Wednesday, January 02, 2013

The Fiscal Cliff Deal: the Stupid-Evil Axis Returns

We are once again at a point where we must allocate the Obama Administration's handling of a fiscal deal along the Stupid-Evil Axis.

Paul Krugman votes for Stupid, and thinks that future deals will be worse because the President is a perpetual caver. Tim Duy thinks we need to move somewhat toward the Evil end of the Axis, and that the President wants to structure future deals so that they are unpalatable to all parties, because he truly believes in centrism. As Robert Reich put it, centrists believe that the correct answer lies halfway between right and wrong. Duy:
I frequently see commentators saying that Obama is terrible at the bargaining table, but I can't help thinking that he is getting pretty much what he wanted.  Despite all the hate heaped upon him by the right, Obama just isn't a progressive, and we shouldn't expect him to seek a deal as if he was one.  After all, what progressive ensures a tax hike on the lower and middle classes (the expiration of the payroll tax cut with no offsetting cut elsewhere)?  Obama seems to believe the best deal is the one no one likes.
Bonus Evil vote from Andrew Samwick, who believes that the Obama-Bush tax cuts make our current fiscal position untenable.

For my part, I simply think that you're in a bad place to begin with if you've made a choice that lies anywhere on the Stupid-Evil Axis. We cannot afford another administration that ends up on the Axis as regularly as the last two (Obama and Bush) have.

(links via Mark Thoma)

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