Submitted by thepaulaticsblog on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 2:15pm
July 14, 2013
Hunger Games, U.S.A. - New York Times
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable.
The occasion for these observations is, as you may have guessed, the monstrous farm bill the House passed last week.
For decades, farm bills have had two major pieces. One piece offers subsidies to farmers; the other offers nutritional aid to Americans in distress, mainly in the form of food stamps (these days officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP).
And why would they do this? They won’t save money. On the contrary, they will hurt their own budgets and damage their own economies. Nor will Medicaid rejectionism serve any clear political purpose. No, the only way to understand the refusal to expand Medicaid is as an act of sheer spite. And the cost of that spite won’t just come in the form of lost dollars; it will also come in the form of gratuitous hardship for some of our most vulnerable citizens.
There really isn't any sensible reason to do this. It's apparent that nobody did a cost/benefit analysis of rejecting expansion, it was just a knee-jerk reaction. And we will all pay the price for that poor leadership:
Over the weeks ahead, President Obama will be taking his case to the people for raising tax rates on the rich. Ongoing negotiations with Speaker Boehner will be an epic game of chicken. If Obama blinks, he will own the next economic recession.
Submitted by Martha Brock on Sun, 09/02/2012 - 3:21pm
Lying in politics is not new. The great extent of lying we are seeing in 2012 is.
From Paul Krugman's blog, the Conscience of a Liberal today.
Krugman's comments about the role of the national media in its refusal to confront liars like Paul Ryan are on target. Some of the journalists are clueless or embarrassed by missing this aspect of Ryan's character over his many years in Washington.
On the other hand, today's Sunday morning press shows talked about the pervasiveness of lying, and CBS News had an Obama staffer who addressed Ryan's speech:
The ignorance among many North Carolinians about corporate influence in politics is surpassed only by the ignorance about economics, with Republican policy makers among the most deluded. Blinded by fantasies of American exceptionalism, GOTP lawmakers craft policies to cure problems that don't exist, while ignorance the elephants in our collective living room.
I used to think that business leaders aligned themselves with the Republican Party because they thought conservative lawmakers would help them make more money. After all, making money is the only reason businesses exist in the first place, so why not invest in a political machine that helps achieve that prime directive. But a funny thing happened on the way to the bank: the tables got turned.
It's one thing to have personal beliefs, but it's another thing entirely to use those personal beliefs as a foundation for public policy. The conservative beliefs of Blue Dogs when it comes to deficit spending, for example, are grounded in conventional wisdom which doesn't hold up under scrutiny. Paul Krugman lays it out. Conservative representatives like Kissell and Shuler would do well to embrace fact-based decision-making, and stop relying on Republican mythology to defend their votes.
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