January 9, 2013

MEGAN MCARDLE not buying this whole “platinum coin” idea.

The Great Platinum Coin Caper is everything that is wrong with Washington: a stupid partisan maneuver that erodes the institutions of our government for no gain other than an immediate political win. The only good thing that can be said about it is that the President seems to be too sensible to actually consider doing it. Nonetheless, the fact that intelligent people like Professor Krugman are even discussing this debacle, much less endorsing it, is a depressing reminder of just how nasty and short-sighted our nation’s capital has become.

When I was reporting on Wall Street, I used to be told with some regularity that government was needed to counteract the short-term thinking of the business sector, who never thought much beyond the next quarterly earnings report. This now seems as quaintly adorable as picture hats and daily milk deliveries. An ADHD day trader with a cocaine habit and six months to live has considerably more long-term planning skills than our current congress.

I actually kind of hope they try this, just for the clarity it would bring. The Obama Presidency, it seems is all about clarity.

UPDATE: Put On The Clown Suit: “Krugman’s response to these ordinary folks — the people upon whom the President’s power depends — is: They’re hysterical and ill-informed. Well, how did this President — how does any President — get elected in the first place? It was by generating confidence. He’s a con man. Let’s say the management of the national debt has been a lot of trickery for a long, long time. What then does it matter if we do something that is quite obviously a trick, that everyone will see as a trick? Does the trick work if the magician points to the hand that’s doing the sleight?”

Plus, from the comments: “I think it would be the ultimate act of honesty to dress the Secretary of the Treasury in a clown costume. I have no objection to that at all.”

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