What was significant about that whole affair was that Krugman and his friends and admirers for the last two years have called Sarah Palin a liar because she said that federalizing medical care ultimately will feature what she called "death panels." Krugman called the idea a "complete fabrication," except that he obviously understood all along that a U.S. government medical care program, which would be responsible for determining who receives medical care, would emulate those Europeans Krugman so much admires, and those countries have death panels.
The reason I bring up last week's incident is that Krugman now takes a stray quote from Alan Simpson as "proof" that there is some sort of GOP conspiracy to shut down the federal government and destroy the world:
Now, you might think that the prospect of this kind of standoff, which might deny many Americans essential services, wreak havoc in financial markets and undermine America’s role in the world, would worry all men of good will. But no, Mr. Simpson “can’t wait.” And he’s what passes, these days, for a reasonable Republican.Now, I am no fan of Alan Simpson and really don't take anything he says very seriously. Yes, he and Erskine Bowles co-chaired a "Deficit Commission," which also was nothing less than one of the dog-and-pony shows that Washington brings out once in a while to dazzle the media and to tell the taxpayers that Washington Is Serious About Cutting The Deficit.
Yes, I am sure that some Republicans are going to make noise when the debt limit has to be raised this coming spring in order for the U.S. Government to continue borrowing at unsustainable levels. Furthermore, after a few members of Congress engage in The Usual Grandstanding, demand some "concessions" from President Obama (which he will ignore after making public show of concern for the deficit), Congress will vote to extend the debt limit and go on its merry way.
In the past, we even have had to veritable "train wreck" in which the debt limit passes and (horrors) THE GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN. Except that it really does not shut down. Yes, they make a big show of closing the Washington Monument, and I am sure that there would be a few other high-profile, low-impact closings in order to try to convince people that Their Savior Is Not Operating, and the Usual Suspects in the media will play Their Usual Role in telling us we're doomed unless Washington can spend more.
As Krugman continues his role as a partisan shill, he gives us this gem:
...the G.O.P. opposes anything that might help sustain demand in a depressed economy — even aid to small businesses, which the party claims to love.I had not realized that he was getting ready to trot out the unemployment benefits canard again. Now, if Krugman really were to believe this "demand" nonsense, I wonder why he does not endorse Washington just creating a few trillion dollars or more and just leaving the sacks of money at our doorsteps just before Black Friday. You want spending? We'll GIVE you spending!
Right now, in particular, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits — an action that will both cause immense hardship and drain purchasing power from an already sputtering economy. But there’s no point appealing to the better angels of their nature; America just doesn’t work that way anymore.
Yes, yes, we know. Had the government spent $1.2 trillion instead of $800 billion for its "stimulus" efforts, we would be in a full-blown recovery by now. All for the want of $400 billion, and now the Evil GOP wants to end any more "stimulus" efforts and destroy the world.
Let's sum it up. Krugman uses the actual term "death panels" but really does not mean "death panels," except we know that he does. Alan Simpson uses "blood bath" and he obviously means every word. Emmanuel Goldstein lives!