Tuesday, October 5


I've been waiting breathlessly for Paul Krugman's take on the debate:

Here's one underreported example: So far, Mr. Bush has paid no political price for his shameful penny-pinching on domestic security and his refusal to provide effective protection for America's ports and chemical plants. As Jonathan Chait wrote in The New Republic: "Bush's record on homeland security ought to be considered a scandal. Yet, not only is it not a scandal, it's not even a story."

But Mr. Kerry raised the issue, describing how the administration has failed to protect us against terrorist attacks. Mr. Bush's response? "I don't think we want to get to how he's going to pay for all these promises."

Oh, yes we do. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, Mr. Bush's tax cuts, with their strong tilt toward the wealthy, are responsible for more than $270 billion of the 2004 budget deficit. Increased spending on homeland security accounts for only $20 billion. That shows the true priorities of the self-proclaimed "war president." Later, Mr. Bush, perhaps realizing his mistake, asserted, "Of course we're doing everything we can to protect America." But he had already conceded that he isn't.

It's also not clear whether voters have noticed the collapse of Mr. Bush's cover story for the disastrous decision to invade Iraq. In Coral Gables, Mr. Bush asserted that when Mr. Kerry voted to authorize the use of force against Saddam, he "looked at the same intelligence I looked at." But as The Times confirmed last weekend, the Bush administration suppressed intelligence that might have raised doubts in Congress.

You can never get too much of Krugman.


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