A spending freeze?  Has Obama lost his frigging mind?

As Krugman points out, this is just capitulation to Republican ideology.  Brad DeLong adds that in itself the spending freeze could lose 700,000 jobs.  This is what they think voters want?  We’re barely pulled back from the brink of Great Depression II; the new plan is to jump back in?

Republican ideology isn’t even a plan anymore– it’s a FUD machine.  The Tea Party doesn’t actually care about deficits– they supported Bush’s irresponsible spending and tax cuts for eight years, and Reagan’s before that.   They aren’t the solution to the economic problems we’re in; they’re the cause.  But if they can keep the FUD going about big government, they can block needed reforms and maybe get back into office.

Bill Clinton was a master at stealing reasonably-good ideas from the Republicans.  He undercut them by supporting free trade, welfare reform, increased police funding, and deficit reduction.  The problem is, Clinton already got all the reasonably-good ones; all that’s left is the crap, the librulls-spendin’-mah-money mantra that was cynically designed to win the 1980 election. 

The appeal of FUD is that we always worry, and skepticism always seems like a safe choice– surely there’s something to the worry, the truth must lie in the middle?  Not when it’s FUD; FUD is just noise and should be ignored.  We’re in a deep recession; if the Republicans want to shrink the economy, that’s not a reasonable point of view, it’s just wrong. 

Besides, does Obama think this will defuse the Tea Partiers? What’s his next plan, to doubt his own birth certificate?