Laying blame for the financial mess | Arkansas Blog

Laying blame for the financial mess



Hold on, Paul Krugman says, (link corrected) before you go blaming an unrealistic and uninformed public for our financial crisis.

These days Americans get constant lectures about the need to reduce the budget deficit. ... What happened to the budget surplus the federal government had in 2000?

The answer is, three main things. First,...President George W. Bush cut taxes in the service of his party’s ideology... — and the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority.

Similarly, Mr. Bush chose to invade Iraq because that was something he and his advisers wanted to do,... it took a highly deceptive sales campaign to get Americans to support the invasion...

Finally, the Great Recession was brought on by a runaway financial sector, empowered by reckless deregulation. And who was responsible for that deregulation? Powerful people in Washington with close ties to the financial industry...

So it was the bad judgment of the elite, not the greediness of the common man, that caused America’s deficit. And much the same is true of the European crisis. ...

In short, Krugman says, the people who advocated Bush's policies shouldn't be allowed to anoint themselves as deficit hawks today.

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