Here is the video from Moyers and Company:
Bill Moyers asked Krugman about his argument that the recession could be solved in two years, and he answered, “That’s right, and that’s based on that’s not a number plucked out of thin air. That’s a guess at how long it would take to get a serious spending program going. We can actually make a lot of difference even quicker than that. Because the fact of the matter is far from having an effective job creation program, we’ve actually been holding back. We’ve seen state and local governments layoff hundreds of thousands of school teachers. We’ve seen public investment in basic stuff like road repair cut way back. If we just went back to normal rates of filling potholes and normal rates of employing the schoolteachers that could be done in months.”
Republican ideological opposition is the only reason why this recession continues to drag on. When the political history of the Obama years is written, one of the threads throughout the entire volume will be the great ideological battle over the future direction of the country. Obama’s election resulted in Republicans shifting to the right, and using a vehemently conservative ideology as the basis for their opposition to the president. (By making their opposition ideological, Republicans are also avoiding taking responsibility for their role in causing the recession.)
History shows that Krugman is correct, but conservatives have created a cottage industry for themselves that is dedicated to challenging and rewriting historical facts. As Paul Krugman was calling for more spending, Rush Limbaugh was on his radio show saying, “It never was going to work. This kind of stimulus never does work. FDR tried it for years and years and years, and he ended up prolonging the Great Depression! It is a flawed, faulty economic theory. The name itself is even nearly criminally incorrect: “Stimulus.” It’s the exact opposite.”
Republicans have entrenched the recession because the GOP led House refuses to pass anything that could be construed as Keynesian in nature. As long as the House keeps rejecting any and all serious measures to help the economy, this recession will drag on. The economy is the reason why 2014 matters. The president and Democrats scored a major ideological victory by getting Republicans to cave and raise revenue as part of the fiscal cliff deal, but the real war will be fought at the midterm ballot box.
A Democratic House could put a spending plan into action. The economy could completely recover, and the Republicans would lose the ideological war that they chose to start. Paul Krugman is right. The country could take serious steps towards full recovery within months, but it won’t happen unless Democrats win back the House.