Paul Krugman is an economic professor at Princeton, columnist for the NY Times, a Nobel Prize winner, and a sometimes advisor to presidents and corporations. He once worked for a commission which advised then President Reagan, but he felt out of place because, in his words:
I was then and still am an unabashed defender of the welfare state, which I regard as the most decent social arrangement yet devised.
He also was embarrassed to have spent even a little bit of time advising Enron, helping them to build a "veneer of credibility" around their scandals.
I know, I know, the usual suspects will roll out the usual explanations. It is, of course, Bill Clinton's fault. (Just for the record, the average rate of job creation during the whole of the Clinton administration was about 225,000 jobs a month. Mr. Clinton presided over the creation of 11 million jobs during each of his two terms.) Or maybe Osama bin Laden did it.
But surely there must be a statute of limitations on these excuses. By the time of the election, Mr. Bush will have had almost four years to deal with the legacy of the technology bubble, and more than three years to deal with the economic fallout from 9/11.
What about the argument, which I hear all the time, that Mr. Obama should have fixed the economy long ago? The claim goes like this: during his first two years in office Mr. Obama had a majority in Congress that would have let him do anything he wanted, so he's had his chance.
The short answer is, you've got to be kidding.
As anyone who was paying attention knows, the period during which Democrats controlled both houses of Congress was marked by unprecedented obstructionism in the Senate.
So which is it, Paul? Should we have been more lenient with Bush, who, rather than battling a Democratic congress had to, you know, actually battle after 9/11? Or should we hold Obama to the "statute of limitations" argument--that it has been more than three years, and Obama should have made some progress by now.