January 19, 2010
Itâ€™s instructive to compare Mr. Obamaâ€™s rhetorical stance on the economy with that of Ronald Reagan. Itâ€™s often forgotten now, but unemployment actually soared after Reaganâ€™s 1981 tax cut. Reagan, however, had a ready answer for critics: everything going wrong was the result of the failed policies of the past. In effect, Reagan spent his first few years in office continuing to run against Jimmy Carter.What the hell has been going on since last January then? Maybe Krugman was abducted by aliens and has spent the last year in an alternate universe where Obama never speaks?
Mr. Obama could have done the same â€” with, Iâ€™d argue, considerably more justice. He could have pointed out, repeatedly, that the continuing troubles of Americaâ€™s economy are the result of a financial crisis that developed under the Bush administration, and was at least in part the result of the Bush administrationâ€™s refusal to regulate the banks.But he didnâ€™t.
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