THE PLANK MARCH 23, 2009
Paul Krugman nails what I think is at the heart of so many observers' despair over Obama's PPIP plan:
The likely cost to taxpayers aside, there's something strange going on here. By my count, this is the third time Obama administration officials have floated a scheme that is essentially a rehash of the Paulson plan, each time adding a new set of bells and whistles and claiming that they're doing something completely different. This is starting to look obsessive.
Or cataclysmic. After six months of watching the economy implode, the best thing the new administration can come up with is ... the same thing the last guys proposed? I understand that both the devils and the angels are in the details, but really. Is nationalization that awful a proposition? And if, as some hard-minded people insist, we have to understand the political reality of the moment, how about this: We elected Obama on the assumption that the Wall Street-Washington nexus had essentially broken the country, not on the assumption that the status quo just needed fresher faces at the helm. The public long ago signaled it is willing to make drastic changes to our financial environment. Why isn't the president?