Paul Krugman takes Senate obstructionists and the President to task

Krugman's critique focuses on the miserable fate of the Obama stimulus and those responsible for this possibility. A few highlights:

What do you call someone who eliminates hundreds of thousands of American jobs, deprives millions of adequate health care and nutrition, undermines schools, but offers a $15,000 bonus to affluent people who flip their houses?

A proud centrist. For that is what the senators who ended up calling the tune on the stimulus bill just accomplished.


All in all, the centrists' insistence on comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted will, if reflected in the final bill, lead to substantially lower employment and substantially more suffering.

But how did this happen? I blame President Obama's belief that he can transcend the partisan divide — a belief that warped his economic strategy.

After all, many people expected Mr. Obama to come out with a really strong stimulus plan, reflecting both the economy's dire straits and his own electoral mandate.

Instead, however, he offered a plan that was clearly both too small and too heavily reliant on tax cuts. Why? Because he wanted the plan to have broad bipartisan support, and believed that it would. Not long ago administration strategists were talking about getting 80 or more votes in the Senate.

George Bush blundered, in part, because his administration was made up of fools who ruthlessly pursued their 'golden' policies and refused to heed wise counsel. Obama now blunders because he wishes the fools remaining in power would bring their kind of foolishness to his consensus! Who, I must ask, is more foolish: Obama and his people or the GOP dead-enders? I would say the greater fool is he who makes common cause with his enemies….

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