Paul Krugman has every right to crow. From the get-go, he warned that austerity programs would result in more trouble. He was right. To give Krugman credit, he's not crowing; he's just pointing out -- with a little smile on his face -- current events in post-austerity Britain.
When David Cameron became PM, and announced his austerity plans — buying completely into both the confidence fairy and the invisible bond vigilantes — many were the hosannas, from both sides of the Atlantic. Pundits here urged Obama to “do a Cameron”; Cameron and Osborne were the toast of Very Serious People everywhere.
Now Britain is officially in double-dip recession, and has achieved the remarkable feat of doing worse this time around than it did in the 1930s. ...Krugman
What this tells us, of course, is that we wouldn't be wrong to throw ourselves at President Obama's feet and apologize for misunderestimating him. For three years, a pile of steaming Bush dung in his way and a Congress riddled with negativism and ignorance, Obama managed to inject enough into our economy to keep it from the dreaded double dip. Now that he could actually lose the coming election, we face the possibility that conservatives, once again, will get us in economic trouble. Reagan did it. Bush did it. Why should anyone trust Mitt Romney? Won't he just "do a Cameron"?
Needless to say, Cameron and Osborne insist that they will not change course, which means that Britain will continue on a death spiral of self-defeating austerity. ...Krugman
This is a proven failing of the right. When their policies get us into trouble they just keep applying them, convinced everything will turn out fine.
Andrew Sullivan writes this about austerity in Obama v Romney:
If Romney is elected, we will lose the possibility of universal healthcare, we will accelerate income inequality even further, we will double down on carbon energy, and we may see a Supreme Court more radical than in a century. Fiscally, austerity is coming, whoever wins. But the balance of that austerity will shift. Under Obama it will be borne more by the wealthy; under Romney, the budget will be balanced, as someone once said about a much milder proposal, "on the backs of the poor." I'm encouraged by Romney's hints that he will go after deductions for the wealthy, and am open to a serious plan for deficit reduction that does not tip us all into a precipitous double-dip. But the refusal to contemplate increases in revenue does not bode well for any kind of agreement, before the debt forces action on its own timetable. ...Sullivan, Daily Beast
As for Romney's depth of commitment to America, it didn't show last night. As Ezra Klein points out, Romney isn't letting on what he plans to do if he's president. Not a peep.
On Tuesday, Mitt Romney gave a speech billed as his big general-election pitch. It was a perfectly serviceable piece of work: competently written and competently delivered. But it didn't contain an ounce of actual policy. If this speech was all you knew of Mitt Romney -- if it was your one guide to his presidential campaign -- you'd sum his message up as, "vote for me: I think America is great." ...Klein, Wonkbook
At least he hasn't yet admitted that he'll do what he can to eliminate unions, the middle class, college loans, women who step beyond the kitchen, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But you can be sure they're in the agenda.
You think I'm going too far about eliminating student loans? Well, I'm not.
Romney’s feigned moderation on student issues: The Obama campaign is out with a new video that highlights Romney’s support for cuts to Pell grants and his opposition during the primary to government help with student debt, another sign of Dem determination not to let Romney pivot on issues that matter to the all important youth vote. ...Greg Sargent