Posts Tagged ‘Paul Krugman’

This past year we witnessed an unrelenting attack on public safeguards. Since the release of the infamous “Cantor Memo” (which announced House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s attack plan), it seemed like whenever you turned on the TV news or opened your favorite fishwrap (go ahead and google that one kids) all you heard about was the GOP war on regulations.

And even though the Republican echo chamber was loud and livid, the actual truth about regulatory protections got out – a lot. As 2011 winds down, here is a look back on the best coverage on the struggle to preserve our vital safeguards.

One of the best overviews of the fight came from the article Public Citizen President Robert Weissman wrote for the October 31st edition of The Nation magazine, “The GOP’s Deregulation Obsession.”

The Huffington Post followed with interest and a few posts captured the story well:  “Republican Nonsense on Regulation” by Jonathan Weiler, Jeffrey Hollender’s “The Harms of Regulation Phobia” and Marcia G. Yerman’s “National Poll says America Wants the EPA”

The New York Times had several good articles on the year’s regulatory battles, including a highly recommended analysis by Bruce Bartlett, a former senior policy adviser in the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, “Misrepresentations, Regulations and Jobs.”

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Today’s Flickr photo

BP cleanup dumpsters in Pensacola, Fla. Flickr photo by Keo 101.

If you read one thing today . . .

The New York Times’ Paul Krugman paints a rather stark and depressing picture of American politics in the wake of the GOP’s take over of the House and its agenda to oppose all things Obama. Krugman figures Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke might have better luck tilting at windmills than gaining some Republican buy-in on measures to reduce unemployment.

Indeed, far from being willing to help Mr. Bernanke’s efforts, Republicans are trying to bully the Fed itself into giving up completely on trying to reduce unemployment.

And on matters fiscal, the G.O.P. program is to do almost exactly the opposite of what Mr. Bernanke called for. On one side, Republicans oppose just about everything that might reduce structural deficits: they demand that the Bush tax cuts be made permanent while demagoguing efforts to limit the rise in Medicare costs, which are essential to any attempts to get the budget under control. On the other, the G.O.P. opposes anything that might help sustain demand in a depressed economy — even aid to small businesses, which the party claims to love.

Right now, in particular, Republicans are blocking an extension of unemployment benefits — an action that will both cause immense hardship and drain purchasing power from an already sputtering economy. But there’s no point appealing to the better angels of their nature; America just doesn’t work that way anymore.

Overheard

Remember Bob Ney, the Ohio congressman who was brought down in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal? Ney left Washington in disgrace for a 30-month sentence in a federal prison. The National Journal’s George E. Condon Jr. caught up with Ney in, of all places, in India where he is hanging out with devotees of the Dali Lama. Ney spends his days listening to the Dali Lama’s teachings on meditation and such.

“You bring a pillow, or you can buy one,” Ney explains. “They come around with some bread and some butter tea. You sit, and you bring a hat because of the sun—because it is quite warm here. And you sit out there … on stone areas, and he does the teachings.”

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmSLFJYuBRo]

Economist and author Paul Krugman discusses financial reform with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (via Firedoglake).

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