Paul Krugman Calls Out Republicans on Their Empty Fiscal Cliff Proposal

Paul Krugman is responding to the Republicans’ deficit bluster by calling out their empty fiscal cliff proposal.

Here is the video:

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Transcript via This Week:

KRUGMAN: I mean, I think it’s actually — it’s not just numbers, because we have — we have a basic difference in outlook. And I think part of the problem is the Republicans are unable to actually make concrete proposals. If you actually look, all that talk we just heard about, you know, deficits and China and Greece, which is all nonsense, but all that talk about how we need to deal with this and ask, what is the Republican Party currently proposing? What have they actually put on the table? They put down some numbers, but what specifics?

And if you look at all of things that they’ve concretely mentioned, all of their actual proposed spending cuts, on, you know, raising the Medicare age, cutting the price index for Social Security, it’s about $300 billion…


STEPHANOPOULOS: Higher Medicare premiums on the wealthy.

KRUGMAN: Yeah, it’s tiny. They’re — what they’ve actually put on the table is almost nothing. All of the rest is just big talk. So how is the president supposed to negotiate with people who say, “Here’s my demands. By the way, I can’t give you any specifics. Just make me happy”?

Republicans are putting nothing on the table. Even though the voters made it clear which position they support, Republicans are still trying to fight the ideological battle over how the deficit should be reduced. That question was already answered on Election Day, but congressional Republicans have taken the negotiating position of offering nothing while demanding everything.

The White House and Democrats have responded to this tactic with a shrug and by saying, “Ok, have it your way. But you’ll be the ones explaining to the American people why their taxes went up and their services were cut.” The big difference between 2010 and 2012 is that Democrats aren’t playing along anymore. Republicans can have their temper tantrum, but as long as they continue to behave badly, they are going to get nothing from Democrats.

If House Republicans insist on acting like children, they are going to be treated like children.

Krugman was correct. All that the Republicans have offered so far is the same empty talk that we’ve already heard in 2010 and 2011. Congressional Republican leadership isn’t putting anything on the table, and this is why with 23 days left to go, there is no deal in sight.

Later in the segment George Will rested himself on that old Republican crutch, the Ryan budget. Krugman responded that the Ryan budget is a fake document, which was actually the perfect word to describe the Republican position in these negotiations.


House Republicans presented a fake proposal loaded with fake claims (Social Security must be cut), but they are expecting real results.

Republicans are trying to fake President Obama, congressional Democrats and the American people into giving them what they want. But if they aren’t careful, they may fake themselves right off the fiscal cliff.

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