Paul Krugman looks back on 2014 and finds more successes for the federal government than a restive electorate might indicate.
Remember Ebola? How could we forget Sen. Jason Rapert saying it was treasonous to allow an American citizen come home for (successful) medical treatment. The CDC generally appears to know what it’s doing.
The economy? Well, Arkansas voters were among those who expressed their unhappiness with the Obama administration from governor to quorum court. The recovery could have been faster but for ill-conceived spending cuts that could have stimulated things, Krugman writes, then notes:
But the story you hear all the time portrays economic policy as an unmitigated disaster, with President Obama’s alleged hostility to business holding back investment and job creation. So it comes as something of a shock when you look at the actual record and discover that growth and job creation have been substantially faster during the Obama recovery than they were during the Bush recovery last decade (even ignoring the crisis at the end), and that while housing is still depressed, business investment has been quite strong.
Recent reports show gathering economic strength; the stock market is zooming.
Finally, Obamacare. Arkansas knows better than anyone — or at least the 300,000 insured through the Medicaid expansion or in insurance exchanges know it — that the government-backed step toward universal coverage has produced a huge improvement in health security for our state. But unhappy anti-Obama voters must be served. If it survives the Arkansas legislature, it seems likely to survive in a punitive and restricted reform. Whatever its many benefits, its existence MUST NOT be advertised. More unfortunate people might find out about it. Nationally, writes Krugman:
Well, the number of Americans without insurance fell by around 10 million; members of the elite who have never been uninsured have no idea just how much positive difference that makes to people’s lives. Remember claims that reform would break the budget? In reality, premiums were far less than predicted, overall health spending is moderating, and specific cost-control measures are doing very well.
A reluctance to intervene in Russia and some other foreign trouble spots seems also to have served us well.
The new Republican regime, minus the White House, will certainly improve on all these developments.