So rants Paul Krugman today. And to go along with his rant that taxes might be too low, he gives us some bad history. He writes:
During the first two years of Mr. Obama’s presidency, when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, Republicans offered scorched-earth opposition to anything and everything he proposed. Among other things, they engaged in an unprecedented number of filibusters, turning the Senate — for the first time — into a chamber in which nothing can pass without 60 votes.There is a problem with this bit of history, however: the Democrats had a huge majority in the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, or at least from June, 2009, until early January, 2011. (The 60th Democrat came after Al Franken stole, er, won the election in Minnesota.)
So, there essentially was no Republican opposition in the first two years of Obama's presidency, contra Krugman and nothing in the way of Obama imposing his agenda, which he did with a vengeance. Furthermore, his regulatory agencies, and especially the EPA, engaged in a "Crucify Them" strategy against business owners, or at least that is what one of the key EPA regulators bragged to a friendly group before his speech found its way onto the Internet and the public outcry cost him his job.
But Krugman is not satisfied with giving a dishonest political history of the Obama years. No, he also adds this gem:
If President Obama is re-elected, health care coverage will expand dramatically, taxes on the wealthy will go up and Wall Street will face tougher regulation. If Mitt Romney wins instead, health coverage will shrink substantially, taxes on the wealthy will fall to levels not seen in 80 years and financial regulation will be rolled back.Now, I am not exactly sure how a medical program with what Krugman admitted contained the infamous "death panels" and piles on the government paperwork -- complete with draconian criminal penalties for doctors who don't properly dot every "i" and cross every "t" -- is going to "dramatically" expand healthcare coverage. Yes, it might on paper, but in the real world -- where people have to see doctors and actually get care -- that is not going to happen. ObamaCare has not magically altered the production function, nor has it lowered opportunity costs, which means that this new set of laws is not going to do what Krugman claims.
A real economist would know that instinctively. A real economist also would know instinctively that making it more difficult to invest, making it more difficult to build something, and moving factors of production from higher-valued to lower-valued uses through political subsidies and outright intimidation is not going to result in a better economy.
I am not a Mitt Romney supporter and if he is elected, neither he nor Congress will be willing to do what is necessary to bring this economy back to real growth mode. Instead, President Romney (unlike Candidate Romney) will lean on Ben Bernanke to have the Fed try to inflate us into recovery, which is not going to happen.
But, then, Paul Krugman is not an economist. He is a political operative, period.