Sanctioning blackmail. There are good reasons it’s never a good idea to pay blackmail. However severe the immediate cost of refusal might be, the long term consequences will always be worse. By acceding to extortion and blackmail, you encourage it in the future. Each time the demands will be greater and often the threatened consequences worse. Acceding to the demands of kidnappers and terrorists is also usually a poor idea for similar reasons. By doing so, you also make it crystal clear to all the predators that you are weak and vulnerable.
I think Krugman nails it. The GOP is well on its way toward succeeding in its goal of turning the wealthiest and most free country the world has ever known into a third world banana republic. I particularly enjoyed his analogy of spending cuts during a depressed economy to medieval doctors who tried to cure sick people by bleeding them.
Gollum and Smeagol on the debt deal. Very, very funny.
Basically, the stimulus was working, but it wasn’t big enough and didn’t last long enough to pull us out of the hole we were in. The economy is already plunging back to where it was — growth has stopped (which means it’s really negative in effect) and unemployment is increasing — and the recent insane deal to cut government spending when the economy is this bad won’t help.
In other news, the GOP has shut down the FAA to aid Delta’s anti-union efforts. Although this has been temporarily resolved (again by Democrats deciding it was better for the nation to pass an unsavory temporary bill the GOP House passed on its way out the door on vacation than wait for them to come back), it will be an issue again. The thuggish behavior of the GOP is, quite simply, becoming unconscionable.
Even though thoroughly vindicated by our economic failure, Krugman would rather have seen us have adequate policy. One of the reasons I like the guy.
It looks like the debt ceiling mess has Americans looking more closely at Congress and reevaluating the tea party loons. That’s good news.
Robert Reich keeps pointing out that we’re a jobs and growth crisis, not a debt crisis. Maybe at some point people will listen? Krugman also points out that Washington has been worrying about the wrong things.
Remember, Republicans don’t like tax cuts in general. They only like tax cuts for the rich. Lower and middle class Americans? Screw’em.