Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Sunday shot down Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan’s argument that the Republican Party’s tactic of shutting down the government and refusing to raise the debt ceiling was “business as usual.”
During panel discussion on ABC’s This Week, former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe noted that he was “deeply concerned” that tea party Republicans in the House did not even have the capability to open the government or raise the debt ceiling before the Oct. 17 deadline.
“Republicans made a mistake, they picked a fight, they had no strategy, they had no endgame, they had no plan,” Noonan agreed. “That having been said, I think the president has made counter mistakes, not only in the famous stories of the things that were forcibly shut down in the shutdown and all that stuff, but his — the sense he has communicated that, ‘Hey, I’m not having a conversation, we’re not having negotiations.’ Presidents have to negotiate on debt limits. They have to own it.”
“We have all worked in White Houses, we’ve seen presidents do this,” she added. “You can call what the other side does to you extortion. What it really is, is an argument and a deal. And at the end, you trade some horses and do your best.”
“That never happened,” Krugman shot back. “Nothing like this has ever happened before. All of the the alleged former examples, if you actually look at them, they turn out to be either — there was a budget deal that included a debt ceiling raise but the debt ceiling was not a hostage. Or once — once — [former Speaker] Tip O’Neill held up the debt ceiling for one day more as symbolism.”
“There was never before a case where one party pushed the U.S. government to the edge of default demanding concessions in return,” the New York Times columnist insisted. “So, every attempt to make this sound like business as usual, it’s not. This is something completely out of the previous experience.”
“It is more heightened, but it is still part of business as usual,” Noonan replied. “Because it takes place within a context of an American president having to deal with the reality around him and the opposite party having to deal with the fact that he has the presidency, he has the executive. Make a deal.”
Watch this video from ABC’s This Week, broadcast Oct. 13, 2013.