Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Still more cliff notes

Everyone knows I voted against Romney, not for Obama. But I'm reconciling myself to the way the fiscal cliff drama played out. If Bernie Sanders can support this deal, maybe we shouldn't despise it.

Krugman gives his reasons for despond:
Because of the way Obama negotiated. He gave every indication of being more or less desperate to cut a deal before the year ended — even though going over the fiscal cliff was not at all a drop-dead moment, since we could have gone weeks or months without much real economic damage.

Now, given his evident antsiness to cut a deal in this case, how credible is his promise to hang tough over the debt ceiling, which is a much brighter red line? He may say that he absolutely, positively won’t negotiate over the ceiling — but nothing in his past behavior makes that believable.
Here's the thing. John Boehner is also heading into crisis 2 with a pledge not to negotiate:
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is signaling that at least one thing will change about his leadership during the 113th Congress: he’s telling Republicans he is done with private, one-on-one negotiations with President Obama.
Someone's going to have to back down here, and I honestly don't see why it should be Obama, since he's in the stronger position. The American people don't want Republicans to declare "My way or the highway."

Obama even hinted that he was going to ask the wealthy to "do a little more" in 2013. Granted, that's just a signal, not a promise or a policy. Still, it's encouraging.

And that's why I think Krugman (like so many of us) may be looking at the upcoming debt ceiling confrontation too cynically. Let's return to his column:
Maybe this time will be different. Maybe the Treasury is secretly preparing to invoke the 14th amendment, or issue a trillion-dollar platinum coin, or direct that the whole budget gap be taken out of spending dear to Republicans. But I have to say that I now expect Obama to cave on the ceiling; and so, of course, do the Republicans, which means that the crisis is going to happen.

The only thing that might save this situation is the fact that Obama has to be aware just how much is now riding on his willingness to finally stand up for his side; if he doesn’t, nobody will ever trust him again, and he will go down in history as the wimp who threw it all away.
Did Paul Krugman just make serious mention of the trillion dollar coin idea? I thought that was a permissible topic of discussion only in scurrilous blogs that nobody in his right mind would ever respect...
On Monday's Presser, Obama 'warned' Congress not to go crazy about cutting entitlements, because he won't allow it.

Another hollow 'line drawn in the sand".

What the fuck doesn't he understand about his 'waffleism'?

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