Economist and New York Times contributor Paul Krugman rallies against Republicans’ spending cuts in his latest column, blaming them for sacrificing America’s future in favor of short-term political gain.
Krugman notes that while the majority of Americans support budget cuts, they actually like to keep the government spending that benefits them. Thus, “Republicans don’t have a mandate to cut spending,” he believes.
The fact that most people want more, not less public spending for education and health care does not diminish the need to cut. The United States are on an unsustainable fiscal path. As House speaker John Boehner told NBC’s Meet the Press this weekend, “We’re broke.” He’s right. Unless serious spending reductions are enacted, the federal government will continue to run trillion dollar deficits for years to come.
Yet Krugman argues against austerity. He is afraid that it could imperil the still fragile economic recovery. Moreover, he points out that most people don’t actually want to cut government.
At the same time, most people are “ill informed” and have let themselves be fooled by politicians.
They don’t have the time or the incentive to study the federal budget, let alone state budgets. So they rely on what they hear from seemingly authoritative figures.
Do they? The Tea Party phenomenon would seem to prove him wrong. Millions of voters across the country chose not to listen to “seemingly authoritative figures” last November. One of those seemingly authoritative figures is Paul Krugman who does have the time to study the federal budget and therefore knows what’s best for people.
Krugman has championed for ever bigger government since the start of the recession, regarding it as a failure of the free-market system. President Barack Obama’s “stimulus” was too small, he complained last year. The world would be much better off if only governments were willing “to run even larger deficits over the next year or two,” he claimed two years ago.
Since then, we have seen Greece and Ireland and Portugal teeter on the brink of sovereign default and unless America raises its debt ceiling or manages to rein in spending, it too will face bankruptcy soon.
Republicans (most of them anyway) realize that and they are pushing for spending cuts. According to Krugman, their cuts amount to “eating the future.” He cites a billion dollar cut in a “highly successful program” that provides supplemental nutrition to pregnant mothers and young children as well as a $578 million cut from the Internet Revenue Service’s (IRS) enforcement budget. Without these “future-oriented programs,” the next generation of Americans will be “damaged by childhood malnutrition,” he warns and coping with “a revenue system [that is] undermined by widespread tax evasion.”
One can only imagine what doomsday scenarios Krugman will conjure when Republicans propose to slash Medicaid spending or reform Social Security. If those poor, “ill informed” Americans can’t do without their federal government subsidizing infant nutrition, what apocalypse will await them if heartless Republicans attempt to take away their health-care benefits?
The truth is that most people are perfectly capable of fending for themselves. Most Americans, in fact, don’t care to have the government subsidizing other people’s health insurance or meddling in their personal diet or lifestyle. And they don’t like the notion of the IRS fining people who choose not to have health insurance as the president’s reform bill would compel them to.
Krugman would rather raise taxes and maybe get rid of defense before dismantling America’s welfare state. Excessive government spending is currently responsible for a $1.5 trillion deficit however and still, nearly one of ten American workers is unemployed. As we see the results of Paul Krugman’s “big government,” most Americans should say, loud and clear: “Leave us alone!”