Krugman to Congress: Be responsible. Spend now. Plan to save later.

The Senate still hasn’t passed a much-needed jobs bill. Last week’s effort to obtain cloture was thwarted when Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins sided with Mitch McConnell over Maine. There’s still hope that the Senate will pass this already scaled down legislation.

But, too many in Congress, of course, have their priorities wrong. They’re worried about deficits when they should be worrying about unemployment. Paul Krugman tried to explain how that thinking is wrong and dangerous for the long-term. But, Krugman’s only a Nobel Prize winning Economist. What could he possibly know?:

The responsible thing, then, is to spend now, while planning to save later.

As I said, many politicians seem determined to do the reverse. Many members of Congress, in particular, oppose aid to the long-term unemployed, let alone to hard-pressed state and local governments, on the grounds that we can’t afford it. In so doing, they are undermining spending at a time when we really need it, and endangering the recovery. Yet efforts to control health costs were met with cries of “death panels.”

And some of the most vocal deficit scolds in Congress are working hard to reduce taxes for the handful of lucky Americans who are heirs to multimillion-dollar estates. This would do nothing for the economy now, but it would reduce revenues by billions of dollars a year, permanently.

But some politicians must be sincere about being fiscally responsible. And to them I say, please get your timing right. Yes, we need to fix our long-run budget problems — but not by refusing to help our economy in its hour of need.

Our economy is still in need after the battering it took from the Bush/GOP economic policies. How anyone can listen to the Republicans pontificate on the economy is beyond me. And, I’m still not sure how it is that Democrats don’t understand that high unemployment is dangerous for their political futures.

AFSCME is on the air in Maine urging Snowe and Collins to do the right thing:

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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