Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Krugman vs Brooks: The US Debt Debate

Paul Krugman and David Brooks appeared on the Charlie Rose show on July 22, 2011 to talk about the US debt "crisis".

You can watch the 17 minute video here.

Krugman makes the point that the Republicans have created a political knot by tying two issues, the debt ceiling and long-run budget policy, together. This is suicidal. But that's the Republican political scheming and positioning for the 2012 election. Krugman points out that both parties should separate the two and then run for the 2012 elections on deficit reduction as a key issue.

David Brooks is on the right, but he shows a wisdom that is missing among the Republican politicians. He agrees with much of what Krugman says but keeps a nuanced view with slightly different emphasis. But the important point is that it is obvious that Krugman and Brooks could find a compromise unlike the idiotic politicians in Washington.

Krugman's point is key: the US is ungovernable because one party, the Republicans, have become so radicalized they are unwilling to allow government to succeed. As I listen to this, I keep thinking of the radicalized politics of the inter-war years (between WWI and WWII) which saw the rise of fascism and communism and the world plunged into a global war. At this I despair. Fanatics have taken control and they are driving not just the US over a cliff, but the whole world.

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