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Intro: "If President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead ..."

Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)
Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)


The Blackmail Caucus

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

02 November 12

 

f President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back.

Given the starkness of this difference, you might have expected to see people from both sides of the political divide urging voters to cast their ballots based on the issues. Lately, however, I've seen a growing number of Romney supporters making a quite different argument. Vote for Mr. Romney, they say, because if he loses, Republicans will destroy the economy.

O.K., they don't quite put it that way. The argument is phrased in terms of "partisan gridlock," as if both parties were equally extreme. But they aren't. This is, in reality, all about appeasing the hard men of the Republican Party.

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+43 # moreover 2012-11-02 09:36
Hey, it worked in Nicaragua where the population was intimidated into thinking that a win for the Sandinistas would result in the US demolishing their already struggling economy.
It worked.
And you can bet that the Goebbels/Atwate r/Rove types in the GOP apparatus were involved then, and have not forgotten now.
 
 
+8 # TomThumb 2012-11-02 18:39
Yes, the US intimidated the Nicaraguan people into voting out the Sandinistas, and then destroyed their economy anyway.
What's the saying about pulling on Superman's cape, the Empire has a long memory. Not only did it not forgive the Sandinistas, it didn't forgive Nicaragua as a whole. Tommy Rimes
 
 
+40 # Barbara K 2012-11-02 09:49
We cannot give up the fight. We have to keep Romneyhood and his merry band of Liars, Cheats, and Crooks out of the White House. We are just now seeing some of the real Mitt and it isn't a pretty picture. Here is a plot being planned already, that will enrich him and his cronies at the expense of the American Taxpayer, something that Romney isn't. We all pay, whether we voted for him or not. Better think of that, Romney voters, you will lose too.
Please check it out and pass it on everywhere you can:

http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2019582123_harropcolumntaggxml.html
 
 
+22 # robniel 2012-11-02 10:45
Question: How can you tell Romney is lying?
Answer: His lips are moving.
 
 
+14 # Jerry 2012-11-02 13:11
Great link, Barbara. Wonder why the article didn't mention the billionaire Las Vegas casino owner who is a Romney campaign official that is under investigation for bribing a foreign official into greasing the wheels that got him a lock on casino operations off the coast of China.
 
 
+47 # fredboy 2012-11-02 10:14
If Republicans continue to destroy our economy and thus threaten our nation it only stands to reason that we must in turn destroy Republicans.
 
 
+18 # doneasley 2012-11-02 11:31
Quoting fredboy:
If Republicans continue to destroy our economy and thus threaten our nation it only stands to reason that we must in turn destroy Republicans.


To destroy Republicans, fredboy, you'd have to kill them all, because they keep recycling the same Retarded Regressive people and ideas. We have to develop an antidote that the're allergic to, but - like rates and roaches - they would quickly adapt to it.
 
 
+26 # mjc 2012-11-02 12:00
Actually, the Tea Party has gone a long way toward destroying the Republican Party and if Romney is elected that trend will become a certainity...if we survive the foreign policy implications of a Romney presidency.
 
 
+28 # giraffee2012 2012-11-02 10:23
Breaking news on Mitt the Twitt:

What will Mitt Money do with our Tax Dollars if elected? Example for all to see:

http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17613-uaw-charges-romney-with-profiteering-from-auto-bailout

Mitty - where are your TAX RETURNS?
 
 
+18 # doneasley 2012-11-02 11:56
Quoting giraffee2012:
... Mitty - where are your TAX RETURNS?


I've been asking that same question, giraffe: "Mitty - where are your TAX RETURNS?" The Dems were all over this before the debates, and they had Mendacious Mitt on the ropes, but, as usual, they let him off the hook. Other questions for Mitty Boy:
1. Isn't your budget the Lyin' Ryan budget?
2. How do you write off $77,000 on your taxes for a damned dancing horse.
3. What foreign investments do you have?
4. Did Bain Capital outsource American jobs?
5. What policies are you going to put in place if elected?
6. Who on the current Supreme Court is a model for your SCOTUS appointments?
7. Why is it that you won't show us your taxes, but you will be instrumental in determining tax rates for ALL Americans?
8. Etc., etc., etc...
9. And finally, once again, "WHERE ARE YOUR TAX RETURNS?"
 
 
+10 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-02 13:45
Here's one more of many:

All those people you've so charitably helped; were they coincidentally ALL Mormons??
 
 
+9 # AndreM5 2012-11-02 15:08
He was directly asked #6 and for once he gave an answer: Alito. Then he said he also admired Scalia.

I guess he also likes Italian food.
 
 
+23 # reiverpacific 2012-11-02 11:09
As a foreign taxpayer resident, you are in all truth and by the rest of the educated, "civilized" world's standards, faced with a choice of a center-to-just- right-of-center moderate intelligent and multi-cultural incumbent who has actually accomplished a few things in the face of an intractable, hostile and even racist congress and has mended many fences on behalf of the US around the world. OR a far right, blinkered, self-aggrandizi ng, lying, ruthless international ignoramus who will go to war regardless of the consequences and inevitable blowback, be a bigger disaster on the US and world economy than even Dimwits' cabal of thugs and chicken-hawks, and plunge the US's credibility and stranding in the world into a pit whilst precipitate the US itself down the long slide down into medievalism.
Put another way, the motives for anyone wishing to be a president or even a representative, seem to me to fall into two categories.
One who really loves and cares about the welfare of the nation and ALL of it's people, and is concerned about it's place in the global scheme of things.
The other who simply wants power and domination over all "lesser" folks and other countries who oppose their regime, to their own profit and others of this ilk.
I hope that this li'l billet-doux makes sane choice clear from a 'higgerant furriner (I've been called that dismissively where I live by the "Foreheads Villainous Low" reactionary crowd).
It's my planet too y'know!
 
 
-26 # jlstiles 2012-11-02 11:12
Romney's a total douche, granted, wouldn't vote for him in a miliion years but that doesn't mean we vote for Obomney. Vote for someone that reps you. Krugman is incorrect here on all fronts. Tax policy will remain basically the same with perhaps very minor lip-service changes that affect nothing, health care will not improve as Obamacare is the failed Romney care of MA and Glass-Steagall will remain repealed without a word from Obama and all the bank criminality will remain un-prosecuted. Krugman knows this.
 
 
+8 # Barbara K 2012-11-02 20:06
jlstiles: You really need to change the channel. Charges have been filed on 3 or 4 Banks now, lost count, by the New York Attorney General. He's working on more. It is his job to do, not the President's job.
 
 
-51 # Robt Eagle 2012-11-02 11:15
Krugman leaves out that if Obama is reelected we will lose much of our freedoms. He will have the ability to use Executive Order to bypass the Constitution and Eric Holder will never prosecute him or even investigate anything, that has been the case already. Congress will be bypassed also by Executive Order and any teeth that investigations might have had will be fully gone because Holder and his DOJ will do nothing to uphold the Constitution. Lastly, Obama will appoint two hard left leaning judges to those two who are retiring and the SCOTUS will effectively be no more. So, then Obama will annoint himself as Emperor Obama and we will all be losing our rights and freedoms as Chicago politics favor the chosen few who are Obama's favored ones. Think this won't happen...it did in Germany back in the 1930's and 40's. Same routine, different player, but still the same personality. Go ahead and vote for that system, you will surely appreciate it. Vote Obama out of the White House at all costs!!! God Bless America.
 
 
+9 # BVA 2012-11-02 12:02
Calm down Robt. Everything will be alright no matter who is elected. It's just another election. We survived George W. Bush and Richard Nixon, so we can survive either one of these guys. Take another valium and get on the tread mill for about a half an hour or so. It'll be okay. I guarantee, this is America after all.
 
 
+5 # Smiley 2012-11-02 12:31
BVA, Not everybody on the east coast "survived" Sandy and neither one of these Bozos would even discuss global warming in the debates.
 
 
+14 # BVA 2012-11-02 15:55
No matter how much I might like to see some more serious political discussion of climate change, I don't want Obama to perform a suicide mission. Right now a majority of the American people probably believe the fossil fuel special interest propaganda, and another significant fraction are undecided or don't care. Obama has more than enough on his plate right now. There will never be a perfect presidential candidate until a majority of the electorate are perfect citizen/voters.

See my other post below for commentary on probably the most under-reported issue (in terms of actual long-term importance) of the last 4 years, and that issue affects every other issue including global warming.

I was just trying to calm down one of our very few regular right-wing conservative commentators. He provides valuable insight into the conservative mind when he is in a much less apocalyptic mood.
 
 
0 # noitall 2012-11-03 11:58
You're naive if you think that Romney would roll anything back that resembles executive power or hold anyone accountable for past misdeeds (it would come around and bite him (and or Barack) too. He'll move it forward and expand those powers for his benefit while in office, and it won't go away (unless this system allowed us to vote for a true people's choice. Remember, he's the "no cuts for military" man and the power for the empire man. He'd be barack on steroids plus getting even deeper into our pockets. We're screwed by both of the parties that we're offered. People's candidates are barred from the process. They're offering us dog or cat whether we want to eat shit or not. Robt Eagle, why do you always go white or black on the issues with these scare tactics. Be scared of them both equally because on things that matter to our Seventh Generation, they're all "hitler".
 
 
+20 # JSRaleigh 2012-11-02 11:20
If Romney does win, the Democratic mantra in Congress should be "Not just no, but HELL NO! SHUT IT DOWN!"

But they won't.
 
 
+8 # BVA 2012-11-02 16:17
Amen!

I agree totally with your "should be", but unfortunately I also totally agree with your prediction.

The Republican leaders are just much more ruthless and/or desperate.
 
 
+1 # BVA 2012-11-02 16:19
See my post below re this subject.
 
 
+28 # Billy Bob 2012-11-02 11:21
Even though the 3rd partiers don't want to believe the stark difference between these two candidates and the fact that we can't afford Upperclass Twit for President, I just read something interesting:

Upperclass Twit's top 5 sources of donations:
1. Goldman Sachs
2. Bank of America
3. Morgan Stanley
4. Credit Suisse
5. Wells Fargo

President Obama's top 5 sources of donations:
1. University of California
2. Microsoft
3. Google
4. government employees
5. Harvard

QUESTION for 3rd partiers: Is it possible Goldman Sachs knows something about the difference between them that you don't?
 
 
+21 # BradFromSalem 2012-11-02 12:12
BB,

I generally don't give a damn about keeping score on dollars donated to a campaign. But this list is very revealing. Romney is clearly in bed with the biggest thieves in the history of the world. They are the very moneylenders that Jesus threw out of the Temple.
 
 
+20 # Billy Bob 2012-11-02 12:42
Thank you! This is why it bothers the hell out of me to hear 3rd party "progressives" get fooled by this false "equivalency" that allows them to sit by and watch our contry be ruled by these people indefinitely.

For some reason, the banksters FEAR an Obama 2nd term. WHY?

Why do 3rd party "progressives" feel the need to do EXACTLY WHAT THE BANKS WANT?

The moneylenders you mentioned are very callous, and calculating. I guarantee they're behind this cynical attempt to pit the left against itself, and according to the threads I read on RSN, their calculations appear to be working.
 
 
+3 # AMLLLLL 2012-11-02 13:48
The Bilderburg group has had enough of Obama's populist message. They have annointed Romney the next puppet, so all the big banks have followed suit.
 
 
-6 # Jerry 2012-11-02 13:55
Why are you so spooked by votes for alternative parties? Gary Johnson, Libertarian, got far more votes after the alternative parties’ debate then did the Green and Justice Parties combined. Thus, people voting their conscience will actually be a plus for Obama. Why are you not more concerned about vote flipping, which if eliminated, would make the elected officials overwhelmingly Democrats? It will cost you a lot more votes than voters of conscience. Why aren't you concerned that the democrats haven't pursued correcting the problem? Are they just protecting their charade that they are less controlled by wealth than Republicans? I don't know who believes there is equivalence between Obama and Romney, other than both are rotten candidates for those that give primacy to peace, human and civil rights, and the right to privacy.
 
 
+1 # noitall 2012-11-03 12:00
Quoting BradFromSalem:
BB,

I generally don't give a damn about keeping score on dollars donated to a campaign. But this list is very revealing. Romney is clearly in bed with the biggest thieves in the history of the world. They are the very moneylenders that Jesus threw out of the Temple.

Better pay attention to the dollars. In today's "democracy", its not votes, its dollars! Its an auction, not an election. "ablaablaaablaa bla...sold, Unamerican!"
 
 
+15 # BVA 2012-11-02 11:51
Obama's defeat, more than Romney's election, will signal approval of the Republican's blatantly partisan obstruction effort from the very start to ensure the failure of the Obama Presidency, and hence a much longer and destructive recovery. This could ignite a downward spiral of super-partisans hip that will dramatically reduce bipartisan cooperation during periods of divided government. If you are still unemployed, have a still unemployed family member, know a friend that's still unemployed, or know of a former colleague still unemployed, the four people most responsible for that unemployment are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (and his 41 plus vote Republican minority veto power), Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (and his Republican majority), House Majority Leader, Rep. Eric Cantor, and House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan. A brief summary of just how exceptional their obstructionism has been is recounted with specifics and statistics in a 10/25/2012 HuffPost blog by Bob Cesca ("Republicans Filibuster Everything, Romney Blames Obama for Not Working With Congress" at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-cesca/republicans-filibuster-ev_b_2018663.html).
Romney may or may not be a moderate, but even if he is the new Tea-Party dominated Republican Congress is not going to let him govern as a moderate.
 
 
+11 # Billy Bob 2012-11-02 12:46
Who could have given you a negative for that. It was very well thought out. It perfectly states the case why we NEED to have Obama in for a 2nd term. It's a grownup decision to vote for someone who's not all things to all people, but this is the grownup world and has grownup implications.

Thank you for spelling some of them out for us.
 
 
+8 # BradFromSalem 2012-11-02 14:39
That's what I have been saying all along. In his craving for the presidency; Mitt Romney has abandoned all personal beliefs. He sold his soul in this pursuit long before he became (occasional) governor of Mass.
 
 
+1 # bingers 2012-11-04 20:40
Quoting BradFromSalem:
That's what I have been saying all along. In his craving for the presidency; Mitt Romney has abandoned all personal beliefs. He sold his soul in this pursuit long before he became (occasional) governor of Mass.


Not true, he never had a soul.
 
 
+20 # Reductio Ad Absurdum 2012-11-02 11:52
Krugman misstates the real situation when he says, "During the first two years of Mr. Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress,.."

Republicans contested the Minnesota Senate race in a ploy to keep Dem Al Franken from voting for eight months. Ted Kennedy was terminally ill with brain cancer, missing 261 out of a possible 270 votes. Robert Byrd from West Virginia was in frail health. During the last 6 months of 2009, Byrd missed 128 of a possible 183 votes in the Senate. In all, Democrats had a shaky 60 vote supermajority for only four months and one week. During those four months and one week, Congress was in session for a total of 72 days. So for ONLY 72 DAYS did the Democrats hold a 60-seat, filibuster-proo f supermajority in the United States Senate.
 
 
+11 # Billy Bob 2012-11-02 12:49
Well said. We have our own low-information voters on the left, and they expected Obama to do magical things in his first 4 years. We don't live in a world of magic and wonder. This is planet Earth and the only way to fix it is to deal with the way it is now, first.

He won't get a perfect majority in his 2nd term either, but I guarantee President Mittens would be able to accomplish a HUGE list of things for his buddies.
 
 
0 # noitall 2012-11-03 12:04
Yeah, you gotta listen to the code talk in the campaigns and the 'debates'. "Energy independence" means screw up the environment for coal and tar oil for export and private profit; "jobs" means the same. There should be a code-talk dictionary if for nothing else but to see how both parties plan to use it all up and leave nothing for those who follow. Do they know something we don't?
 
 
+7 # BradFromSalem 2012-11-02 14:44
I think Krugman is well aware of the new math being employed by the Republican party where half of 100 equals 60.

The Democrats did have a majority and still do. The fact that the Republicans can't do arithmetic has made anything Obama has achieved more impressive.
 
 
+13 # mjc 2012-11-02 11:57
Believe that I have heard that pitch by some very intelligent...I think...journal ists/commentato rs, like David Brooks. He brought it up in a more or less suggestive mode but still there are probably many who do agree that Romney is more likely to get more out of Congress: a life-begins-at- conception, personhood amendment; Medicaid for the states; Medicare with a voucher plan; possibly going with Israel into Iran or assisting an Israeli raid. The foreign policy implications of a Romney victory just boggle the mind and will put all the other social "accomplishment s" at risk as well as the life of this planet.
 
 
+5 # tswhiskers 2012-11-02 12:44
Obviously the Des Moines Register was over the top with its endorsement of Romney. Equally obvious is the fact that Romney will be able to work "more effectively" with a Rep. Congress in that Mitt being a Rep., will go along with all Rep. and Tea Party policies, so what would there be to fight about? My biggest hope is that after this election, the Senate will get rid of the 60 vote supermajority, go back to a majority vote AND GET SOMETHING DONE!
 
 
+8 # Dangoodbar 2012-11-02 14:45
I call this the spoiled child approach.

If you want me to play nice you must put me in charge of the houes. It is also the same reasoning Bush Jr. used.

And regardless of which George (Bush or Romney) has is spoiled child in charge, the result will be the same and house will be trashed when the adults return to take charge and clean-up.

Rewarding bad behavior by giving the brat what he wants to play nice does not work with five year olds so why would anyone think it would work with 65 year olds.
 
 
+7 # jpena16 2012-11-02 17:54
So what's the difference ? If Obama gets elected the Republicans are threatening to destroy the economy. If the Republicans Do get elected they WILL destroy the economy ! Sounds like lose/lose either way to me. Just seems like we will still have a better chance with Obama being elected. I will always prefer a threat to a certainty.
 
 
-1 # noitall 2012-11-03 12:05
And the American People will allow it to happen. The people get the government that they deserve.
 
 
0 # bingers 2012-11-04 20:44
Quoting jpena16:
So what's the difference ? If Obama gets elected the Republicans are threatening to destroy the economy. If the Republicans Do get elected they WILL destroy the economy ! Sounds like lose/lose either way to me. Just seems like we will still have a better chance with Obama being elected. I will always prefer a threat to a certainty.


Except that a few months ago Harry Reid admitted he was wrong to ignore the advice of Senate Democrats and not end the filibuster. He indicated that if the Dems hold the Senate he would do so. However that means we must also take the House.
 
 
+3 # Smokey 2012-11-02 20:11
Krugman provides a great response to some of David Brooks' recent essays....
"Vote for Romney so that America will be protected from the Republicans." Sounds like something that Brooks might say.
 
 
+7 # Rick Levy 2012-11-03 00:38
Maybe I've been watching too much "The Walking Dead", but rethuglicans in congress remind me of the zombies in that series. They are capable of only one thing-destroyin g people.
 
 
+3 # noitall 2012-11-03 12:07
You've just got to sell you soul and your children's soul and become one of their base. Too high a price for most of us.
 
 
+3 # vilstef 2012-11-04 10:38
Something I've said before on Willard's tax returns: I think he's so reticent (read guileful & lying) about them is because he is stiffing the Mormon Church on his tithe. This would be incomparably damaging to him with his co-religionists . Money clearly matters for to Mr R-Money than anything else, save possibly his family-and I wouldn't bet much on that.
 
 
0 # bingers 2012-11-04 20:46
Republicans lie so much that when I hear one saying they love their spouse I automatically assume they are on the verge of divorce. Besides, I'm not so sure Republicans are even capable of love.
 

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