Paul Krugman dismisses Paul Ryan and his budget as flim-flam.
Well, someone out there had to tell the truth, unpalatable though it may be to deathwish conservatives, who still sound like they're jumping off the CPAC tug from the starboard gunwales.
And the best proposal doesn't come from Dems either. (The what? Yes, there is one from the Dems.)
There is a plan that works -- "works" in the healthy sense, not just works you over like the Republican plan. The proposal is the product of "the Congressional Progressive Caucus, titled 'Back to Work,' which calls for substantial new spending now, temporarily widening the deficit, offset by major deficit reduction later in the next decade, largely though not entirely through higher taxes on the wealthy, corporations and pollution."
That sounds too sensible for Congress, but there's always hope. And let's not forget that Obama has steered us slowly and surely out of the deepest recession to still be called a recession. That's doing a lot more for us than Congressional Republican flim-flam. Once again today there was more good news about the economy. Industrial production is up by a healthy .7%. We should be looking at a much healthier budget plan that incorporates progress of this kind.
If you get a chance to read all of Krugman's op-ed, check out the comments. There are some very good ideas. One I'd like to propose is money bombs aimed at members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.
I’ve seen some people describe the caucus proposal as a “Ryan plan of the left,” but that’s unfair. There are no Ryan-style magic asterisks, trillion-dollar savings that are assumed to come from unspecified sources; this is an honest proposal. And “Back to Work” rests on solid macroeconomic analysis, not the fantasy “expansionary austerity” economics — the claim that slashing spending in a depressed economy somehow promotes job growth rather than deepening the depression — that Mr. Ryan continues to espouse despite the doctrine’s total failure in Europe.
No, the only thing the progressive caucus and Mr. Ryan share is audacity. And it’s refreshing to see someone break with the usual Washington notion that political “courage” means proposing that we hurt the poor while sparing the rich. No doubt the caucus plan is too audacious to have any chance of becoming law; but the same can be said of the Ryan plan.
So where is this all going? Realistically, we aren’t likely to get a Grand Bargain any time soon. Nonetheless, my sense is that there is some real movement here, and it’s in a direction conservatives won’t like....NYT