Paul Krugman’s column in today’s New York Times made the argument that the austerity policies of the Republican Congress accounts for the poor performance of the U.S. economy in this election year. He notes in a column headlined “The Republican Economy”:
What they hope voters won’t notice is that (austerity’s) precisely the policy we’ve been following the past couple of years. Never mind the Democrat in the White House; for all practical purposes, this is already the economic policy of Republican dreams. So the Republican electoral strategy is, in effect, a gigantic con game: it depends on convincing voters that the bad economy is the result of big-spending policies that President Obama hasn’t followed (in large part because the G.O.P. wouldn’t let him), and that our woes can be cured by pursuing more of the same policies that have already failed. For some reason, however, neither the press nor Mr. Obama’s political team has done a very good job of exposing the con.
The column brought a smile to my lips because I had written almost exactly the same thing last December, just two days before Christmas. It was headlined, “Why It’s The Republican’s Economy Now” on this blog and originally appeared in The Fiscal Times. I noted:
The economic policies currently in place are largely the handiwork of the Republican majority in the House, not the president or the non-filibuster-proof majority of Democrats in the Senate. Many economists predict that those policies, as they work their way through the economy next year, will ensure that Americans who trek to the polls next November will face an unemployment rate stuck above 8 percent, a level at which no incumbent president since Frank Delano Roosevelt has been re-elected.
So why am I breaking my arm to pat myself on the back at this juncture? Is it because I’m depressed about Obama’s waning electoral prospects? No, that will change at least three or four more times before election day.
Rather, it is because when I went to my website after a long weekend away from the computer to “manage” my comments, I had the unenviable task of having to delete over 500 spam comments. Many of them congratulated me on my writing style, and assured me I would have more readers if I just followed their search engine maximization techniques. I don’t really know what that means, and at the advanced age of you can only guess, have no real interest in trying to learn.
So, at last, I come to the point of this column. I have just switched off my comments button. To the handful of people who from time to time do write legitimate and insightful comments on my blog posts, my sincerest apologies. And a hearty thank you for participating. I hope you continue to read, even though you no longer have the opportunity to weigh in. Feel free to send me personal emails, and I will post them, if you’d like. But I have simply grown tired of deleting hundreds of comments every day. These spammers have turned what once was a labor of love into drudgery. Indeed, their actions have become an apt metaphor for what the Republican Party has done to what 75 percent of the American people have to wake up to every morning.
Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it, RSS feed.