If you didn’t read Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed in the NY Times yesterday, you missed a real treat, it has to be one of the top ten most idiotic things written by someone with a MIT PHD. Krugman used his superior intellect to analyze the source of Barack Obama’s political problems. What did this PHD come up with? Was it that Obama’s programs are unpopular? He is governing from the extreme left after running as a moderate? Concentrating on cap and trade and healthcare instead of the economy? Nope, the NY Times writer says the real source of Obama’s political problems is that he didn’t spend enough time blaming George Bush:
….I disagree. The Obama administration’s troubles are the result not of excessive ambition, but of policy and political misjudgments. The stimulus was too small; policy toward the banks wasn’t tough enough; and Mr. Obama didn’t do what Ronald Reagan, who also faced a poor economy early in his administration, did — namely, shelter himself from criticism with a narrative that placed the blame on previous administrations.
Obviously Krugman hasn’t heard many of Obama’s speeches. If I had a dollar for every time Obama blamed something of George Bush, I would be able to make a dent in the federal deficit (well maybe the deficit before Obama took office).
Krugman continues with his fantasy:
About the stimulus: it has surely helped. Without it, unemployment would be much higher than it is. But the administration’s program clearly wasn’t big enough to produce job gains in 2009.
Is he talking about jobs saved?
Finally, about that narrative: It’s instructive to compare Mr. Obama’s rhetorical stance on the economy with that of Ronald Reagan. It’s often forgotten now, but unemployment actually soared after Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. Reagan, however, had a ready answer for critics: everything going wrong was the result of the failed policies of the past. In effect, Reagan spent his first few years in office continuing to run against Jimmy Carter.
Mr. Obama could have done the same — with, I’d argue, considerably more justice. He could have pointed out, repeatedly, that the continuing troubles of America’s economy are the result of a financial crisis that developed under the Bush administration, and was at least in part the result of the Bush administration’s refusal to regulate the banks.
But he didn’t. Maybe he still dreams of bridging the partisan divide; maybe he fears the ire of pundits who consider blaming your predecessor for current problems uncouth — if you’re a Democrat. (It’s O.K. if you’re a Republican.) Whatever the reason, Mr. Obama has allowed the public to forget, with remarkable speed, that the economy’s troubles didn’t start on his watch.
He Did? The Public Forgot? Why then, has every national poll that asked the question report that America still blames Bush for the bad economy (however wrong that opinion may be).
Mr. Krugman, MIT just called they want you to give your PHD back, or at the very least take it off your resume. Your partisanship is making you look stupid.