This morning on “This Week” Paul Krugman refused to bow to the usual pundit-talk, telling fellow round table members that the GOP’s tactic on the debt ceiling is “hostage taking” and should not be allowed. Krugman defended the President’s position on the battle against complaints by columnist Peggy Noonan, who said that she thought Obama should be “sitting down and talking” to Republican Congressional leaders.
Ignoring the obvious retort – he HAS sat down with them and they won’t cooperate – Krugman told Noonan:
“This is hostage taking, this is walking into a room and saying, ‘I’ve got a bomb, give me what I want or I’ll blow up this room.’ This has never happened before and should not be allowed to happen.”
He went on to say that this is a much scarier proposition because, unlike with the so-called fiscal cliff, sequester and other GOP slash-and-burn strategies, what is at stake here is the “full faith and credit” of the U.S. and if that is damaged, we just can’t know what the result will be. Fellow panelist Al Hunt agreed with Krugman’s stance, saying that the GOP’s brinksmanship is “…not on the level, a complete fraud.”
Noonan continued to whine about Obama, though, saying that it was “unusual” that he can “never make a deal with those folks.” What Ms. Noonan is neglecting to take into account is that it is those folks who refuse to deal in good faith with this president, as if he hasn’t bent over backwards to try to deal with the ridiculous and selfish actions of GOP leaders. Noonan opined about the “herky-jerky, crisis cliff” way that things are happening in governance but either can’t or won’t face the facts on why that is happening.
An obviously annoyed Krugman replied, “This is not something you negotiate over…” Another panelist, Judy Woodruff, pointed out that the White House position is that Congress was the one that appropriated these funds – meaning the spending which the debt ceiling covers – and they should be the ones to “bite the bullet” and pay for them.
Of course, Ms. Woodruff is correct – the debt ceiling is not some kind of credit limit, it’s the way we authorize payment for debts the country has already accrued. And it has nothing to do with the “spending crisis” that Peggy Noonan is wringing her hands over. Krugman’s stance is that the GOP’s gamesmanship is “… a doomsday, this is really saying, ‘I will blow up world unless you give me what I want.’ And you don’t negotiate on that.” And he is 100% right about that. I hope that the White House stands firm on this and refuses to deal with the Republicans who would take this country’s economy hostage with no thought for anything but their own designs. That, IMO, is perilously close to treason.
Here’s the video:
T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…