Paul Krugman – The Unwisdom of the Policy Elite

Dear Commons Community,

Paul Krugman in his Monday NY Times column, provided a succinct commentary on why the economies in the United States and other parts of the world are in trouble.  He specifically calls out the “policy elite” for getting us into this mess.  He concentrates specifically on what happened to the budget surplus that the United States had in 2000 when President Clinton left office that  now in 2011,  is in trillions of dollars of deficit.  To quote:

“So who was responsible for these budget busters? It wasn’t the man in the street.

President George W. Bush cut taxes in the service of his party’s ideology, not in response to a groundswell of popular demand — and the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority.

Similarly, Mr. Bush chose to invade Iraq because that was something he and his advisers wanted to do, not because Americans were clamoring for war against a regime that had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact, it took a highly deceptive sales campaign to get Americans to support the invasion, and even so, voters were never as solidly behind the war as America’s political and pundit elite.

Finally, the Great Recession was brought on by a runaway financial sector, empowered by reckless deregulation. And who was responsible for that deregulation? Powerful people in Washington with close ties to the financial industry, that’s who. Let me give a particular shout-out to Alan Greenspan, who played a crucial role both in financial deregulation and in the passage of the Bush tax cuts — and who is now, of course, among those hectoring us about the deficit.”

Unfortunately it will be the man on the street, the single mother taking care of her kids while working one or more jobs, the small businessperson, the teacher, the fireman,  and lots of everyday people who will be asked to sacrifice to make the economy whole again!


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