Pitchforks and the Very Serious Persons
Who's to blame for our fiscal problems of the past decade? Paul Krugman says elites deserve a lot more of the blame than the general public, but Dan Drezner disagrees: the public, he says, was in favor of tax cuts and in favor of the Iraq war, so they deserve a big chunk of the blame too. [. . .] Despite this broad support, nobody was crying out for either huge tax cuts or invading Iraq until George Bush and the rest of the GOP started talking them up. But the polling evidence is pretty clear that it was far from sufficient. Nothing about public opinion changed in 2001. The only thing that changed was the occupant of the Oval Office.
I want to provide a further example -- in 2009, the public was strongly for taking action against the financial sector. Indeed, the President famously remarked to the bankers ""My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks." And indeed, so the Obama Administration remains, for reasons only Geithner can explain. Apparently on this issue, it's ok to note that Presidents are not powerless bystanders. We were Bush'd. And now we've been HAMP'd. Thanks to the VSPs.
Speaking for me only
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