Must Read Op-Eds for July 11, 2011

Updated
 

Here are today’s must read editorial and opinion columns.

NO, WE CAN’T? OR WON’T  BY PAUL KRUGMAN
NEW YORK TIMES

The economy isn’t fixing itself. Nor are there real obstacles to government action: both the bond vigilantes and structural unemployment exist only in the imaginations of pundits. And if stimulus seems to have failed, it’s because it was never actually tried. Listening to what supposedly serious people say about the economy, you’d think the problem was “no, we can’t.” But the reality is “no, we won’t.” And every pundit who reinforces that destructive passivity is part of the problem.

 

THE METHOD TO THEIR MADNESS  BY ROSS DOUTHAT
NEW YORK TIMES

At the moment, Republicans seem to be moving toward a smaller, purer bargain. Depending on what’s being offered, that may be the right course. But self-described “constitutional conservatives” should remember that Mr. Madison’s ingenious system doesn’t just require compromise. Sometimes it rewards it as well.

THE WORST TIME TO SLOW THE ECONOMY  EDITORIAL
SUNDAY JULY 10

The president may have a nebulous approach to unemployment, but he is hardly indifferent to it. His re-election hinges on reducing it. It is hard to understand, though, why Mr. Obama has adopted the language of his opponents in connecting the economy to the debt. To his credit, he talked about the one step that would work — investing money in rebuilding the country… There is still time for the president to insist that the debt talks include a substantial program to put people to work now, while reducing the deficit over a longer period. To do otherwise is to ignore Friday’s ugly reality.

FROM THE GUTTER, INTO THE SEWER  BY A.C. GRAYLING
NEW YORK TIMES

Alas, the anxiety is that the transgressions of News International will prompt a bout of media regulation that will impinge on press freedoms in the wrong way, making it harder to expose the wrongdoings of companies like News International rather than protecting us from them. If this happens, Mr. Murdoch’s degrading influence will have reached well beyond the damage it has already done.

OVAL OFFICE BLUES  BY FRED HIATT
WASHINGTON POST

It may be that Obama missed his moment to make it work, when he shunned his Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission. It may be that the Republicans and his own liberal caucus always were fatally inclined toward intransigence. But it’s also true that the political path to a $2 trillion deal doesn’t look all that much clearer than to a $4 trillion deal. And the bigger bargain still offers the biggest payoff. It would most enhance Obama’s chances for reelection. By controlling the national debt, it would give him in a second term the most scope for the kind of action that is off-limits to him today. And, oh, yes — it would be the best outcome for the country, too.

WHY WE’RE IN THE BUDGETARY SOUP  BY ROBERT J. SAMUELSON
WASHINGTON POST

Governing is about choosing, and in the budget debate, there are no popular choices. But the reality shaping them all is an aging society in which programs for the elderly are pushing the budget into growing disequilibrium. Until the political gatekeepers acknowledge this — meaning the left recognizes the need for genuine benefit cuts and the right accepts some higher taxes — public understanding and political agreement will remain hostage to partisan fairy tales. It’s time to deal with facts.

WE NEED A GRAND BARGAIN  BY PETER G. PETERSON
WASHINGTON POST

Rarely are the political interests of both parties as aligned as they are today. No elected officials want the first U.S. credit default to happen on their watch. And after 35 years on Wall Street, one thing I know is that markets are unpredictable — they often don’t signal which direction they’re headed until it’s too late to get out of the way. Some wonder how you can improve our fiscal outlook now without damaging such a fragile recovery. The answer is that we can lock in a long-term plan now but delay its implementation until the economy recovers. Immediate spending cuts and revenue increases could be counterproductive in the context of today’s grim employment outlook, but we need to reach a grand bargain fast to prove to the world that America is back in business.

WE NEED A RONALD REAGAN  BY PEGGY NOONAN
WALL STREET JOURNAL

[The world] wants to have faith in the knowledge that America is the great nation that tries to think about and act upon right and wrong, and that it is a beacon also of things practical—how to have a sturdy, good, unsoiled economy, how to create jobs that provide livelihoods that allow families to be formed, how to maintain a system in which inventors and innovators can flourish. A world without America in this sense—the beacon, the inspiration, the speaker of truth—would be a world deprived of hopefulness. And so we must be our best selves again not only for us but for the world.

OUR PATHETIC DEBT DEBATE  BY JOHN AVLON
THE DAILY BEAST

One side effect of all the hyper-partisan Kool-Aid drinking in D.C. is that compromise is now considered collaboration…The biggest obstacle is the nihilistic all-or-nothing crowd that sees tactical advantage in taking our nation over the cliff, putting special interests over the national interest. The inmates are running the asylum. President Obama’s willingness to be reasonable is not being rewarded by Republicans. This will only push us further apart and closer to the brink.

 

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Must Read Op-Eds for July 11, 2011

Updated