Obama, Still a Terrible Socialist
June 04, 2012
Government spending has gotten out of control under President Obama. You hear that argument all the time—from Mitt Romney, congressional Republicans, and conservative critics. And it’s just not true. For a particularly good illustration of the facts, consider a pair of graphs that Paul Krugman posted on his blog Sunday, in advance of his Monday column.
The Blind Spot in Romney's Economic Plan
April 29, 2012
Editor's Note: Today TNR begins a series of items examining the details of Governor Mitt Romney's policy agenda. First up is the economy—specifically, how Romney proposes to boost growth and employment. Later installments will look more closely at Romney's plans to change the tax code and his ideas about organized labor, as well as other proposals including health care and energy. Will anybody pay attention to policy quesitons like these? We hope so. Substance doesn't always get the attention it should in presidential campaigns.
March 30, 2012
Paul Krugman has a nice shoutout to my "Crankocracy" TRB on his blog and points out that crankocrats long ago seized control of conservative think tanks. This is an important point I wish I'd included. "[W]hat the money of rich cranks does," Krugman observes, "is ensure that bad ideas never go away—indeed, they can gain strength even as they fail in practice again and again." Quite so. Krugman writes that even the cranks themselves end up suffering from the bad ideas they promote, but that they're too cussedly ideological to recognize this. That's true.
In Which I Question Obama’s “Long-Game” Strategy
February 14, 2012
At least on the left, by far the oldest and most energetically-debated question about Obama is whether his bipartisanship is naïve or shrewdly strategic (in addition to being sincere, which almost everyone concedes it is). Since at least 2007, battle-scarred liberals like Paul Krugman—and for that matter Hillary Clinton—have derided his bipartisan musings as gauzy blather at best and, at worst, dangerously provocative, since Republicans would exploit them.
The Rise and Fall of Bill Daley: An Inside Account
January 18, 2012
When President Obama announced that Bill Daley would no longer serve as White House chief of staff, he pronounced himself chagrined by the move but explained that Daley had an understandable desire to return to Chicago. “In the end,” the president told reporters in the State Dining Room, “the pull of the hometown we both love—a city that’s been synonymous with the Daley family for generations—was too great.” As a face-saving gesture this may have been understandable, but as an explanation for Daley’s departure it strains credulity.
Romney's Bogus Jobs Claim, A Review
January 10, 2012
Forget Mitt Romney’s verbal gaffes for a moment. Something more important has happened in the last few days. The linchpin of Romney’s most powerful argument has turned out to be bogus. I’m talking about Romney’s claim about job creation – specifically, that Obama lost 2 million jobs as president while Romney, as a leader of Bain Capital, created 100,000 jobs. It’s taken a few weeks, and what seems like a few hundred posts by the indefatigable Greg Sargent, to get the media to focus on this claim. But now they are.
Fact-Checking Fail of the Year
December 20, 2011
Politifact is getting a ton of grief from the left today. And deservedly so. The independent fact-checking organization has selected, as its "lie of the year," the claim that House Republicans want to “kill” or “end” Medicare. Like Steve Benen and Paul Krugman, I think Politifact got this one very, very wrong. And that's no small matter: It's the lead story, with a massive headline, on the front page of today's St.
Mythbusting, Euro Crisis Edition
November 11, 2011
Republicans and their conservative allies are convinced that Europe’s economic troubles validate their ideological beliefs – in particular, the idea that large social welfare states are doomed to failure. Paul Krugman doesn’t agree: It’s true that all European countries have more generous social benefits — including universal health care — and higher government spending than America does. But the nations now in crisis don’t have bigger welfare states than the nations doing well — if anything, the correlation runs the other way.
Hey, That's My Line! (Updated Reader Quiz)
October 25, 2011
Reader quiz! Guess which pundit just said the following: There are moral, public health and economic reasons not to have the sick and injured go untreated. Hint: It's not Paul Krugman or Keith Olbermann. The answer is... Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s conservative blogger.* Just to be clear about the context, she wasn’t trying to make the point that Krugman or Olbermann (or I) would with a statement like that. In other words, this wasn't part of an argument for universal health insurance.