Wednesday, February 26
Threats, Promises and Lies
Paul Krugman, New York Times, February 25, 2003
So it seems that Turkey wasn't really haggling about the price, it just wouldn't accept payment by check or credit card. In return for support of an Iraq invasion, Turkey wanted — and got — immediate aid, cash on the barrelhead, rather than mere assurances about future help. You'd almost think President Bush had a credibility problem.
And he does.
The funny thing is that this administration sets great store by credibility. [...]
... In fact, I can't think of anyone other than the hard right and corporate lobbyists who has done a deal with Mr. Bush and not come away feeling betrayed. New York's elected representatives stood side by side with him a few days after Sept. 11 in return for a promise of generous aid. A few months later, as they started to question the administration's commitment, the budget director, Mitch Daniels, accused them of "money-grubbing games." Firefighters and policemen applauded Mr. Bush's promise, more than a year ago, of $3.5 billion for "first responders"; so far, not a penny has been delivered. [...]
Then there's the honesty thing.
Mr. Bush's mendacity on economic matters was obvious even during the 2000 election. But lately it has reached almost pathological levels. Last week Mr. Bush — who has been having a hard time getting reputable economists to endorse his economic plan — claimed an endorsement from the latest Blue Chip survey of business economists. "I don't know what he was citing," declared the puzzled author of that report, which said no such thing. [...]