Paul Krugman Stands With Obama, ‘You Don’t Negotiate With (Debt Ceiling) Hostage Takers’


Paul Krugman laid out why the left is standing with President Obama in refusing to negotiate on the debt ceiling.


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Transcript from ABC’s This Week:

KRUGMAN: But this is not something you negotiate over. You do not negotiate with hostage-takers. That’s the White House position. They’re right about that. You just don’t negotiate on this. You can negotiate on the sequester, you can negotiate on taxes, but not on someone who is threatening to blow up the world economy if he doesn’t get his way.

NOONAN: My goodness. That appeared to be the White House attitude on the fiscal cliff just a month or two ago.

KRUGMAN: It’s very different.

NOONAN: Why can nothing ever be worked out? We do have a president. We do have legislative leaders. We do what should be noted, have a spending crisis in America. It is not an eccentric thing to worry about the amount of spending that America does. The income, the outcome and the long-term promises.

KRUGMAN: This is really — this is a doomsday — this is really saying I will blow up the world unless you give me what I want. And you don’t negotiate on that.

The debt ceiling as originally created by Congress in 1917 was intended to be a tool to help generate agreement between the president and Congress. Nearly a century later, the debt ceiling has become a tool of hostage taking and partisan warfare by a much different Congress. No matter how much House Republicans try to make it so, the debt ceiling is not a mechanism for controlling spending. Krugman referred to the debt ceiling as both stupid and dangerous, and that is exactly what it is.

Krugman’s comments are especially bad news for Republicans and the right who are hoping that Democrats and the left blink first on the debt ceiling. That isn’t going to happen. The White House wants all the pressure on the Republicans. Raising the debt ceiling is their responsibility, and President Obama has no incentive to toss the Republicans a lifeline. Since GOP hostage taking no longer works on President Obama, Speaker Boehner is counting on the desperate strategy of the left forcing Obama to make a deal.

The truth is that a majority of the country has joined together to say no to the tantrums, dramatics, threats, and hysterics of congressional Republicans. Rewarding congressional Republicans for their bad behavior, only leads to more bad behavior. As a nation we are going to let Republicans play at their little drama, and do what they always do when the Democrats refuse to yield to their tantrum.

At the very last possible second House Republicans will raise the debt ceiling, and then comfort themselves with deluded promises that next time their tactics will work.

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