Paul Krugman appearing on Rachel Maddow told the straight unvarnished truth, urging Congress to overcome lame ducks’ "not our problem" mentality and confront the immediate need for a bridge loan to keep Detroit’s Big Three solvent until a more responsible Obama Administration takes office.
Krugman noted that even if it were okay to allow the companies to fail during good economic times, it made no sense to allow them to go belly up and put at risk 1 to 3 million jobs right in the midst of a severe recession. The effect, he added, would be like a huge reverse stimulus, dragging the economy down.
Commenting on Congress’ willingness to leave the decision to a stupid game of "chicken" with the White House, Krugman added, "We’re on the verge of an irreversible decision taken almost in a fit of absence of mind."
Of course, the auto execs’ flight to DC in their private jets added up to "stupid theatrics," but "that’s not the point." Would be lose 1 to 3 million jobs and their health benefits just to punish twelve senior exectives?
Krugman’s right. The Republicans and this White House are perfectly willing to devastate the economy and imperil millions as one last gift to a President Obama, especially if they think they can kill the auto workers union in the bargain.
As MSNBC explains, this is also "north versus south" again, in which Jeff Sessions argues that employees in Alabama who don’t have health insurance should not be asked to bail out those with health insurance in Michigan. But what that means is that those with insurance should be forced to fail so that everyone can not have health insurance. Brilliant logic, Jeff.
Update: Dean Baker lays out the argument.