The other day, I mentioned that in addition to structural constraints from Congress, I felt that President Obama was a bit more hawkish with regard to the debt that many on the left might think (or hope). Krugman does the research, and lo and behold (from Obama’s first inaugural address):
“Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed.”
From the very beginning of Obama’s presidency, the temptation to make “unpleasant” decisions in order to be taken seriously as a post-partisan President has been an influence on Obama’s decision-making. Unfortunately, the fiscal crisis was absolutely the wrong time to be making these unpleasant decisions.