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Ear to the Ground

Krugman: ‘Bipartisanship Is Now a Foolish Dream’

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Posted on Mar 5, 2010
Bunning
AP / Susan Walsh

Sen. Jim Bunning

Someone might want to call President Barack Obama’s attention to the main message of Paul Krugman’s latest Op-Ed column in The New York Times: This whole bipartisanship idea isn’t going to catch on in Congress. Krugman takes the recent example of Sen. Jim Bunning’s bill-blockading gymnastics, along with the responses from a couple of Bunning’s peers, to illustrate his somewhat depressing point.  —KA

Paul Krugman in The New York Times:

Take the question of helping the unemployed in the middle of a deep slump. What Democrats believe is what textbook economics says: that when the economy is deeply depressed, extending unemployment benefits not only helps those in need, it also reduces unemployment. That’s because the economy’s problem right now is lack of sufficient demand, and cash-strapped unemployed workers are likely to spend their benefits. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office says that aid to the unemployed is one of the most effective forms of economic stimulus, as measured by jobs created per dollar of outlay.

But that’s not how Republicans see it. Here’s what Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, had to say when defending Mr. Bunning’s position (although not joining his blockade): unemployment relief “doesn’t create new jobs. In fact, if anything, continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 8, 2010 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

Bipartisanship on public health care for the populace is a foolish dream.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 7, 2010 at 10:48 am Link to this comment

Single Payer Public Health Care needs to be on the table.

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By KDelphi, March 6, 2010 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment

If this piece of excrement does “pass”, the GOP will take back control in November and de-fund it..then Dems can whine again..“we cant get then to..” (fill in the blank)
So on to the “Jobs Bill” which is another set of tax cuts and subsidies to “entrepreneurs”, and the “stimulus Bill” which is—guess—another set of tax fricking cuts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 6, 2010 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Mitt Romney is, guess what?  A Republican!

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Samson's avatar

By Samson, March 6, 2010 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Bipartisanship has served its purpose.

Remember, the Democrats basically negotiated against themselves in forming the crappy health care bill.  The Democrats kept killing off single-payer and public options and kept making the bill worse and worse and worse by saying that they had to do so to get Republican support.

Then it passes with no Republican votes.

If that was always going to be the end-game, then the Democrats could seemingly have just pushed a Medicare-for-all single-payer bill.

Except, this current bill is exactly what the Democrats wanted. Its probably almost exactly what Obama and the big CEO’s agreed on back when the CEOs were getting their private meetings with Obama early last year.  That’s the payoff for the some #30 million they gave Obama to get him elected.

‘Bipartisianship’ was always a sham to force a bad bill that everyone left of Reagan (and most of those right of Reagan as well) hates.

Its played its role.  Health corporation profits are now secure and the American people have been royally shafted.  Now its time to shift the propaganda to a new theme.

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By TAO Walker, March 6, 2010 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment

Barack Obama enjoys (if that’s the word) the advantage (likewise) of having need-to-know access to The-Script.  He might well’ve known going-in his ‘role’ is to be a “one-term” occupier of the Oval Office….after breaking dramatically (no pun intended) the historically “huge” (ala The-Donald) Black-president barrier.

So there’s one ‘base’ yet to touch, barrier-breaking-wise, and maybe only one more “election” in which to “Get ‘er (again, no pun) done!” before the entire media-made circus folds its tents and disappears into this-that-or-another “undisclosed location”....and after ‘elle’?  Well, we are ALL going to see.

Which us surviving free wild Indians’ve long known f’r sure is the only Way to know for-sure.

HokaHey!

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By gerard, March 6, 2010 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Impatience catches me too, Martha.  We wait and wait, give up once, twice, yes?  no?  Oops!  I know exactly how that is.

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By bogi666, March 6, 2010 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I didn’t mean to imply that the Democorpcrats are superior to the Repubicans morally. As much as I can’t stand Texas or Texans, Medicare has been a great benefit and for that reason alone I’m thankful although I didn’t vote for Johnson. Annother commenter stated. elsewhere, his best Presidents are Bush[prescription drugs],Johnson[Medicare],FDR[Social Security].he is able to discern which benefitted his interest the most and able to make his decision based on that criterion.

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By Druthers, March 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

This bi-partisan stance now looks more and more like a smokescreen being puffed out by Obama to hide behind while he carries out his real policies.
Otherwise how can this man, whom we are told is SOoooo intelligent, remaind blind and deaf when everyone else sees that he is bringing down his presidency.

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By KDelphi, March 6, 2010 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

WriterontheStorm..if the “left” saw it as a ‘fight”..the DNC is dreaming of a GOP Congress to blame their failures on.

I dont see much, if any, difference in the “ethical failures” (not to mention policy failures) of the “left” vs the “right”..doing the same thing is, well, doing the same thing.

These Tea Bag people are NOT the “republicans”, and, they would never nominate, say, Rep Paul..they will, I predict, nominate someone like Mitt Romney…that is the only way Obama could lose in 2012…Dems should be praying they will go with someone like palin, who has been neo-liberals greatest gift—-someone to make Dems look good…“if you dont vote for Obama, you wil get Palin”...it seems to be about all they have left.

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By WriterOnTheStorm, March 6, 2010 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

It’s pretty late in the day to be reaching this conclusion.

The republicans have stated over and over that they are engaged “in a war”. The
talk show and radio demagogues vilify and demonize. Their followers walk the
streets with swastikas and shout threats of violence. Even “respected” members
of the GOP have shown an easy willingness to forego ethics and basic values in
order to achieve victory in their war.

And it’s not new. It’s been going on since Nixon. What was Watergate of not a
willingness to abandon ethics to win? Reagan had Irangate among a host of
unethical if not strictly illegal activities aimed at furthering the party’s goals.

Yes the left has its share of unethical politicians. But most of these were
motivated by personal gain. They weren’t part of a hypocritical, organized
effort to further an ideology, even as it flies in the face of publicly professed
values.

So now that the left knows that they’re in a war, what are they going to do
about it?

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By KDelphi, March 6, 2010 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

“..NOW a foolish dream..”??
When was it not??

ofersince72—Krugman would not agree, but I would say, let this “economy” fail…the US presently does not have an “economy”, unless one considers Wall St “products” as an “economy”

bogi666 and gerard..the only problem I have with your argument is that is could apply almost equally to both parties..in fact, of the “wars” started in the last 50 years, more of them were started by dem (neo-liberal) presidents…

I agree with dihey and think that the “committee” on the “deficit” (which disincludes spending on war and Wall St, which Obama , with Geithner and Summers, is excelerating) is one of the stupidest things Dems have ever done..but, there’s still time, I sure they sill surpass their own idiocy.

Maybe they should appoint Clinton, he was so great at “welfare reform”...

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By dihey, March 6, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment

Mr. Krugman has put his finger on a hugely important issue for our country namely the effects that social benefits have on our faltering economy, an issue that is almost completely ignored by both the MSM and the blogosphere. Mr. Krugman averred correctly that most of the unemployment benefits are almost immediately spent for a variety of needs hence constitute an “immediate economic stimulus”.
Somewhat regrettably he has failed to point out that this is not the first time that social network benefits help our economy. For many decades Social Security and private retirement benefits have had the same effect. I argue from my own experience with Medicare and Aetna that Medicare payments, which are almost immediate when justified whereas the Aetna payments dragged along for months and were often refused, help the economy too.
Given these facts it is a fundamental blunder of any administration to reduce Social Security benefits, let alone privatize Social Security. It is equally stupid to ransack Medicare to funnel the funds to private insurers who immediately pocket 33%  of this newfangled “benefit” for Aetna et al.
Mark my words. The castration if not deconstruction of the social network, begun under President Reagan and which is still a principal objective of the Republican policymakers aided and abetted by Mr. Obama and many Democratic lawmakers in Congress, benefits which were so wisely developed since the terrible depression of the 1930’s will have unintended consequences namely a return of terrible depressions for very long times. The negative consequences will be much larger than of the potential failures of the “too big to fail” banks could have ever been.
The rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer. God does not seem to be inclined to “Bless America” which he cannot do anyway because America was created by fallible humans.

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By bogi666, March 6, 2010 at 9:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gerard, good comments that the USG just doesn’t WANT to get it about war. Meanwhile, the USG is building its Great Electronic Wall of Space with 1000’s of guard posts around the planet. The Great Wall of China, 4500 miles long taking 25 years to build lead to the bankruptcy of China, collapse of the government and Chinese society and invasion by the Mongols. Built for security reasons, the Great Wall instead lead to insecurity because of financial collapse. With its $trillion’s China is not building military outposts around the world but railways, roads and infrastructures necessary use in their own country.Chinese civilization around for 1000’s of years just may know things that the infantile USA society has yet to learn which is that the obscene, absurd Pentagon budget will eventually bankrupt the country if it hasn’t already. OBL, the USA’s collapse is the result of 19 terrorists of 9/11. The USG will never acknowledge this of course and HISTORY WILL.Thermapolae pales in as does all other historical accounts of GREAT DEFEATS.The current wars initiated by temper tantrums of Bush/Cheney “to kick some ass” and continued by President O’Bushbama is all based on thoughts of imaginary fears of the propagandists of business, government and religion and broadcast to the American public as facts, the USA a mindlessness society unable to discern their own thoughts from facts, but whom take of the thoughts of others as their own facts The USA needs a cultural revolution to purge itself of the superstitions of 1,000’s of years ago,codified in the Bible.

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G.Anderson's avatar

By G.Anderson, March 6, 2010 at 7:44 am Link to this comment

I’m sure that late at night when Republicans are getting ready for bed, and having a night cap. They must indulge themselves with a deap hearty chuckle.

How lucky can you be? You lose the White house, and the Senate, and control of the Congress, your expecting a blood bath, at the hands of “the one”.

Yet, when it comes down to it, it all evaporates into thin air, because the Democratic party, turns to you for help in governing the nation, help with it’s agenda, help getting things done.

Hilarious!

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By ardee, March 6, 2010 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

MarthaA, March 6 at 2:58 am

Third time the charm? You, more than anyone lese on this forum I think, post doubles and now triples. Think you might stop?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

Public Health Care for all would be a start.  Go back and check out what FDR did,  FDR’s Socialist Programs worked to get the country back going the last time the Republicans’ conservatism took the country down through their cyclical greed that relies on socialism to rescue capitalism’s bankers.  Republicans are the first to run socialism down, while relying solely on socialism to save them each and every time their greed gets the best of them.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 5, 2010 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment

Public Health Care for all would be a start.  Go back and check out what FDR did,  FDR’s Socialist Programs worked to get the country back going the last time the Republicans took the country down through their cyclical greed that relies on socialism to rescue capitalism’s bankers.  Republicans are the first to run socialism down, while relying solely on socialism to save them each and every time their greed gets the best of them.

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, March 5, 2010 at 10:55 pm Link to this comment

Public Health Care for all would be a start.  Go back and check out what FDR did,  FDR’s Socialist Programs worked to get the country’s economy back going the last time the Republicans took the country’s economy down through their cyclical greed that relies on socialism to rescue the economy, instead of capitalism.  Republicans are the first to run socialism down, while relying solely on socialism to save them each and every time their overtaken with greed.

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By ofersince72, March 5, 2010 at 6:21 pm Link to this comment

Of course , all the economist and journalist
skip right over cause,,,worried about the effect.
and claim to power…

The military Industrial Complex gives very little
bang for the buck creating jobs…
We have hardly any employment base here in the states
anymore Mr Kugman….
How do we switch economies Mr. Liberal Guru?

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By gerard, March 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Part of the problem seems to be that Republican conservatism is based on trying to hold onto the past when the world is changing too fast and demanding huge changes in attitudes.
  Wars are becoming obsolete—slowly but surely, yet Repubicans go to guns as a reliable way to settle disputes.
  Most serious disputes are now internationalized by technology, yet Republicans stick to beliefs in American “exceptonalism” in spite of evidence to the contrary.  They do not want to “join the world,” although the world is now right next door.
  Republicans don’t want to give up the old myth of American “supremacy”, “special destiny” etc. yet the rest of the world as neighbor demands equal time, understanding, tolerance etc.  The world is not going to go away, and withdrawal from the world (isolatonism) is impossible.
  We could find evidence after evidence of this fatal flaw in Republicanism.  The unreality of Republican beliefs is so stubborn because for them a move toward internationalism is threatening if not impossible. The same goes for accepting other religions or no religion, as opposed to the beliefs of Christianity.  It seems to them that everything they value is going to be lost in the future.
  I believe one of the key points is that libs need to realize the power of these fears and resistences and find ways to stop the exploitation of them (by the right wing itself), and to offer convincing new possibilities for freedom and growth.
  Tough, but necessary.  Ideas?

Report this

By gerard, March 5, 2010 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

Part of the problem seems to be that Republican conservatism is based on trying to hold onto the past when the world is changing too fast and demanding huge changes in attitudes.
  Wars are becoming obsolete—slowly but surely, yet Repubicans go to guns as a reliable way to settle disputes.
  Most serious disputes are now internationalized by technology, yet Republicans stick to beliefs in American “exceptonalism” in spite of evidence to the contrary.  They do not want to “join the world,” although the world is now right next door.
  Republicans don’t want to give up the old myth of American “supremacy”, “special destiny” etc. yet the rest of the world as neighbor demands equal time, understanding, tolerance etc.  The world is not going to go away, and withdrawal from the world (isolatonism) is impossible.
  We could find evidence after evidence of this fatal flaw in Republicanism.  The unreality of Republican beliefs is so stubborn because for them a move toward internationalism is threatening if not impossible. The same goes for accepting other religions or no religion, as opposed to the beliefs of Christianity.  It seems to them that everything they value is going to be lost in the future.
  I believe one of the key points is that libs need to realize the power of these fears and resistences and find ways to stop the exploitation of them (by the right wing itself), and to offer convincing new possibilities for freedom and growth.
  Tough, but necessary.  Ideas?

Report this
 
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