Photo: pegappp / Flickr
Paul Krugman has the same read on the latest change in budget discussions as we do.We’ve noted that A) It was a bombshell that Obama didn’t talk more about the deficit in his inaugural speech B) That deficit hawks have lost grip over the discussion.
President Obama’s second Inaugural Address offered a lot for progressives to like. There was the spirited defence of gay rights; there was the equally spirited defence of the role of government, and, in particular, of the safety net provided by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But arguably the most encouraging thing of all was what he didn’t say: He barely mentioned the budget deficit.
Mr. Obama’s clearly deliberate neglect of Washington’s favourite obsession was just the latest sign that the self-styled deficit hawks — better described as deficit scolds — are losing their hold over political discourse. And that’s a very good thing.
He gives four reasons that they’ve been vanquished:
- The deficit hawks have been warning forever about crisis, and they’ve lost credibility.
- Growth is picking up, and deficits are expected to stabilise.
- We’ve seen that austerity is a failure (notably in Britain).
- Deficit hawks have been exposed for having ulterior political motives.