one.

            Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

            by doinaheckuvanutjob on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 01:16:47 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Looks like it may require 60 votes after all (0+ / 0-)

            Just did more research on this. KagroX thinks it will require 60 votes to pass after conference:

            Section 201(b)(1) of S. Con. Res. 21, passed by the 110th Congress,appears to be at least one reason why it will take 60 votes to pass the stimulus bill in the Senate, and likewise any conference report arising from it. I'm not yet entirely clear whether any other points of order apply, and if so, whether there would be any particular reason for raising one versus the other, or even whether you can raise them all. But this one seems the most clearly applicable, though I could still be wrong about that. Nobody's really saying just yet exactly which one it is...

            This should also, by the way, partly explain for some of you why Senate Democrats aren't "forcing the Republicans to actually filibuster" the bill if they want to require 60 votes to pass it. It would require 60 votes anyway, filibuster or not.

            He isn't 100% sure, but he thinks so. And as far as other bills are concerned, they aren't always immune to fillibuster after conference, though many are:

            Conference reports are privileged.And in the Senate, a motion to proceed to a conference report is not debatable, although Senators can generally filibuster the conference report itself. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 limits debate on conference reports on budget reconciliation bills to 10 hours in the Senate, so Senators cannot filibuster those conference reports.

            I'd call that confusing-- KagroX says that there's another legislation requiring 60 votes on the stimulus kind of budget bill.

            Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

            by doinaheckuvanutjob on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 02:56:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Give it a few years. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ORDem, doinaheckuvanutjob

    We'll probably get there eventually--it just won't be seen until it's all allocated.  Each step gets us to the next one.

    The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

    by Panurge on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 11:02:39 PM PST

  •  Krugman's a brilliant economist (0+ / 0-)

    and a lousy political commentator.

    He alternates between writing incisive economic analyses (which may or may not turn out to be true) and ridiculous political commentaries that criticize leaders for not taking impossible-to-take actions.

    If he would stick to economics, he would be a much more useful source of information.

  •  No, I'm pretty sure... (0+ / 0-)

    Shinseki worked for Bush. LOL

  •  May I point out (0+ / 0-)

    There are trillions being pumped into the system. It's going out the back door.

    Federal Reserve extends liquidity programs

    The US Federal Reserve has announced the extension through October 30, 2009, of the asset-backed commercial paper money market mutual fund liquidity, commercial paper funding, money market investor funding, primary dealer credit, and term securities lending facilities, which were scheduled to expire on April 30, 2009.

    FDIC: Cost of bank failures to exceed $40B

    Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chief Operating Officer John Bovenzi said the agency's estimate last fall of $40 billion in losses through 2013 probably will be surpassed. He also said in testimony for a House hearing that Congress should more than triple the agency's line of credit with the Treasury Department to $100 billion from the current $30 billion.

    The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. - Zeno

    by yellow dog in NJ on Tue Feb 10, 2009 at 02:57:36 AM PST

    •  It has to go out the back door to work (0+ / 0-)

      Without a banking system, we can't exist as an industrialized nation, or even as an affluent nation.

      There are trillions of dollars of bad assets dragging down banks.  Those assets have to be neutralized so that banks are able to start lending again.

      Obama correctly identified the three legs of the stool:

      1.  Citizens spending
      1.  Banks lending
      1.  Real estate not collapsing.

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