Confirmed: Obama has lost Paul Krugman. Back on January 20, the Times' respected economist-turned-liberal hack columnist faulted Obama for failing to aggressively defend his health care scheme in the wake of the shocking G.O.P. win in Massachusetts: "I'm pretty close to giving up on Mr. Obama, who seems determined to confirm every doubt I and others ever had about whether he was ready to fight for what his supporters believed in."
If that post was made more in sadness than anger, then Krugman's Wednesday morning entry brought the anger:
...how is it possible, at this late date, for Obama to be this clueless?
Krugman quoted excerpts from Obama's interview with Business Week defending the combined $26 million in bonuses awarded to the chief executive officers of JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs :
The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is "an extraordinary amount of money" for Main Street, "there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don't get to the World Series either, so I'm shocked by that as well."
"I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen," Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. "I, like most of the American people, don't begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system."
Oh. My. God.
First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn't brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.
And more specifically, not only has the financial industry has been bailed out with taxpayer commitments; it continues to rely on a taxpayer backstop for its stability. Don't take it from me, take it from the rating agencies.
If the Bloomberg story is to be believed, Obama thinks his key to electoral success is to trumpet "the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies."