Dear President Obama,
Last week you handily won election due to the determination, support, spirit, and hard work of millions of Americans. Not only did you win - but you also saw your senate seats expand and we took great pains to gain seven seats in the House. After reading Paul Krugman's piece in the NYT's entitled Hawks and Hypocrites I can only come away feeling livid. Krugman writes brilliantly about the Deficit scolds and speaks plain truths. If you have not read it from the morning articles - do it now.
So the deficit scolds, while posing as the nation’s noble fiscal defenders, have in practice shown themselves both hypocritical and incoherent. They don’t deserve to have a central role in policy discussion; they really don’t even deserve a seat at the table. And they certainly don’t deserve to have one of their own appointed as Treasury secretary.Bold added by the diarist.
I don’t know how seriously to take the buzz about appointing Erskine Bowles to replace Timothy Geithner. But in case there’s any reality to it, let’s recall his record. Mr. Bowles, like others in the deficit-scold community, has indulged in scare tactics, warning of an imminent fiscal crisis that keeps not coming. Meanwhile, the report he co-wrote was supposed to be focused on deficit reduction — yet, true to form, it called for lower rather than higher tax rates, and as a “guiding principle” no less. Appointing him, or anyone like him, would be both a bad idea and a slap in the face to the people who returned President Obama to office.
I can only hope this is Mr Krugman's attempt to stomp down the disgustingly stupid idea of replacing a horrible pick with an even worse pick. Erskine Bowles? Are you kidding me? That is the rumor of the Very Serious Villagers that we need to replace Tim Geithner with a complete unmitigated ass of a human being.
Alan Simpson said this but I'm pretty confident Erskine Bowles agrees with him.
"Yes, I've made some plenty smart cracks about people on Social Security who milk it to the last degree. You know 'em too. It's the same with any system in America. We've reached a point now where it's like a milk cow with 310 million tits!The is a man who you appointed to head a deficit reduction commission that would be making life altering policy suggestions about social security to your administration. You know the one that never produced any official report or recommendations? The entire commission failed. I didn't know we needed to reward bad ideas and failures. That is what conservatives do. Their proposals were never even formally submitted but somehow the lie that this plan should be the baseline for all future debates keeps getting regurgitated. It is evil. We did not win this election to have the Treasury department handed over to a guy who's best advice is do the opposite of what any Keynesian economist recommends.
This wouldn’t be hard if they had been making a more honest case on the budget: the truth is that deficits are actually a good thing when the economy is deeply depressed, so deficit reduction should wait until the economy is stronger. As John Maynard Keynes said three-quarters of a century ago, “The boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity.” But since the deficit scolds have in fact been demanding that we make deficits the priority even when the economy is depressed, they can’t go there.We can compromise and act in that spirit of bi-partisany love that you seem to adore - but on this? On Erskine Bowles? There is no quarter. There is no compromise over this. You are the President and are free to nominate who you like. We've survived the Bush years and people literally died because of the appointments Bush made. You have a chance to fundamentally alter the course of our economic policy.
You could go with:
Or Joseph Stigliz
And letting that happen wouldn’t just be bad policy; it would be a betrayal of the Americans who just re-elected a health-reformer president and voted in some of the most progressive senators ever.Krugman is right.
That would be a betrayal.
9:28 AM PT: Rec list? Thank you! Please scream loud and vocally that Bowles is not the right person for the job.
10:42 AM PT: ACTION:
From the diary:
Pretty sure President Obama hasn't read Daily Kos in quite awhile. Let him know what you think:
Call the President
Visitor's Office: 202-456-2121