Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Truth about Obama's Deal

Those who claimed that Obama was playing 18 dimensional chess and winning against the Republicans can now see his handiwork. Obama has caved. He gave up all his demands. He has accepted all of the original Republican demands plus a handful more they added at the last minute. And he gained what? The Republicans agreed to quit torturing him by refusing to raise the debt ceiling and therefore destroying the US economy.

Funny, all along, everybody on all sides said that in the end the debt ceiling would be raised. So all these concessions by Obama bought what? Nothing. Just what was going to be there all along: the debt ceiling would be raised.

But as this article in the Huffington Post points out. Obama has paid an unconscionable price for his "victory":
Krugman: 'There Is No Light At The End Of This Tunnel'

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Sunday that the debt deal will worsen the current unemployment situation and the nation's long-run fiscal situation.

"From the perspective of a rational person -- in other words a progressive -- we shouldn't be talking about spending cuts at all now," Krugman said during a roundtable discussion on ABCNews' This Week With Christiane Amanpour. "We have 9 percent unemployment. These spending cuts are going to worsen unemployment. It's even going to hold the long-run fiscal picture because we have a situation where more and more people are becoming permanent long-term unemployed."

Krugman's not alone in his opinion: Last week, economic forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisors analyzed Republican and Democratic debt proposals and said either plan would significantly slow economic growth if enacted.

"We used to talk about the Japanese and lost decade," Krugman continued. "We'll look at them as a role model. They did better than we're doing. this is going to go on. I have nobody I know who thinks the unemployment rate will be below 8 percent at the end of next year. With the spending cuts it might be above 9 percent at the end of next year. There is no light at the end of this tunnel. We're having a debate in Washington, all about, 'Gee, we'll make the economy worse, but will we make it worse on 90 percent of the Republicans' terms or 100 percent of Republicans' terms?' The answer is 100 percent."
Obama is a disaster for the Democrats. He has moved them to the right of where the Republicans were a decade ago. That has simply allowed the Republicans to move from right wing nuts to being hair-on-fire fanatically crazy right wing nuts.

In the meantime, it means that the US goes down the path of "austerity" and has a lost decade or two in this Little Depression. This should have been a Great Recession from which the US should now be emerging. But Obama has botched everything about the economy, so instead of recovery, the US is sliding back into a never-ending Little Depression.

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