Health Care Debate Makes Me Miss Nixon: Krugman

Back in his day, we could get things done
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 8:00 AM CDT
Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman speaks during a press conference at the World Capital Markets Symposium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Monday, Aug. 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin)
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(Newser) – Paul Krugman is a die-hard liberal, but lately, “I find myself missing Richard Nixon,” he writes in the New York Times. He may have been "the worst person other than Dick Cheney ever to control the executive branch," but his health care reform plan was actually stronger than what Democrats want to do now, and reminds Krugman that there was once an era when "leading figures in both parties were capable of speaking rationally about policy, and in which policy decisions weren’t as warped by corporate cash as they are now"

“What happened to the days when a Republican president could sound so nonideological, and offer such a reasonable proposal?” asks Krugman. Two things happened, he says: The right-wing fringe took over the Republican party, driving the moderates you could make a deal with into hiding. Second, money has taken over the system in a way it hadn’t in the early '70s. It’s gotten so bad “that I sometimes wonder whether the country is still governable.”