Cliff Deal Could Be 'Pyrrhic Victory' for Left

Krugman: Obama can't back down in the battles ahead

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 4, 2013 1:31 PM CST

(Newser) – Democrats arguably won a "tactical victory" with the zero-hour fiscal cliff tax compromise, Paul Krugman writes in the New York Times. The deal, after all, reduced income inequality, extended unemployment and some other progressive policies, and, best of all, didn't cut entitlements, which "was by no means a foregone conclusion." So why isn't Krugman celebrating? "The question," he says "is whether it was a Pyrrhic victory that set the stage for a larger defeat."

Krugman thinks this victory could make things even worse in future budget battles, which look set to continue indefinitely because the sides are locked in an ideological struggle over the role of government—"it's essentially a class war." Republicans intend to once again hold the country hostage with the debt ceiling, and while Obama claims he won't negotiate, he just made it startlingly clear he wasn't willing to go over the fiscal cliff. Given that the debt limit stakes are much higher, "this bodes ill for the administration's resolve in the clutch." Read the full column here.

House Speaker John Boehner walks to a strategy session with GOP members on Capitol Hill on Jan. 4.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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