After The Midterm Elections

The NYTimes is publishing two views of what happens after the elections from Paul Krugman, liberal and conservative David Brooks. Both are at least agreeing on the starting premise: The GOP will likely take the House and possibly the Senate in the upcoming elections. But they could not be more different on their assessment of what that means for the US.

Paul Krugman, who is becoming more Cassandra-like with every column [stock pickers take note of a contrarian pure play here, Krugman is most often right but the markets/public ignore him until its too late], says the following:

But we won’t get those policies if Republicans control the House. In fact, if they get their way, we’ll get the worst of both worlds: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible tax cuts — cuts they have already announced won’t have to be offset with spending cuts.

So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

In contrast, David Brooks is positively Pollyannish in his immediate political weather forecast:

Instead, the President will have to go out and do his own thing. That means every day reinforcing the following narrative: the Republicans are only half right. They want to cut things; I want to cut but also replace things. They want to slash government; I want to restructure it. They want destruction; I want renovation.

The problem with this message is the poisoned political climate that permeates Washinton [and which no conservative pundit, Mr. Brooks included, has spoken forcefully against]. For example, the GOP believes its sacred mission is to bring down the President regardless of the consequences to the nation. And so far their strategy has worked on defeating Congress. Despite getting the nation in the economic mess and working tirelessly in the Senate to obstruct the administration’s appointments and legislative agenda, the GOP has successfully Swift-boated the Democrats – calling them liberal elitists while being bankrolled by Financial and Business elites and at the same time being defunct in their own “no cuts but taxes and health care” economic plans. The next few weeks and months shall prove who has been more politically and economically perceptive. Ye Takethe5th editor is betting on the Nobel Prize winner.

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