Krugman seems confused about how our economy got so abused…posted by Bill Arnett @ 1:37 PM Permalink …which is very strange to me, Krugman being such a respected economist and all. I'll have to rethink that "respected" part after his column in which, though he does lay the blame for our lousy economy at the feet of Republicans, he seems to be trying to give bush himself a pass.
He also ignores the one factor that has affected every singled aspect of todays crunch by utterly ignoring, not even mentioning the black hole of the bush oil war in Iraq that is sucking the oxygen out of our economy so fast the maybe he was just hallucinating when he neglected to mention it.
From his Op-Ed column in todays NYT, titled, "Behind the Bush Bust.":
By huge margins, Americans think the economy is in lousy shape — and they blame President Bush. This fact, more than anything else, makes it hard to see how the Democrats can lose this election.Not a single word in the entire column about the illegal wars in which bush has engaged America, the hugh increases in defense spending, the trillions of dollars it will cost to straighten out this country's finances to care for the wounded and infirm that will result from bush's oil wars and that will last a very long time into the future.
But is the public right to be so disgusted with Mr. Bush’s economic leadership? Not exactly. We really do have a lousy economy, a fact of which Mr. Bush seems spectacularly unaware. But that’s not the same thing as saying that the bad economy is Mr. Bush’s fault.[…]
Yet even liberal economists have a hard time arguing that Mr. Bush’s cluelessness actually caused the poor economic performance on his watch. Tax cuts didn’t work, but they didn’t create the Bush bust. So what did?
At the top of my list of causes for the lousy economy are three factors: the housing bubble and its aftermath, rising health care costs and soaring raw materials prices. I’ve written a lot about housing, so today let’s talk about the others.
Most public discussion of health care focuses on the problems of the uninsured and underinsured. But insurance premiums are also a major business expense: auto makers famously spend more on health care than they do on steel.[…]
What about raw materials prices? During the Clinton years basic commodities stayed cheap by historical standards. Since then, however, food and energy prices have exploded, directly lopping about 5 percent off the typical American family’s real income, and raising business costs throughout the economy.[…]
If Bill Clinton’s attempt to reform health care had succeeded, the U.S. economy would be in much better shape today. But the attempt failed — and let’s remember why. Yes, the Clinton administration botched the politics. But it was Republicans in Congress who blocked reform, as Newt Gingrich pursued a strategy of “coagulation” designed to “clot everyone away” from Mr. Clinton.
As for high food and fuel prices, they’re mainly the result of growing demand from China and other emerging economies. But oil prices wouldn’t be as high as they are, and the United States would have been much less vulnerable to the current price spike, if we had taken steps in the past to limit our oil consumption.[…]
So here’s the bottom line: Mr. Bush deserves some blame for the poor performance of the economy on his watch, but much of the blame lies with other, earlier political figures, who squandered chances for reform. As it happens, however, most though not all of the politicians responsible for our current economic difficulties were Republicans.
And bear in mind that John McCain has gone to great lengths to affirm his support for Republican economic orthodoxy. So he’ll have no reason to complain if, as seems likely, the economy costs him the election.
As I have said before, I am no economist, and Mr. Krugman does raise many absolutely correct points of the measures taken or not by past Republican congresses, but to fail to even mention the bush oil wars as a MAJOR source of our financial failure is short-sighted beyond belief.
He thinks China and other emerging countries are responsible for $140+ barrels of oil, over $4.00 per gallon gas at the pump, and that strikes me as sheer sophistry that ignores the real source of a large portion of our financial collapse.
War and the trillions siphoned out of our economy to fight unjust wars that we are losing on two fronts already, and on a third front we will lose if bush gets his favorite wet dream and attacks Iran to continue his genocidal, murderous intentions that serve no purpose but needless killing.
But, then again, any country that spends more money on unnecessary defense expenditures than all of the other countries in the world COMBINED is slowly but steadily working towards the destruction of the empire bush seems determined to establish even if every American has to starve, go without health insurance, experience recessions, and finally a full financial collapse that will remove America from the list of world superpowers.