Only if you’re high on LSD.
From his perch as a New York Times columnist, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has often proven a thorn in President Barack Obama’s left side. So Krugman naturally generated buzz with his new Rolling Stone essay “In Defense of Obama,” a lengthy look at the president’s policy record and legacy.
Krugman’s conclusion? “This is what a successful presidency looks like,” he declares.
Obama may not have delivered every progressive goal, but his track record is nonetheless a solid one, Krugman argues. On health reform, Krugman writes that he and many other liberals would have liked to see a single-payer option, but politically, that “wasn’t on the table.” Despite its shortcomings, the Affordable Care Act has delivered health care to about 10 million new people and, the economist contends, is helping to slow the growth of health costs.
Similarly, Krugman posits that while the administration has avoided the “drastic crackdown on Wall Street abuses” that it should have pursued, the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law is going a long way toward creating a system of oversight and consumer protection. With both financial reform and climate change, he writes, “acknowledging the inadequacy of what has been done doesn’t mean that nothing has been achieved.” On the latter issue, Krugman lauds the administration’s investment in renewable energy, its implementation of enhanced fuel efficiency standards, and EPA climate regulations.