There has been plenty to criticize about President Obama’s handling of the economy. Yet the overriding story of the past few years is not Mr. Obama’s mistakes but the scorched-earth opposition of Republicans, who have done everything they can to get in his way — and who now, having blocked the president’s policies, hope to win the White House by claiming that his policies have failed.Now, the president controls the executive branch, the U.S. Supreme Court handed him a victory in the ObamaCare decision, and the president's party controls the Senate. Only the House of Representatives eludes Obama's control. That Republicans would disagree with Obama's economic policies hardly is shocking, given that opposition parties generally do disagree on a few things.
The so-called "scorched earth" opposition refers to the Republicans being unwilling to raise the top tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, and their "intransigence" in supporting Obama's desire to tax investment income more heavily. I believe that people can agree to disagree on some things, and I do believe that raising taxes on private investment income during a depression is not a good thing. I guess that makes me a "scorched earth" sort of fellow.
Ultimately, Krugman lays huge amounts of upon Edward DeMarco, who heads the agency that oversees Freddie and Fannie, and DeMarco does not support policies that Krugman likes:
But Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the agency that oversees Fannie and Freddie, refuses to move on refinancing. And, this week, he rejected the administration’s relief plan.
Who is Ed DeMarco? He’s a civil servant who became acting director of the housing finance agency after the Bush-appointed director resigned in 2009. He is still there, in the fourth year of the Obama administration, because Senate Republicans have blocked attempts to install a permanent director. And he evidently just hates the idea of providing debt relief.Yes, that's it. DeMarco apparently is a career bureaucrat who moved into that office by default and he stands in the way of ending the depression, which means that he must be Goldstein. Of course, we are talking about a bureaucratic functionary who easily could be canned. After all, this is the same Obama administration that overrode contracts and made up its own rules on the fly in the bailout of GM and Chrysler; this is an administration that is fining oil producers for not using cellulosic ethanol, conveniently ignoring the hard fact that there is no cellulosic ethanol being produced anywhere right now. Somehow, I am sure that the Obama people are not without options here.
Nonetheless, Krugman holds this whole thing as "proof" that Goldstein purposely is driving down the economy to keep Big Brother, er, Obama, from being re-elected. Writers Krugman:
...the DeMarco affair nonetheless demonstrates, once again, the extent to which U.S. economic policy has been crippled by unyielding, irresponsible political opposition. If our economy is still deeply depressed, much — and I would say most — of the blame rests not with Mr. Obama but with the very people seeking to use that depressed economy for political advantage.No, Krugman never has offered proof that DeMarco is making his decisions for political reasons, and I have no idea if Krugman's housing scheme even would make a dent in the depression. However, when one is performing the "Two-Minute Hate" and putting Goldstein's picture on the screen, good sense and even truth are going to be thrown out the window.