Paul Krugman generally approves of the President’s jobs proposal, and you know that Krugman is not easy to impress.
I was favorably surprised by the new Obama jobs plan, which is significantly bolder and better than I expected. Itâ€™s not nearly as bold as the plan Iâ€™d want in an ideal world. But if it actually became law, it would probably make a significant dent in unemployment.
Of course, it isnâ€™t likely to become law, thanks to G.O.P. opposition.
My sense of things is that the President offered the boldest plan that he thought he could sell to the American people. Had he not thrown in some twinkle and glitter about deficit reduction it would have been political suicide for him, and the entire proposal would have been buried under scorn and ridicule as soon as it left his lips, no matter if Krugman loved it.
And yes, Republicans in Congress will try to bury it under scorn and ridicule, anyway, but as Nate Silver suggests, the plan as it is could be salable to the American people. And here is something Nate said that progressives who are trashing the plan need to get in their heads — while the American people like to hear about job creation, when they are presented with the choice between deficit cutting and stimulus spending —
In polls that employ the term â€œspendâ€ or â€œspendingâ€ in describing the additional stimulus, its support drops to an average of 44 percent, with 50 percent saying that deficit reduction is the higher priority
Whether we like it or not, the people have been well conditioned to think that out-of-control government spending is the source of all our ills and must be fixed before anything else can be put right. And UN-conditioning them of that mistaken idea, even if possible, would take years. We don’t have years.
The President, I suspect, realizes as much as anyone that Congress will obstruct this. But if he can sell the plan to a large part of the American electorate and persuade them that the obstructionist Republicans are the ones standing between them and jobs, this will change the political landscape in the upcoming election year.