Paul Krugman: 'It's Terribly Unfair Obama's Being Judged on the Failure of the Economy'

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New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said on ABC's This Week Sunday, "It's terribly unfair that [President Obama is] being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: Can I just -- these are -- these are -- we're talking as if $1 billion was a lot of money, and in $15 trillion economy is not. Solyndra was a mistake as part of a large program, which has been -- by and large had a pretty good track record. Of course you're going to find a mistake. I think, to be fair, that's probably true in Massachusetts, as well.

But this is -- this is ridiculous, that we are taking these tiny, tiny missteps which happen in any large organizations, including corporations, including Bain -- Bain Capital had losers, too, right, even from the point of view of its investors? So this is ridiculous.

And the fact of the matter is, this president has not managed to get very much of what he wanted done. He -- it's terribly unfair that he's being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress.

I guess the Nobel laureate in economics was out of the country when Obama controlled the House of Representatives and enjoyed a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, something that according to Time magazine's Karen Tumulty hadn't really happened since the Great Depression:

You have to go all the way back to 1937 to find the last American President who enjoyed what was, in practice, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, according to Senate Associate Historian Donald Ritchie. That was when Franklin D. Roosevelt, having just won what was then the biggest re-election victory in history, permanently alienated Southern Democrats by trying to “pack” the Supreme Court with the addition of two more justices. [...]

In Jimmy Carter’s first term, for instance, there were more than 60 Democrats in the Senate. However, conservatives such as James Allen of Alabama often voted more to the right than their Republican colleagues, while there were liberal Republicans such as New York’s Jacob Javits who rarely sided with their own party. [...]

With Arlen Specter’s switch (and assuming, as Joe notes below, that Al Franken ever gets sworn in), Barack Obama has the Magic 60 Votes — and an opportunity that his predecessors would greatly have envied.


So Obama from the position of political power had in the first two years of his presidency "an opportunity that his predecessors would greatly have envied."

But in Krugman's view, "it's terribly unfair that he's being judged on the failure of the economy to respond to policies that had been largely dictated by a hostile Congress."

Is it possible to be more wrong about something and still be considered a "journalist" worthy of coveted invitations on the nation's top political talk shows?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.