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Friday! And not a day too soon!

Paul Krugman: Turning victory into defeat. And I never did like Obama, anyway.

David Brooks: I don't like him either. Let me explain in this tale of the future what failure looks like.

The Economist:

Mr Obama has a holster of quick-fire retorts. To the Republicans’ earnest discussions of history, he scoffs: "They’re fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago." When they warn of the dangers of fiscal irresponsibility, he snorts that George Bush presided over a doubling in the national debt. Which is true, but dodges the point. His strongest weapon is to declare, falsely, that his opponents want to do nothing whereas he favours bold action. One thing is certain, though. When the economy recovers, which it surely will, he will get the credit.

Eugene Robinson: Tim Geithner is totally out of touch. In the old days, it didn't matter that no one understoood Alan Greenspan. Now, however..

Steven Pearlstein:

This right-wing brushfire [on health care and IT] didn't start on its own, of course. It was a work of political arson by the country's drugmakers and medical device makers, which have the most to lose if there is solid research showing that some of their most expensive and high-margin products aren't really better than the low-priced spread. The flames were also fanned by "disease groups" like Easter Seals and the American Cancer Society, which fear that any attempt to determine what works best will inevitably lead to a one-size-fits-all approach to treating people with serious chronic conditions.

Michael G. Franc: This stimulus bill sucks, because... wait for it... the Heritage Foundation says so.

Charles Ballard:

President Barack Obama's opponents are spreading a thick layer of disinformation about the role of government spending in stimulating the economy. It shouldn't be allowed to dissuade Congress from passing an estimated $789 billion economic stimulus package that negotiators hammered out Wednesday.

For example, Tennessee Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander says the stimulus package is "a spending bill, and not a stimulus bill." Alexander implies that tax cuts can stimulate the economy, while government spending cannot. He's wrong.

Charles Krauthammer: The only way to lose in Iraq is for Obama to blow it.

Kathleen Parker: Silly drug laws, part II

Daily Kos Research 2000 tracker: Obama's favorable rating has plunged from 69 to 68. When we started in Jan, it was 67. Then we had an inaugural bounce. We are doomed. This must be good for John McCain.

And while you're there, check out the Congressional Republicans.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:23 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i guess the honeymoon is over. but then (14+ / 0-)

    there really was never a wedding. obama offers clear leadership and is willing to put his name and administration on the line in no uncertain terms...he has analyzed the situation and come up with what he and his team feel is the approach most likely to work...i wonder how many republicans krugman would have gotten to climb aboard a bigger stimulus and how many democrats would have walked away from him? we elected this guy, i like our chances....i certainly like them a lot more than if any of these know it all's were at the helm!

    •  amen. know it alls. (4+ / 0-)

      its easy to write articles.

    •  IMO, there wasn't ever going to be a honeymoon (17+ / 0-)

      for Obama because the problems he faces are just too vast.  

      However, what is not important is how long of a honeymoon Obama has but what he does to get us out of the economic problem.

      I personally am less concerned about how "large" the stimulus package is because what is not in the stimulus package can be placed in the budget that is due at the end of the month.  Even the NYT editorial says so.  The budget can not be FILIBUSTERED.  The NYT editorial says that who cares if no Republicans vote for the FINAL BUDGET.  It's goal should be to get the job done.

      Also, no stimulus package will matter if the credit marktet remains frozen.  That needs to be addressed specifically ASAP.  It's time the Obama administration seriously thinks about nationalizing the insolvent banks.

      "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

      by Drdemocrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:40:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. (0+ / 0-)

        I have lately been obsessed (yeah, ok -- hold on while I make my tin-foil hat) with the simple mathematics of the thing.

        I have never liked the idea of a single huge bill rushed through with relatively little (considering the enormous sums and consequences) investigation and contemplation.

        I started to doodle with the problems, and I realized there is more than a political issue...

        Getting 60 votes means you can't write off 41 Senators.  That much is obvious, but, imagine a tale of three bills:

        Bill 1:

        Hmmm...Oh, I don't know: A partnership with companies in Texas and Massachusetts to produce um -- biojet fuel for regional airliners and a tax incentive to airlines who choose to use it.

        60 senators support this bill.

        Bill 2:

        A bill providing federal funds to public schools for solar power, green design and other efficiency measures.

        60 senators support this bill, but only of the 40 senators who support Bill 1.  Seems federal support for some private business vs federal support for local schools is a bit of a divider.

        Bottom line:

        Bills 1 and 2 can pass because each can get a coalition of 60, but they are 2 different coalitions, but Bill 1+2 runs into trouble and can't pass without being watered down to the point of being meaningless.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:22:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama needs more and more of these (18+ / 0-)

    articles to get cover for what he must eventually do which is NATIONALIZE some of the banks.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    The U.S. banking system is close to being insolvent, and unless we want to become like Japan in the 1990s -- or the United States in the 1930s --the only way to save it is nationalization.

    As free-market economists teaching at a business school in the heart of the world's financial capital, we feel downright blasphemous proposing an all-out government takeover of the banking system. But the U.S. financial system has reached such a dangerous tipping point that little choice remains. And while Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's recent plan to save it has many of the right elements, it's basically too late.

    Obama NEEDS economics to come out of the wood-work and say exactly that.  He NEEDS to that political cover.  The fact that Geithner's plan had no specifics tells me that he is coming to the realization that in the end this is what needs to happen especially when he talks about "stress testing" banks which is another way of saying determining which banks are insolvent.

    The MORE people speak out about this the better.

    The combination of the stimulus package, a plan to stop foreclosures, and nationalizing the banks is how we are going to get out of this massive problem.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:31:23 AM PST

  •  It's about time (7+ / 0-)

    we examined what kind of health care we are getting, when we are lucky enough to get it.

    I was reading recently how insurance companies refuse to pay for laparoscopic procedures, forcing people to get the more invasive, longer-recovery, higher complications route of old fashioned cut-em-open.

    This is an outrage.

    WereBear
    Pootie fan? Me too! Check out my cat advice blog.
    The Way of Cats

    by WereBear on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:33:14 AM PST

  •  we're doomed!!!! so say pundits... (15+ / 0-)

    which means we are doing fine.

    First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win - Gandhi

    by mysticlaker on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:33:39 AM PST

  •  At least I can believe Krugman and Obama (16+ / 0-)

    both have the best interests of the country and even the world at heart. That is comforting even if this is all highly stressful and terrifying.

  •  re: krugman (10+ / 0-)

    i figured as much.

    the bill is fine. it will create jobs. i'm ready to start turning this ship around. Krugman's main problem, despite his brilliance, is that he knows nothing about government or the way our political system works apparently. I suppose we could have waited until 2010 when we will have replaced all the republicans and blue dogs; or i guess we could have gotten a bill passed for 6 trillion all at once.

    as much as i respect Krugmans OPINIONS, they are astoundingly ignorant of the realities of our government. He reminds me of the difference between studying poverty and being poor.

    This bill is as good as we could get given the urgency and the make up of our government. We didnt have another 2 or 3 months to fiddle around. I'm glad the bill got passed. I'm glad we can start on a recovery journey. I'm glad that Obama likely has a strong idea about what's next, with all contingencies (and people like Krugman just dont have that information) and I;m glad some people will find relief in the form of a job or extended benefits for their unemployment.

    I look forward to the beginning of a fix for the housing crisis.

    I;m ready to move forward.

    •  I like how you think (0+ / 0-)

      this is the best bill we could get and that's the end of the story.  Ever thing you might be wrong?  Krugman does.  I do.  But I guess somehow if you think something its by definition true.  Are you a republican?

      Look, feel free to say you think this is the best we could do but don't say the guy who just won the nobel prize is "astoundingly ignorant of the realities of or government" for disagreeing.  Or did you win a nobel recently?  Perhaps you hold a major national elected office?  If not, then you just really really overestimate the value of your own opinions.

      •  Heh, So what he won a Nobel, so did (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        felldestroyed

        Milton Friedman, who advocated for everything opposite of Krugman....  And by the by, Krugman earned his award for work he did in the 70's not for anything that he has done since my lifetime....  

        Obama hasn't pulled the troops from Iraq, closed Gitmo, or found Bin Laden to rip his arms off to beat him to death with them. He's a failure

        by fromdabak on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:36:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, people have won and are wrong (0+ / 0-)

          and its fine to disagree.  a nobel isn't a a free pass to ultimate truth.  But it does mean that a nobel winner's opinions can't be dismissed out of hand as "astoundingly ignorant".  To presume someone who disagrees with you is astoundingly ignorant is ignorant and foolish.  Particularly if you yourself hold no expertise in the area under discussion.  I disagree with Obama on this issue, but I don't presume him ignorant or stupid.  In fact i think exactly the opposite.  

          Oh, and citing the fact that Krugman won his nobel for work in the 70's as some wait to discount his expertise or intellect is possibly the most stupid statement I've seen in quite a while.  Almost every science nobel is awarded long after the research.   Are all the recipients geniuses then and an idiots today?  Give me a break.

          •  Many geniuses are never appreciated until (0+ / 0-)

            after their death-if then.  Milton Friedman's theories have been tried and failed miserabley.  To someone who bases his ideas on logic and history the workings of Washington must seem like a tragic comedy.  Totally devoid of logic or reason.  Witness Krugman trying to have a conversation with Joe Scarborough-sad, but funny.

          •  Not discounting his experience just highlighting (0+ / 0-)

            the fact that he won it on something from work he contributed to decades ago, not being right about the Bush administration's economic policies.  

            Krugman is a economic populist.  His heart and columns were with Edwards during the primary and after Edwards dropped out he jumped ship to HRC's team.  

            Saying all of that I think that either Krugman is being intellectually dishonest or doesn't understands the process it takes to get legislation passed when it takes 60 Senators to get shit accomplished.  Add to that the Repunklican'ts are trying everything in their power (i.e. Judd Gregg sudden ephiany) to shit on Obama's mandate....

            Obama hasn't pulled the troops from Iraq, closed Gitmo, or found Bin Laden to rip his arms off to beat him to death with them. He's a failure

            by fromdabak on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 01:01:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  i must be fevered and delusional (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx
    or was that really a pro-legalization column in * gasp * the WaPo?  that is !@#$%& awesome!

    "Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise." Thomas Paine, Common Sense

    by Cedwyn on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:40:07 AM PST

    •  I keep telling people change is on the way (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      donnamarie, island in alabama

      but many are committed to protecting FEderal Government reefer madness.

      Why?

      Becuase once reform is here everybody will have to deal with the fact they have been totally and completely lied to for 3 or 4 generations.

      And I am imagining they might be unhappy to think they were lied to so much and that they defended these lies with their souls.

      Nobody wants to say "I got duped".

      But duped you have been.

      And they said a black man would never be President.....

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:54:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm a fan of both Krugman and Obama (13+ / 0-)

    I have no problem with Krugman positing his views of what will and what won't work. Obama and company need the views of strong progressives.

  •  Someone please explain to me what's overcome (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SLKRR, cinsch, CoExistNow

    Kathleen Parker. It's been rather unsettling reading many of her columns over the past few months as she's moved from being a wingnut to a critic of some of the extreme wingnuttiness.

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich." JFK - January 20, 1961

    by rontun on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:41:45 AM PST

  •  Unfair and false about Krugman, DemFromCT (8+ / 0-)

    DemFromCT your summation of Krugman's column, "And I never did like Obama, anyway," is unfair and false.

    Krugman in past articles has praised Obama highly.  This column is consistent with others of his which have argued (as have many noted economists like Prof. Galbraith at the U. of Texas) that to be effective, any stimulus has to be large:

    For while Mr. Obama got more or less what he asked for, he almost certainly didn’t ask for enough. We’re probably facing the worst slump since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office, not usually given to hyperbole, predicts that over the next three years there will be a $2.9 trillion gap between what the economy could produce and what it will actually produce. And $800 billion, while it sounds like a lot of money, isn’t nearly enough to bridge that chasm.

    Officially, the administration insists that the plan is adequate to the economy’s need. But few economists agree. And it’s widely believed that political considerations led to a plan that was weaker and contains more tax cuts than it should have — that Mr. Obama compromised in advance in the hope of gaining broad bipartisan support. We’ve just seen how well that worked.

    ...

    Over all, the effect was to kick the can down the road. And that’s not good enough. So far the Obama administration’s response to the economic crisis is all too reminiscent of Japan in the 1990s: a fiscal expansion large enough to avert the worst, but not enough to kick-start recovery; support for the banking system, but a reluctance to force banks to face up to their losses. It’s early days yet, but we’re falling behind the curve."

     
    http://www.nytimes.com/...

    That is not an indictment of Obama.  Obama himself has stated on numerous times that he is human and makes mistakes and fair critcism is just that.

    Shame on you and the stupid, stupid comment by Micheline that Krugman is "concern trolling."  Way, way off base.  

    •  where were you during the primaries? (7+ / 0-)

      I'll let you do the research. Krugman was a pretty harsh critic and hge remains so.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:45:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're biased DemFromCT (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        raboof, hester, slinkerwink, jenifera, TomP

        The primaries were a long time ago, DemFromCT and perhaps he saw another candidate who he thought more highly of then.  At any rate, since Obama got the nomination and up to this very point, Krugman has been very favorable toward Obama and sympathetic of the plight he and the country are in.  His position that the Obama stimulus plan is insufficient is one he warned about BEFORE it was written and is also consistent with the views of other top economists (like Prof. Galbraith at Texas and Joseph Stiglitz, to name two).  Obama is not the messiah and not above criticism AS HE HIMSELF HAS STATED NUMEROUS TIMES.  If you are looking for a religious leader that you can follow, I suggest that you leave DailyKos and go elsewhere.  This is a forum for people who have ideas and critical minds, not for idealogues and pilgrims. Your synposis of Krugman is completely wrong and should be pulled or edited.  

      •  His work dates back to the 20th century (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slinkerwink

        He is right about Japan. Read his monographs of 1990s.

      •  My comment below (6+ / 0-)

        addresses this.

        Totally disappointed in your comment.

        Yes, let's make believe that any policy criticism is based upon the primaries.

        I supported John Edwards before I supported Barack Obaam, so any positive or begative statements I make about Obama must be devalued, rtight?

        Only true beleivers can discuss policy about Obama's choices.

        It's a joke.  You're better than that, at least I thought you were.

        I don't want a church here.  I want real thought.  You failed completely with the comment above.

        Peopel are losing jobs and homes.  It's about the Ameircan peopel, not of Barack Obama.

        The policy choices matterr in people's lives.

        It's not a f..cking game.    

        "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

        by TomP on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:01:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  making snarky comments marginalizes (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester, TomP, fflambeau, chrome327, CoExistNow

          the actual concerns and criticism of the smallness of the stimulus plan. When you make snarky comments or call people like Krugman a concern troll, you end up marginalizing the very same people that are rightly worried about this economy, and the possible smallness of the incrementalist approach by Obama's economic team.

          •  Exactly. It undercuts (7+ / 0-)

            the movement to push Obama left.  It builds on the cult of personality, suggesting the personality alone can solve the severe problems we have.  It is intellectually backrupt.

            We can all pretend that Daddy Barack will fix it all, and we can keep pretending as our homes, jobs, and lives disappear.

            Or we can work with Barack Obama, pushing always for the right thing, even with him.

            "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

            by TomP on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:27:50 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  exactly. It's sad too many don't get this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP
              •  Stiglitz said same thing as Krugman (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slinkerwink, TomP, HenryBurlingame

                Back in December, 2008, BEFORE Obama's stimulus package was unveiled, Nobel Prize winning economist Joe Stiglitz was saying virtually the same thing as Krugman.  To work, any stimulus plan must be huge.

                "Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz says the government should adopt a fiscal stimulus package as large as $1 trillion to revive the moribund economy.

                "There is an emerging consensus among economists that a big — very big — stimulus is needed, at least $600 billion to $1 trillion over two years," Stiglitz, a Columbia University professor, writes in a New York Times opinion piece.

                In addition, he says President-elect Obama’s aim for 2.5 million new jobs by 2011 is inadequate."

                http://www.dallasnews.com/...

                NOTE that Obama has since revised his "new jobs" aim upward in line with the comments made by both Stiglitz and Krugman.  Why criticize these good guy economists?  They are only doing their job and doing it with utmost integrity and professionalism.

              •  Even the NYTimes editorial (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                slinkerwink, TomP

                said the package was too small
                Even they are telling him to be bolder. NY Times is hardly a radical paper.

                The bill is, for the most part, a step in the right direction. But political wrangling, including President Obama’s futile pursuit of bipartisanship, rendered it smaller and less focused than it needed to be.

                The real question is what the Obama administration does for a follow-up. Unless the stimulus is accompanied by a successful twin effort to stem foreclosures and stabilize the banks, the downward pull of falling home prices and constrained credit will be too great to overcome.

                The administration’s next shot at advancing its economic aims will be Mr. Obama’s first budget. The new president should stop courting Republicans who have shown no interest in compromise or real economic fixes. The budget resolution is immune from filibustering. If every Republican wants to vote against it, Mr. Obama should leave them to explain that decision to voters who are in danger of losing their jobs or their houses or both.

                "Remember your humanity and forget the rest." Albert Einstein & Bertrand Russell

                by hester on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:49:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Ninth Rule of Fight Club (0+ / 0-)

        Fights will go on as long as they have to, but you DO NOT criticize Barack Obama.

        •  why not? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          missLotus

          anyone can. In fact, everyone does. However, it is interesting that the public has more patience than the pundits.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 07:57:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Everyone except Krugman (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jenifera

            You do a disservice to those of us who believe Obama needs to be pushed by the left flank.

            Everyone can criticize Obama, but not Paul Krugman. Paul Krugman is not a serious man. He is just a hater.

            Paul Krugman is giving voice to what needs to be said, and he is not alone. This bill is not big and bold enough. If you want to declare victory and laud  Obama for playing the Republicans, knock yourself out. I think you know better, DemCt.

    •  btw (4+ / 0-)

      that doesn't make Krugman wrong.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:51:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well said. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slinkerwink

      I comented on that also.

      I read the article to see what Krugman said and it was nothing like DemfromCt's inane comment.

      "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

      by TomP on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:03:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So how many jobs... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pakalolo, CoExistNow

    ...would prosecuting Bushco create?  Instead of the Truth and Immunization Commission, that is?  If it would be an 8 year "distraction" that would probably mean there would be plenty of money flowing into paralegals and lawyers from the private sector, right?

    Ignorance is Curable.

    by skids on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:45:19 AM PST

  •  This New Polling Displays the Power of 3. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    island in alabama

    The Republicans appear to have taken a hit across the board of 3 points, sometimes 2.

    Democrats, on the other hand, seem to remain steady for the most part if not improve by a couple of points.

    One point of contention with the polling; why are "non-voters" even included?  Are we sampling people under 18 who may end up following the rest of their generation into the Democratic party, or are these adults who just don't vote?

    "Change has come to Washington, and I hope Karl Rove is ready for it. After two years of stonewalling, it's time for him to talk." Mr. John Conyers Jr.

    by Setrak on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:47:57 AM PST

  •  I still want to be a pundit. (4+ / 0-)

    There's apparently nothing to it.

    And they said a black man would never be President.....

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:48:03 AM PST

  •  cute (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, slinkerwink, mollyd, rollotomasi

    making snarky comments doesn't change the fact that the stimulus bill isn't enough and that the Republicans were able to exert too much control over the final bill because he started negotiating from a compromise position.

    a tent can only be so big before it starts to sag at the seams.

    by jbou on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:49:27 AM PST

    •  doomed! nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  The bailout and the stimulus are two (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbou

      parts of the same agenda.  The banks got a bail-out or, more correctly, something to prime the pump and get the air pockets out of the line so money can start flowing again.  In addition, the TARP was a hush puppy ploy--designed to shut the bankers up while the economy gets stimulated with direct cash payments.

      Bankers and financiers, you see, hate cash.  There's nothing to trickle down to them when there are grants.

      I think we misunderstood "trickle down."  The beneficiaries were never to be the workers.  The beneficiaries of trickle down were always the leisure class--the bond clippers and investment crowd.

      Trickle-down economics is designed to guarantee that in the management of public assets and resources, the leisure class will always get its cut.

      We also need to remember that Republicans operate by indirection, always assuming that, if one avenue is blocked (taxes), another has to be taken (bonds).

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:59:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree - snark's OK and all, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jbou, slinkerwink

      but sometimes I get the sense many don't realize the historic level of this.

      Krugman's been consistent, and we (and Obama) need to listen to him.  This guy, too.

      •  it bugs... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hester, slinkerwink

        me that we are judging this by Obama's approval rating, and the fact that the bill got through both houses of congress. Fine, the bill passed, and you're popular, but I would also like a good bill.

        a tent can only be so big before it starts to sag at the seams.

        by jbou on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:06:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  These polls truly show just how unpopular the GOP (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, island in alabama, kevin k

    Congress is.  

    They think that they are winning when they obstruct Obama and whine and bitch about him and his plans.  It just makes them look like babies.

    "Because we won...we have to win." Obama - 6/6/08. WELL WE DID IT!!! 11/4/08

    by Drdemocrat on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:49:28 AM PST

  •  Everybody's jumping on the failure (0+ / 0-)

    bandwagon, as if they haven't a clue what they've been about.

    Failure?  Oh, no!  That's not our gig.  That's somebody else's fault.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:49:47 AM PST

  •  All I know is China passed a (6+ / 0-)

    stimulus bill and so did several other foreign countries.  All of their stock markets went up a lot last night.

    The main thing Obama and the Senate need to be careful of is that the stimulus money isn't used to hire overseas workers.  

    I can forgive Obama if he tries and fails, but I won't forgive him if he does it the republican way.

  •  LOL (10+ / 0-)

    The Congressional Republicans are about to break the graph.

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid.

    by arcticshadow on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:54:39 AM PST

  •  Cratering! We're going to need to add (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    txdemfem, CoExistNow

    another bar on the graph if the GOP continue their obstructionist ways.

  •  Shorter Brooks: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrome327

    "Americans are suspicious, distrusting, and irrational by nature and therefore Obama doesn't understand how doomed all his efforts are.  He'd be much better off with less effort on policy and more on trying to herd these animals with something that pushes their buttons.  Like Bush and Rove."

    "The first Republican who cries "Wolverines!" on the House or Senate floor has to be considered the front-runner for the 2012 Iowa caucus." JF on TPM

    by Inland on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:57:05 AM PST

  •  Your comment on Krugman (7+ / 0-)

    does not fit his article at all.

    It is a way to undercut the policy criticism, though.  Yes, it's all personal.  

    I call bulshit.  Frankly, I'm disappointed in your comment.   You usually do much better.

    Krugman's is one point of view.  Time will tell if he is right.  I hope he is wrong, but as people lose jobs and homes, and as I see many economists say the stimulus will only ameliorate the pain, not prevent it, I think he likely is right.

    That does not mean "I never liked Obama."  

    Obama and Pelosi (yes, Pelosi) are all we have.

    But if pretending makes you happy, so be it.

    I prefer reality based.

    It's about teh Ameircan people, not Barack Obama.  Too many think this is a f..cking sport whjere people root for or agaisnt Obama.  When people lose jobs and homes, it ain't no sport.

    "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

    by TomP on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 04:58:12 AM PST

  •  HOW CAN TAX CUTS WORK IF YOU DON'T HAVE (6+ / 0-)

    A JOB???
    (calming down...)
    srsly, how hard is it for the dems to say that?
    why can't that be the dem talking point?

  •  Krugman is a brillian moron (3+ / 0-)

    in the sense that hubris so often leads the brightest people to do and say the dumbest things.

    It's "I won't get caught", or "That would be a problem for most people" or "This is what I would do, and if you do something else you must be wrong."

    Obama's got a bit of the same problem, and his cabinet (Hello, Larry Summers -- Seriously, you're freezing out Paul Volcker?  Are you nuts or just insane?) certainly does, but...

    President's a hard job.  Not only do you have 535 editors, you have to serve a far more diverse crowd than a columnist writing in a tony (and increasingly irrelevant) New York rag.

    With all of those editors, mathematics (hello, set theory) make it much harder to get an acceptable big bill than it is to get a series of good smaller bills.  Think about the difference between an intersection and a union and you start to get the idea.

    And what's with all of that pissing and moaning about Obama's bipartisan efforts?

    It's clear you've never been in sales, tried searching for an honest job, prospected for anything, or tried to grow a crop.

    Some things pay off right away and some things never pay off. Others pay off down the road, often in ways that you never expected.

    To go so sour so soon is simply assenine.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:09:47 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the Pearlstein link (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    batgirl71, island in alabama

    I believe he is correct when he says;

    This little kerfuffle, however, is a warning to the Obama administration that the coming battle over health-care reform is likely to be every bit as vicious and divisive as the one that defeated the Clinton health plan, requiring not only care in designing the plan but the need to develop easy-to-understand data and compelling anecdotes that demonstrate in a compelling way how wasteful and ineffective our current system has become.

    The Republicans will oppose health care reform with much of the same falsity as attempted in their opposition to the stimulus bill.

  •  snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, xxdr zombiexx

    A Fed. Ct Judge once said that to our side as we continued to talk we'll past the need...we had granted our motion but we had been so busy advancing our view had missed it! He stopped us before we could screw it up more....

    .... anytime I hear the expression I think of his take on it backwards and I smile.....

    I am giving up on the TARP and stimulus.... the TARP disclosure has been on my scream list since last Fall and after watching a bit of the hearings realized that I shall receive no original information nor have any input of value...but go Dailykos writers go....

  •  its amazing that so many around here (4+ / 0-)

    have it all figured out. they now exactly what is going to happen next month, next year all as a result of this stimulus bill.  its amazing.i just wish they'd posts some lottery numbers.

    here's the bottom line: the stimulus ill is smaller than many economists recommended. OK but its what we were able to get passed. its NPT the end of the world. There's room for more and this infusion of money into the economy will create some jobs. (I'm looking forward to 200,000 jobs in my state of Florida). No one here or even Krugman himself knows what plans and contingencies Obama's administration has planned and there's no way for us to at this time. I think that there are lots of tools in the arsenal and i know that Obama is neither stupid nor callous. He  cares about the country just as we all do. Theories about what could happen are fine. Its just ridiculous, however, to spout certainties when the TRUTH is that none of us knows how this will work out. There are some historical references but non fit perfectly.

    This is a fluid situation. It important that we monitor it and be able to respond appropriately moving forward.

  •  'I never did. . .' gratuitous. (0+ / 0-)

    If there were a COGENT critique of bloggers, it would be for dumb*hit like this.

    ---------------- Cockroach don't trouble in cockfight; let's let the politicians sell out n' you and I keep fighting for what's right!

    by Matthew Detroit on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 05:21:58 AM PST

  •  Not John McCain..... (0+ / 0-)

    This is Great News For HILLARY!!!!

    The line that keeps on giving..

  •  Several top economists make same point as Krugman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chaboard, cinsch

    Krugman is not alone in criticizing the smallness of the Obama economic stimulus plan.  Have a look at a good column by Ryan Grimm called "Why the Stimulus is Too Small" over at Huffingtonpost.

    Here are some excerpts from leading economists (who agree with Krugman):

    "The stimulus package scheduled to be voted on Tuesday... is simply too small to withstand the economic storm that's coming.

    It's a matter of basic math, says economist Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The economy is currently losing - annually -- $450 billion in housing wealth, $650 billion in consumer spending and $150 billion in commercial real estate value.

    "You're talking about a gap on the order of twelve-hundred-fifty billion dollars, and we're trying to plug that with four-hundred-something, so we've got a long way to go," Baker says. (The stimulus package of roughly $800 billion doles out spending and tax cuts over two years.)

    Galbraith, too, says that demonstrating that the stimulus is too small is a matter of basic math. The $400 billion it will inject into the economy each of the next two years is equal to about two to three percent of GDP, he noted. But the economy is falling at a much faster rate, projected at eight percent a year by the CBO - and that projection, again, doesn't account for the financial collapse.

    ...

    For the stimulus to be able to turn around an economy spiraling down at that rate, the money injected into the economy would have to be multiplied many times over. But, Galbraith says, the economy is currently stuck in a "liquidity trap." People aren't spending because they're insecure about the future; companies aren't borrowing and expanding because the business climate looks stormy; and banks aren't lending because when the economy's tanking almost everyone looks like a bad credit risk. The multiplier effect for a tax cut to business and the middle-class, Galbraith guesses, will be close to zero, because the money will be saved or used to pay down debt.

    ...
    "We are working with a set of economic projections which assume, for mechanical reasons, that the economy is going to start turning around at the end of this year. There is no analytical foundation for that," Galbraith says. "Those models that are based on the period after 1945 aren't going to work. They just aren't going to be right."

    The current crisis is qualitatively different than any recession that the current projections are based on. If they're wrong, then - given the small size of the stimulus -- there will be no turnaround in 2010. Instead, the economy will careen out of control, unemployment will continue to rise, production will slow, etc. The White House acknowledges the severity.

    .

    ...
    Yet here we are. Because the stimulus is too small, argue the economists, it will cost people jobs. "My first cut says that the changes to the Senate bill will ensure that we have at least 600,000 fewer Americans employed over the next two years," wrote Nobel-Prize winning economist Paul Krugman Sunday.

    Eileen Appelbaum, director of Rutgers University's Center for Women and Work, is an economist with a ground-level view of the damage being wrought.

    "It needs to be bigger, if you just take a look at the amount of household spending that is lost because of the decline in homes, equity and 401(K)s," she says.

    ...
    So far, she says, health care has remained one of the few sectors that hasn't been hit hard by layoffs. But the Senate compromise slashes money to shore-up state budgets, meaning that states will be required to cut back on health care spending. The government, she says, ultimately funds more than half of all that spending.

    "If you look at it from the point of view of the states, this money is desperately needed," she says. Without government payments, countless private and nonprofit health agencies would be forced to close. "I mean, [the Senate] cut money out of the program for feeding infants."

    Even if it's too small, the economists say, the stimulus will still create millions of jobs and we may see job losses decline to a few hundred thousand a month rather than the 600,000 we saw in January. Something, they say, is better than nothing.

    ...
    Galbraith hopes that Obama won't play along and suggested a rethought approach next time around. "Right from the beginning, the discussion was, What's your number?" Galbraith, who was asked that question himself by Obama's transition team, says. He argues that the president should instead do everything that needs to be done and add it up when the storm passes.

    "My position is: do everything," he says. Do everything and then see what the results are, and when you're sure you've got the economy going again, you can cut back."

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

  •  Extinction Happens! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    island in alabama

    The Economist paints its opinion peice with only one color. And its a very dark one. Coloring everything Obama says as if it were a false Doomsayer claiming the "end id near!". But they never quite tell us that, in fact, Obama is stating the truth. That every indicator shows that we are in a dive that needs to be altered if its going to get any better.

    It's much easier to improve an economy that has an employed workforce than a destitute group of unemployed citizens. If we let our country collapse further that is what we will face.

    And this opinion doesn't give us one scrap of an idea of what to do instead. They just drone on how "it's all wrong", "big government", "they'll hire only Democrats". The Republicans are a broken record on this matter. They are bankrupt of ideas and cannot to save their lives accept an outreached hand from a Democratic Administration.

    Extinction happens, GOP.

    "Let's make sure that there is certainty during uncertain times in our economy." -- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2008

    by Wynter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:03:08 AM PST

  •  The problem with the Krugmans (6+ / 0-)

    How would Paul Krugman and all the economists who say the size is not big enough get such a  big PLAN through congress and have it passed? We do not live in a dictatorship where the president could simply take a pen and sign a 3 trillion stimulus package into law. Wish that were possible and it's not only repug congresscritters we would have to worry about, but conservative Democrats. Does Krugman have an alternative to the political structures that we have, that could enact his plans? Politics is the "Art of the Possible."

    Secondly does the weakened economic system have the CAPACITY now to utilize a bigger sized package as efficiently and quickly as needed? The implementation part is equally critical and I have not heard Krugman et al deal with that.

    "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

    by zizi on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:05:52 AM PST

    •  Some suggestions, zizi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      batgirl71

      Good points Zizi but I think Obama could have done a better job than he did:

      1.  have his team put together the stimulus plan he wanted and then give it to the House Dems;
      1.  think bigger in his own plan (like most economists advised);
      1.  call the Republican bluff in the Senate.  If they want to sabotage his plan, let them.  Then use the bully pulpit that is the presidency to villify them (Spectre is in a particularly difficult position to win again in a democratic state that has been hard hit by the recession);
      1.  only after the above has been done (and it doesn't work) do you compromise by putting in the tax breaks they insisted on (don't agree with them before getting something from them first).
      1.  realize that the "bipartisan shtick" isn't working.  Obama needs to open his eyes.  

      (As to the second question you ask, I have seen NO reputable economist say the economy does not have the capacity to utilize a bigger package.  Do you know of one?).  

      •  John Nichols commented on this too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        batgirl71

        Zizi, John Nichols, an editor at The Nation and The Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) wrote an excellent article on this called, "Senate Democrats Compromise Away Best Parts of Recovery Plan."  Highlights include:

        "The Senate's $780 billion plan is still a budget buster.

        It's just not focused on spending as much of the money as the House sought to on renewing the economy.

        In order to get the votes of two Republican (Maine's Susan Collins and Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter) and perhaps another (Mainer Olympia Snowe) that were needed to undermine the threat of a GOP filibuster, Reid surrendered $86 billion is proposed stimulus spending. In doing so, the Democrats agreed to cut not just fat but bone, and to warp the focus and intent of the legislation.

        The Senate plan is dramatically more weighted than the House bill toward tax cuts (which account for more than 40 percent of the overall cost of the package). This is despite the fact that there is a growing consensus -- among even conservative economists and policy makers -- that tax cuts will do little or nothing to stimulate job creation in a country that lost almost 600,000 positions in January alone. As French President Nicolas Sarkozy, no liberal, said Friday of countries that opt for tax cuts rather than stimulus: The approach "will bring them nothing" in the way of economic regeneration.
        The Senate's increased emphasis on tax cuts comes at the expense of the aggressive spending in key areas that might actually get a stalled economy moving.

        Spending for school construction that would actually have put people to work -- while at the same time investing in the future -- has been slashed. (Almost $20 billion slated for school construction is gone.)

        Money for Superfund cleanup, Head Start and Early Start child care, energy efficiency initiatives and historic preservation projects -- all of which create or maintain existing jobs -- has been cut.

        Supplemental transportation funding has been hacked.

        The House's proposal to help unemployed Americans maintain their health benefits has been chopped down.

        Axed, as well, has been $90 million that was to have been allocated to plan for and manage a potential flu pandemic that economists and public health experts worry could shutter remaining businesses, bring the economy to a complete standstill and throw the country into a deep depression.

        The bottom line is that, under the Senate plan:

        * States will get less aid.

        * Schools will get less help.

        * Job creation programs will be less well funded.

        * Preparations to combat potential public health disasters -- which could put the final nail in the economy's coffin -- will not be made.

        In every sense, the Senate plan moves in the wrong direction.
        At a time when smart economists are saying that a bigger, bolder stimulus plan is needed, Senate Democrats and a few moderate Republicans have agreed to a smaller, weaker initiative.

        And Republicans are still delaying passage. It could be Sunday, even Monday, before a vote is taken. And who knows what more will be lost -- in time and stimulus spending before President Obama signs a bill.

        These are the fruits of bipartisan fantasies and the compromises that follow upon them. President Obama, who should have been on television addressing the nation and doing everything in his power to rally support for a sufficient stimulus plan, will be lucky if he gets anything by the President's Day deadline he set. (Even after the Senate measure passes, a difficult process of reconciling the very different House and Senate bills must take place. Then there will be more votes before any legislation gets to the president's desk.)

        The White House still wants to advance this measure, as do Senate Democratic leaders. And, considering the urgency of the moment, they are probably right to try to do something. But if the final "stimulus package" proves to be insufficient to jump start the economy -- and if what is left of public confidence in the prospect of turnaround collapses as a result -- this Friday night compromise will be remembered with pained regret.

  •  The Economist continues Rove's talking points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    island in alabama

    I knew Rove was giving the orders in his column the other day.  Expect to hear every Republican saying this from here on out.  The economy will recover on its own and it will have nothing to do with Obama's stimulus plan.  We will hear that a lot in the coming two years.

    The smartest thing you'll read todayTM.

    by TheC on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:08:08 AM PST

    •  Just who writes for The Economist? (0+ / 0-)

      I read their article and then I went to the "about us", seems a group put their article together and they do not feel that who those people are is as important as what they collectively produce.  I'm sorry, I want to know what informs the thought process in what you write.  I smelled a little Rovian projection in their discussion of Obama's snappy retorts.

      It is only three weeks into this Presidency.  They have a monumental clean up.  This stimulus is only step one.  I am thrilled to death that Krugman, Gailbreath, Stiglitz, Volcker, even Greider inform this President-beats the living hell out of Cheney and Rove.  This mess took thirty years to create.  Reading through the comments, people calling others idiots, CHILLAX!  These are frightening times (particularly here at my house).  I had my WTF moment with the President concerning Judd Gregg and excuse me for being mean, that came to a good conclusion.  Rome was not rebuilt in a day-after Nero fiddled while it burned.  We have work to do, this is step one.  Krugman is a good man, Obama is a good man, have some faith people!  Take a deep breath, count to ten, write those letters to your senator or congresscritter-don't let the dittoheads be the only voice your representative hears.

  •  MoveOn Accountability Campaign on the Stimulus (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cinsch, island in alabama

    Just got an email from MoveOn on the Stimulus.  They have a great idea:  to inform the voters in key states the way their reps (democratic and republican) voted on the stimulus bill.  They also correctly note that senators from both parties voted to strip the stimulus plan of key provisions especially on education and aid to the states. From Move-on:

    "Most Americans support President Obama's stimulus plan, yet conservative Democrats and Republicans got away with slashing key parts—billions for education, green jobs, and health care—in favor of tax cuts for the rich.

    Why? Because they think most voters will never know. So we're ready to run ads telling the public how key senators—both Republican and Democrat—voted on the stimulus bill."

  •  Remind me never to read the National Review... (0+ / 0-)

    that peice by Michael Franc was a load of pure horseshit! So much Republican rhetoric and talking points that we will likely be hearing it retold for months as if it were all "fact" by Fox News.

    I think I need to take another shower...

    "Let's make sure that there is certainty during uncertain times in our economy." -- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2008

    by Wynter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:16:55 AM PST

  •  What new college prank will they do next? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cinsch, batgirl71, island in alabama

    Now that Gregg has pulled off his "gotcha!" moment on Barack. What else will the so-called bipartisan GOP pull next to try to obstruct this Administration?

    - Take turns illegally parking in the Majority Leadership's parking spaces? - Pork up on the donuts early in the Congressional Cafeteria, so there are only those jelly filled ones left for the Dems? - Slip decaf into the kitchen's of the Majority Leaders at night? - Steal all the paper and toner out of the Congressional copiers? - Put a speed limit for walking throughout the halls? - Backup the toilets near the main halls putting them out of order? - Start wearing "I'm with stupid!" t-shirts while being televised by C-SPAN?

    It's all possible with these idiots! What do you think they could possibly do to top Gregg's stunt?

    Nuff Said!

    "Let's make sure that there is certainty during uncertain times in our economy." -- George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., June 2, 2008

    by Wynter on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:18:25 AM PST

  •  John Nichols: Stimulus Plan not enough (0+ / 0-)

    John Nichols, an editor at The Nation and also at the Capital Times (Madison, Wisconsin) wrote an excellent piece entitled, "Is the Stimuls Package Too Watered Down to Get Us Anywhere?"  Here are some key points he made about the "tepid" stimulus plan:

    "The $838 billion Senate bill will have to be reconciled with the more modest $819 billion House bill.

    Smart economists will tell you that neither the House or Senate figures are likely to be sufficient to genuinely jumpstart an economy that sheds more jobs, shutters more business and loses more in the way of consumer confidence with each passing day."

    <</p>

    http://www.alternet.org/...

  •  Dem: Lou Cannon - What a nice piece in NY Times (0+ / 0-)

    So, I started out looking at a couple of the pieces you highlighted, and didn't really peruse til later.

    Then, going back, I found the lovely little Lou Cannon piece on Obama's relationship with the White House and with the people.

    More people should read that.  It's encouraging to see the healthy approach Obama seems to be taking towards the presidency.

    Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

    by dinotrac on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 06:48:28 AM PST

  •  Hey, I've nver mentioned it, but I really (0+ / 0-)

    enjoy "Your Abbreviated Pundit Round-up" Thanks & keep it coming!

  •  I think your wrong on Krugman (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cinsch, fflambeau

    I don't think he is anywhere near saying he does not like President Obama. I think perhaps you took his pot shots and concluded that...but he is right and you know it though apparently you don't like it..any better than Krugman does.

    Don't shoot the messanger. We DO need more, we DO need to hold banks accountable and we DO need to basically tell the GOP to stick it up their bung hole.
    That's all I read and came away with after reading Krugman.

  •  did John McCain actually lose the election? (0+ / 0-)

    because both he and Obama are acting as if they are Al Franken and "the horse face". in electoral limbo or Limbaugh.

  •  True Dat (0+ / 0-)

    You're right.  Dr. Krugman never liked Obama.  But take on the content of his article rather than bring in red herrings.

    Dr. Krugman's point is that the stimulus package isn't big enough and he's right.  If President Obama learned anything from Ronald Reagan and even george bush, it is that you always ask for way more than you ever think you're going to get.  Obama asked for what he wanted and got less.  He appears weak and that is bad.  You can start tough and loosen the reins, you can't start soft and toughen up.  He looks like a one termer right now.

    The thing is that whether it works or not President Obama is going to get the credit or the blame.  In this case it would have been better to error on the side of too big of a stimulus than too little.  That is the point.  Address it or tell your story walkin'.

  •  "the Republicans’ earnest discussions of h (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    batgirl71

    Thanks, Economist, for the first big laugh of the day!

  •  You know, I might respect the opinions (0+ / 0-)

    of some of these economists more if they'd sounded the warning bell before we had our financial system collapse. And yeah, there were the Roubinis, but for every Roubini, there were thousands of other economists who were silent. Either they didn't know or they wouldn't say, which doesn't make me exactly inclined to listen to their chicken-throated criticism now.

    Obama doesn't have one shot at this, and the economy is going to work with him to give him more shots because it's going to get worse and that's going to make it harder for Repubs to stand in denial.

    Yeah, I wish we could have gotten a larger stimulus bill, but we couldn't. Blame the Repubs. Don't blame Obama. And if Obama were to talk nationalization right now, we'd have ever cable channel inundated with screeching Repub to go along with our screeching economists.

    Let talk of nationalization build. Let the discussion be the forerunner of policy. In a way, that's a similar strategy to getting more stimulus too. As the economic metrics decline, which they will because the stimulus will take time, Obama will be able to tinker with more.

    "The white race is the domineering race, which is why I'm voting for McClain." Anonymous voter on NPR

    by txdemfem on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 08:16:34 AM PST

  •  Dead wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fflambeau

    about Krugman.

    "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good." --Samuel Johnson

    by joanneleon on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 09:56:57 AM PST

  •  The problem with Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RinaX

    is that he consistently makes the economic case, while completely ignoring the logistic and political considerations. He's criticizes like this was a math problem Obama got wrong.

    The difficulty in spending this much money does not scale linearly with the amount of money spent. The political difficulty does not scale linearly. The quality of spending targets does not fall linearly, and so on.

    Current unemployment figures say that roughly a million members of the construction industry are unemployed. Even if you double that, you get two million. Since the standard spending-to-jobs ratio seems to be about 100k per job, you're talking about 200 billion dollars in projects maxing out the US construction industry. Where, then, do you spend 2 trillion? I have never seen Krugman address this.

    The bill in its current form requires the use of American iron and steel. Certainly this is not the only resource, but it underscores a point: as the bill gets larger the resource demands get larger also. Do we have enough resources to hit Krugman's number in the requisite time frame?

    Where in Krugman's argument is the mind trick that would get 2 Republicans to sign onto a much larger bill? It's nowhere, he just assumes that once you get the proper number, you wave your hand and the bill passes. He's not concerned with the actual mechanics, just the target. To some extent that's appropriate, he's an economist after all. But it does detract from the validity of his critique as a whole.

    It's good to have Obama pushed from the Left. But the push needs to be in viable, realistic directions, not pure academic targets that assume infinite industrial capacity, perfect target availability or complete political dominance. Kruman assumes all of those, and so I have to agree that his article falls somewhat short of a critique, and much closer to simple criticism.

    "Karl Rove giving Dems advice is the DEFINITION of 'Concern Troll'" - punkdavid

    by Darkmoth on Fri Feb 13, 2009 at 10:50:54 AM PST

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