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in this op-ed for Monday's New York Times.

There is much solid economic history, taking about the arguments of those who still advocate for the now thoroughly discredit approach of austerity.  Krugman takes their claims and presents the history that proves them wrong. I will present the arguments in Italics and follow with summaries of Krugman's rebuttals.  For example.

Stimulus programs never go away  - in fact, they are rare and short-lived. FDR cut back on his in 1937, plunging the country back into recession, Obama's peaked in 2010 and has faded, which is a major reason the recovery is struggling.

programs to help those hurt go on forever - not really.  When employment recovers unemployment goes down, and are now down to half of their recent peak.  Food support also fluctuates.

The Keynesian idea to run deficits in bad times is supposed to be accompanied by paying down debt in good times, and that won't happen - well, Krugman says what you need to look at is the ratio of debt to GDP, not just raw numbers.  And now he gets blunt:

And if you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. So debt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments.
It gets even better.

Krugman takes apart the ideology of conservatives who want to "starve the beast"  (or if you prefer Grover Norquist's version, shrink the government to the size you could drown it in a bathtub).  The chosen method of course, the answer to any question, is to slash taxes.

The funny thing is that right now these same hard-line conservatives declare that we must not run deficits in times of economic crisis. Why? Because, they say, politicians won’t do the right thing and pay down the debt in good times. And who are these irresponsible politicians they’re talking about? Why, themselves.
Remember, the only three Presidents not to leave office with a lower ratio of debt to GDP were Reagan and the two Bushes.  The younger Bush is of course worst of all -

-  fighting two wars off budget
-  cutting taxes while fighting a war
-  imposing an unfunded prescription drug program designed to blow up Medicare

to cite just a few examples.

Krugman cites the classic Yiddish tale to define chutzpah.  Let me tell it the way I learned it.  Imagine if you will the Yiddish accent:

You wanna know what chutzpah is?  I'll tell you.
A man, he kills his father, then he kills his mother.
He gets arrested, taken to court, and then he says
"Judge, I throw myself on the mercy of the court on account of I'm an orphan.

That's chutzpah!

So Krugman translates that tale into the truth about the conservative austerians:  
Here we have conservatives telling us that we must tighten our belts despite mass unemployment, because otherwise future conservatives will keep running deficits once times improve.
Except that it's not as funny as Mel Brooks, somehow that reminds me of this:

Krugman also does not think it is funny:  

Put this way, of course, it sounds silly. But it isn’t; it’s tragic. The disastrous turn toward austerity has destroyed millions of jobs and ruined many lives. And it’s time for a U-turn.

It is a terrific column.  The chutzpah caucus is a marvelous formulation.

There is one weakness to the column and I feel I must mention it.

It is not just the conservatives.

It is far too many in the Village of conventional wisdom in DC.  That includes the pundit class, it includes some establishment Democrats, and it unfortunately seems to partially include key players of the current administration.

It would be a lot easier to pin the tail of conservative caucus on the elephant of Republican Conservatives were they not so able to hide amongst those Democratic asses who enable them.

Still, I will take the formulation.

Perhaps we should start a twitter fest, using Krugman's formulation


every time we can tie it to Republican austerians.  

And perhaps to some of their enablers as well?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (148+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lostinamerica, zenbassoon, ericlewis0, begone, Anne Elk, tardis10, Angie in WA State, sceptical observer, fixxit, rmonroe, Alumbrados, linkage, elwior, George3, kbman, Youffraita, peachcreek, ramara, mrsgoo, GAS, Zinman, basquebob, mollyd, LeftHandedMan, rbird, HarpboyAK, roses, walkshills, Creosote, radarlady, Blue Bell Bookworm, Habitat Vic, caul, Egalitare, monkeybrainpolitics, caryltoo, Jim R, DRo, Emerson, aarrgghh, dkmich, Wisewood, gulfgal98, filkertom, jobu, Throw The Bums Out, avamontez, metal prophet, WearyIdealist, profh, bluesheep, coppercelt, rapala, Miniaussiefan, ItsSimpleSimon, psnyder, Byron from Denver, petulans, melo, leeleedee, Ian Reifowitz, 3goldens, fugwb, hlsmlane, orlbucfan, anodnhajo, Raggedy Ann, Dobber, CwV, jrooth, 2laneIA, Hirodog, One Pissed Off Liberal, MufsMom, jdmorg, salmo, srkp23, Glass Navel, MKinTN, multilee, Dallasdoc, RFK Lives, Kimbeaux, RJDixon74135, sawgrass727, Just Bob, Plox, Iberian, cybersaur, harlinchi, Gowrie Gal, quagmiremonkey, wintergreen8694, greenbastard, Liberal Thinking, dotsright, sfarkash, johanus, praenomen, Batya the Toon, bronte17, science nerd, DeminNewJ, Neon Vincent, nzanne, Milly Watt, eru, Matt Z, GeorgeXVIII, rudy23, kevinpdx, rmx2630, VA Breeze, Joieau, ColoTim, Orinoco, sfbob, TomFromNJ, susakinovember, sostos, RMliberal, shaharazade, p gorden lippy, blueoasis, opinionated, leonard145b, Libby Shaw, tofumagoo, PeterHug, Possiamo, LS Dem, blue aardvark, Brecht, mofembot, Skennet Boch, Arahahex, dragonlady, SME in Seattle, Albanius, filby, Pat K California, WheninRome, Eddie L, My Stupid Opinion, countwebb, Larsstephens, HCKAD, Lily O Lady

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:12:34 PM PDT

  •  nothing funny about the way our fearless leaders (33+ / 0-)

    have chosen a path of ruin and despair for the majority

    not only is it time for a u-turn, it's time for a fucking apology !

    ''A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward.'' FDR

    by lostinamerica on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:19:24 PM PDT

  •  still on somewhat of a time shift (18+ / 0-)

    having stayed up with spouse while she watched Pascha service online.

    Since one cat has already curled up with me, I will shortly surrender to sleep.  

    Will catch up with comments later.


    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:19:54 PM PDT

  •  The reason it's not just Republicans is because (23+ / 0-)

    the Real Masters of the country decree that it must be so--the plutocrats and privileged classes that the Powers That Be and the Very Serious People draw all their candidates and pundits from.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:19:58 PM PDT

  •  It's Just Conservatives. (12+ / 0-)

    Please understand they're everywhere.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:20:00 PM PDT

  •  #TheChutzpahCaucus (14+ / 0-)

    Now that's an action item I can put to use right away.

    great diary ken, and thanks for reminding me to catch Paul Krugman's latest piece.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Sun May 05, 2013 at 10:35:06 PM PDT

  •  The Fault Is Elected Democrats (18+ / 0-)

    From Obama through Congress who have not tried to heavily promote jobs programs and stimulus to counter Republicans. We get the grand bargain instead. You get Republican politicians on the same panel with conservative economists and they finish each others sentences. You get Democratic politicians on the same panel with Krugman and they are in two different worlds. I guess lowering the unemployment rate and revitalizing the economy is a political no go?

    •  Since Obama's compromises are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo Flinnwood, praenomen, blueoasis

      nearly always a sell-out, it's a near certainly that the Grand Bargain is nothing but a Grand Sell-out.

      Here comes a gradual melt-down of Social Security, as promised.

      Cat food deals, anyone?

      There's a 32 can box of Friskies Poultry that's a real bargain. It's not a Grand Bargain, but it'll work for casseroles.

    •  Jared Bernstein addressed stimulus in Saturday's (4+ / 0-)

      NYT.  My comments on his piece generated some interest here, but the Very Serious People are as interested in Bernstein's ideas as they are in paying higher marginal rates.  Forget about "socialism"--New Deal Keynesianism is largely taboo in polite society these days.

      The views of Ed Rendell, Donna Brazile, and the other usual Sunday suspects have as much to do w/ what I understood to be core Dem beliefs as the CFC recommendations have to do w/ helping ordinary Americans.

      Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

      by RFK Lives on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:43:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Talk Has Been Of New And Better Democrats (3+ / 0-)

        We have seen polls that show there is majority support for the public option, a jobs focus rather than a deficit focus, higher taxes on the rich etc. Yet we do not have elected Democrats focusing on these issues.  We now see the price for not having new and better Democrats. We should be making proposals that differentiate Democratic policies from Republican policies so there is clear cut choice in 2014.  It will turn out the base and reflect majority opinion in the country. We don't have that.

        Very illustrative Bernstein piece as well as the exchange that followed. The resistance among upper income Democrats and center to left leaning well paid punditry is that good policy would require seeing their taxes rise. They can't fathom that.

        •  My impression is that the few "left-leaning" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          pundits have been pretty consistent in criticizing austerity and Obama's role in it.  Who are these left-leaning pundits who have been supportive of austerity, grand bargains, etc.?  IMO, the problem with "left-leaning pundits" has been that there are so few of them and that nobody in the center takes them seriously.  

          "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

          by Oliver St John Gogarty on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:58:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  the fault is progressives (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leo Flinnwood

      I would have rec'ed your comment had you left out the "we get the grand bargain instead" part.  But since you did, I'll get this off my chest:

      The fault is ours.
      We sat on our asses and mocked the teaparty (for example, chuckling at Keith Olberman's displaying suggestive phallic symbol pictures to mock the "teabagger" moniker that the teaparty initially adopted) rather than immediately launching our own grass roots effort to counter it.  We allowed the political landscape to shift right beneath our feet, and did nothing but laugh (OWS didn't happen until two years later).

      And on top of that, we began pushing the "both sides do it, both sides are equally to blame for all that ails the country" Broderism that we used to criticize the beltway for pushing.  We even pretend that pursuit of a grand bargain to deal with long term debt took place "instead" of passing the initial stimulus (3 to 5 million jobs), saving the auto industry (~1.4 million jobs), and proposing a jobs act on top of that (a proposal we pretend that the president didn't bother to push), all so we can say, "both sides are to blame, both sides suck".  

      Or, as is increasingly vogue in progressive circles, we go so far as to give repubs a near-free pass and say "Dems are the REAL problem.", which is straight out of the beltway playbook.  Hell, some of us even get angry that others among us are spend too much time criticizing repubs.

      WE blew it.  And we continue to do so with misdirected whining.  And we point the finger at others like spoiled children.  Time for the progressive movement to grow up.

      If we're not satisfied that our ideas are being adopted to our liking, then we are to blame, because it means that we have not sufficiently made the case (from a political and/or policy standpoint) to those in power to adopt our positions to the extent we want, and/or have not sufficiently made the case to voters to elect progressives outside of deep blue districts.

  •  A wonderful column & of course (17+ / 0-)

    Krugman has been calling economic policy correctly for more than a decade by now.

    Too bad the hard-liners have "beliefs" that trump facts.

    Loved this one:

    And in America, at least, we have a pretty good record for behaving in a fiscally responsible fashion, with one exception — namely, the fiscal irresponsibility that prevails when, and only when, hard-line conservatives are in power. [all emphasis added]
    I know you put that quote in your diary, Ken, I just thought it bears repeating. ;-D

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sun May 05, 2013 at 11:12:01 PM PDT

  •  We are in a very weird place (42+ / 0-)

    as non-Movement Conservatives. A very weird and very dangerous place.

    Every time Democrats seem strong, unafraid, and offer up a passionate vision for a non-Conservative outcome, they do much better than the Democrats who offer up the usual self-hating "I'm pro-business/deficit fixated too!" Democrat Party Democratic horse snot and pablum. There is a blueprint for Democratic gains, and a blueprint for Democratic impotence, and we always find our way back to impotence.

    Yes, the GOP sucks. A thousand times over.

    Whining about it is not a political argument or a tactic.

    So. Why are so many of our veteran representatives and Senators still treating them as if they are secretly very reasonable people who want to cut deals and be responsible but are only acting like deranged freaks for PR purposes. Then, they whine. A lot. About how crazy and extreme they are. Whine. Whine. Whine. Then, they go back to trying to get them to be the fantasy of them that only exists in their heads instead of recognizing the new reality first. There is nothing to be gained by governing as if the GOP you wished existed is the one in DC instead of the batshit brigade of nutballs who are there in legion.

    Paul Krugman should be a Democratic Party icon, and Pete Peterson should be unwelcomed in any Democratic gathering unless he is going to be in a charity dunking booth to pay for veterans services.

    Paul Krugman is still getting his heels nipped at by should have been discredited long ago little toy dog pundits and pols. His greatest sin? Being right. A lot. A hell of a lot.

    He's a sneered at columnist. In 2013.

    Instead of, say, being the chairman of the Fed. Or at least the economic mind that the President of the United States and non-Conservative political leaders touch base with on everything from jobs to the social safety net before they speak or propose policy.  

    And nobody is really surprised by this.

    We expect it. We are not Conservatives. There is a fever strain in our political body collective that is almost fearful of embracing a full-throated rejection of all things Movement Conservtive to the point of self-loathing. Listening to the people who are right, and taking the council of those who have been wrong an awful lot with a HUGE grain of salt, seems like crazy talk.

    We are not beating Movement Conservatism because we are not tearing it down and offering up an alternative vision for America.  

    "We aren't Republicans" isn't going to take the Democrats, us, anywhere but more variations on Obstructionist Perdition.

    Yes, the GOP sucks. Full of nutbags. Full of freaks.

    Why aren't we kicking their asses?

    It should be the first question everyone of us asks ourselves as political animals. We are running even far too often with people who think fluoride in the drinking water is a Commie mind control conspiracy two plus decades after the USSR fell.

    This should be an era of strong Democratic dominance on outcomes from Movement Conservatism alone.  

    As much as Movement Conservatism is about winning, at all costs, to keep the rich and powerful happy... from what I see non-Movement Conservatism is about somebody who is, or a group of somebodies who are, wrong, a lot, screaming "for God's sake, would you hippies and unicorn herders kindly shut the fuck up before you ruin everything for the rest of us Very Serious People!" to people who are right most of the time.

    Why is the idea of just cancelling the Sequester treated by so many in DC as almost like suggesting we give away buckets and buckets of free money on the streets to everybody and anybody who passes by? Like it's fucking crazytalk.

    It wasn't crazy to airlift pallets of billions of dollars of US cash to Iraq, but it's crazy to talk about just cancelling the Sequester to many I see on my basic cable screen. Many of them office holders. Why? Fuck why?

    The idea was, this stupid fucking thing is so fucking stupid that we, after passing it, won't allow it to happen so we will fix it later before the pain hits!

    Who the fuck thinks that way? And why?

    To avoid nakedly embracing liberalism, no RW or "Centrist" inanity or outright stupidity is too inane or too stupid.

    Austerity is a god-damned unmitigated disaster. It has joined Neoconservatism as a should-be a laughingstock based on its predicted outcomes vs. it's actual ones thing in our culture and our politics.  

    But, the more austerity fails miserably, the more dug in the austerians and the austerity apologists, and the more "being serious" is still defined by how much you are willing to hurt the poor and the sick and the aged to prove it.

    I understand that the GOP sucks, and the Conservatives are awful. A gimme. Clear as day.

    But, as the more things suck and suck worse, the status quo stays maddeningly the same, I have to look in the political mirror a lot more.

    Trying to always be seen as the reasonable grown-up in the room, and avoiding fierce and unrepentant partisanship because it offends the beltway Village and the worst people in our politics to do so, has failed to serve as a counter-narrative to Movement Conservatism, and failed to build the Democratic Party brand going forward.  

    I've been thinking a lot about the Clinton Impeachment.

    Because I'm hoping to avoid the Obama Impeachment.

    Everybody who thinks its impossible needs to pay attention to what is said about Ben Ghazi and the Fast and Furious "scandals". Obama being in office is an impeachable offense, the rest is just fluff to move it forward.

    If we lose the US Senate in 2014, after everything that has happened between Ken Starr and today, I could see Ted Cruz with a gavel and a united House and Senate Republican front on Impeaching Obama over Ben Ghasi or Fast and the Furious or some other made-up bullshit thrown in for good measure.

    For all that we have gone through, and all that Movement Conservatism has done to bring itself low into a state of complete disgrace, nothing has really changed. We could have another bogus impeachment, we could have another Iraq. We could have another economic collapse fueled by the same assholes who almost gave us a second Great Depression.

    As the news about Syria hits the airwaves, the same people who got everything wrong about Iraq are back on my screen talking about "boots on the ground" and "don't let Iraq do to our foreign policy thinking what Viet-Nam did to it". Joining their buddies who got everything wrong about our economy over the last 40 years to talk about 'the way forward'.

    The Democratic Party has positioned itself as "We Not Republicans". As in "vote for us, because they are (fill in the blank)". The problem with that is, that's not sustainable. Not as a political stance nor as an alternative to building up a counter political brand. Whining about how extreme the GOP is is not a tactic, it's whining. You use the fact tha the GOP is full of awful, awful people who are almost always acting in bad faith to change how you do things, not whine and complain loud enough that the low-information masses in the public, those who know shit about shit until it's raining shit on their heads and then they care, magically agrees with you.

    This era should have been an era where the Democratic Party brand was bolstered and built-up in ways not seen in decades.

    Instead, we are still dealing with 90's era thinking about how the worst thing in the world for the Democratic Party is for the Democratic Party to offer a counter ideological argument to Movement Conservatism. That is exactly what the Democratic austerity talk is. It's choosing to go about offering moderated or humanized Movement Conservative outcomes as the choice. Rather than staking out a new course that might require the Party to shrug off the self-loathing of the 1990's and embrace it's legacy and traditions as vital and a core reason why the party is worth voting for in the first place.

    At best, taking Movement Conservative policy and attempting to go about moderating and humanizing it lets you keep surfing on past more robust social accomplishments. At worst, you are just killing time inbetween periods of Movement Conservative dominance.

    There has to be a different way.

    The answer is staring us right in the face:

    Every Democrat should be attacking Movement Conservatism as a failed ideology, and offering up a blatantly and unapologetically non-Conservative vision for America. And every Democrat who refuses to do so should be seriously taken a second look at. Reconsidered for support.  Because the previous vicious cycle of Conservatives fucking up America, and non-Conservatives being unable to fix in it time for the Right to come back as "reformers" has gotten worse. Now, we get crazy unbridled Movement Conservatism, or humanized and moderated Movement Conservatism no matter who is in office.

    It is a vicious cycle that has been, and still is, viciously enabled.

    I loathe the GOP.

    But I don't loathe them enough to put my brain in the pickle jar and refuse to notice that the GOP is enabled. Constantly. By people who get burned by them all the time.

    As long as cancelling the Sequester is nutso, but proposing something be made law that is so awful that it won't be allowed to happen is sanity, like piling up Billions of dollars cash and sending it off to disappear in Iraq or God knows where is still possible, the Koch Brothers will always find a way to win, or prevent or defer progress at worse.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:09:20 AM PDT

    •  you should consider redoing this as a diary (20+ / 0-)

      it is deserving of separate attention it might not get on this thread

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:35:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PLEASE diary this separately. Off to top (11+ / 0-)

      comments again anyway!

      End the wars! Single payer now!

      by HCKAD on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:04:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ted Cruz (5+ / 0-)

      reminds me of McCarthy.  We should be extremely wary of him - extremely!

      being mindful and keepin' it real

      by Raggedy Ann on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:55:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great comment, but wrong diagnosis (9+ / 0-)

      The problem isn't really 1990's Democratic thinking, Clintonite triangulation born of defensiveness.  The problem with Democrats in office not acting like Democrats as we traditionally think of them is that the Democratic party in power is no longer the same party that passed Social Security and Medicare.  It is another conservative party focused on serving the needs of society's rulers.

      It serves a somewhat more enlightened batch of oligarchs than those controlling the Republican party, whose Hobbesian views would have us be no more than corporate serfs.  The Democratic party's owners see that the serfs should be fed, and offered relatively poorly-paying jobs, and given a meager pittance when necessary to avoid them starving to death, to the extent it is fiscally prudent to do so.  Democratic string-pullers believe in the utility of those hoary myths of the American Dream and the Middle Class, as crowd control measures if nothing else.

      The Democratic party today is an oligarchic institution which uses political platitudes and comforting lies to gull the rubes into supporting it, and thereby voting against their own interest.  Just like the Republican party.  It just appeals to a different demographic set of target audiences, and has a somewhat less heartless view of how to keep the ruling class in place.

      If you want to cut Social Security, you're not a real Democrat.

      by Dallasdoc on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:25:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In some respects it's worse (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annan, HCKAD, mrsgoo, LeftHandedMan

        The Republicans despise the poor and tell them to their face.  The Democrats in Congress despise the poor but lie to them and use them.  I mean who do those proposed Social Security benefit cuts most harm?  All those old brown women from the service class who never had a 401K let alone a pension, who cared for their own mothers and grandmothers and children and grandchildren and have no savings for themselves.

      •  Worse than corporate serfs (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, HCKAD, LeftHandedMan

        Those who do not, can not, or will not fit into the corporate serf, wage slave model are unneeded, unwanted surplus that are merely a drag on the oligarchs. That includes the elderly, the poor, the uneducated and even the educated who are long term unemployed. It also includes the newly educated with a mountain of student debt and no job.

        Much of that problem has to do with outsourcing and offshoring. More of the problem is the concentration of corporate economic power that has eliminated local businesses. Mergers that are accepted with a promise of greater efficiency are the norm and have been for decades. I have no idea why greater efficiency for the oligarchs should be the one and only overriding criteria when it results in greater poverty for the vast majority of the population. Okay...I take it back. I do understand. I just don't like it.

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:28:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  the party that passed social security was the same (0+ / 0-)

        party, indeed the same people, that implemented austerity whole hog in 1937 to a much larger degree than any current Dems have proposed adopting it.  Can we please keep it real?  Can we stop pushing the ideas that FDR didn't implement austerity, JFK didn't slash taxes on the rich, Dems of yore were perfect progressives?  You should read what progressives of FDR's day wrote and said about him; it's very similar to what progressives today say about the current president.

        I'm actually GLAD that Today's Democratic Party isn't the same as it was back in the day, for multiple reasons.

    •  Your sig mentions Warren (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tony Situ

      What exactly is Warren doing to speak out against the enabling? What press conferences has she called to attack the filibuster and Harry Reid?

      We have Netroots Nation that invites people to appear who are not fighting the corrupt system.

      It is easy to say that someone else should be fighting the GOP.

      If it does not come from the roots, where will it come from?

      If we do not take on people like Warren, what do you expect to happen?

      Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

      by GideonAB on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:47:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please diary this. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, dclawyer06, HCKAD

      Good stuff. And it definitely should be out there.

      The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

      by cybrestrike on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:59:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Another vote here (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, dclawyer06, HCKAD, mrsgoo

      for making this comment an independent diary.

      The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

      by raboof on Mon May 06, 2013 at 07:20:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ever watch "professional" wrestling? (0+ / 0-)
      So. Why are so many of our veteran representatives and Senators still treating them as if they are secretly very reasonable people who want to cut deals and be responsible but are only acting like deranged freaks for PR purposes.

      Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

      by ZedMont on Tue May 07, 2013 at 02:17:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  why are so-called Democrats like Randell (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Youffraita, Just Bob

    who is a big big Clinton supporter; also an austerian?

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:10:51 AM PDT

    •  heh...I think (16+ / 0-)

      LeftHandedMan has an answer for you, just above.

      From my perspective, though, we have damn few progressives in government, and the Democratic Party has swung to the right in the past thirty years.

      Obama is governing to the right of fucking Eisenhower.

      It's not all Obama's fault: he's a good man with horrible economic advisers. Many of whom adhere to the Chicago School of Economics (aka freshwater) theories -- iow, those loudly decried by Prof. Krugman for being wrong, wrong, wrong all along.

      YOU know, the ones who advocate for austerity in the middle of a deflationary cycle.

      Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

      by Youffraita on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:24:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eisenhower was a *moderate* (0+ / 0-)

        There aren't any more moderates - not in EITHER party.

        If it's
        Not your body,
        Then it's
        Not your choice
        And it's
        None of your damn business!

        by TheOtherMaven on Mon May 06, 2013 at 09:56:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The public has not made it clear that it wants (0+ / 0-)

        progressive economic policy, from a political standpoint.  Politicians, generally speaking*, act according to their political interests, and that's the nature of representative democracy (as opposed to benign dictatorship).  The public has not made it clear that it is politically advantageous to public officials to adopt progressive economic policy.

        I'm not sure what you base your Ike/Obama comparison on, but fwiw, Ike came after FDR moved the country leftward, while Obama came after Reagan moved the country rightward.

        * Sometimes politicians do go against public opinion, if they think the issue in question is so urgent that the decide that policy trumps politics, in which case they'll do the politically hard thing rather than the politically easy thing (e.g. passing TARP, doing the auto bailout, etc.)

  •  Hey Paul Krugman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The plural of anecdote is not data.

    by Skipbidder on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:06:08 AM PDT

  •  Con Men are not restricted by political (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, melo, srkp23

    party or even, for that matter, gender. The Con Man seeks to get something for nothing. She differs from the thief by making the deception overt.  The "mark" is persuaded to take part (comply) via verbal tricks. One has to wonder if the market is not the place where marks are identified and marketing isn't, at its core, a deceptive enterprise.
    In other words, the free market is the place where rubes go to be tricked out of their hard-earned cash. It is formalized and legitimized abuse -- a perversion of governments set up to prevent abuse.
    The rule of law is much favored by men inclined to abuse under cover of law.
    So, when lawmakers argue we have enough laws, it's a sure sign that abuse under cover of law suits them just fine. Scofflaws don't scoff at the law; they scoff at people who believe the laws are just. Scofflaws use the law as a tool to abuse.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Mon May 06, 2013 at 03:49:03 AM PDT

  •  Obama Despises Us (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cslewis, 3goldens, rudy23

    I suspect that many or most Congressional Democrats do the same. They won and wonder, "Why can't these losers accept the fact that they lost?"

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Mon May 06, 2013 at 04:22:46 AM PDT

    •  Who's "us"? Obama is a member of this site. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't think he despises "us".  I'd guess that the reverse is more true, for a small number of members here.  (If he really does "despise us", maybe it would be because we frequently attack him in very personal terms, rivaling redstate, and sometimes even approaching freerepublic level of vitriol.)

      As for your other point, it's true that progressives haven't won the Democratic Presidential nomination in 40 years.  We've failed miserably at making our case to rank and file Democrats, let alone the public beyond.

      •  not really (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        while Obama still has an account registered, he posted two diaries a number of years ago, the second one not exactly complimentary of what he had experienced in his first diary.

        "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

        by teacherken on Mon May 06, 2013 at 12:05:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not despises (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Free Jazz at High Noon

        I don't think he despises progressives. He just isn't one. He sometimes seems to be on some issues. He's clearly better than the alternative was in either general election. I'm happy he won. I'm disappointed so far, but there was zero chance that I WOULDN'T be disappointed.

        Move Obama to the UK, and unless you change his expressed views, he fits in comfortably as a Tory.

        I'm not convinced that the other candidates in the Dem primary would have worked out any better. Better on some things. Worse on others. My guy was the adulterer, which might have led to a loss on that alone. BHO is far better than the Republicans would have been.

        The plural of anecdote is not data.

        by Skipbidder on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:16:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans increase the debt and hate democracy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, Hirodog, unfangus

    From Jimmy Carter through Al Gore I always voted for Democratic presidential candidates, and my reason was always the same: The democrat happened to be more financially responsible.  And, that reasoning always proved right.  Democrats cut the debt; Republicans increased it.  Always.  And money for most people ain't just money: It's hours of their lives that we must devote to earning in order to take care of more important things--like our kids.

    By the time W's second election came around, I began voting against Republicans (and shall to the day I die) for another reason.  The Republicans had by then become (to a degree that was indisputable even to an inherent nonpartisan like me) the party of deliberately ignorant, mean-spirited war-mongers.

    Looking back, I realize that what long ago appeared to be carelessness with ordinary people's money was all along a systemic contempt for humanity and, therefore, for democracy.

  •  That "recovery" is only for the Special Few. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Top 7% is up a trillion and a half, fu__ the rest of us.

    Yeah, that rising tide is really floating SOME boats, and drowning the rest of us.

    Yeah, Obama's budget is a really great deal for the most of us:

    "Bottom line: The wealth gap keeps growing."

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:20:23 AM PDT

  •  GOP not about deficits, they are about power (0+ / 0-)

    It is not a coincidence that the 3 presidents who did not pay down debt were Republicans.  Expansion of  presidential power, and resources to support a president's policies, are always OK for Republicans when a Republican is office, and never OK when a Dem is in. Dems generally favor using government power, so they are not trying to put on the same limits when a Republican is in office.  So it is asymetrical warfare over government budgets.

  •  Krugman says 2 separate things that (0+ / 0-)

    perpetuate the "Big Lie" about about our post-gold standard fiat monetary system.  

    1: "Keynesian economics says not just that you should run deficits in bad times, but that you should pay down debt in good times."
    This belief is the root cause of many of our recessions.  Because of the way national accounting works....
    Net Federal Surplus or deficit = Net Domestic surplus or deficit + Net foreign balance
    Whenever the Govt endeavors to reach a balanced budget, the Govt is removing new financial assets from the private sector....Do this long enough and a recession is the result as can be seen in this graph showing a decrease in yoy change in federal debt (the increase or decrease of the Govt's deficit) always ends in recession:

    2: "U.S. conservatives have long followed a strategy of “starving the beast,” slashing taxes so as to deprive the government of the revenue it needs to pay for popular programs. "

    The US GOvt is a monetary sovereign.  The Federal Govt has no need whatsoever to "borrow" or tax in order to spend its own money.  This is the essence of the Big Lie... That somehow the Govt is dependent on the people to gets its own money.  The US dollar comes from the US Govt....Dr. Krugman get with the program

    MMT = Reality

    "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens

    by Auburn Parks on Mon May 06, 2013 at 05:47:21 AM PDT

  •  I like your idea, they need to be exposed T&Rd. nt (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Mon May 06, 2013 at 06:20:08 AM PDT

  •  Economy can be a bit like losing weight... (0+ / 0-)

    For most people trying had to lose weight, there is a method that is quite effective, even if it sounds absurd: one has to eat MORE in order to lose weight!

    However, this works when coupled with two major items: eating more of the RIGHT stuff AND getting the right amount of EXERCISE.

    Actually, when someone eats below the minimum amount of calories necessary to operate their bodily functions appropriately, the body fat actually INCREASES!

    I see the very same effect on the economy if one tries to "starve the beast" and implement austerity: the resulting high employment is hurting the economy MORE than the cost cuts help it.

    I always ask conservatives the same question without any answer: how are we supposed to reimburse the debt if we are never to have a surplus?

    And as I always tell conservatives accusing Obama of having not fixed the deficit yet, a surplus is easier to wipe out than a deficit!

  •  Good Krugman column yesterday, too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He talks about how Obama's new SEC chair is pushing to remove the firewalls that protect US banks from foreign investors in derivatives.  

    A Disappointing Debut

    The S.E.C. proposal would let the foreign branches of American banks avoid rules being developed under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and instead follow rules that prevail in the foreign countries where the deals are done. Foreign banks involved in derivative deals with American companies also could adhere to their own country’s rules as long as those rules are deemed broadly comparable to Dodd-Frank rules.
    We need regulatory firewalls between our banking system and those in foreign systems, especially where derivatives are concerned.

    "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

    by Betty Pinson on Mon May 06, 2013 at 08:00:11 AM PDT

  •  The only issue I have with Krugman (0+ / 0-)

    is that he doesn't always simplify his prose enough.

    And if you look at United States history since World War II, you find that of the 10 presidents who preceded Barack Obama, seven left office with a debt ratio lower than when they came in. Who were the three exceptions? Ronald Reagan and the two George Bushes. So debt increases that didn’t arise either from war or from extraordinary financial crisis are entirely associated with hard-line conservative governments.
    I think that would read better as:
    Of the 10 presidents before Barack Obama (going back to 1953), seven reduced the National Debt.  The ones who increased it were all hardline conservatives:  Ronald Reagan, and both Bushes.
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