11/18/2011 11:23 am ET

Paul Krugman Sends Wonderful Secret Message To 'Centrist Pundits'

Have you read Paul Krugman's latest New York Times column? It is a delight.

Titled "Failure Is Good," Krugman sounds off on the super committee and its general awfulness, offering a thoroughly reality-based take on why it is (spoiler alert!) doomed to fail:

So the supercommittee brought together legislators who disagree completely both about how the world works and about the proper role of government. Why did anyone think this would work?

Don't know! Seems to me that if a legislator wants to cut a program or reduce a benefit or levy a tax, he or she can jolly well write the "This Is The Spending Cut/Entitlement Reduction/Tax Increase I Want Act Of 2011," round up some cosponsors and put it to a series of votes. Of course, we live in a world where these legislators are far too scared of losing their precious seats in Congress to do the jobs they all declaim mightily they actually want to do. So they outsource the responsibility to increasingly obscure star chambers in the hopes that if the axe of outrage falls, it falls on "the system" in general rather than on them.

But that's not the best part of Krugman's latest column. The best part is this:

Oh, and let me give a special shout-out to “centrist” pundits who won’t admit that President Obama has already given them what they want. The dialogue seems to go like this. Pundit: “Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?” Mr. Obama: “I support a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes.” Pundit: “Why won’t the president come out for a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes?”

You see, admitting that one side is willing to make concessions, while the other isn’t, would tarnish one’s centrist credentials. And the result is that the G.O.P. pays no price for refusing to give an inch.

Of course, we all know to whom Krugman is referring.

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