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From the Happy Monday file, here’s Paul Krugman in the NYTimes, predicting another depression:
But future historians will tell us that this wasn’t the end of the third depression, just as the business upturn that began in 1933 wasn’t the end of the Great Depression. After all, unemployment — especially long-term unemployment — remains at levels that would have been considered catastrophic not long ago, and shows no sign of coming down rapidly. And both the United States and Europe are well on their way toward Japan-style deflationary traps.In the face of this grim picture, you might have expected policy makers to realize that they haven’t yet done enough to promote recovery. But no: over the last few months there has been a stunning resurgence of hard-money and balanced-budget orthodoxy.
Those “future historians” are always right, aren’t they? And then our president comes, to issue this warning:
“People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I’m calling their bluff. We’ll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they’re making right now are real and how much of it was just politics.”
“Difficult choices” as we all know is code for “Hello, IRS!” Among the “difficult choices” are sure to be higher taxes, higher fees, more intake in general. Among the “difficult choices” are sure not to be lower spending, smaller government, fewer members of AFSCME.