Krugman: Obama spending freeze ‘appalling on every level’
Liberal economist Paul Krugman, one of the Obama administration’s supporters on healthcare reform and an advocate of the progressive economic policy embraced by Obama while he was running for office, is dialing it back.
Last week, he said he’d “almost given up” on the president after his pullback from the Democrats’ healthcare reform proposal. This week, he’s taking aim at the Administration’s proposal to freeze non-military government spending for three years starting in 2011.
Krugman called the spending freeze “appalling on every level” and said Obama had “embraced the Republican world-view.”
The posting was titled, “Obama Liquidates Himself.”
In a blog posting Tuesday morning, Krugman penned:
A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback?
It’s appalling on every level.
It’s bad economics, depressing demand when the economy is still suffering from mass unemployment. Jonathan Zasloff writes that Obama seems to have decided to fire Tim Geithner and replace him with “the rotting corpse of Andrew Mellon” (Mellon was Herbert Hoover’s Treasury Secretary, who according to Hoover told him to “liquidate the workers, liquidate the farmers, purge the rottenness”.)
It’s bad long-run fiscal policy, shifting attention away from the essential need to reform health care and focusing on small change instead.
And it’s a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view — and more specifically, he has embraced the policy ideas of the man he defeated in 2008. A correspondent writes, “I feel like an idiot for supporting this guy.”