Krugman vs Austerity

Paul Krugman does a mitzvah and donates yet another column to fighting back against the deficit hype while defending the need for continued stimulating expenditures and job creation.

Penny-pinching at a time like this isn’t just cruel; it endangers the nation’s future. And it doesn’t even do much to reduce our future debt burden, because stinting on spending now threatens the economic recovery, and with it the hope for rising revenues.

The sudden switch from attention to job creation to attention to the deficit is truly bizarre. But it’s coming in fast and furious from conservatives of both parties. Without major education efforts as to the idiocy of these ideas, as Krugman is doing with regularity, I’d expect timid Democrats to buy the deficit bullshit and start helping Republicans inflict real pain on working Americans.

I rarely buy into the “whose side are you on?” messaging common with some progressive groups, but I really believe Democrats are approaching an inflection point where they will have to genuinely start representing the interests of working Americans or fully concede that they are full-blown corporatists in the Republican model. Leadership needs to recognize this taking place and be prepared to excise corporatists in the Party. They must prioritize clear ideological contrast from the GOP over marginal differences in the size of our majorities in the Senate and House. Failure to do so will actually only result in larger electoral losses, both in the near term and the long term. I hope the leaders of the Democratic Party have the sense to see what is unfolding before their eyes.

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