A Nobel is the new stupid
The Good Professor continues to credit The Big O with good intentions:
It’s no mystery what has happened on the deficit commission: as so often happens in modern Washington, a process meant [by whom?] to deal with real problems [oh, really?] has been hijacked on behalf of an ideological agenda. Under the guise of facing our fiscal problems, Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson are trying to smuggle in the same old, same old — tax cuts for the rich and erosion of the social safety net.
The Catfood Commmission was in no way "hijacked." Look at the record:
1. Obama set up The Catfood Commission himself, after Congress refused to.
2. Obama outsourced the Catfood Commission's staffing to Pete Peterson drones, who are paid to have the ideology they have.
And as surely any member of the professoriate knows, to pick a committee's staff is to ensure the desired result. In this case, the result is conservative, and that's because Obama is a conservative.
So, the Catfood Commission is Obama's creature, first and last. If, by "hijack," Krugman means that the putative goal of the Commission -- reducing the deficit (itself bad policy* supported by bad reasoning) -- has been replaced by the real goal -- shrinking government -- (bad policy supported by the naked self-interest of the klepoctracy) that's down to kabuki, not hijacking.
Can a mere dinner have such a powerful effect? Can anything be salvaged from the wreck?
Yes, as soon as Krugman begins to treat Obama as Bush III, a position that has the great merit of being true.
NOTE * "Bad" on the assumption that government should serve the "general welfare" (Constitution, preamble) which Versailles does not accept, since it does not accept Constitutional government.
NOTE The passivity and incoherence of Krugman's inside game is shown in the final sentence of the column:
The deficit commission should be told to fold its tents and go away.
Note the lack of agency in "should be told." Who's going to do the telling? Obama?
UPDATE Here's another one:
But it becomes clear, once you spend a little time trying to figure out what’s going on, that the main driver of those pretty charts is the assumption that the rate of growth in health-care costs will slow dramatically. And how is this to be achieved? By “establishing a process to regularly evaluate cost growth” and taking “additional steps as needed.” What does that mean? I have no idea.
I know! I know! A lot more people are going to die earlier because they've been denied medical care, exactly in the same way that a lot more people will never work again unless Versailles policy of 10% nominal (20%) real DISemployment is reversed. A big drop in life expectancy will solve a lot of fiscal problems. Krugman has already noticed that life expectancy has flattened exactly for those who need Social Security the most. Why in the name of sweet suffering Jeebus would he expect it to remain flat, instead of to decline? See under Soviet Union, collapse of.