Krugman Vs. Obama, Round II

January 14th, 2008at 11:56am Posted by Eli

Krugman is still underwhelmed by Obama… as am I:

Suddenly, the economic consensus seems to be that the implosion of the housing market will indeed push the U.S. economy into a recession, and that it’s quite possible that we’re already in one. As a result, over the next few weeks we’ll be hearing a lot about plans for economic stimulus.

[Krugman is generally appalled by the Republican plans – tax cuts for the rich! – and the pathetic state of contemporary political reporting]

On the Democratic side, John Edwards, although never the front-runner, has been driving his party’s policy agenda. He’s done it again on economic stimulus: last month, before the economic consensus turned as negative as it now has, he proposed a stimulus package including aid to unemployed workers, aid to cash-strapped state and local governments, public investment in alternative energy, and other measures.

Last week Hillary Clinton offered a broadly similar but somewhat larger proposal. (It also includes aid to families having trouble paying heating bills, which seems like a clever way to put cash in the hands of people likely to spend it.) The Edwards and Clinton proposals both contain provisions for bigger stimulus if the economy worsens.

And you have to say that Mrs. Clinton seems comfortable with and knowledgeable about economic policy. I’m sure the Hillary-haters will find some reason that’s a bad thing, but there’s something to be said for presidents who know what they’re talking about.

The Obama campaign’s initial response to the latest wave of bad economic news was, I’m sorry to say, disreputable: Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser claimed that the long-term tax-cut plan the candidate announced months ago is just what we need to keep the slump from “morphing into a drastic decline in consumer spending.” Hmm: claiming that the candidate is all-seeing, and that a tax cut originally proposed for other reasons is also a recession-fighting measure — doesn’t that sound familiar?

Anyway, on Sunday Mr. Obama came out with a real stimulus plan. As was the case with his health care plan, which fell short of universal coverage, his stimulus proposal is similar to those of the other Democratic candidates, but tilted to the right.

For example, the Obama plan appears to contain none of the alternative energy initiatives that are in both the Edwards and Clinton proposals, and emphasizes across-the-board tax cuts over both aid to the hardest-hit families and help for state and local governments. I know that Mr. Obama’s supporters hate to hear this, but he really is less progressive than his rivals on matters of domestic policy.

Sigh. How depressing is it that our two most viable choices for our Democratic nominee are Hillary Clinton… and someone to the right of Hillary Clinton? Sadder yet, I think “to the right of Hillary Clinton” is gonna win.

Entry Filed under: Clinton,Economy,Edwards,Elections,Media,Obama


Contact Eli





Feeds

Linkedelia!

Most Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Calendar

January 2008
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  


Thinking Blogger

Pittsburgh Webloggers

Site Meter


View My Stats *