Krugman writes this morning that "it’s time for Washington to stop worrying about this phantom menace" of a debt crisis as howled by the ulterior ghouls of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and 'Fix the Debt' and all their plutocratic ectoplasm of fat financing. Washington should just "stop listening," says Krugman, "to the people who have been peddling this scare story in an attempt to get their way."
"Washington should"--the two most compelling yet vastly incompatible words in the English language. The phrase returned 675,000 matches in a Google-second, while whatever it is that "Washington actually does" would fill a munchkin's thimble.
The problem with Krugman's formulation is that much of Washington and all of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and 'Fix the Debt' and the material goo of their pluto-plasm are one in the same. Washington can't "stop listening" because it--especially in its spectral Republican form--is doing most of the peddling.
The chilling, campfire debt story as heroically whispered to the media by such maverick revenuers as Lindsey Graham, Tom Coburn and Saxby Chambliss I happen to find amusing enough. The media, however, seem to miss its entertainment value. Graham & Co. no more believes--or worries--about the debt a comin' to get us at night than Paul Krugman does; hell, most of these boys have been busy the last 30 years driving the bloody thing stratospherically up. No, what these ghouls want--what they've wanted since the New Deal and Great Society--are the virtuous souls of every last efficient and effective social safety net, since the latter task the former's heartless dogma.