Many on the left are appalled by Obama’s deal on taxes, but it has at least this going for it: it pissed off Charles Krauthammer.
His main complaints:
- It actually comprises a $990 billion stimulus to the economy.
- It will add 1% to GDP.
- It will lower unemployment by 1.5%.
Yes, those are complaints. He is whining that we’re trying to grow the economy in a recession, and terrified that it will work. Why does he want the economy to stay stagnant and millions to stay out of work? Because he wants Obama to lose in 2012, of course.
He thinks the Republicans got snookered into abandoning their “newfound, second-chance, post-Bush, Tea-Party, this-time-we’re-serious persona of debt-averse fiscal responsibility”. This a couple paragraphs down from noting that two thirds of the stimulus is the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the Holy Grail of the GOP. That is, if there were no Obama, these “post-Bush, Tea-Party” Republicans would have been adding 2/3 of a trillion dollars to the debt in just two years.
Krauthammer isn’t stupid; how can he possibly believe that the party which loudly insisted on a deficit-mushrooming tax cut plan had the slightest actual interest in reducing the debt?
But I’m afraid he’s mostly worked up over nothing. It isn’t a trillion-dollar stimulus, for the very reason that 2/3 of it has been in effect for years. Bush’s giveaway to the rich and his destruction of Clinton’s surpluses didn’t produce prosperity; they helped give us a jobless recovery and then the biggest recession since the Great Depression, featuring the collapse of two major U.S. industries.
(For that matter, it’s beginning to look like winning the 2012 election will be a poison pill. The Republicans will prevent anything that actually helps the economy, and if they win they’ll do nothing but balloon the deficit more and maybe start another war.)