Saturday, January 12, 2013

When it comes to politics, Krugman is a great economist

The big news today is that the Treasury won't mint a trillion dollar coin. And if they did, the Federal reserve wouldn't accept it.

That's a big blow to the MINT THE COIN crowd.

Being a member of that club, Paul Krugman comes a bit unglued and wants to know So What Will You Do, Mr. President?

Please remind me that if I ever get a chance to play poker with Krugman - I should take advantage of the opportunity.

What would it do to President Obama's leverage if he were to broadcast a plan to minimize the damage of Republican hostage-taking ahead of time? Seems to me that would be the same thing as showing your opponent your cards before they place a bet. Not gonna happen.
"This now puts all the pressure back where we believe it belongs: on the Republicans," a senior administration official told the Huffington Post. "There are no magic coins. There is no way to get out of this. We feel fine about the politics of it. We think we are in a stronger position if Republicans realize there is no out."


  1. This is a political problem requiring a political solution. Not a policy problem requiring some kind of novel policy prescription.

    The unwillingness (and the complete lack of trust it demonstrates) to simply let the President play politics to "win" this thing is remarkable. He's a politician, that's what they do for a living! He has shown to be every bit as willing, and far more capable, of being a rat bastard, cutthroat negotiator as the Republicans.

    The sequester is a designed scam to allow the President the luxury of going around the country campaigning (yet again) on more and more taxes on the 1%, using the Romney campaign as its latest blueprint. So let the President play politics. Let him preach the evangel of fairness.

    The worst case scenario isn't Republicans playing brinksmanship with a debt ceiling raise they will without question end up passing. The worst case scenario is that the GOP wises up to the skill of its opponent, and preemptively takes the debt ceiling off the table. Then they can simply pass a House-authored bill that amends the sequester and watch Senate Dems fold.

    Congressional hostage-taking favors the President. They have a plan. Public conflict is the plan.

  2. Even if he had the political acuity for it, poor Krug wouldn't have the cool disposition required for dealing with an unhinged Republican opposition. I hope he can tie a knot and hang on for what's coming...


    1. And Krugman was the guy many on the left wanted as Treasury Secretary. Maybe they could turn the petition they signed for it as scrip.

    2. Interestingly, even Krugman has said he doesn't really want the job and he would probably be the wrong person for it. Treasury Secretary is a political position, not an economic one. The Treasurer hires economists to do the work for him or her. The Treasurer's job, on the other hand, is to talk with politicians and the press. He or she has to be someone who knows how to play that game.

      Interestingly, in this case, Krugman seems to get that he is *not* a politician.

  3. In Krugman's previous blog post he laments that Jon Stewart apparently went off on Obama bout the platinum coin idea. Krugman laments that Stewart, who is an otherwise very intelligent guy, totally misunderstood the whole point of the idea.

    Well, I might suggest to Mr. Krugman that the fact that Stewart could so easily (and perhaps mistakenly) make a joke of Obama at the mere suggestion of the idea is *precisely* the reason the coin idea would have been politically stupid. It doesn't matter how clever an idea is or how legal it is if the idea can be so easily painted as an absurd overreach by the administration.

    The same could be said of the progressives who laughed at the RNC's flyer that had a picture of a trillion dollar coin sinking the Titanic. Of course a trillion dollar coin doesn't have to be made of a trillion dollars worth of platinum. But if you actually think that that fact made the RNC's flyer laughable then *you* are the one who should be laughed off the stage.

    It doesn't matter if the image was wrong. It matters that shows how easy it would to turn Obama into a joke if he actually went ahead with the idea.

  4. After reading all of this stuff about the platinum coin, I've finally come to the conclusion that the Professional Left coin minters are demanding that the President cave to the GOP's debt ceiling hostage taking.

    The Professional Left is more spineless than you've imagined.

  5. Love the "there's no magic coin" line--as it the coin was a republican idea that is an explicit part if their own insane approach to economics and governance.

  6. "As IF the coin". darn iPhone thingie.

  7. Krugman may be economically brilliant, he has been politically dumb since the very beginning of this President's term in office.


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