Paul Krugman: Obama Budget Strategy 'Will Almost Surely Fail'

04/10/2013 03:11 pm ET | Updated Apr 11, 2013

Add Paul Krugman to the list of liberals upset with Barack Obama’s budget proposal.

The Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote in a blog post Wednesday that Obama’s proposal is “all about the [political] positioning,” using the help of a Ezra Klein post to argue that the White House mostly hopes to show a willingness to compromise not present among Republicans.

“Unfortunately, it will almost surely fail,” Krugman wrote. “Why? Because there are no grownups — only people who try to sound like grownups, but are actually every bit as childish as anyone else.”

Obama unveiled his 2014 budget Wednesday, which aims to curb the deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy and slashing popular safety net programs including Social Security and Medicare. Though the budget is being billed as a move towards a “grand bargain” with Republicans, the GOP response has been tepid thus far, as many expect Republican leaders to accuse Obama of being a “tax and spend liberal,” according to the Daily Beast.

Yet the response from Obama’s own supporters may have been even more negative. A coalition of progressive groups protested Obama’s proposal to change the way inflation is measured when determining cost of living adjustments for Social Security. Progressive darling and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said she was “shocked” by the plan, which would cut senior citizens' benefit checks.

Krugman has criticized Democratic efforts in the past to bargain with Republican leaders, arguing that the latter just aren’t willing to compromise. He wrote in March that Republicans “just won’t take yes for an answer,” even when offered budget proposals that meet their demands. He also argued that the GOP strategy during the debt ceiling negotiations -- demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the nation’s borrowing limit -- amounted to “hostage taking.”

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