However, Krugman seems to be one of those True Believers who apparently really thought that Obama was the Second Coming of Hope. I remember that incredibly silly video that Obama briefly had on his campaign website in which children in Hollywood are singing songs of Obama while their parents look on adoringly. (Another woman claimed Obama would be paying her mortgage and everything else, as though suddenly the Great One would abolish the Law of Scarcity.) The man campaigned as a Messiah, complete with having his acceptance speech in a stadium with Greek columns as a backdrop, and Krugman really believed this hype?
In 1980, the leftist Catholic publication Commonweal had an "open letter" to GOP conservatives which reminded them that Ronald Reagan would disappoint them just as Lyndon Johnson had disappointed liberals, and it seems that Krugman now is at that point. Not only is Krugman utterly disappointed that this administration is not the Second Coming of FDR (not that FDR had any answers other than to help create a world war in which Americans could be "employed" by being shot, gassed, and bombed overseas), but he really seems bewildered by ANY contact at all between President Obama and anyone else Krugman doesn't like.
When most of us read George Orwell's 1984, we recognize that Goldstein is a fictional character, but to Krugman, he is real. He writes:
...Mr. Obama has delivered in important ways. Above all, he managed (with a lot of help from Nancy Pelosi) to enact a health reform that, imperfect as it is, will greatly improve Americans’ lives — unless a Republican Congress manages to sabotage its implementation.So, if The Law of Unintended Consequences kicks in (read Mondale Act of 1974 and subsequent "child abuse" legislation that has resulted in thousands of false accusations and hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of wrongful criminal convictions), it must be the fault of Goldstein, er, Republicans. Having talked to people who actually are going to be on the front lines of implementing this legal monstrosity -- small business owners and the owner of a small accounting firm -- ObamaCare is going to force up costs to people who can least afford them.
However, to a Keynesian like Krugman, higher costs are good, because that means that people being paid will have more money in their pockets, and if the government can make them spend, the economy will blossom. That does not make real economic sense, but it makes sense to a Keynesian. Of course, why worry when the Fed can print lots of new money and directly buy government bonds, so the federal government can spread the wealth?
Obama came into office claiming that he would "revitalize" the economy by "spending our way out of the recession" and by forcing up costs to business owners, curbing trade (to keep unions happy), and generally making everything more difficult. To an economist, this is a prescription for further destruction, but to a Keynesian, it is like hearing beautiful music.
So, when the economy naturally gets worse and there is no real recovery on the horizon, Krugman concludes that the reason is that Obama did not spend enough, tax enough, borrow enough, browbeat enough, and...immediately appoint Elizabeth Warren to head the "consumer protection" agency that supposedly will be the center of All Wisdom in financial regulation.
While I have some problems with the latter part, I do recommend this essay on the modern American "ruling class," of which Krugman clearly is a part. (I also would add that the Republican establishment has attacked Ron Paul as well as Reagan and Barry Goldwater.) This portrayal is much more accurate than Krugman's claim that the Democrats represent All that is Good versus the Republicans who represent All that is Bad, or as Krugman writes, the Republicans have "taken the side of the bad guys...."
The problem is simple; Krugman really believes that state power can overcome the Law of Opportunity Cost and the Law of Scarcity. He really seems to believe that if the left-wing state orders something into being, it will be. No doubt, that must be why North Korea has the highest standard of living in the world.