Paul Krugman: The GOP’s austerity agenda is winning

From Salon:

The New York Times columnist throws some cold water on liberals celebrating the recent budget deal

Friday, Dec 13, 2013

While some people may be celebrating the passage in the House of the Ryan-Murray budget as a defeat for the far right, Paul Krugman takes a look at the big picture in his latest column for the New York Times and finds little to cheer.

“[I]f you take a longer perspective,” Krugman writes, referring to the Tea Party takeover of Congress in 2010, “what you see is a triumph of anti-government ideology that has had enormously destructive effects on American workers.”

Krugman notes that since Republicans roared back into the House majority some three years ago, counter-cyclical federal government spending has dried up, while state-level spending has nearly “collapsed.” And the areas where the cuts have been harshest have been the very same where investment is most important — both in the short- and long-term.

“We haven’t seen anything like the recent government cutbacks since the 1950s, and probably since the demobilization that followed World War II,” Krugman writes. “What has been cut? It’s a complex picture, but the most obvious cuts have been in education, infrastructure, research, and conservation.”

More from Krugman at the New York Times:

There are three things you need to know about these harsh cuts.

First, they were unnecessary. The Washington establishment may have hyperventilated about debt and deficits, but markets have never shown any concern at all about U.S. creditworthiness. In fact, borrowing costs have stayed at near-record lows throughout.

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