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Intro: "Quick quiz: What's a good five-letter description of Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, that ends in 'y'?"

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)

Big Fiscal Phonies

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

28 May 12


uick quiz: What's a good five-letter description of Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, that ends in "y"?

The obvious choice is, of course, "bully."But as a recent debate over the state's budget reveals, "phony"is an equally valid answer. And as Mr. Christie goes, so goes his party.

Until now the attack of the fiscal phonies has been mainly a national rather than a state issue, with Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, as the prime example. As regular readers of this column know, Mr. Ryan has somehow acquired a reputation as a stern fiscal hawk despite offering budget proposals that, far from being focused on deficit reduction, are mainly about cutting taxes for the rich while slashing aid to the poor and unlucky. In fact, once you strip out Mr. Ryan's "magic asterisks"- claims that he will somehow increase revenues and cut spending in ways that he refuses to specify - what you're left with are plans that would increase, not reduce, federal debt.

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-123 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 08:53
Fiscal phonies are also econo-journalis ts who do not condemn often and vigorously our expensive (and immoral) war-making and borrowing to support a bloated defense sector. High among them are RSN favorites, Paul Krugman and Robert Reich.

Mr Krugman thinks some inflation would be good for the sought-after economic recovery; so he has written. We have plenty of inflation right now to make him happy on that score: higher prices and smaller quantities in the super-market, or doesn't food count? I know it's a smaller part of a rich man's budget.
+81 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-05-28 10:28
What is your source?

He said he wanted more government spending - this is not the same as inflation although the Greedy One Percent would have you think that.
Inflation only picks up with the supply of currency when the economy nears full employment and we are not there yet.

Some food may be more expensive thanks to commodity speculation by the WS banksters, but anecdote plus anecdote plus anecdote is not data.
+34 # jwb110 2012-05-28 10:56
Quoting Granny Weatherwax:
What is your source?

He said he wanted more government spending - this is not the same as inflation although the Greedy One Percent would have you think that.
Inflation only picks up with the supply of currency when the economy nears full employment and we are not there yet.

Some food may be more expensive thanks to commodity speculation by the WS banksters, but anecdote plus anecdote plus anecdote is not data.

The price of everything has gone up and as far as I can see that IS inflation no matter what causes it. Higher oil and fuel prices or speculators, it makes no matter. The fiscal policies of the GOP/TP are lies.
+2 # Ralph Averill 2012-05-28 11:44
The price of gasoline at the pump is down.
+8 # jerryball 2012-05-28 14:50
Not out here in California. Oil companies are gouging redux over and over and over.
-26 # paulrevere 2012-05-28 12:21
All ya did is name call there Granny...lessee here, a quart of mayo is now 30oz (or less) for more money, a pint of premium ice cream is 14oz, and more expensive, regular ice cream is blown full of air and more expensive, a pound of coffee is 12oz and waaaay more expensive, a single organic tomatoe is close to two bucks, a loave of decent WW bread is four bucks, single 8oz heat n eats range from two fifty to five dollars...ya know, I'm kinduh partial to anecdotal, 'specially when it turns to an avalanche.
+8 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 15:46
paulrevere: Let the populace know that one can still buy 1 pound sacs of house brand, ground coffee at reasonable prices at some doughnut shops. Great coffee, too! So gallup over there, and let the supermarket coffee shelves spill over!
+4 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:17
Yeah, but you can buy a house now for a lot less than you could 5-6-7 years ago, and you can buy a lot of mayo with the difference, so it balances. Yeah, I know, that's no help when you're the guy who already bought the house and has lost $50-100K in equity but still has to buy mayo, but that doesn't get counted into the inflation problem.
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-31 18:25
But the price of a house is still higher than it was in 2000, before the bubble was inflated.
-1 # mdhome 2012-05-29 02:33
WW does not make decent bread.
0 # paulrevere 2012-05-29 20:11
If one is eating to live and not living to eat, WW makes FABULOUS bread...check out Guisto's, Alvarado Street or Trader Joe's private label sprouted WW...does not get any better...specia lly with copious amounts of Irish butter!
0 # paulrevere 2012-05-30 14:02
I'm sure confounded by all those red thumbs...state some reality and then watch the knees jerk?
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-06-02 21:11
"WW" I am assuming means whole wheat?
I make my own very inexpensively using a bread machine and a recipe that came with my Black and Decker B1600 about 10 years ago. I have since replaced the baking cannister, but the high price B&D charged me two years ago was well worth it, because one cannot find a bread machine like B&D's B1600. My WW loaf weighs 2-1/4 lbs and is delicious and healthful. The ingredients cost me, I estimate, about $1.75 a loaf. That includes two tablespoon of butter and two tablespoons of honey.
+4 # RLF 2012-05-29 05:28
Don't know what country you livin in Granny, but where I'm at, things have skyrocketed in the last 4 years. It is part of the plan to get housing prices at a real level. Government stats on things like inflation haven't been trustable since Raygun.
+72 # Group_Capt_Lionel_Mandrake 2012-05-28 10:37
We need jobs and higher incomes for ordinary people. How is cutting jobs and investment by the government going to do that? And how is off-shore investment by the corporations going to do that? How is the appointment of more conservatives to the Supreme Court by the next President of the United States going to help us? Krugman and Reich have never supported "bloated defense sectors."
-10 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 11:15
To my valued critics: Krugman is not someone I take notes on, but since you value his remarks you would have read his comment that "a bit of inflation would be good for us". Whom he means by "us", I could not say, but it is not good for working people (who outnumber the unemployed by at least a factor of 5) or for people with savings. Taking purchasing power away from those who still have in order to help those who are unemployed does not seem like a good idea to me. Surely, a Nobel laureate can think of a better way! Flash! Inflation is already with us and in a bit way. The BLS and Granny Weatherwax are just not letting on.

I did not claim that Krugman or Reich supported bloated defense sectors. I did imply that they do not condemn them vigorously and often. Note that this is appropriate for economics writers, because where money goes is as important as whence it comes.

As for Keynesian stimulus, I am for it, but get the money from the "defense" budget first, then from the 1% (Krugman and Reich). Remember, it's just stimulus. If the underlying economic engine has been broken by globalism and corruption, then there is not much left to stimulate.
+6 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 11:20
Group_Capt: It's too late! The hopers got a liar nominated in 2008 by the Democratic Party. Remember, as a senator, Obama promised to filibuster FISA. Then, when the bill came to him, he not only failed to filibuster but he voted for it! That was not a minor issue. That undermined our Bill of Rights. Yet, the hopeful dummies supported BO when they could have had Dennis Kucinich or Sen. Gravel.
+14 # mjc 2012-05-28 12:33
For me, the treatment of FISA by Obama was the beginning of the disappointment in what he had said and what he did. Given that so much was avoided and not accomplished by the Obama administration, the only reason to vote for him this time...and I didn't in the gay marriage support and the fact that the POTUS will have to make another Supreme Court nomination. The Republicans allowed their party to become some far out right wing political party that couldn't find its way out of a paper bag and their candidates were even farther in the hinterland of ideas. It's a long road but a third party cannot be created with only a few months of time.
+46 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 10:50
On the contrary, Krugman has consistently called for lower military budgets.
-19 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 11:27
Read most of his prolix comments for the NYT. He has not written a single column in my memory that is devoted to the harmful effects on our economy, our competitiveness in consumer goods, of our militarism. He has not written a single column questioning the goals of our militarism and whether those goals are being accomplished by their expensive implementation. Yes, he mentions lower military budgets but that is just to cover his you-know-what for the benefit of deluded progressives who read him.
+13 # Terrapin 2012-05-28 20:44
While I agree with you about the "journalists who do not condemn often and vigorously our expensive (and immoral) war-making and borrowing to support a bloated defense sector.", I would extend the condemnation to the entire bought and sold corporate press whose paychecks are dependant on not mentioning this subject.
However, I would not label a Nobel Prize recipient and a former Secretary of Labor and UC Berkeley Professor as Financial phonies ... it makes your point sound like it the source material came from America's favorite blatherskite, Rush.
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-06-02 21:27
Nobel prizes outside of the physical sciences and perhaps medicine do not impress me. Barack Obama received one in 2009, remember? Nonetheless, the academic credentials of Krugman and Reich are not the objects of my criticism. Their values are. They pull their punches on the expensive, economically disastrous American world Dominate, to borrow a term from third century Rome. That is a matter of behavior, of values. There are altogether too many academicians today with excellent cvs but who have questionable values. If you tread lightly on the subject of US military expenditures, then your values are questionable as well as your economics.
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-06-02 21:14
Gosh! negative 122! That must be some kind of record. If I had any doubts about my views, they have now been removed. Thanks fans!
-63 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 09:19
Krugman calls a spade a spade. But Obama is a freil reed. Re-elect him, and he will probably sell out to Wall Street even faster than he already has, if that could even be possible.
-12 # paulrevere 2012-05-28 12:25
your red thumbness there tonywicher has apparently fallen upon the hopey-changey the TB folks, ya can lead a horse to water but ya cain't make 'em drink.
+1 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:35
And who won't? The coup was over by the time Reagan was finished.
+1 # shraeve 2012-05-30 21:24
What is the alternative?
-68 # PastorEd 2012-05-28 09:48
Respectfully for your readers' considerations:

NO ONE INDIVIDUAL, COMPANY, OR GOVERNMENT CAN BORROW ITS WAY OUT OF DEBT. Seems so self defeating. Regardless of who is taxed, who gets breaks, who is helped on social services, no one should live beyond their means without acknowledging they are headed to bankruptcy.

Compromise, cut backs, and co-operation are desperately needed. Where is the leader that will orchestrate that team work?
+58 # beeyl 2012-05-28 10:25
No one can borrow his way out of debt? What are you talking about? What the hell was the $8,000,000,000, 000 bailout of Wall Street and the Big Banks, then? What is it called when a landlord, who's losing money due to empty apartments and insufficient rents, takes out a loan from the bank to renovate those apartments to make them more attractive and competitive? Why do you think banks calculate the increase in real estate value when giving someone a home-improvemen t loan?

Our recession/depre ssion revolves around the utter lack of spending, and without spending, there's less and less manufacturing and less hiring for solid jobs. As in the Great Depression, the only entity that has any money to spend (which in sufficient amounts would reverse the economic downturn) is the federal government. The fact that they do some of that spending by borrowing is neither here nor there.
+5 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:38
Exactly. Every dollar NOT spent is another dollar somebody else is not earning. And that person won't be spending that dollar, and so somebody else won't be earning it. And so on. Saying you can't borrow to get out of debt is like saying you can't start a car with a dead battery using a jumper cable.
+60 # Group_Capt_Lionel_Mandrake 2012-05-28 10:34
Quoting PastorEd:
Respectfully for your readers' considerations:

NO ONE INDIVIDUAL, COMPANY, OR GOVERNMENT CAN BORROW ITS WAY OUT OF DEBT. Seems so self defeating. Regardless of who is taxed, who gets breaks, who is helped on social services, no one should live beyond their means without acknowledging they are headed to bankruptcy.

Compromise, cut backs, and co-operation are desperately needed. Where is the leader that will orchestrate that team work?

The 1% love to spend when they get so much back from ordinary citizens who pay with their lives and low-incomes for anything the 1% want: like bailouts and wars, no public infrastructure investment but only privatized infrastructure, huge tax loopholes for corporations and the rich, etc. etc. while fools defend their "right" to do so. The Great Depression proved government investment in infrastructure and jobs gets people to work, builds the economy, and can pay back the debt quite easily. Remember Bill Clinton? He brought us out of debt. President Bush's unpaid wars put us right back in.
-5 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 11:49
Anyone who can offer us Bill Clinton as a presidential role-model must be suffering from amnesia. Clinton is the president who gave us welfare "reform". He was an anti-union president. He destroyed Glass-Steagall and enacted a "Modernization Act" that removed financial derivatives from federal regulation. Clinton was totally irresponsible as a president: he exposed himself to impeachment for sexual misbehavior in the White House. He launched a cruise missile attack into a pharmaceuticals factory in Sudan, killing about a dozen Americans and 300 Sudanese. After the attack, there were independent investigations of the site, and no conclusive evidence was found to justify the destruction. Clinton advanced WTO, NAFTA, globalism. The economy we now have is the work of Clinton's administration and his successors.
+14 # jimyoung 2012-05-28 12:43
I regret voting for Bush in an angry reaction to Gore choosing Joe Lieberman, whom I blamed more for the Veto over ride push on the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. I do believe Clinton compromised himself and our future by going along with Gramm, Rubin, Summers, etc in throwing out the checks and balances on our financial sector. Little did I suspect that Bush not only wouldn't fix any of it, but actually make it much worse.
+6 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:39
Well, at least you'r the first person I've seen who admits voting for Bush, and regrets it. Judging from most of the Republicans nowadays, nobody voted for Bush, and he must have gotten in by election fraud after all.
+12 # jerryball 2012-05-28 14:59
Ahem... with a "little" help from his all GOP Congress and Senate, lest we conveniently "forget?" I remember the old Mongoose-lookal ike GOP Senator Phil Gramm stirred up the GOP troops in the GOP majority Senate and Congress to downfall Glass-Steagall for the GOP "Orgy of Greed" that followed. This one big move allowed Bankers to take OUR 401Ks, bank deposits,, and GAMBLE them away while heavily handed taking millions for themselves while selling sh*tbags of bad faith loans, leading to the downfall of the American Economy. Yes, Clinton did sign it into law, but he had no "little" help from his GOP friends. Now the GOP is the "Amnesia" party.
+5 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-29 12:03
Quoting Innocent Victim:
The economy we now have is the work of Clinton's administration and his successors.

While I concur with your assessment of many of the 'negatives' of the Clinton years, including personal sexual behavior that would have gotten me a court-martial & a 'Less Than Honorable', if not outright 'Dishonorable' discharge fm my 21+ yr active duty career in the USN ...

... I'd like to suggest that today's 'economy' & Great Bush Recession have roots that go further back to the now thoroughly discredited theory of "Supply-Side Reaganomics".

My Merriam-Webster dictionary's definition of "trickle" states:

1a. to issue or fall in drops;
1b. to flow in a thin gentle stream;

2a. to move or go one by one or little by little (customers began to trickle in);
2b. to dissipate slowly (his enthusiasm trickled away);

Descriptions all, that reflect what's actually happened to the U.S. economy, job situation & wealth redistribution that's occurred thanks to republican, conservative, "top 1% entitlement policies.
+37 # kbarrand 2012-05-28 10:53
That's just not true. If one borrows to make an investment that makes enough money to pay off the loan and accumulated debt, hasn't he in essence, borrowed his way out of debt?
+5 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-29 10:02
Yes, it's a form of 'stimulus' spending!
Example: I refinance a 5.25% mortgage on my home for $30k MORE than my current balance owed, but at 3%. I've INCREASED my overall debt $30K, but REDUCED my interest expense 2.25%, immediately seen in LOWER monthly mortgage pmts.

Yes, I now have HIGHER long term DEBT, but short term, MONTHLY EXPENSES are LESS due to lower mortgage interest expense. What's critical is to spend the borrowed $'s WISELY!

I 'park' $10k of the xtra $30k in 'savings' for future emergencies, INCREASING what I call my "financial comfort factor".

I use the remaining $20K & for home improvements such as:
-replace roof with new, 30yr shingles/gutters
-replace air conditioner &/or furnace with higher energy efficient models
-upgrade kitchen w/newer appliances.

I'll immediately see LOWER utility bills (SAVING MORE $'s each month) & enjoy an increased 'live-ability' factor as well!

Also, as my neighborhood has experienced INCREASED home mkt values these past few yrs, the home improvements I've made increase my home's value too!

The 'multiplier effect' of borrowing more has:
- LOWERED my monthly expenses
- INCREASED my home's value
- INCREASED my daily comfort factor (I've a financial 'cushion' & a 'nicer' home!)
- PROVIDED $'s to the companies/worke rs who've sold me the 'parts & labor'-thereby giving THEM the chance to do the same for themselves!
+14 # Cassandra2012 2012-05-28 12:41
Where is the genuine patriotism of the uber-rich i.e., so they pay their FAIR SHARE? or of the oil-corporation 'welfare queens' taking subsidies out of hard-earned middle-class taxpayer money?
+3 # jerryball 2012-05-28 15:03
Those "Welfare Queens" are taking their subsidies out of our ability to madly print money faster than the speed of light. But somewhere down the line, someone is going to pay the piper. I suspect it will be the American citizens of the lower 99%, while the rich will bail on us with their wall-to-wall dollars. But then who will protect these sliders and their money against others who have taken aim at them AND their money?
0 # Feral Dogz 2012-05-31 09:55
Quoting jerryball:
Those "Welfare Queens" are taking their subsidies out of our ability to madly print money faster than the speed of light. But somewhere down the line, someone is going to pay the piper. I suspect it will be the American citizens of the lower 99%, while the rich will bail on us with their wall-to-wall dollars. But then who will protect these sliders and their money against others who have taken aim at them AND their money?

That's what the military industrial complex is for.
+40 # humanmancalvin 2012-05-28 10:06
Sad to see the first 2 posts are written by low information voters here at RSN.
Not even commenting on Christie as he is a nobody serving as governor of New Jersey. Paul Ryan on the other palm is worthy of a critical posting as the man is peddling the same fiscal garbage that President Obama has been trying to shovel out of the country. Amazing, but then again not so startling that the Republican party is still trying to dismantle this nations safety net while making the wealthy even more so. I guess the thing that irritates me the most is to see all the poor/middle class voters supporting a party that is clearly against their own better interests. Maybe they are victims of the relentless bombardment of propaganda pushed by Faux News & the like of a Beck or Limbaugh. They certainly know how to toss red meat to this base & they toss it continuously. I used to have full tilt political arguments with my step father, he being a middle class Republican who swore he was an Independent but never ever voted for a Democrat. He stopped calling or accepting my calls after president Obama won in 2008 as he knew I would remind him of it each chance I could. This is the level of hate in their hearts that would separate themselves from family over the anger of having a Black man in the White House. We have a chance of continuing to dig out of the GOP dug hole in November.
+35 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 10:23
Pastor Ed, You sound like a very well-intentione d, good man, but your understanding of economics is wrong. We are indeed drowning in an ocean of debt. You are very right to say that no one can borrow his way out of debt. But you are very wrong to conclude that "we must cut back" - i.e. we must have austerity, tighten our belts, etc. This is a con game played by the Scrooge-like bankers who control our society and who are the enemies of the poor and of Christian charity. They have you talked into this. But what did Jesus do? He did not say, "We must tighten our belts". He overturned the tables of the money-changers and whipped them from the temple. That is what we must do, and this is how to do it: Don't borrow our way out of debt, repudiate debts that we do not really owe! Who is it that we supposedly owe all this money too, and why should poor, hard-working people like us struggle to pay these so-called debts to make some fat cat worshippers of Mammon happy? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Who caused this depression? The poor? Is it fair that they should suffer for what the money changers did by cutting their food stamps, etc?
+1 # Feral Dogz 2012-05-31 12:13
A huge portion of the national debt has gone to enriching war profiteers, some of whom (Martin Marietta) have also gone into the private prison business, all making huge profits on the failed war on drugs as well as foreign military adventures at the behest of big oil.
+40 # Recovering Republican 2012-05-28 10:30
Pastor Ed is obvioulsy not a student of Economic History. Read Robert Reich's book "Aftershock", or ALL of John Maynard Keynes works, and you will see that ONLY the government can stimuloate our way our of a deep recession. Two multi millionaire bankers history are examples. Secretary Andrew Mellon under Hoover lead us into the Great Depression by austerity, budget cutting and doing everything to widening the income gap. Millionaire banker Marriner Eccles saw the folly of that, and pulled us out of the Depression by huge stimulation ing infratstructure and putting the bottom of the economic scale back to work The middle class needs to be able to consume, and feel they too can succeed. Under Bush II, we have repeated the Mellon Folly. Cutting the US Budget in the short term only means laying off more people, increasing the unemployement ranks and further denying consumption abilities of the lower 99%! Economic History has shown repeatedly that does not work. Krugman is right...and history supports him, Reich, Keynes. And Eisenhower,Nixo n, even Reagan would agree and argue against Ryan, Romney and your cabal.
+32 # jskimmel 2012-05-28 10:40
Everyone is correct! Obama let down his base. Yes, he has sold out to the Street but that's politics. It's about who funds you. However, his heart is basically good and he is HIGHLY intelligent. He can't totally fix what he didn't break. Need I say it again. W and the concomminant greed created this train wreck. I still much prefer US to them! GOP: Greedy Old Party!
-10 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 11:54
How jskimmel can see the evidence of what Obama has done and tell us he is a good person, I could not say. I judge people by what they do. Lying is not the act of a good-hearted person.
+5 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-29 17:38
Quoting Innocent Victim:
I judge people by what they do. Lying is not the act of a good-hearted person.

So where's your umbrage re. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney & company fm the previous administration that nearly bankrupted our nation with 2 unnecessary wars BASED ON LIES?

And let's not forget their lies that the U.S. "doesn't torture"!
-1 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-29 19:39
Where is my "umbrage": feeling of pique or resentment at some fancied slight or insult? No, don't you mean to ask where is my outrage? My outrage doesn't begin with Bush and Cheney. During my lifetime, it goes back to FDR and his sending of the Jews bound for Cuba back to NAZI Germany. Must I mention every atrocious act by a US president in order to qualify to express outrage at Barack Obama? If so, then I should argue that no previous US president had so broken his oath of office to support and defend the Constitution as has Barack Obama; that no previous US president has so egregiously failed faithfully to execute the laws of our country; has so blatantly broken his promises to his constituents and his base. No previous US president has assumed the right, like a Bourbon king, like a ruler of the Roman Principate to execute persons, including US citizens, on merely his own command. In US tyrants, Barack Obama is in a class of one. In world tyrants, he ranks with the worst.
+1 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-30 14:47
Why limit your outrage to just your lifetime? Why not go back to Abe Lincoln & his Emancipation Proclamation that only freed the slaves in the states that had seceded?

Where's the outrage re. George Washington & Thomas Jefferson who owned slaves?

"Selective" umbrage, outrage, complaining (feel free to choose the noun) only show how easy it is to be 'against' someone or something without applying similar standards across the board for everyone & everything - an indication of moral 'blinders' which "allow" people to see only what they've already chosen to see ... or not see.
+1 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-30 15:03
Oh, I forgot to ask:

What about Nixon's "It's not illegal if the President does it." ... as in the Watergate scandal that sent a number of his minions to prison, while he himself was allowed to resign instead of being brought to trial.

And what about Ford's pardoning of RMN?

Or Reagan's Iran-Contra operation, again leading to others going to prison for crimes committed on his behalf? Or his phony 'war' in Granada?

Or the all-too-numerou s Bush-Cheney crimes of lying to the Public & the authorizing of torture draped in the american flag ... all of which have led to so many millions of deaths in Iraq & Afghanistan?

Then again, no single website has the room to enumerate all the "broken promises" & assumed extra-Constitut ional powers of "Bourbon" Bush/Cheney, so you need not bother to reply.

It's more than clear that FACTS aren't important to someone claiming to be 'innocent' ... let alone a 'victim'.
-2 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-31 18:14
On the slave issue, the amendments 13-15 gave them freedom, formally anyhow. Why I ought continue to express my displeasure with the founders who held slaves when that was done in other countries as well, what good would it do? The ancient Romans held slaves, too, as was done all over the ancient world. To the best of my knowledge, China was the only nation not to have the institution of slavery, but they kept their women as an underclass into the 20th century.

No US president, not even Nixon, Reagan, or GW Bush had undermined the U.S. Constitution as has Barack Obama. Ford did not breach the Constitution by pardoning Nixon, despicable as that was. GW Bush and Dick Cheney were afraid to go so far as has BO, because during their administrations , the Democrats acted as an opposition party. The former were afraid of impeachment. Now, the Democrats ignore the destruction of the Constitution because Obama is one of them. Obama has effectively ended the protections of the Bill of Rights and established a police-state on the excuse of terrorism.

Clearly, you have transferred some of your anger about our police-state to me. It does not matter where you place your anger. Obama has taken steps that are irreversible. I am angry too, but the objects of my outrage are better selected than yours.
-1 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-31 19:02
Senior Citizen: According to Christopher Hitchens, who studied Christianity the way a toxicologist studies poisons, said on youtube that the Jesus Christ of the gospels never once mentioned the keeping of slaves as wrong. I don't know if other Jews did. By your view, I am at fault for not ranting against Jesus, whom many blacks in the US worship without reservation.
-9 # paulrevere 2012-05-28 12:32
I question your mind reading abilities of o's heart being basically can he make the call to slaughter innocents with a ten fold drone attack increase?

You read one or both of his books I bet...

I remind you...London Bridge is now in the Arizona Desert...probab ly for sale too!!
-5 # paulrevere 2012-05-28 15:37
I see that the knee-jerk partisans for o found my , how do you, who hit the red thumb button, rationalize heartless slaughter? riously, I'd love to hear the rationale.
+4 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:48
Reminds me of a cartoon, from the first Gulf War:

Man on the street interview:

How much intervention should the US do in the affairs of other countries, in order to free their citizens from tyranny?
"Umm... err..."

OK, well, what mix of military might and foreign aid should the US use on the world stage?
"Umm... err..."

OK, well, how many Arabs would you allow to die to keep the price of gasoline down?
"Oh, that one's easy; all of them."
+1 # paulrevere 2012-05-29 17:16
Oooohh, the droning sounds of those drones be they jet fueled or food fueled, it just can't be separated, distinguished nor...drowned out!
+2 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-29 17:39
I suggest you ask George W. Bush & Dick Cheney!
+9 # Cassandra2012 2012-05-28 12:43
Greedy Oil Plutocrats
+2 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:42
The President has very little wiggle room regarding what he does. He can't even speak very freely. It's very circular; those who won't follow the unwritten rules don't get into the game, and those who try won't get very far. That's why you'll never see a President Kucinich.
+5 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-29 19:52
Your rationale does not add up. You see, gzuckier, Barack Obama got into the game, as you put it, by promising that he would not follow the unwritten rules. On the contrary, he promised change.

The reason why we shall probably never see a President Kucinich is the same as (going back) why voters did not elect Adlai Stevenson in 1952 and '56. As Bill Maher often says, this is a stupid country: it is populated by people who are made uncomfortable by the presence of brains.
+27 # Recovering Republican 2012-05-28 10:44
I agree with Innocent Victim that we ought to be drawing down the Military Budget and getting out of the several hundred bases around the world. Our military technology today does not need billion dollar fighters that need 50 hours of maintainence for each hour of flight. Who are they going to meet in combat...China. ..Russia...Iran ? Special forces and drones are the future...and a lot less expensive.

And all those overseas bases are great economic stimulus for the country where they are situated, and a drain on us.

Our country's infrastructure, schools, bridges, roads, transportation etal need rebuilding if we are to remain competitive.

But we must draw down our troops more carefully, and deal with their return to "normal" life, their health, especially the wounded and maimed, and see to their economic needs and stresses.

And hopefully at least large scale war seesm to becoming obsolete. We just have to help people around the world get rid of their dictators...and nuclear weapon capabilities.

A Sir Winston Churchill is supposed to have once said, "Democracy is the worst form of Government ever devised by man...but it is better than ALL the alternatives."
+13 # paulrevere 2012-05-28 12:35
i agree on the military being 'de-fatted' down to true lean and mean...but that is but a facet of the solution...the 1% must have no choice but a tax increase...and big corporate (now not even American but international) tax subsidies and fiscal/social accountability must begin to be emphasized emphasized emphasized.
+6 # jimyoung 2012-05-28 13:13
The so called disaster from reducing troop strengths might be looked upon differently if you consider Active Duty Military Strength at various points in our history. My favorites are when some tried to claim Clinton cut the military too much (actually started under G.H.W. Bush as the Cold War was considered over). Interestingly, when I looked at active duty strength in 2007, I found that the figures available showed 1,372,900 active in June of 2000 (last available figures I could find for Clinton), while the strength on June 30, 2007 (almost 6 years after the start date for the GWOT Expeditionary Medal) was 1,372,905. FIVE MORE PEOPLE after all the chicken-hawk squawking? Did you feel any safer in 2007 with those five extra people? Contrast that with "reductions" proposed to have 1,422,600 active duty military for 2012 (49,695 more than Bush had in 2007).
+1 # X Dane 2012-05-28 23:06
Recovering rep.He MAY have said that, But one thing he DID say: Americans will always do the right thing, AFTER THEY TRIED EVERYTHING ELSE!!!

Let's hope so, and let's hope we don't have to do EVERYTHING, before we do the right thing.
+2 # gzuckier 2012-05-28 23:49
Well, you'll be glad to know that Congress just authorized two new submarines a year for the next 5 years (at a currently budgeted cost of 5 billion for next year alone). Just in case Atlantis gets WMD, I guess.
+2 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-29 21:18
Instead of encouraging consumer industry that can produce products that are useful and competitive, Congress - as you remarked with appropriate sarcasm - opts for military spending, spending that does not add to our safety and does not create durable jobs, unless in five years hence it authorizes another ten subs.
I say give us submarines we can eat, instead!
+14 # dick 2012-05-28 10:50
PE: Borrow, invest OFF Wall St., make surplus, pay off debt, enjoy remainder. American as apple pie & unnecessary $$$$$ imperial war.
Someone should tally the TOTAL # of dead & virtually destroyed from totally unnecessary wars like VN & OIL, Operation Iraqi (Shiite) Liberation, this Memorial Day, & support NEVER AGAIN.
Gorbachev had offered to get Saddam out of Kuwait, after Bush encouraged him to go in, but Bush WANTED A WAR. So it goes.
+2 # X Dane 2012-05-28 23:23
Dick, I think so too. He wanted to CLIP SADDAM'S wings, so to speak. But he knew it would be insanity to kill off Saddam, for that would destroy the balance in the Middle East. His stupid son didn't have the brain to understand that. And all he managed to do was strengthen Iran.
+3 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 11:14

I wish I could believe what you say. I voted for him too, on the same grounds. You could even, conceivably, be right. But Obama is a Wall Street Democrat. He is not a man of the people; he has been born, bred and brought to power by the likes of Brzezinsky, the Trilateral Commission, the Rockefeller Foundation, the National Endowment for Democracy and the "left wing" of the CIA. He has been put there to do the will of his imperial masters, but to talk like a Democrat and con decent people into following their agenda of imperial conquest. Re-electing him will make matters worse, and electing Romney will also make them worse. We have to break out of this box!
+5 # Sensible1 2012-05-28 11:51
There is NO man of the people, who earns more than a quarter million a year, and that eliminates just about anyone who may be qualified to be President.
-1 # BellBuoy 2012-05-28 13:01
Gary Johnson oon the Libertarian ticket: now there's a decent man.
+9 # paulrevere 2012-05-28 12:37
I 100% concur...politi cally doing the same thing over and over and over and over leads only to a deeper more entrenched corrosion, corruption and control.
+8 # LiberalRN 2012-05-28 14:23
Quoting tonywicher:

Re-electing [Obama] will make matters worse, and electing Romney will also make them worse. We have to break out of this box!

I believe that the way out of the box is from the bottom and not from the top. There will be ONE presidential election, with, essentially, TWO candidates from which to choose: Obama, or Romney. Electing Romney and all his paymasters will make things MUCH worse than re-electing Obama and all his. Also recall: the Supreme Court will be in the hands of the winner - NOT the people. Need I remind you what we got the last time we had a Republican president? Those men will live a LONG time, and so will their decisions. Citizens United, wholesale strip-searches are okay... Obama may not put in the liberals you and I would like to see, but Sotomayor and Kagan are not Roberts and Alito - corporate shills in long black robes. OTOH, the House and Senate are in the hands of the states, and change there is very possible. These are the bodies that will make the president be better. Or worse. Look at what the Tea Party hath wrought...
-4 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 15:58
Attually I wrote your quote. It was a criticm of jkimmel. You apparently believe the same thing he does, and are getting ready to vote for Obama for the same reasons I did last time, and the same reason I have voted for fake, Wall Street Democrats since the last real Democrat, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated by the same fascist bankers that currently run the country. And whichever one of these guys you vote for the basic policies will not change and things will keep getting worse. We have to get these fascist bankers out of power and regain control over our currency and our economy and Obama isn't going to do it. We must have a real Democratic party led by a real FDR New Deal Democrat who will take on the bankers. DUMP OBAMA NOW!!!!!!!!
-4 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 16:06
And another thing - You blame the Supreme Court for allowing wholesale strip searches? How about blaming Obama for signing a bill saying he can assassinate anybody he wants without due process, or invade Libya and murder thousands of people without asking Congress, or raise the real possibilty of nuclear war by putting missles in Poland? You don't understand what you are dealing with here. This is not a choice of the lesser of two evils, this is the "tough cop con cop" routine, with Obama as the con cop. He's good at it. Don't fall for it. DUMP OBAMA NOW!!!!
+4 # LiberalRN 2012-05-29 22:53
Quoting tonywicher:
And another thing - You blame the Supreme Court for allowing wholesale strip searches? How about blaming Obama for signing a bill saying he can assassinate anybody he wants without due process, or invade Libya and murder thousands of people without asking Congress, or raise the real possibilty of nuclear war by putting missles in Poland? You don't understand what you are dealing with here. This is not a choice of the lesser of two evils, this is the "tough cop con cop" routine, with Obama as the con cop. He's good at it. Don't fall for it. DUMP OBAMA NOW!!!!

Alternative, please.
+1 # Senior Citizen 2012-05-30 17:40
Why not "DUMP" the CONGRESS that authored & passed the legislation giving the president the authority to 'assassinate anybody he wants without due process'?

Let us not forget that it takes "Two Branches of Congress AND Presidential authorization to create law" ... but just 5 Supreme Court justices to overturn it ALL!

Footnote: And just when was it that the U.S. "invaded" Libya? I don't recall the U.S. ever committed ground troops into the country, 'tho it did engage in air and sea-based military ops along with 18 or so other nations!

(While info on Wikipedia should always be treated with skepticism, the fol link does provide interesting details debunking the comment that the U.S. "invaded" Libya:
+4 # X Dane 2012-05-28 23:51
Tonywicher what have you been smoking. Obama was raised by his mother and his grandparents. All politicians get money from Wall Street and many other corporations for our system is totally corrupt. NOBODY can run for office without money. Still the democrats TRY to improve matters for the middle class and low income earners. The republicans TAKE from them and give to the rich.
It may not be as big as we want, BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE.
+12 # jack113 2012-05-28 11:24
Ryan is like a Romney clone. They both talk a lot and say nothing.
+9 # jack113 2012-05-28 11:28
The tea party had their chance to make their changes and showed their stupidity. They tea party will be as dead as the dinosaur after the election when Koch stops funding it.
+4 # REESORT 2012-05-28 11:36
There is another 5 letter word which ends on E
+2 # hobbesian 2012-05-28 11:38
Paul, might I say something nice about Christie? I watched Fareed Zakaria last night in the excellent CNN program about our health care disaster; In particular, towards the end the program he featured one man Dr. Jeffrey Brenner in Camden New Jersey; he's started a clinic within the building with the dubious record of the most money spent on the health of the residents: his clinic has vastly improved the health of the locals and saved an enormous amount of hospital visits and money to the annoyance and petulance of the huge health care insurers who have glommed on to what's happening. Chris Christie - CHRIS CHRISTIE! has supported this program in a majorly effective way, and to be honest I was gobsmacked but thrilled, completely thrilled. Of course he's good "in parts" like the curate's breakfast egg. But Oh how I wish we could have more successful initiatives like Jeffrey Brenner's - for the first time I felt some hope, so phony bully he may be but in this instance he is a hero. Thank you Chris Christie and others; Elizabeth
+7 # giraffee2012 2012-05-28 11:38
Complain about President Obama's bad and then look at his good. He is not KING! And the GOP/TP have filibustered much of what THE PRESIDENT promised.

As for Christi - he'll probably be Romney's VP - if his heart lasts that long.

If you dom't want us to go DOWN completely - i.e. in free fall - place your votes for Dems/President Obama.

The first 2 posts should find another Site to post their B.S. but this is a free site and one might read those posts to see what idiots we can expect in our government should Romney & his kind are elected.

Encourage all minorities in your state to VOTE and tell them why it is so important to their future.

VOTE Obama.

Paul Krugman - you ROCK
+10 # Sensible1 2012-05-28 11:50
The Republicans cry for less spending is worrisome because then we can expect another war. Less spending means less for the lower ranking military and their families and of course the working poor. Why do the least among us vote against their own interests? Is it just ignorance or a great conservative propaganda machine? Who knows, but it always happens.
+7 # hd70642 2012-05-28 12:10
The worst part is somebody who goes along with something they know is unreasonable.Ch ris Criscoe policies are pretty bad but the worst part of it he is the reasonable wing of the party of screw balls .Anyone who is at a sixth grade level in social studies would be against with the ravings of Ron Paul . Money it seems is a better insulator from reality than fiberglass at keeping out the winter chills
-16 # jimattrell 2012-05-28 12:47
Our country needs more "bullies" (also known as leaders) like Christie. Unions have made NJ a mess and you have to be tough to work against thugs!
+8 # GeeRob 2012-05-28 16:55
Interesting that you adorn Christie with a 'bully'label implying that's good and turn around and label union workers as 'thugs' and imply they're bad.
+9 # Diane 2012-05-28 18:17
As I said in an earlier response to you in an article on Oregon education, the smart ones unionize. That IS what poor and middle class workers in private industries and businesses should do. THE SMART ONES UNIONIZE!
+9 # Rich Austin 2012-05-28 13:01
Part I:

Don’t kill the messengers. Krugman and Reich present [educated] points of view in a very capsulized form. Please don’t add words or thoughts to what they wrote. People can disagree with their findings, but it is unfair to do so if “their” findings have been amended by readers bent on making “their” points.

Has President Obama been everything we wanted him to be? Of course not! There are at least two reasons: 1) “What we want” is a moving target. Today we want jobs, yesterday we wanted single payer health care, and tomorrow perhaps the plight of the homeless will move front and center. 2) All we did is vote. Oh I know, I know, some of us worked hard to help get him elected, but after January 20, 2009 people disappeared. They were not around to pressure the President into standing up to the neocons/neolibs in Congress.
+10 # Rich Austin 2012-05-28 13:03
Part II:

"Make me do it" was the advice of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to reformers when faced with legislation he desired but did not have the votes for in Congress. He wanted people to demonstrate, write letters, make phone calls, and pressure Congress into doing what is just.

The Tea Party crowd rallied! Amid a few men armed with AK-47s, operatives spouting Koch-inspired rhetoric barked their bilge . Look at the press they got, and still get!

Where were we? Were we trying to “make the president do it”?
Along came the Occupy Movement. Rather than join it and help it, too many keyboard activists stayed home. The original agenda of the Occupiers was a more balanced distribution of income, more and better jobs, bank reform, a reduction in the influence of corporations on politics, forgiveness of student loan debt and alleviation of the foreclosure situation. Sadly, agents provocateurs infiltrated the movement, manipulated some naïve and otherwise decent people into joining them, and began using force and violence in a [successful] effort to draw attention away from the original cause.

Until we “make him do it” we’ll not see change in our nation. Millions of people currently residing in what those who want to categorize us call “the middle class” will have to go outside their comfort zones and “make him do it”.

Let’s join together to move our nation. We have social and economic justice on our side!
0 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 16:09
I am a "keyboard activist" who stayed home. I was an anti-Vietnam War activist who flew to New York to take part in a massive demonstration against the war. All of my anti-war heroes were there: Tris Coffin, Pete Seeger, et al. It was uplifting. But I was almost put-down for good by one of NYPD's finest who pushed me off a curb towards an on-coming car! That ended my street activism. I no longer believe in the power of civil disobedience, when the authorities are uncivil - no, savage! What works in that case is what worked in South Africa, Czarist Russia, Bourbon France! Bloody, damned revolution! Trouble is often the "cure" is worse than the disease! Moral: one you lose your liberties, it's hell to get them back.
+3 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 16:37
And how are we going to "make him do it" if we think we have to back him anyway because he is better than Romney? No, we know what needs to be done which is to restore Glass-Steagall, cancel the derivatives, repudiate their gambling debts, and re-take control of our currency and our economy from the international bankers. If we don't do that right away there will be a crash that will make 1933 look like a boom. And Obama who has been a Wall Street stooge all along is NOT going to do it. I wish he were an FDR, because that's exactly what this country needs. Can we push him to be one? That's what I was saying four atrocious years ago.
+2 # Feral Dogz 2012-05-31 10:09
Quoting tonywicher:
And how are we going to "make him do it" if we think we have to back him anyway because he is better than Romney? No, we know what needs to be done which is to restore Glass-Steagall, cancel the derivatives, repudiate their gambling debts, and re-take control of our currency and our economy from the international bankers. If we don't do that right away there will be a crash that will make 1933 look like a boom. And Obama who has been a Wall Street stooge all along is NOT going to do it. I wish he were an FDR, because that's exactly what this country needs. Can we push him to be one? That's what I was saying four atrocious years ago.

One thing for sure. Romney cannot be pushed to become an FDR.
+5 # hd70642 2012-05-28 13:55
To all those Repubilican'ts your Tin foil hats seems a little too tight lately
I am sure you start your days with these very thoughts!!!
There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We can reduce the focus to a soft blur, or sharpen it to crystal clarity.
We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. So who starts CPAc Rod Sterling or Forest Wittaker ?
+3 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-28 15:01
All our concerns, the economy, wars, the next president, Supreme Court appointees, and - more personally - heart conditions, enlarged prostates, a lump in the breast, nuts like Zimmerman with guns, all our reasonable concerns may be swept aside by the substantial possibility of a collapse of Fukushima - bldg #4. It's another elephant in the drawing room that some people are loudly announcing but few people with political power are acknowledging. Whether we blind ourselves to it or not, it is a greater source of terrorism - as is the entire nuclear power industry - than was OBL. We should be fearful, but not frozen by our fear.
+6 # pernsey 2012-05-28 15:24
The more Fox News watchers post on here, the more the facts get muddied up by their lies. I cant see lying as a differnce of opinion, but as mislead sheeple following the lies of Fox News, and spew their misguided opinion as fact, the more annoying trying to read comments on here gets.

Its a known fact, people who dont watch any news at all are better informed then the people who are watching Fox news...its the dumming down of America. There are no such things as facts...whateve r the GOP spits out at their people from the Fox News screen becomes their truth, whether its real or imagined.

I used to really like reading the comments on these articles, but now there are so many mislead opinions that have no facts to back them up, I dont really bother to read them all. There are so few forums that Liberal/progres sives can have an opinion without getting shouted down. Im sad to see the big mouth Fox crew taking over this site too.
+1 # X Dane 2012-05-29 11:34
Pernsey, we will not let them TAKE OVER, but since this is a democracy.....s ort of.. we can not totally shut them up. Still I think you can see, that we don't let them get away with lies. We do counter.
What bothers me, are those who give up. THAT IS NOT AN OPTION
+4 # pernsey 2012-05-30 07:26
I know what your saying X Dane, its just that we have to counter so much nonsense that not much rational discussion takes place. That is what I meant. I just see Fox News BS as more right wing distraction then actual fact or debate. Some right wing comments on here are lunacy at best.
+4 # cycleman60 2012-05-28 15:52
Five letter word for Christie: How about "Crazy." That should be fitting.
+5 # wfalco 2012-05-28 16:43
Krugman has been arguing that a recovery needs more spending. If the citizenry are unable to spend more, than government must do it. I am no economist, by any stretch, however it seems rather logical that boosting spending will offer a boost to the overall economy-hence more jobs. If you spend more-"you" being any entity(includin g our government) than you must hire more people to service the exchange of goods.
On the other hand(and according to the phonies like Ryan and Christie)govern ment must spend less for economic recovery since we (meaning government) are already over extended. But over extended to or by whom? Does debt matter? Does a deficit matter? And won't they eventually improve over time with a bigger influx of spending?
+3 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-29 15:55
Krugman and Reich are probably right: spending by the government - if wisely directed - would create jobs and restore some lost ones. What it will not do is restore the economy to a prosperous, competitive one. For that, it has to be restructured. The dependency on military spending is like amphetomines: it gives a boost of energy, but when it wears off, what is left is a depleted, malnourished economic system. We have to get back to being a peace-loving, productive country that takes pride in "Made in America".
0 # tonywicher 2012-05-28 16:50
Unfortunately this thread has degenerated into ad hominem attacks by people who don't grasp the principles of worthwhile discussion and dialog. In this case they sound like snobbish limousine liberals of some sort, not Fox News listeners, although if you go on some Fox news thread you can find plenty of the Republican kind over there. Oh wad some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us".
-2 # paulrevere 2012-05-29 13:35
Like the trolls from the right, someone is trolling for 'o exposure' comments and doing the red thumb...too obvious of a thumb print.
+5 # Listner 2012-05-28 16:58
Funny, my first thought was fatty. Then I realized in this age of political correctness, thats not nice. True, but not nice. I think I'll just go with slimey, oops, too many letters.
I agree with pernsey about the Fox news dudes. Really hard to tell if they're serious when they make some of those allegations. Keep the faith, many more young people are going to college these days because the economy is so poor.This may help turn the tide of ignorance in this country.
I think G.W. was the original "dumbing down of america" though. I laughed when I first heard him speak in public wondering what we're they thinking ? Well, turns out the joke was on America.
+6 # Rita Walpole Ague 2012-05-28 18:52
Paul Krugman, thanks for disgusting but needed info.. Ain't easy, getting info. on kochsucking puppets of the 1%ers, but take off the blinders we must.

And, that leads me into suggesting another five letter word ending in 'y' for you: crony. Sure sounds like Christie is a Crony of our evil, villainaire rulers. Ugh!
0 # Senior Citizen 2012-06-01 09:33
I suggest we add "bullY" to an all-too-accurat e adjective for Christie.
+4 # Rich Austin 2012-05-28 19:21
I offered an idea. It may not be the solution, but it is an alternative to whining.

It’s easy to find fault. It’s harder to suggest possible remedies.

There are too many whiners in the U.S. It is my experience that the vast majority come from the comfortable class. The downtrodden, disposed and forgotten haven’t got time to avail themselves of the luxury of whining. They are too busy figuring out ways to get the wherewithal to put another meal of the table.
0 # Senior Citizen 2012-06-01 09:59
Allow me to add a personal exception to your thesis.

I've a 40+ yr old brother-in-law who barely makes minimum wage, even when he's got a job (perhaps due to his 'barely graduated' fm a Texas high school status); lost his house to foreclosure over 5 yrs ago & BEFORE the housing slump got underway; yet he & his UNemployed wife STILL think [to quote them]: "Both 'w' & their current gov. Perry are the "greatest things since white bread!"

They barely survive on a daily basis, have periodically received UNemployment benefits, yet have no idea that many of their own problems are at least in part due to the policies of those they support!

Like so many others participating on this thread of discussion, my brother-in-law & wife are utterly clueless as to the 'whys & wherefores' of economic reality.

Trying to discuss even routine personal finance issues with them such as monthly balancing of a checkbook proved fruitless because "they don't trust banks anymore" because it was the bank that "took our house away from us"! [Never mind they were 6 months+ behind in their payments!]

When folks refuse to acknowledge that their own PERSONAL decisions MIGHT have a role in what occurs to them, attempting to help them just led my wife & down a dead end street.
+7 # Rick Levy 2012-05-28 19:26
"They’re willing to snatch food from the mouths of babes (literally, via cuts in crucial nutritional aid programs".

I also think that there's something that needs to be yanked from the mouths of infants: silver spoons from those, like Romney who are born into wealth. Let's start with an increased inheritance tax and the end of low tax rates on investment income.
+2 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-29 12:18
Why do Paul Krugman and Robert Reich fail to criticize vociferously the congress and the administration for not re-regulating the financial services industry? Why do they both fail to criticize and condemn the lack of significant prosecutions of the major players, corporations and their executives, for the financial frauds that brought on the economic collapse in 2007-8?

They cry crocadile tears for the unemployed, but where is their call for Obama to demand passage of a Glass-Steagall law, separating depositor banks from investment banks?

They both write on financial issues, but neither one makes a full disclosure of their own financial holdings. Wouldn't their readers benefit from knowing what ties the econo-journalis ts have to the financial industry?
+2 # Innocent Victim 2012-05-29 15:44
I'll suggest some answers to my own questions:

Both Krugman and Reich have ties to academia, UofC, Princeton, respectively. Charles Ferguson, in his new book discussed on Democracy Now today, reveals the ties between academic economists and the financial industry. The advancement of these "scholars" is clearly linked to the friendships they cultivate in the world of big endowments by major corporations. I am not accusing Krugman or Reich of selling out. I am just saying that they cannot bite the hands that feed their institutions; only nibble a bit. In Krugman's case, the NYT is one of his patrons; not a newspaper known for opposing the establishment. For K or R to demand the prosecution of executives of, for example, Bear Stearns for betting against the advice they were giving their suckered clients might be medicine a bit too strong!

They also are Democrats. They would like to be considered for government appointments, nominations. They would not want to come down too hard on the Party for settling for Dodd-Franks as re-regulation; for not breaking up the big banks; etc., etc.

Finally, they don't want to be accused of having contributed to the defeat of Barack Obama by describing how he is undermining our economy by continuing the militarism that has brought us down to the present.
+1 # jack113 2012-05-30 03:20
If a politicians mouth is open they are lying.
-6 # jimattrell 2012-05-30 09:33
What I don't understand is why Obama can pick on Romney about Bain Capital when Obama has a terrible record of using taxpayer money to fund numerous failed businesses (such as Solyndra) that all failed and caused massive unemployment? Which is worse? Private money being lost creating unemployment or Public money being lost causing unemployment? And what about Obama attending venture capital fundraisers at $35,000.00 per plate? Hypocritical?
0 # wrodwell 2012-05-30 13:30
I read the rest of the NY Times article and wanted to leave a comment but the Times was no longer accepting any. (There were over 350 comments already so who could blame them?)
Regarding the Paul Ryan Budget Plan, Democrats have justifiably attacked it from the beginning especially after combing through it to see what it's really about. You would then think that that experience would inspire Democrats to create their own budget proposals as an alternative to Ryan's Plan - but they haven't -an inexplicable omission. This tells me that they're either lazy or that they don't have a clue what to do. (Funny how Mr. Krugman doesn't mention that in his article.) Have the Dems and Mr. Krugman not heard the expression "something is better than nothing"? That's what the Ryan Plan represents to most Americans simply because a better, more credible alternative doesn't exist thanks to Democratic inertia. Talk is cheap, Mr.Krugman. Were it not so, you, as a prize winning economist, would have enlightened us already with YOUR budget plan. We're still waiting.........
By the way, my guess for a 5 letter word describing NJ Governor Chris Christy and ending in "y" is: "fatty". If he can't control his own unhealthy, self-destructiv e food intake, how will he control New Jersey's?

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