It's always a really good way to start the day when you realize that a Nobel Laureate agrees with you.
Over at his own blog at The New York Times, Paul Krugman manages in two very short posts to hit on many of the topics I've been talking about lately, but to do it with a style, grace and cut-through-the-BS sarcasm that once again makes me envious.
First, as I've been saying for months, Krugman notes that the fiscal cliff is making life exceedingly difficult for deficit hawks because...although they never, ever say it...avoiding the cliff means that the budget deficit will be much, much higher next year. Krugman implies that they have trouble admitting this out loud. I agree and suggest treatment, as long as it's not paid for by a federal program or is a tax-deductible expense.
Over at his own blog, Paul Krugman says something that can't be said enough: The plan Bowles and Simpson proposed would have been terrible fiscal policy had it been adopted.
Krugman doesn't include one other thing that also needs to be repeated again and again and again: The plan announced by Bowles and Simpson was not adopted by the Bowles-Simpson commission. It was just something proposed by the two co-chairs that didn't have enough support to move forward.
In fact, there wasn't even a formal vote. Bowles and Simpson decided not to take a formal vote when it became clear that their plan was only supported by 11 of the 14 members of the commission that were needed to move it forward.
Take a close look at the snippet of the transcript below from yesterday's segment on ABC's This Week (hat tip to TPM). It's not often that you see or hear tea partier Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Paul Krugman agree on much, let alone on the hypocrisy of the GOP leadership about the value of federal spending to the economy.
Here's the money quote:
...what we actually got was action that was pretty obviously calculated to be the absolute least the Fed could do without generating headlines saying “Fed ignores weak economy”.
I’m sorry, but this looks like pure concession to political intimidation — a Fed refusing to do anything that would let Republicans accuse it of helping Obama.
My column from today's Roll Call explains why those who keep preaching we're all going to hell because of the federal budget deficit likely fully understand what that really means for one very good reason: they're already there.
Budget Hell a Figment of Zealots’ Imagination
By Stan Collender
Roll Call Contributing Writer
June 19, 2012, Midnight
At least since I’ve been an adult, I’ve never believed in heaven or hell.