But it would be fair for the new administration to point out how conservative ideology, the belief that greed is always good, helped create this crisis. What F.D.R. said in his second inaugural address — “We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we know now that it is bad economics” — has never rung truer.That last line is a good one. Maybe next time Krugman will win the Nobel Prize for literature to go alongside the one for economics.
And right now happens to be one of those times when the converse is also true, and good morals are good economics. Helping the neediest in a time of crisis, through expanded health and unemployment benefits, is the morally right thing to do; it’s also a far more effective form of economic stimulus than cutting the capital gains tax. Providing aid to beleaguered state and local governments, so that they can sustain essential public services, is important for those who depend on those services; it’s also a way to avoid job losses and limit the depth of the economy’s slump.
So a serious progressive agenda — call it a new New Deal — isn’t just economically possible, it’s exactly what the economy needs.
The bottom line, then, is that Barack Obama shouldn’t listen to the people trying to scare him into being a do-nothing president. He has the political mandate; he has good economics on his side. You might say that the only thing he has to fear is fear itself.
But it's a very true statement. Nancy Pelosi said they would govern down the middle. Screw that! Obama was elected for change and that is what people want. We certainly don't want cowardice and timidity, this is the time for bold action along the lines of what FDR did in the 30's.
The polls just before the election showed that McCain's cry of "redistribution of the wealth" actually raised Obama's numbers. People want that. Even those who don't know all the details know the rich have been ripping us off for years and we have a collapsing economy to show for it. Obama does have a mandate, let's hope he uses it.