And yet again, Princeton economist and New York Times
columnist Paul Krugman cuts through the bullshit like a hot knife through butter and takes us straight into the heart of the three presidential candidates' policy proposals
All in all, the candidates’ positions on the mortgage crisis tell the same tale as their positions on health care: a tale that is seriously at odds with the way they’re often portrayed.
Mr. McCain, we’re told, is a straight-talking maverick. But on domestic policy, he offers neither straight talk nor originality; instead, he panders shamelessly to right-wing ideologues.
Mrs. Clinton, we’re assured by sources right and left, tortures puppies and eats babies. But her policy proposals continue to be surprisingly bold and progressive.
Finally, Mr. Obama is widely portrayed, not least by himself, as a transformational figure who will usher in a new era. But his actual policy proposals, though liberal, tend to be cautious and relatively orthodox.
Clearly, my jaw wasn't the only one to, well, go a bit slack with surprise upon hearing that Clinton was suggesting that the federal government ought to buy up peoples' mortgages en masse. Krugman was impressed, too. I mean, can you hear the shrieks of righteous right-wing outrage? Not only is she suggesting that the government interfere with the free market, she's also suggesting that ordinary Americans should not have to take the full consequences of their financial gambles. But let's face it: the government takes the lion's share of the blame for creating an environment where the real estate price run up was possible in the first place...why should ordinary Americans suffer the brunt of the inevitable outcome?
Underpinning this policy proposal are both the same pessimistic view of human nature and the same optimistic, liberal philosophy of communal responsibility that characterize Clinton's incorporation of mandates into her universal healthcare proposal--you need both sticks and carrots to institute sweeping social change. When you are given no choice but to help others, and they are given no choice but to help you, all members of the group are cared for. This is socialism pure and simple, people! Can you believe it?! No guarantee she'd actually be able to ram these proposals through even if she did win the White House (and boy is it not looking good), but all those people crying for a change in one breath and cursing Clinton in the next don't know what they're talking about.