Republicans have outdone themselves with their Pledge to America, writes Paul Krugman. The manifesto complains over and over about the national debt, but its main policy idea is to extend all the Bush tax breaks—while offering relatively few spending cuts. "Never mind the war on terror, the party’s main concern seems to be the war on arithmetic," he writes in the New York Times.
Sure, most such political platforms are "nonsense," but this goes further than most. It's part of the age-old strategy of saying whatever it takes to assume power despite the economic realities. "So the clear and present danger isn’t that the GOP will be able to achieve its long-run goals," writes Krugman. "It is, rather, that Republicans will gain just enough power to make the country ungovernable, unable to address its fiscal problems or anything else in a serious way. As I said, banana republic, here we come."