The indefatigable Paul Krugman smacks down the excuses for why the government has failed to get the economy going:
[A] destructive passivity has overtaken our discourse. Turn on your TV and you’ll see some self-satisfied pundit declaring that nothing much can be done about the economy’s short-run problems (reminder: this “short run” is now in its fourth year), that we should focus on the long run instead.
This gets things exactly wrong. The truth is that creating jobs in a depressed economy is something government could and should be doing. Yes, there are huge political obstacles to action — notably, the fact that the House is controlled by a party that benefits from the economy’s weakness. But political gridlock should not be conflated with economic reality.
This is the frustration: the GOP does not want the economy to improve. I hope Americans understand this by next November.
As TPM's David Kurtz puts it:
Republicans are taking the country to the brink of default demanding spending cuts that will signify their commitment to fiscal responsibility, smaller government and austerity—but for reasons that are political in the macro- and micro- sense, they can't come up with a list of cuts that actually gets the job done. It's not that they can't do the math.
One begins to feel like a Christian Scientist with appendicitis...