Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween scarefest

Paul Krugman has some sobering thoughts:

Barring a huge upset, Republicans will take control of at least one house of Congress next week. How worried should we be by that prospect?

Not very, say some pundits. After all, the last time Republicans controlled Congress while a Democrat lived in the White House was the period from the beginning of 1995 to the end of 2000. And people remember that era as a good time, a time of rapid job creation and responsible budgets. Can we hope for a similar experience now?

No, we can’t. This is going to be terrible. In fact, future historians will probably look back at the 2010 election as a catastrophe for America, one that condemned the nation to years of political chaos and economic weakness. ...

Today’s situation is completely different. The economy, weighed down by the debt that households ran up during the Bush-era bubble, is in dire straits; deflation, not inflation, is the clear and present danger. And it’s not at all clear that the Fed has the tools to head off this danger. Right now we very much need active policies on the part of the federal government to get us out of our economic trap.

But we won’t get those policies if Republicans control the House. In fact, if they get their way, we’ll get the worst of both worlds: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible tax cuts — cuts they have already announced won’t have to be offset with spending cuts.

So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid


So, what's the good news? I think there's still a slim chance we can avert electoral disaster. For one thing, pollsters are correct in seeing the Tea Party hype as a factor driving up Republican turnout, yet may be underestimating how much concern over right-wing extremism could increase Democratic (particularly minority) turnout. Organized labor, too, is working hard to defeat Republicans across the country. I do think there are a number of blue dog Democrats who were elected, in conservative districts, by voters that no longer see any reason to keep them around if they can find a Republican even more devoted to the cause of destroying Barack Obama. The blue dogs' departure is no great loss, the loss of majority status for the Democratic party would be a disaster.

No comments: