The Debt Hostage Crisis And Paul Krugman’s Political Naiveté

Krugman's Impression of Thomas Friedman

It seems like people lose track of reality pretty easily these days. The reason why we were forced into negotiating with the terrorist Republicans is that they threatened to run our economy off a cliff — unless President Obama acquiesced to their demands. It truly was a hostage situation and Republicans pretty much admitted it. People lost sight of that fact throughout the process and somehow morphed it into a budget fight, as if President Obama welcomed it. This whole mess was forced on him and there was no easy way out.

What were President Obama’s options? From what I know about it, he could either deal with the Republicans and try to get a “compromise” from the hostage takers or he could invoke the 14th Amendment to the constitution and raise it himself. The 14th Amendment option has some issues attached to it, however…

Obama would be greatly extending his executive powers and setting a new precedent, which would have a host of potential ramifications. Furthermore, Obama’s administration officials do not believe that the fourteenth amendment grants the president that power, and elsewhere the Constitution grants Congress the sole authority over borrowing money.

Now I know that isn’t a concern to those who have a vision of the President as a dictator, which ironically comes from the left these days, but thankfully President Obama understands the ramifications of taking that drastic step. Personally, I wish he had done it, but I’m extreme.

There is a third option as well. The President could have let the U.S. AND world economy crash into the ground, pointing fingers the entire time at those dastardly Republicans and repeating “it’s their fault, it’s their fault” — as the country scratched its collective head and wondered why the President didn’t stop it. I don’t think that was ever considered as an option, but it certainly has been hanging over the situation like a stench. I’m glad our president has the best interests of all people in mind when making big decisions like this.

Continue reading