Monday, March 09, 2009

Reinforcing Fail Spirals For Future Success 

Paul Krugman / NYTimes / March 09, 2009

Paul Krugman frets that the Obama stimulus plan and banking recovery policies are too small and too timid:
... — together with the continuing failure to announce any broad plans for bank restructuring — means that the White House has decided to muddle through on the financial front, relying on economic recovery to rescue the banks rather than the other way around. And with the stimulus plan too small to deliver an economic recovery ... well, you get the picture.

Because of this Krugman is concerned that Republicans will characterize Obama's stimulus and economic recovery plan as failures? I wonder where they would have gotten an idea like that?
Republicans are now firmly committed to the view that we should do nothing to respond to the economic crisis, except cut taxes — which they always want to do regardless of circumstances. If Mr. Obama comes back for a second round of stimulus, they’ll respond not by being helpful, but by claiming that his policies have failed.

Krugman is concerned that because the Republicans will characterize Obama's policies as failures (presumably by waving around Paul Krugman columns reinforcing the idea that Obama's policies are dithering anemic failures) any earlier public support for Obama's policies will have declined to the point where any later support will be difficult to find. Making, say, six months from now, a second necessary round of stimulus very difficult or even impossible to implement:
The broader public, by contrast, favors strong action. According to a recent Newsweek poll, a majority of voters supports the stimulus, and, more surprisingly, a plurality believes that additional spending will be necessary. But will that support still be there, say, six months from now?

Krugman is concerned that many many people are unhappy about bailing out the fat greedy banksters and because of this the administration will eventually face political bankrupcy itself:
Also, an overwhelming majority believes that the government is spending too much to help large financial institutions. This suggests that the administration’s money-for-nothing financial policy will eventually deplete its political capital.

(NOTE TO REPUBLICANS: Begin characterizing the administrations policies toward large financial institutions as "money-for-nothing financial policy". Please credit Paul Krugman.)

Krugman is scared because he envisions a scenario in which a second round of stimulus can not be enacted because so many have come to believe that the administrations policies are nothing more than a wimpy muddle of dithering weak kneed politically bankrupt money-for-nothing policies. And the Republicans will impress this upon the public at large. Damn those Republicans! Where would they ever get published source material for such ideas!
So here’s the picture that scares me: It’s September 2009, the unemployment rate has passed 9 percent, and despite the early round of stimulus spending it’s still headed up. Mr. Obama finally concedes that a bigger stimulus is needed.

But he can’t get his new plan through Congress because approval for his economic policies has plummeted, partly because his policies are seen to have failed, partly because job-creation policies are conflated in the public mind with deeply unpopular bank bailouts. And as a result, the recession rages on, unchecked.

It's a brilliant plan Mr. Krugman has devised here ain't it Constantly reminding everyone that the administrations policies are little more than dithering underfed muddles and give-a-ways to banking swindlers - while simultaneously worrying that Republicans will characterize the administrations policies as little more than dithering underfed muddles and give-a-ways to banking swindlers - thereby reinforcing the idea among the public that the administrations policies are nothing more than dithering underfed muddles and give-a-ways to banking swindlers... etc.

Krugman is actually tricking the Republicans into accepting, even encouraging, another round of stimulus and banking policy just so they can characterize Obama as a dithering repeat offender guilty of failing twice! Once the Republicans begin to believe that everyone hates the first round of stimulus and banking policies, they (the Republicans), will begin advocating - demanding - an immediate second round of FAIL! A great big fat steaming second heaping helping of stimulous FAIL!

Political genius!

In Paul Krugman's next column he argues that the administrations health care reform plans are a muddled dither of utter failure and will destroy the Obama administration before Thanksgiving. Once the Republicans learn this they will immediately announce, in the spirit of bi-partisan brotherhood, that they are all aboard for any health care reform Obama wants: "Single payer Mr. President? You got it! bwaahahaha..."

Well, you get the picture.


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