Republicans Have No Inflation Plan

Oct 27, 2022 · 724 comments
Jubilee (Prattsville, NY)
"...the Republican Party doesn’t actually have any plan to reduce inflation." In his latest prayer to staunch the red tide, Mr. Krugman makes the case that things are not as bad economically as folks might actually see with their own eyes, but rather the data reveals that things are much better. Yesterday, a large swath of the mainstream media reported that the United States has about a month left of diesel gas and home heating oil reserve. Potential shortages and rationing loom in the Northeast and Southeast. While Biden and his Congress did not cause this, they are culpable for the lack of a substantive response owing to their energy policy, or lack thereof. One aspect of the GOP plan to fight inflation is to encourage, by once again reducing regulatory redtape and providing confidence to the financial markets, the exploration, drilling and refining of oil and natural gas which boomed user the previous administration. When refined gas products become plentiful again, and the US again becomes an energy exporter instead of having to beg the Saudis to increase production to goose Dem chances in the midterms, then diesel prices for planes, trains and trucks will come down, along with heating oil and refined gas for automobiles. This should have an immediate impact on inflation as the cost to transport goods and people ease.
Lindsey Everhart Reese (Taylorville Illinois)
Why worry about inflation. The supply line issues that caused it are only temporary! We need more stimulus. Money thrown from helicopters!
Lindsey Everhart Reese (Taylorville Illinois)
Why worry about inflation. The supply line issues that caused it are only temporary! We need more stimulus. Money thrown from helicopters!
Clearheaded (Philadelphia)
What's with the spam? Trying to convince yourself?
Lindsey Everhart Reese (Taylorville Illinois)
Why worry about inflation. The supply line issues that caused it are only temporary! We need more stimulus. Money thrown from helicopters!
Lindsey Everhart Reese (Taylorville Illinois)
Why worry about inflation. The supply line issues that caused it are only temporary! We need more stimulus. Money thrown from helicopters!
Colleen Adl (Toronto)
@Lindsey Everhart Reese. But not over Wall Street or gated communities. There the money disappears. Give it to the people who will spend it, so it really does impact the economy. That is, people living pay cheque to pay cheque.
Bruce Maier (Shoreham, BY)
@Lindsey Everhart Reese The effects of stimulus that kept us out of a depression are long gone. Anyone who thinks that a couple of thousand remakes the economy permanently isn't working with a full calculator.
Clearheaded (Philadelphia)
So taking you at your word, the difference between you and our president and what Paul is saying here is that they change their opinions and actions based on what they learn. It's a good method, you should try it sometime.
Bill Virginia (23456)
The Republicans were in power 6 years ago and oil and gasoline prices went down. Biden was in office 3 months and oil priced were increasing. I think many forgot that Biden’s platform was to reduce the use of fossil fuels and his party is hostile to the oil industry. Biden also attacks Russia and Saudis on being in the petroleum business. If oil is cheaper, more will be used. If the world stops using oil, these policies will look foresighted and intelligent.
Good John Fagin (Chicago Suburbs)
Nonsense! Of course they do. Cut taxes for the rich, deny climate change, build the wall, reject the 2020 election, and inflation will vanish into the mist. What more do you want.
Jubilee (Prattsville, NY)
"...the Republican Party doesn’t actually have any plan to reduce inflation." In his latest hymm and prayer, Mr. Krugman makes the case that things are not as bad economically as folks might actually see with their own eyes, but rather the data reveals that things are much better. Yesterday, a large swath of the mainstream media reported that the United States has about a month left of diesel gas and home heating oil reserve. Potential shortages and rationing loom in the Northeast and Southeast. While Biden and his Congress did not cause this, they are culpable for the lack of a substantive response owing to their energy policy, or lack thereof. One aspect of the GOP plan to fight inflation is to encourage, by once again reducing regulatory redtape and providing confidence to the financial markets, the exploration, drilling and refining of oil and natural gas which boomed user the previous administration. When refined gas products become plentiful again, and the US again becomes an energy exporter instead of having to beg the Saudis to increase production to goose Dem chances in the midterms, then diesel prices for planes, trains and trucks will come down, along with heating oil and refined gas for automobiles. This should have an immediate impact on inflation as the cost to transport goods and people ease.
hawk (New England)
Stop being dishonest Krugman. The tax cut was $2 trillion over ten years, or less than half the student debt giveaway, a fraction of the American Rescue tax and spent, far less than the Inflation Action Act. Both with zero Republican votes In addition it doubled the personal exemption, increased dependent deduction, moved up the brackets, and capped the SALT deduction hurting those with second homes. The Liberals tried to repeal that one So who benefits Professor? The wealthy? Surprisingly treasury revenue went up, way up. Across all sectors personal, corporate, and payroll. ‘21-‘22 is a historic high after 20 million jobs were hijacked. Any explanation Professor?
Get Real (VA)
Every major social/economic/environmental program or plan has been the initiative out of the democratic apparatus, not a single social benefit has been deployed by the GOP in decades, their biggest claim to fame being tax cuts that in reality have only ballooned the deficit's and hurt the average working person. Even the advent of IRA's let the corporations off the hook of providing retirement benefits under the fallacy of defined contribution plans further burdening the average working person with the mind boggling task of retirement security while . Only the intellectually shallow could defend voting for a political party hellbent on spinning "alternative " facts and obfuscating truth about our election system, all while trying to relentlessly game the system.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Let me be blunt; We are faced with a conflict between the rich and everyone else. I refuse to go to war but the Republicans want to. Attorney General Garland: arrest them by the thousands and prosecute, or we will descend into war. Without justice to blunt rage, we would incur war with no justice and a military reich. You must not "Judge". You must Prosecute biased.
Carlos (New York)
Paul, you are preaching to a group that does not accept facts. They are thrilled with their willful ignorance and absolutely abhor any intellectual thought. They listen to the MAGA leaders like sheep and believe anything that they are told. In this manner they are like religious fanatics that believe only what they are instructed to in order to continue to be a part of that community. I know that we need to keep trying to break this cycle of ignorance but at this point, the fact just don't matter.
Cody McCall (tacoma)
The GOP 'plan' for inflation is the same plan--the only plan--they have for everything--FAHV: fear, anger, hate, violence. FAHV. It works for everything.
Dwight (St. Louis, MO)
I commend Mr. Krugman for calling out the emptiness of the Republican position on the economy and especially on inflation. Indeed, I call on Democrats everywhere who are in contention for office--especially in swing states, like Georgia and Wisconsin--to call for a Republican plan. If they know so much, let them share their knowledge. If it's just more Reaganomic pablum, we've already seen in the UK what that leads to. The fact that we saw 2.6 percent growth in GDP in September, means that Biden's approach has been validated--that is keeping people out of needless poverty because of a worldwide pandemic. Republicans are masters of blame--let them show us what the got. Put up or shut up!
ecclect-obsvr (New Jersey)
PK, if Twitter under Musk is going to be bad-- where are going to post your frequent economic observatons?
cdisf (SF)
Biden is back in the news making comments on the economy that further erode his credibility. When gas prices head north, he says he can’t control them. When they dip, he takes credit. He now says that he has brought down high gas prices that he “inherited.” Huh? The average cost of a gallon of gas on the AAA site was $3.76 Thursday. When he took office, it was averaging $2.39 – or about half what he said it was then – according to the Energy Information Institute. This is just the most recent lie on his part…he refuses to own anything he says and just keeps parroting that the economy is strong and berating the masses for complaining. As for Yellen, she has got to go.
Real Observer (Ca)
Apple is soaring. If you bought 100 or 200 apple shares in 1997 during clinton's time, it is up by 100,000 pct. you would be a millionaire. Google went public during the dot com crash. Don't complain about inflation and gas prices and blame somebody else. Be smart and take care of yourself.The extreme far right party is trying to scare you for your vote.Then they will forget you and enrich themselves and the billionaires who sponsor them and want to become multibillionaires
M. Monroe (Los Angeles)
Really, Paul? What was inflation when Biden took office?
Walt Matthews (Colorado)
Sure, Paul, and to all the other Democrats lining up to call misery "magnificent!" Let's assume the GOP has a no-plan plan, it is better than the malaise plan Democrats have promoted under the just-getting-started wealth-destroying socialism. It will level the playing field to be sure, right into the basement. But don't believe your lying eyes, right, believe Paul Krugman, the same famed economist who forecasted: "'The economic fallout of a Donald Trump presidency will probably be severe and widespread enough to plunge the world into recession,' New York Times columnist Paul Krugman warned in a New York Times opinion piece published early Wednesday." 11/08/2016 My god, this country cannot survive the lies and delusions of the left any more than the lies of DJT.
Real Observer (Ca)
Biden and the democrats brought 50 percent of the poor kids in America out of poverty in just a year. The extreme far right party keeps them poor and repressed for votes from white nationalists and supremacists.
GUANNA (New England)
There inflation plan is a nationwide ban on abortion.
Dennis Quick (Charleston, South Carolina)
The Republicans didn’t even have a platform for the 2020 election. Their “plan” for all seasons is tax cuts for the rich.
Horace Greeley (New York, NY)
Volcker’s mistake was pivoting the moment inflation peaked. This hasty move caused a double-dip recession, and after a head-fake rally, a new two-year market low.
Allison (Texas)
Republicans aren’t interested in good governance. All you have to do is observe them when they are in power, & you’ll see that they have two reasons for getting into government: 1. To have the power to determine who gets government subsidies — preferably their own businesses & those of their cronies — and 2. To shore up the white male patriarchy by stripping voting rights and/or rights to bodily autonomy from anyone who opposes them. That’s it. That’s their whole agenda in a nutshell. Everything they do is connected to one of those two objects. They have no interest in improving the lives of Americans or engaging in any constructive way with people they disdain & denigrate.
bob Gorman (Chicago)
Of course they have a plan....cut spending on social programs.
Jim (NC)
"Don't make it worse" is a plan. Next fall, when the GOP-led Congress *doesn't* pass a $3 trillion "Stuff We Always Wanted Act of 2023," that will be their plan in action. Sometimes it's just that simple.
crystal (Wisconsin)
The real story lies in the test scores. If less than 50% of the population can understand 8th grade math, then how are they going to understand complicated economic theory? Uneducated people make poorly informed decisions that are often not in their best interest. Unfortunately they drag a lot of other people down alongside them.
Steven Block (New York)
Paul, I find myself almost universally in agreement with you, admiring your penchant for articulating the blindingly obvious to those who prefer to think otherwise. In this case, however, to say the Republicans have no plan or strategy to counter high gas prices ignores their stated intention to stimulate domestic energy production through tax incentives and deregulation. One can (including me) question the advisability of such a policy given climate concerns. But that is another ball of wax.
mbrody (Frostbite Falls, MN)
Always the water carrier. The foremost cause is Biden's attack on fossil fuel which has raised the cost of everything and does zero toward mitigating climate change. See Gemany taking down windmills to re-open a coal mine Killing investment in FF will not bring renewable future any faster. It will only drive up the cost renewable hardware. This has also caused world wide suffering and hardship. The second is the un-hinged spending and the money printing it has brought.
George Feinn (NY, NY)
@mbrody "The foremost cause is Biden's attack on fossil fuel..." Say you know nothing about how inflation works without actually saying you know nothing about how inflation works. I swear it's like you folks have simply giving up on living in reality. The key to propaganda is to take a small truth, blow it completely out of proportion and sell it as the one and only reason that something is happening to naive people who sop it up like a biscuit. You must really enjoy biscuits.
Duane M. (Tucson, Az.)
What do you mean Republicans don't have a plan to fight inflation? They've been implementing it for four decades with great success: Doing anything and everything they can think of to keep wages from ever going up. If the low income tenant class that used to be the greatest, home owning, middle class in history wishes to continue fighting inflation that way then vote Republic. They sure won't be let down. Apparently that is what they wish.
Caryn (Massachusetts)
Thank you, Paul, as always, for making sense and for stating the obvious. Anyone who thinks the GOP will help them is delusional. They do not care about anything but themselves and power. Period. The Biden Administration is not only careful, they are empathetic to all that we, who are not millionaires, are struggling though. BLUE WAVE COMING!
rob (va)
financial media meme is that fed will pause or pivot. wall street rally today supports this nonsense. fed plans 75 basis point rate hikes in november & december. bond yields will continue to rise. roller coaster will start going the other way for equities.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
Republicans did not cause the inflation and whatever it is they did before J20, 2021 to keep inflation low and 5 times less than today should work if that is their plan. The current inflation is exclusively due to the spending exclusive plan of the Democrats' one party rule in Washington. The other reason for inflation is the supply and demand issue. No one buys less eggs because they are more expensive. Price control in the USA is outlawed and rightfully so. So what do consumers do? They do what the government does borrow more? Why? there are no consequences for borrowing more and more. The cost of operating a business have gone up and the only way for profit businesses can make a profit is if they keep their cost of operation as low as possible by running a tight ship. What is troubling is that consumers are not changing their eating habits despite high cost of unhealthy foods and are not moving to more fuel efficient cars in large numbers. I cannot therefore say that inflation is a good thing as Biden once said. Despite billions of $ of tax payer monies spent on biomedical research, what is the use if many Americans keep consuming sugar rich, salt rich, fat rich products especially during festival season. Inflation should be seen as a blessing in disguise for buying less, driving less, eating less of unhealthy stuff and stocking less on non essentials. Those with obesity around hips or waist should attack the root cause of their being over weight and type 2 diabetics.
George Feinn (NY, NY)
@Girish Kotwal "Republicans did not cause the inflation and whatever it is they did before J20, 2021 to keep inflation low and 5 times less than today should work if that is their plan." Inflation has been low for decades and to suggest doing more of what they did before J20, 2021 to get it back there is laughably naive. Gifting tax breaks to the wealthy/corporations and COVID were the biggest reasons that caused it in the first place. Try. Even if it's just a little.
Girish Kotwal (Louisville, KY)
@George Feinn NY. Misinformation and disinformation is not catching any traction for the Democrats especially not if Democrats lose control of the house and the senate in the mid terms. The Republican tax cuts were across the board. I don't the millionaires and billionaires like Gates, Buffet, Soros, Bezos, Musk etc became filthy rich from the tax cuts. One of the best part of the Trump-Pence tax reforms was the increase in standard deduction for average working class Americans who do not need to resort to loop holes to diminish their tax burden. Tax revenues actually increased after the tax reform because cooking of tax returns was eliminated and fair taxation could be enforced. It is the bloated government and gross over spending since J20, 2021 that has caused the hyper inflation and the paying of people not to work caused labor shortages and supply chain crises.
SWatts (wake forest)
The Fed intends to control inflation by raising interest rates. But will raising interest rates in the USA end the Russian blockade on Ukrainian grain and gas? Will it end embargoes on Russian gas and oil by Western nations? I don’t believe the Fed’s strategy will be successful.
A 30 year survey of Republican majorities show one of the worst financial track records of any political party. It is baffling that many Americans still believe that Republicans are fiscally responsible. The only inflation plan Republican politicians have is the inflation of their own bank accounts by hook or crook.
Yahoo (Somerset)
@J On a local level, they follow the same playbook. You can't really argue with their success. Voters just love to see them eating at a better restaurant.
Louis (San Clemente, CA)
@J Inflation is worldwide. Why blame Biden?
Brian (St. Louis)
This article only speaks to those who already know the message. The GOP couldn’t care less about macro economics. They only care about power and wielding that power. Democrats could take notes.
mark (California)
A logical explanation of what causes inflation and how it can be controlled is just a tree falling in an empty forest. Independent, low information voters, " Me Angry!"
Ed (Austin, TX)
Wouldn't it be nice if the press -- the straight reporters -- would focus less on the horse racing and more on substantial facts? Crime. Who has it? Red states more than blue. Inflation. What's the plan to fix it? As this column suggests, there is no offering from the opposition. Education. What's the plan? Here reasonable people could differ but there has to be a plan! Ukraine: Will the GOP really cut aid right away? No, then what does McCarthy mean to say? The policy would be unchanged? Politicians who misrepresent themselves should be pulverized by the press to stop it. That would allow the real policy differences, the ones that affect people to be discussed.
Ed C Man (HSV)
Not only no inflation plan, the Republicans do not have a plan for anything to help American voters. Instead Republicans work to obstruct Congress. They will not support, and only complain about all the legislation the Democrats pass. Then they use the media to con voters over their legislative intentions such as cutting Medicare and Social Security payments to senior citizens.
TA Morrison (Corning CA)
Mr. Krugman, the Republicans do have an Inflation Plan and it is successful and is currently being implemented. Corporations have raised prices - Inflation! - and have reaped Record Profits. Republicans blame Democrats for Inflation! and will reap control of Congress. Ergo, the successful Republican Inflation Plan. Please note, next plan is in fact currently being implemented, it is "Election and Voting Management".
VoteBlue_InDroves (L.A. and its surrounds)
"Republicans have no inflation plan." Right, but the title should eliminate the word, "inflation" - as the Republicans have no plans - at all - other than to bring the country back to the 19th Century along with trying to thwart the Democratic Party at every turn. Want the comeback of the Poor Farm when they attempt to decimate Social Security and Medicare? Want women's bodies to be owned by men? Want a Washington, DC version of "The Stepford Wives"? Don't be complacent. Vote Blue in the mid-terms. In droves. The Democrats aren't perfect, but the alternative is bluntly retrogressive - and scary.
fryman (Delmar, NY)
Under competitive capitalism, prices is restrained by competition. Supply chain issues are temporary and shortly prices are forced to moderate. We don't have competitive capitalism anymore. The is no more "hidden hand' of the market controlling prices. Instead, we now have giant monopolies able to restrain production, slow down technical progress and set much higher prices than costs. In this environment, the unelected Fed is using the wrong tool to fight inflation - rate hikes and bond sales to decrease the money supply. Impoverishing the public by creating massive layoffs is not an acceptable solution to inflation. Instead, carefully targeted price controls could be employed on a regional basis for necessities like food and energy to challenge these monopolies and force them to roll back their prices. It could also be used to stop the current financial speculation in the commodities market that is magnifying price hikes. Not only would this prevent massive layoffs, it would "smooth out" the production planning by businesses and people, as well as protect people's retirement savings which are now under threat.
Brian (Amherst, Massachusetts)
Early spending under Biden may have bumped inflation 2-3 percent, but then inflation leveled off (look at the numbers over time), which may actually have been reasonable given the mess they had to recover from under Trump, with higher unemployment and Covid deaths than comparable countries. Inflation then skyrocketed everywhere, actually worse than here in comparable economies, from supply chain issues and the Ukraine war. So what to actually do now? Tax cuts can help compensate people but may also drive more inflation as well as deficits. Meanwhile at least some Democrats have been noting high profits and price gouging by suppliers too, and the idea of windfall profit taxes. How about production subsidies? And why not propose limited price controls on key items like gasoline? Democrats should at least propose such things now, and note how Republicans respond. Everyone really should be making inflation the number one issue, not other issues that don't affect everyone, including unemployment; most people still have jobs, but everyone but the wealthy feels inflation.
Joseph Schall (Colchester Vermont)
Discussions on inflation should always include the effects of climate disasters. Fires? A hundred home burn, so a hundred families are looking for housing. Another hundred, and another hundred, soon adds up. Bacon prices up? Bacon is a kind of pork, pork comes from pigs, pigs eat corn, and we have large losses in corn production due to drought. Cheese prices up? Cheese comes from milk, milk comes from cows, cows eat hay, and the hay crop has suffered losses due to drought. Sorry to be a downer, but his will get worse and worse no matter what our thoughtful political leader do.
Real Observer (Ca)
David, unemployment is at 3.5 pct. The stock market is soaring.The economy is very solid. During Reagans time inflation was at 14 pct.Mortgages cost 19 pct. The extreme far right party has no solution. The democrats and biden are cutting education and health care costs and providing child tax credit which brought millions of kids out of poverty. Earnings minus costs(including inflation) is savings. Wages are going up.When costs are cut, net savings go up.Simple math.
RLW (Chicago)
Paul Krugman knows Republicans have no viable economic plans regarding inflation or anything else beyond their worn out mantras that have already proven to be of no value. So why do so many Americans who are hurting now, and will hurt worse after Republicans actually grab the reins of power guiding the federal government, continue to vote for these loudmouths who have delivered nothing in the 21st Century to make lives better for those who voted for them? I blame it on a misalignment of the planets. Surely so many millions can't really believe that Republicans, with Trump at the head of their party, will actually do anything helpful for the little guy who just wants to live the "American Dream"?
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
Perhaps Lyndon Johnson framed it best: you need to convince the worst off white voter he'll be better served than the best off Black voter and you'll get his vote. I have the definite sense that a lot of the MAGA crowd actually knows the Republicans won't do anything for them. What they want is to make sure the government won't do anything for the Black and brown people they fear and despise, and will try to make their lives, in fact, worse. What they seek is punishment for those they see as below them on the social status ladder. That will make them feel better somehow. The MAGA party (the party formerly known as the GOP) has become the white people's party and their main objective is to feel less bad by making sure everyone else stays suppressed. That's what they mean when they insist they won't be replaced by lesser life forms.
Real Observer (Ca)
what happened with the inflation reduction act. My aunt is a retired school teacher,83 and wears a pacemaker.her costs get cut down to 2000 a year just as her pension is sinking in value because she is drawing rmd every year.has to to pay the mortgage and bills. Huge help.Also low prescription drug prices for her when costs for those is rising
john riehle (los angeles, ca)
The unspoken Republican plan for inflation is the current Fed plan: recession and unemployment. Given its need to win in November that's also the reason the Biden administration leaves its own reliance on this same plan unspoken. Once the rise in interest rates work their way through the economy recession will follow the upcoming election at a respectful distance and will tamp down the upsurge in labor organizing that is currently going on - all to the benefit of the billionaires that fund both parties. The problem for Democratic presidential aspirations is that if it is a deep one the recession will last long enough to doom them in 2024 while it would guarantee Republican victory. In this case serving the same masters yeilds different political outcomes for the respective servants but the same disaster for the rest of us.
William A Keating (North Amityville, NY)
@john riehle Your knowledge of economics appears to be limited to the Democrat's highly successful marketing campaign that Republicans "give tax cuts to the wealthy and to corporations." Why is this a criticism? Money is supposed to stay in the private sector under Capitalism. "Capitalists believe that the government should allow the free market to determine supply and demand. "On the other hand, socialists believe that the government is responsible for ensuring economic equality by introducing programs that benefit the poor." Would you rather have Apple computer re-invest its Macintosh profits into the iPhone, or give them to Congress where much will be spent on pork projects to help getting them re-elected? Kennedy, not Reagan, preached first for lower taxes for the rich and corporations. "But the most direct and significant kind of federal action aiding economic growth is to make possible an increase in private consumption and investment demand.... "The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system -- and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes." "Corporate tax rates must also be cut to increase incentives and the availability of investment capital." Address to the Economic Club of New York, December, 1962.
Blair (NJ)
Here is Krugman’s prescription for inflation: spend so much that it will put us in the same position as the UK in that we will never be able to cut taxes. It is the exact opposite of Reagan who cut taxes in the hopes that it would force Congress to cut spending.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
@Blair --when Reagan was Prez, mortgages were well over 12% and inflation even higher. Read your history.
Real Observer (Ca)
The stock market is soaring today.up 700 points. Biden and the democrat's plan for the economy is working. 50 percent don't even care about inflation. If their net worth is 20 percent more this year and inflation at 8 pct why care ? If home prices come down, they become more affordable with an ARM mortgage but supply has to keep up,
Steve Bolger (New York City)
The US public does not understand what corporations are. They are institutions, not people. They employ people to execute the activities their directors decide to pursue. Governments are corporations with coercive powers. The Congress is its bicameral board of directors, and the president is its chief executive officer. I don't see what value Republicans bring to the national board of directors.
otroad (NE)
Produce more, much more energy so as to halve the price of it. Announce a strong intention to pull all the plugs and raise production by 5m b/day. Under the previous administration, that is why OPEC was meeting with no results, and inflation stayed at 1.5%. Instead of that, the Biden administration prefers to hammer the working poor into poverty, and destroy peoples savings. In less than two weeks, people will vote and choose between having their savings double, like under the previous administration, or halve, like under the current one.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
@otroad --Trump benefitted from riding on Obama's coattails economically. It had exactly zero to do with him. The war with Ukraine and Saudi corruption, greed and profiteering by corporations has everything to do with the fairly low inflation we are experiencing. Look at the rest of the world to gauge this-the inflation is every other developed nation is higher than ours. This is a supply chain/shipping cost/global event, following that other global event, a horrific pandemic. Look to England to see what could happen if Republicans get in. Economics cannot be entirely controlled by a political party, especially one with no ideas other than tax cuts and more beneifts for the wealthy. And that is exactly ALL the GOP offers.
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
Otroad, energy (especially oil and gas) are international commodities, traded on world markets. Pulling for the US to pull out the stops to produce more will not drive down retail prices in the US while the rest of the world continues on its merry way. That is the illogic of the "build the wall" fantasy: it's an easy mental picture to sell but unrelated to the way things actually work.
Crewsin (Near Ky)
Yes: They do have a plan. Cut the glut of Fed spending. Less money in circulation means reduced inflation. All grants to cities such as NYC that are feeding illegals will be a start. It will be cruel and somehow they need to avoid the blame and the bad PR.
Denis Montenier (Hudson, Iowa)
@Crewsin ..That's funny. Republicans have no qualms about massive increases in fed spending on the defense budget.
Crewsin (Near Ky)
@Denis Montenier : I beg to differ. The Dems are the primary movers behind massive spending on Ukraine. I hope the Republicans cut off that spigot
David L, Jr. (Oxford, MS)
Helping create inflation and then claiming that your opponent has no plan to fix the inflation you created, is not a great strategy. Do Democrats have an inflation plan? Do you have an inflation plan, Paul? And if you do, would you care to share it with the class? And what happened with the "Inflation Reduction Act"? Crime is up, even if not largely because of national Democrats, certainly because of the climate they helped bring about, and certainly because of leftists at the local levels, be they the children of terrorists, à la Chesa Boudin, or otherwise. In your last column, you denied this ... which was absurd. Many are trying to lay the blame for inflation on the Ukraine war, But that war may not have even begun absent the President of the United States telling an avowed enemy what the country WOULDN'T do if it invaded. No strategic ambiguity here.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
@David L, Jr. --Absurd. Putin was enabled to think he could attack Ukarine through the shenanegins of Donald Trump, who ultimately paved the way for the war. Putin also expected that Trump would be re-elected and that he could easily shimmy in there and grab it all. He did not count on Biden and a collective effort in Europe stopping him. Trump was his useful idiot and he was flummoxed when it didn't go according to his despotic plans. Read about Putin extensively and you will see, he is as unhinged as is our former President.
Jay (St. Louis)
Republican campaigning is all about the economy, but when they win office and get their majority in the House, their attention will return to banning books and trying to stuff the LGBTQ genie back into the bottle. The economy won't improve and Republican voters won't even care.
H (Queens)
The special motto for today's Republicans should be : "It's the fake economics, stupid.!"
Max (NYC)
I don't see any solution offered in this very pro-Democrat column, so I guess the inflation issue is a wash. All we have to go on is that it occurred on the Dem's watch. Time to give the other team a chance.
Dwight (St. Louis, MO)
@Max, inflation isn't a local or even a national malady. It's a worldwide problem, spawned by a worldwide pandemic that killed millions and shut the world down almost two years. Production almost ceased. Jobs evaporated, supply chains were cut. China still hasn't realized that it needs join the world and follow the best vaccine science instead of bullying its people with draconian quarantines. Hence parts and chips and the substantial production out that country has continued to stay behind--driving up prices. Add Putin's war and it's impact on worldwide access to natural gas and your have a perfect storm. It's not a Democrat inflation. Open your eyes. The Fed's only tool is interest rate increases--so the cost of credit is now very high, sucking money out of the economy. But people still need necessities and that doesn't change--ever.
John Brews (Santa Fe)
The GOP does not waste time on plans to fix problems. Their efforts are devoted to using problems to inflame division and dissatisfaction with government. It is all in service of the ultimate goal “to deconstruct the administrative state”; that is, to completely undermine all confidence in government and lay the basis for installation of the billionaire oligarchy running FOX, the GOP, and the MAGA cult.
Tim (Spivey)
If they don’t have a plan…how do you know things would get worse? July 2022, you wrote a piece called, “I was wrong about inflation.”
rob (va)
the usual suspects: crime, the border, the economy. they oppose gun control, send people to martha's vineyard & still insist tax cuts increases gdp.
Glenn (Florida)
Of course, they don't have any economic plans. Republicans aren't about getting elected to do stuff, they are just about getting elected. If they do get elected, they will spend the time between then and the next election telling their voters to watch out - "if those liberals win the next election, they will force you to divorce your wife and marry a black Muslim man who uses alternative pronouns who would definitely have an abortion if he could get pregnant!".
Alan Jones (Chicago, Illinois)
The GOP has lost interest in policy decades ago...well, at least, all policies except tax cuts for the rich----that's it folks.
H (Queens)
Inflation is impacting American's lives The economy is recovering from an external shock, that being the epidemic There is growth and unemployment but the prospect is cloudy as happens under capitalism It took years of runaway inflation to bring down the Weimar Republic The Republicans will say and do anything to win an election They lie about inflation and the economy and once in power when their scheme to lower taxes and cut services fails they will blame the Democrats They can get away with this when there is an economic problem but not a crisis because the Democrats believe the facts will speak for themselves, which may have been true under Reagan, Bush (the smarter) and Clinton, but not now They therefore fall victim to the evil Republicans The motto for today is: "It's the fake economics, stupid." We are doomed
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
We heard a lot about the US becoming Greece and Venezuela if Democrats were elected. Will the MAGA people now threaten we'll become Argentina and Brazil? Now THERE'S inflation, and it didn't happen under progressive libtard administrations. If the Republicans gain Congressional majorities, get ready to take up the tango and the samba.
The only plan the Republicans need is to not follow the Biden plan, which has led us into economic disaster. Paul, you lose more and more credibility with every column you pen.
The Iconoclast (Oregon)
So, when will the Times stop equating inflation and gas prices with Biden and Democrats? Oops! Too late. If the Dems do poorly blame the print press.
Pottree (Joshua Tree)
The Republican inflation plan is as obvious as it is straightforward: Welcome inflation with open arms and elevate it to a powerful campaign issue; perhaps just use its name as a political slogan. Politically, inflation can be just great for the party not in power, especially today's GOP. Of course, being the party that has elevated selfishness to a religion, Republicans would have no interest in actually dealing with inflation. It's another way they can appeal to those who inflation affects while the true powers of the party have so much wealth that they cannot be personally and materially bothered by it at all. If there were no inflation Republicans would try to just invent it, as they have so many other scourges that rile up their base. And it goes without saying that the Republican take on inflation is that is has all been caused in two short years by the feckless policies of President Biden, and if it also exists (and is worse) in other countries that is either a) a startling coincidence to be ignored or 2) also Biden's fault, like spooky action at a distance in physics.
Michael N. Alexander (Lexington, Mass.)
Prof. Krugman, typical in this case, inveighs against the two-quarters-of-economic-decline popular definition of a recession. Typical of the economics priesthood, he says people must wait until the economic high priests of the National Bureau of Economic Research get around to making their pronouncement. That might satisfy the priesthood and economic historians, but it simply will not do for the population at large – and for businesses and policymakers who must make decisions without undue delay. Can’t – why won’t – the economics profession come up with an approximate measure that provides guidance and enlightenment in the short term?
"the G.O.P. doesn’t have a plan to fight inflation." I thought the same about the non existent GOP healthcare plan. Both are wrong. It turns out they do have a plan - criminalize healthcare and ensure the continuing inflation of oil profits ($30 billion last quarter for the top two US oil profiteers) and excess profits of monopolist corporations responsible for 50%+ portion of the inflation numbers gouging the rest of us. Their windfall profits are a private windfall tax on all of us. Furthermore, the GOP's economic plan is unchanged since Reagan - tax cut giveaways for the rich and defunding society, stealing from Social Security and Medicare and anything else the wealthy do not personally profit from and transferring all that wealth to giant corporations and the rich. Once all society's wealth is squeezed out resulting in a deficit too large to sustain, they will default on the national debt. They do have a plan!
Boston Barry (Framingham, MA)
The Democrats don't have a real plan either. If history is any guide, some pain will be needed to break the inflation spiral. The Fed is already raising interest rates. In the past, it was Republican Reagan who was willing to deploy high unemployment as an inflation breaker. After the midterms, will the Democrats be as willing? We have to wonder whether this inflation is mostly caused by the COVID epidemic and most resembles the inflation after both world wars or whether it is caused by the Ukrainian war and resembles the 1970s oil shock. In the first case, supply and demand will naturally equilibrate as manufacturing and service businesses ramp up to meet expanded demand. In the second case, more drastic government action will be needed. As a side note, the Democrat's insistence on restricting fossil fuels in the service of climate change mitigation can clearly be seen as a contributing factor to our lack of resilience against the Russians. The same can be said for the left's campaign against nuclear power. Once more the perfect has been seen to be the enemy of what is possible.
Stephen Merritt (Gainesville, Florida)
OK, I'll say thank you, Dr. Krugman, because I suppose there are so many people leaving angry comments because Dr. Krugman is right but they don't want to admit it.
Don (Clermont, France)
We live in a free society. The government can encourage, but not force me to buy a car this year rather than next year. The economy, therefore, is like the weather. No government has much effect on it. It is all of us, with our collective optimism or paranoia, who determine the course of the economy. The fact that people "vote their pocketbooks" is proof that people vote for all the wrong reasons.
PB (Northern Utah)
A statement from the 1960s: "What beings as culture, ends as politics." Another statement from social psychology called The Thomas Theorem" (1928): Situations defined as real as real in their consequences. Then there is George Orwell's "1984," where political power is wielded through the principles of doublespeak (war is peace, ignorance is strength, and slavery is freedom); the changeability of the past (revisionist history); and the transformation of the English language and nuance into "Newspeak" (based on reducing the language of communication to short oversimplified soundbites and either-or opposites, which thereby reduces human thought, so that complex ideas and ideals cannot be expressed. Under such circumstances, humans become more malleable and much more easily conditioned and manipulated. Although Orwell conceived of Big Brother as the government, in a neoliberal, capitalist corporatocracy, big business and the market sector are Big Brother, with the government subsumed under and working for the unfettered market sector. Republican politicians and the corporate and right-wing media are its handmaidens. The manipulation of culture is their modus operandi, which diverts attention and belies the underlying corporatists' determination to control and command as much of the economy as possible. (10% of America's richest people control 70% of the nation's total wealth.) Money over people at all costs, & the costs are high. Look out the window. Truth is a lie
Betsy (Houston)
They have a plan: pay for tax cuts by eliminating Social Security and Medicare. Some plan!
cdearman (Santa Fe, NM)
@Betsy Most of the people who would be impacted by the GOPs intention to solve the delicate problem by reducing Social Security payments and Medicare will not know how they have been undermined by their vote for the GOP until the GOP releases its plain.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
Since this has disappeared: It's easier to blame the other party. Both parties do that. However, the GOP's only plan seems to be tax cuts and cuts in government spending. Tax cuts hurt the economy and they hurt us. Programs that help all of us are eliminated or cut back to the point of being useless. Giving tax cuts to corporations and people that can afford to pay taxes is unfair to the people who are struggling to make ends meet. Why should they pay more than the richest do? As far as recessions go; many of us have been living in a recession for decades. Our pay hasn't kept up with increases in the cost of living for decades. Con Ed is raising our rates by 27%. Food prices have increased. The price of clothing has gone up. The cost of medical care increases every year. I don't know anyone who is getting a 6% raise, an 8% raise, or much of a raise at all. I know plenty of people whose standard of living depends upon plastic in their pockets. That's not a real standard. That's a risk. So we come back to the same problems, recession or not, GOP plans or not. Most Americans are on thin financial ground. How is that going to be solved going forward? 10/27/2022 4:55pm first submit
William Harris (West Coast)
the have a plan. problem is it is the same thing they did to cause all the other economic disruptions this country has experience since 1865 - cut taxes for the rich and infamous and further enable a corrupt corporate culture of organized crime. then they lie about it just like they lie about everything else.
deepharbor (nh)
I fully expect the GOP to announce their inflation plan in two weeks, right after their much better healthcare plan and their infrastructure plan.
SportsMedicine (Staten Island, NY)
Suggesting "Republicans dont have a plan for inflation" is like the arsonist suggesting the firefighters dont have a plan to put out the fire tthe arsonist started. First Democrats needlessly closed down the entire economy for 2 years, putting thousands of businesses out of business. Florida closed down for a while, but re-opened after a few months. Trump also suggested we re-open by Easter of 2020. He recognized you cant just flick our economy on and off like a switch. Then Democrats flooded the market with trillions in spending to "save" the economy they wrecked, which caused us to chase much fewer products then was available because of all the manufacturers and suppliers that were put out of business by the shutdowns. To make matters even worse, Joe Biden declared war on our oil industry. During the 2020 campaign, Biden promised to "end all new drilling" and "guaranteed to end the fossil fuel industry". Oil skyrocketed starting the day after Election Day 2020, doubling in price within 4 months. Its all there on the daily chart of oil. Which btw, was many months before Putin invaded Ukraine. This is the direction Democrats have taken us. So the Republican plan? Thats easy. Stop Democrats from wreaking havoc on our economy. Its no coincidence our economy went into chaos just a few short months after Biden took office.
Michael (Wisconsin)
@SportsMedicine Excellent post. In a separate comment, I made the same point. The Republican plan is to simply stop the inflationary spending of the Democrats and recognize that fossil fuels are a vital component of our economy and will be for the foreseeable, no matter the utopian dreams of eliminating them. It is to promote the usage of our own resources instead of begging the Saudis to pump more and deplete our strategic reserve. I think many Commenters here have no concept of how supply and demand works or what it takes to grow, harvest, and transport food, or make the millions of things they use but assume are made my magic.
Skip Szbgnwicz (Lower Slobovia)
@SportsMedicine: Why is it, that people like you, are always quick to point fingers at Biden and any other Democrat (with the possible exception of Bill Clinton, who balanced the budget); when it's the Republicans, starting with Reagan, whose trickle down economics were a bust; yet Republicans still insist it can work, except it never has; Dubya went to war with Iraq with no budget plans; and Trump did nothing except lie to the country, that "only (he) can fix it..."; he didn't. What they all did, was push the country deeper in debt, with things like spending cuts, which except for corporations and zillionaires, did nothing for the common and uncommon laborer. When are you going to open your eyes, and accept the sadder fact, that for all the damage you insist Biden has done; the Republicans will only make things worse, as they have since Reagan. Why? Because they have no solutions, and couldn't care less
Lyndsey Marie Shanley (Puget Sound WA)
I am an independent who has voted over the years for candidates from both parties, but mostly for dems. I would not have a problem with an honest, caring republican president who has the countries best interests in mind, that governs by our constitution and not by a partisan hand, and for the good of its people. Only problem with that is, I can’t find one. If the right wins in November, what are they going to do about inflation? Give the wealthy and large corps another tax break and hope that trickle down economics work when they never have? We have seen what happens when they get a tax break. More money in their deep pockets and nothing for no one else. How are they going to bring down the cost of a barrel of oil? But then again, maybe Russian and the SA folks will agree to open up their oil production again to make the right look good. Will they abolish abortion nation wide and cause the death of thousands of women? Will they tell us what words we can use and what books we can read like they have already done in FL? I can’t understand why some citizens of this great country want to live under a dictator. This country will be left in ruins after 2028 if the right takes over. God help us all. Please vote blue, no matter who.
SportsMedicine (Staten Island, NY)
@Lyndsey Marie Shanley How did Trump bring down the cost of oil? By slashing regulations and opening federal lands to drilling. His agenda was pro energy. That dictated to the oil companies that they could invest the billions necessary to explore, drill, and refine. Oil collapsed from 70 to 45 in the months after the US surpassed Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the worlds largest producer of oil. What did Biden do? He promised to reverse Trumps pro energy agenda, and he delivered on that promise. Biden promised to end all new drilling and guaranteed to end the fossil fuel industry. Look it up. Its all on vide. He levied numerous onerous regulations on the oil industry, making it harder to explore, drill and refine. So its no coincidence that oil skyrocketed starting the day after Election Day 2020. Just look at a chart of oil. This is 100% the fault of Biden and Democrats.
Lyndsey Marie Shanley (Puget Sound WA)
@SportsMedicine you are entitled to your opinion. Thanks for responding. I also assume you do not believe in climate change? Yeah, four more years of Trump in this country and we can all call him our savior. Do you not think that the big oil companies aren’t taking advantage of us consumers and putting all their big profits in their pockets? Trump should have been supporting clean energy. But all he could say is that windmills were killing birds.
steve (Texas)
It would be nice if major media asked these questions of Republicans/Trumpists, or if they were to report on GLOBAL inflation and energy prices, instead of covering them ad nauseam as if they are a US phenomena caused entirely by Democratic efforts to have the US put on a path to rejoin the 1st world economically and otherwise. But they don't. So, IMO, responsibility for the downfall of the US lies squarely on many of their shoulders.
SportsMedicine (Staten Island, NY)
@steve Oil is a globally traded commodity, of which the US is the worlds largest producer. (Bet you didnt know that) That means we have large influence over the price of oil, just like Saudi Arabia did when they were the largest producer. We became the worlds largest producer in Aug of 2018 as a direct result of Trumps pro energy agenda. Oil collapsed from 75 to 45 in the months after, staying in a tight 55-63 dollar range. This was all, btw before Covid.
cdisf (SF)
@SportsMedicine Biden should stop allowing the export of US oil.
hen3ry (Westchester, NY)
They have a plan: the tax cuts, tax breaks, unreasonable intrustions into the reproductive/medical/personal lives of women, denial about climate change, the undermining of our threadbare social safety net, etc., will continue unabated until most of us are serfs. That is their ultimate goal. Serfs who are tied to the land or, in this case to a job they can't afford to lose, are the best citizens of all. They don't say anything because they need the paycheck. I think that sums things up fairly well.
Rima Regas (SoCal)
@hen3ry They have one job: hit the delete key repeatedly until nothing is left.
Cassandra (Arizona)
While there may or not be a recession, it is undeniable that our troubles were caused by Putin and his servant Trump..Du we want to let them continue to try to destroy us?
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
No kidding. Do they ever have a plan? For anything?
Manolo (New York)
The human being in freedom has as a priority the primary instinct to conserve the species on the basis of his main tool granted by his God: Reason: Knowledge, common sense. God is the all, is Alpha and Omega. The future is to improve the natural conditions inherent to life in a maximum tone of harmony, according to laws contained in the "Constitution" whose purpose is the welfare of the human being, so that the Economy, which is subsidiary to it, -must comply with its natural purpose, regulating the corresponding; It is also subordinated to the laws of supranational organizations, which establish and are congruent with the fundamentals of the rights to a healthy life and its basic and elementary principles, and others contained in the documents and constitutive letters of supranational organizations, such as the United Nations, the Hague Tribunal, etc. , through the use of a Capitalism with social responsibility, respectable of the right according to the best western values and principles, such as the representative democracy, making use of the best of science to the effect, in order to reestablish the lost balance, and maintain it as a legacy forever, for the present and future generations
Amused (Niagara Falls, NY)
No, no, no. That’s not how it works, a fact of which all readers here are acutely and firmly aware. That’s not how this game is played. No party would allow a change in the narrative were it to enjoy the advantage that the Republicans now possess. Why would they facilitate a switch in narrative away from Biden’s disabling failings? When you don’t deliver on your promises, you lose. All of Krugman’s maneuvering here can’t undo what Americans read each week on their grocery bill.
mdf (nyc)
Inflation in the 70s was about fear; this time around it's about greed. Record profits everywhere. Collusion. Price fixing. Get while the getting is good. This is corporate backlash about having to pay their fair share of taxes.
Heckanomics (earth)
I want to comment on what I really happened in 2021, from my vantage point. It's disturbing. After the shocks and pressures I endured in the preceeding 2 years (and to some extent, the preceeding 2 pairs of decades), what I was really hoping for in 2021 was some place I could rest and heal and patch myself together a bit, but what I found was quite different. Those who could have, due to their power and position, made some difference in the systemic economic struggles were instead retreating to some kind of status-obsessed fantasy where they lived very comfortable lives and yet got to call all the shots, enjoying the opportunity to play big games with other people's money. But at the lower levels of their structures, you get to see what they actually did to pay for their fantasies. Toxic suppressions in the workplace. Slave and colonialist thinking. Utter intolerance for anything labelled "insubordination". No opt-out of status games. And the HR robot was no help - the only thing I saw them doing was rote "compliance". Summary dismissal of anything that could break their fantasy world. All this I could have put up with if they were willing to bring that fantasy back down to the ground with me. I had to watch that year as they deliberately pulled away from me and retreated back into fantasy. I understand there is some trauma down there, but the solution is to expose the problem, not kill the therapist over and over again, just to keep the expensive "fantasy vision".
gVOR08 (FL)
Republicans don't have a plan for inflation? That's silly. Of course they have a plan. They see inflation already abating, they're confident the Fed will crush inflation, and employment, and they plan to take credit for lower inflation and blame Biden for unemployment. Same plan as always.
cdisf (SF)
@gVOR08 Unemployment is back to where it was under Trump in February 2020 at 3.5%. The problem isn’t unemployment, it’s inflation and the low labor participation rate of 60%.
Mimi (Northwest)
It doesn’t matter that the Republicans don’t have an actual or actionable plan for anything. It’s all tribalism now and, sadly, even the pretense of having a rigorous intellectual framework (pointing at you Paul Ryan) is irrelevant. It’s just a very sad time for our country and the world in general. 
Rob (Davis, CA)
It's not that Republicans just "don't have an inflation plan"...they don't have ANY plan. Not a climate crisis mitigation plan, not a plan to save democracy (just the opposite), not a plan to stop or control the next pandemic, not a plan to fix extreme inequality, not a plan to help Ukraine stop a brutal, murdering dictator. In the last election, Republicans had no platform at all. If they were to take the House and Senate, get used to a "plan-less" form of government.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@Rob Stopping the one party Democratic rule is their plan. I may not know where I want to drive the car but my first order of business would be to stop it from being driven over the cliff.
Theresa’s (NJ)
Inflation can most definitely lead to recession. The minuscule increase we just heard about is offset by so many other factors. You say the Republicans do not have a plan! Interesting’ I say the Democrats plan is what got us here. They made decisions based on getting Trump rather than what was good for the country. And the Fed too has been outrageous. They swing their pendulum too far in the wrong direction and too quickly before the last change could settle in and affect recovery. The basic problem is the Dems spent way too much money. They also squandered Money. They stopped building the southern border wall even though it was paid for. Building materials sitting there unused. And what has happened, we’ve spent billions on all these illegal immigrants coming across our borders. We left millions of dollars of military equipment in Afghanistan with that insane withdrawal and now we’re sending millions of new equipment to Ukraine. He stopped the pipeline , drilling and fracking and now he’s used up our Strategic Petroleum Reserves and the oil and gas prices are going through the roof. Did you call out Biden the other day when he said the average price of gas was $3 . On what planet is he living. I have a degree in Economics! Do you?
John (Heenehan)
Republicans certainly do have an inflation plan: Blame Democrats.
Martin M (Chicago)
Republicans have no plan for anything. They don't need plans - they sell and thrive on Fear.
RK (Boston, Ma)
I think the Republican plan on inflation is to give in to Russia on Ukraine. They have already been hinting at that.
Hummingbird (New Orleans)
The sad part is the GOP doesn’t need a plan. They don’t even need smart experienced people to run for office. All they need is to exploit the fear du jour. They are the pied piper luring Americans off the cliff. Just remember if you think they really won’t cut Social Security or Medicare, look what they did to Roe.
ArtM (MD)
Republicans do have an inflation plan! It’s the same plan to replace Obamacare. Why is this not obvious?
Andrew Duff (Vermont)
Of course the republicans have a plan. Blame the Democrats.
math365 (CA)
And the Democrats had a plan?
Lisa (Maryland)
The Republican plan for inflation is to impeach Joe Biden.
Ed (Washington DC)
It's the economy, stupid. That's what they say...and they may be right. A realistic, practical concern to many folks is the 7% fixed mortgage rate. Housing is chilling now. But not at all Joe's fault, and should not be his and democrat's undoing. The Fed had to do raise rates; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. A necessary reaction to put the clamps on inflation. Why are so many people so lazy to not seek out the bare minimum of truth, both sides of the coin, on what's happening on any particular issue? Is the 'hate the other guy' feeding frenzy so frenetic that they can't pause and breathe a little, and do a little homework on an issue that affects so many? Republican solution to inflation? Tax Cuts to the Rich. Republican solution to rising deficit? Tax Cuts to the Rich. Republican solution to budget deficit? Tax Cuts to the Rich. That's about it. Do republicans see the finer points of what's happening? Do they care at all about the truth? Either intentionally or lazily, not at all. It's a wonder how people, anyone, can just swallow what they hear hook, line and sinker on Fox News, Republican leaning radio and talk shows, and other Republican-lead media without any hint of due diligence. The sheer laziness of people these days is astonishing to me.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
@Ed --I agree. The lack of intellect and critical thinking among the Republican voters is terrifying. Of course my dad always said, (growing up in the 1930's in Europe) that there were plenty of dumb people in Germany who were also uneducated and simplistic thinkers...and who did they believe? Yup--you guessed it...they liked that he promised to make Germany "great again." Some things never change and fascism and the people who lean into it are one of those things.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@Ed I guys they Democrats answer to everything is: Spend more money ! Can't raise it via taxes, then print it !
Thunda (Downunda)
I keep reading in the NYT that Republicans have no plan - that is definitely true. However, aside from the BBB legislation, I've seen nothing put forward by the Democrats to deal with acute inflationary pressures. What is Biden's plan exactly? What is the Democrat's plan? The only thing I've seen from Democrats is in insanely stupid letter (which is an understatement) telling Biden to allow Russia's illegal war in Ukraine - because the inflations.
Louis (San Clemente, CA)
America's own Original Sin is election denial.
Mark Smith (Fairport NY)
I have an example on how businesses sow inflation and then demand destruction. Wegmans, my local supermarket chain started selling cooked cut-up whole chickens for $10 a package. Sales took off and now the package is $14. This weekend we are spicing, marinating and barbequing a whole chicken at a cost of $7. We put our cost of avoiding cooking chicken at $10 and are reluctant to buy the chicken at $14 even though we can afford it. Increased demand has also reduced the quality of the chicken. The last purchase was too salty and greasy. I surmise that people will curtail their purchases and the prices will come down and the quality will improve.
mwk (Boston)
1981: Republicans send the economy into a death spiral following the failure of major banks and savings and loans all over the country. Millions of Americans lose their entire life savings. 2009: After years of Republican government and "regulation" rollbacks, and the subsequent free for all in financial markets, junk Mortgage bond sales and banks offering $500K balloon mortgages to janitors earning $30K/year, the economy crashes into the dirt, in the worst economic disaster since the 30's. General Motors, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, asks for a bailout and the GOP leadership responds, "let them fail". 2020: Republican leadership mangles the Covid outbreak and indirectly causes millions of deaths in the USA. I'm still not sure I understand the idea that the GOP is the best steward of the economy?
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
Nice summation. I agree entirely.
toom (somewhere)
Not a big surprise. The EU and UK have even higher inflation. Also, the R's do want to save money for their corporate donors by eliminating Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Not to mentino Obamacare. If the R's get into power, the average senior citizens are doomed to poverty. But the R's never did care about them, for all of the R's propaganda.
Peter (Denver)
Resembles their 70-some Congressional and Executive Orders to end Obamacare: there was never a serious replacement plan. Trump said he had one that would be simple to implement. But never revealed it.
Carlito Brigante (Cleveland, Ohio)
Why would Republicans announce a plan ? The Democrats would use it as a Talking Point to rip it apart prior to the election and hopefully score some late points against the Republicans. The Republicans are not going to allow that so no plan. Nice try Krugman to change the narrative on who the Bad Guys are on inflation. The USA citizens don't care if other countries have high inflation. It is irrelevant to their pocketbooks.
magicisnotreal (earth)
The number one cause of inflation is the de facto impunity of executives on Wall Street and in company offices to raise prices just because they can. That is not capitalism. That is colonialism. American Capitalism is based on rational pricing and decisions made for long term stability and benefit not greed.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@magicisnotreal: Progressive taxation was invented to discourage extreme wealth concentration.
Harry Eagar (Sykesville, Maryland)
Every time a Republican says gas is higher, an angel that told him to buy gold and silver to protect his assets dies.
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
Inflation is a consequence of the leadership's stupidity and incompetence. At least, such a trait is bipartisan.
Kathy (SF)
Republicans make everything worse. I can't think of a single thing they do well, that we need. Such a shame. They've only gotten very good at cheating, stealing and lying.
Some Guy (Some Place)
I absolutely loathe our media. The Republicans have no plan for literally anything besides exacerbating and covering it up. They literally, and I mean literally, do not have a platform. The last one they had was literally, and I mean literally, copied and pasted from the one prior. Their "platform" is to just be obstructionist and attack anything and everything that Democrats do. Even the NYTimes is obscenely guilty of falling victim to Republican framing, myths and talking points. Then we have people like Ross Douthat and Bret Stephens who are outright dishonest (Ross recently claimed that the climate emergency is actually improving and is receding as an issue). We all agreed that under Trump that the stock market was obscenely overinflated and would come back down to Earth...why is Biden now being pounded when this happens, as predicted (regardless of who would be president)? We hear so much about inflation and Biden's spending bills, but how come we never hear about Trump's trillion dollar tax cuts or spending bills? How come we never hear about the largest upwards transfer and act of fraud that has ever happened in human history due to the unaudited and unquestioned COVID relief handouts?
Joseph (CHICAGO)
@Some Guy As to messaging, your President is on track for a gaffe every day.
Eva Lockhart (Minneapolis)
@Joseph --and you think back to Trump's eloquence? I am falling off my chair laughing...
LP (Vienna, VA)
Seems harsh to call harassing non whites and making fun of the disabled not a coherent plan.
Antonio Baptista (Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon)
Obstructing is easy. Governing is challenging. Democrats have done a sensible job (including on the economy), and deserve the opportunity to keep implementing their vision. Read my further thoughts, as an independent, at
John (Cactose)
Irony abounds. Krugman loves to paint criticism of his opinions as politically motivated and therefore illegitimate, while leaning in to his own politically motivated ideas about everything from government spending, to jobs data, to inflation, to recessions. Once again, Krugman proves that he's much more of a Progressive political operative who moonlights as an Economist, than an objective Economist working for the NYT. His defenders love to trot out his Nobel, as if that's an excuse for him being 100% wrong on inflation. It wasn't and still isn't. The NYT should give us more Larry Summers (who actually served as Secretary of the Treasury) and less Paul Krugman.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@John I would pay them more if they would do that ! Listen up business people at the Times.
Bill (Detroit)
Even the most deluded, partisan Democrat knows any party who tries to eliminate SS and Medicare would cease to be relevant overnight. It's political suicide. Hate Republicans all you want, but you're not going to get any mileage advancing this fairy tale. No one is buying it, and at this point it just makes you look silly. And desperate.
Me (Miami)
At least they’re going to try, unlike this administration. They’ll have their chance soon once they sweep the midterms.
rd (dallas, tx)
@Me No, they wont try. the gop will spend its time having hunter biden hearings and reestablishing Trump as dear leader
rd (dallas, tx)
Not unless you consider the Fauci and Hunter Biden congressional hearings they are planning to have
frank (eugene)
The GOP's "plans" always remind me of South Park's Underpants Gnomes' plans: Step 1. Steal underpants Step 2. ??? Step 3. Profit!
Dogs are the best (Seattle, WA)
The NYT, Washington Post, and other new organization have committed to helping save democracy. That help needs to include thoughtful analysis of what the Biden administration and Democrats have done to help build our economy from the bottom up and middle out, rather than "trickle down", which is a complete failure. The changes put in place will not be immediately felt, but will have altered our economy to better serve the middle class. Where are these analyzes? Why isn't inflation talked about as a global issue, at least that would put it in perspective for many. And why doesn't anyone report that the Grievance Over Policy party has absolutely no plan other than more tax cuts for the rich? And one last thing: why is there little coverage about what the Republicans want to do if they regain power, especially in the House? Does it really serve Americans to investigate, just to make TFG happy? This country has long standing, and worsening problems, why are they not interested in solving these? My hope is that the people in this country realize that to make their lives better, to help the environment so their children and grandchildren will have decent lives, they need to vote for Democrats, as they are the only party willing to tackle and solve these problems. Democrats are working for Americans, the Republicans just say No. Please vote!
Jim (New Haven, CT)
Based on current campaign ads for Senate and House candidates, the GOP appears to be promoting the “Starve the beast!” agenda advocated by Ronald Regan. Their aim is to limit government spending by cutting taxes. Because of the impact of Citizens United, GOP’s tax cuts have disproportionately benefited a limited group of “wealth accumulators”. To reduce spending, popular social programs which benefit a large proportion of lower and middle-income Americans, such as Social Security and Affordable Health Care, continue to be the GOP’s most likely cost cutting targets.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Jim: The Iran-Contra affair was probably initiated by Republicans working to elect Reagan President in 1980 by strangling Carter with US Embassy hostages being held by Iranian revolutionaries. Extremism in defense of fascism is no vice.
ASPruyn (California - Somewhere left of Center)
Republican: “I’m making an impassioned plea here, don’t try to confuse me with the facts.” There you go again, trying to confuse people with the facts in this case. Many of us who were registered Republicans and left that circus and wish to remain on factual grounds for policy. We left the GOP to become either independents (like myself) or joined the Democratic Party. There are still pundits who sprout the GOP line, but many of them have too much rooted in not being honest to ever be persuaded that they could be wrong. And many of the other movers and shakers on the Right either know all of this or just want to not be bothered with it, or both.
Jim K (San Jose)
Of course they have an inflation plan! They're going to cut taxes for the rich, attack worker rights, double down on voter suppression and deregulate industry.
Dayle Record (USA)
Republicans have inflated the cost of everything to profit astronomically in this time (hopefully,) of transition to clean energy, and the necessary transition away from products made from crude, including plastics. They have created this, the banks profit from high interest, even a teaspoon of sugar is nearly twice what it was before they decided to influence the midterm elections with economic wreckage. My old friend was exclaiming that Del Taco is paying $24 per hour in San Diego, in order to stay open there. In most cases, that $55,000 per year, goes two thirds to rent. If the worker is single with dependent kids. I live on a fixed income, and 1/3 of it is spent on obscene profit taking, from the oil industry affecting the transport costs of everything. Every rebate the citizens of the US got has gone to big oil, but don't worry, big pharma has some pills for this...if that has no appeal then knock on the door of unregulated, big gummi, whose profits will never be known or taxed...
rjs7777 (nk)
The Republican "plan" would have been to get back to work, not stimulate the $5 trillion (more like $2 trillion). I think the facts were clear that Republicans opposed the final $3 trillion in stimulus. You know, the final $10,000 per man woman and child, much of which went to consumption in the last 18 months. You know, the inflation causing thingy. That plan. Well, Republicans planned not to do that. It is no big deal though, Paul. It was only $3 trillion. Nothing an economist would take note of.
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
The Democrats enacted the Inflation Reduction Act. If the Act could do a trick, why they didn’t implement the Inflation Elimination Bill?
dj (Minnesota)
I agree whole heartedly with Mr. Krugman in this opinon piece and have shared the same sentiment that the GOP is all bluster and no ideas. It has been this way for a long while. I don't think the average GOP voter understands that while a sound byte may sound good, it does nothing else. However, what is often missed from this conversation is the responsibility of the media. Article after article about inflation ruining Dems chances at the polls, but nothing about how the Dems have managed to fight off a recession and attempts to tame inflation. Not much about the global inflation, and certainly no questions to the GOP pundits and politicians vying for office as to what they would do to tame inflation. Perhaps with honest and thoughtful coverage the low informed voter would be less "low informed".
leo (connecticut)
They do have a "plan": Cut our so-called "entitlements" - Medicare, Medicaid and, yes, even Social Security. Cut taxes for the super wealthy and the no income tax paying profiteering, price-gouging giant corporations. All this will be under the guise of holding inflation in check - an attractive proposition in itself- but with the public at large mostly unaware of what they are really up to with their "plan."
Alex (Durham, NC)
I've never seen a party that stands for as little in terms of concrete policy goals as the modern Republican Party. They didn't even issue a platform in 2020. At this point all they stand for is tax cuts and cultural grievance.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@Alex and a smaller federal government !
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
According to President Biden, the key difference between two mainstream parties is that the Republicans harm the economy intentionally and the Democrats unintentionally…
Joe You (NYC)
Krugman had consistently argued in 2021 that inflation was not a problem. He later called it a "narrative" made up by Republicans. Perhaps supply and demand forces are overwhelmed by the need to spin?
Former Resident (Munich)
Tax cuts for the wealthy kind of lower inflation for the wealthy.
ChicagoTom (Chicago)
Voters should remember that the last time Republicans controlled Congress -- and the presidency, too, 2016-18 -- nothing happened. Ask any GOP candidate what their vision is, what kind of country they think they're building here, and you'll get a blank look. Vision and direction are alien concepts. The party exists to amplify the rage of the alienated and blow stuff up, no more.
Michael (Wisconsin)
@ChicagoTom I remember that time well. We all got a tax cut and the corporate tax cut drove growth. I also recall that the Republican administration in 2020 provided some $2.9T in COVID relief, passed with bipartisan support. They also worked with Moderna and Pfizer ground breaking vaccines for COVID which have so far saved hundreds of thousands of lives (conservatively). Also, there was minimal inflation. That's what I am voting for.
Wanda Pena (San Antonio TX)
@Michael. Maybe you got a Trump tax cut. Some of us have to pay more to make up for the exemption on the first inherited $11 million of the Trump children. There was bipartisan support for C-19 relief and for vaccine development - the Republicans supported both with great reluctance. Free market competition and all. That minimal inflation was baked in for many years prior to Trump, who took credit for creating it rather than for riding the wave. And over 100,000 people died in less than a year - thousands more than if universal masking had been encouraged at the highest levels. Trump rode the good time wave until faced with a crisis for which he had no leadership skills to handle. I’m convinced that if he had just rightfully emphasized his positive role in vaccine development, worn a mask (heck, it could have had MAGA written across it in direct violation of the Hatch Act; laws and rules are for little people anyway), and used mask-wearing as a symbol of unity and a fight against a mutual enemy, Trump would be president today. But he is not wired that way. And he is leading his party and followers down the same twisted road.
Michael (Wisconsin)
@Wanda Pena It is funny how facts work - the vaccine development, while having bipartisan support, was managed by a Trump appointee. And there is simply no statistical evidence that blue states, with mask mandates, did any better than red ones. In each state it was the governor, rather than Trump, that controlled the mandates. I'm voting based on facts and results, not emotions.
Steve (Dallas)
The Republicans simply do a far better job at messaging than do Democrats. If you say it enough, even if not true, many will believe it. We see how it's working today with the upcoming elections: Trump won and there was massive 2020 voter fraud and cheating which now needs to be "fixed". The fact that Republicans don't really offer a coherent plan to bring down inflation if they take charge is irrelevant. For them, winning is all that matters. If their tax relief plans for the wealthy and for corporations increase deficits and keep inflation high, Republicans will nevertheless continue to blame Democrats. And, sadly, many will still believe it. So, what's the solution to the repeat and believe approach? Assemble a group of the most brilliant economic strategists, public relations firms and commercial advertisers and put together a comprehensive, but simple to understand, report and have every Democrat leader, whether local or national, continue to repeat the same mantra again again (much like the Republicans have been doing with Biden causing inflation) so that the general public will have a better grasp of economic realities.
MEJW1957 (Miami,Fl)
The GOP doesn't have a plan period - it is purely an opposition party and if it had to govern it couldn't because it's stated policy positions, if implemented, would cause it to lose the next election for both Congress and the White House - that is of course provided we actually have another election after this one.
Susan (Delaware, OH)
I am sure that if the Republicans are in control after January 2023, they will happily do nothing about inflation but they will keep it alive as an issue. And blame it all on Biden, preparatory to winning the presidency in 2024. They literally do not care about the average American who will pay the actual price.
Wanda Pena (San Antonio TX)
@Susan. So true. Not doing anything about inflation keeps it front and center as a money-making campaign issue. Like abortion - they gladly exploit it knowing it will be trouble if they actually catch the car.
John Wallis (at me desk as always these days sheesh!)
The GOP has no actual plans at all other than creating propaganda and stealing as much as they can get their grubby little paws on.
DM (Redstate)
Uh...yeah we do. Stop printing money. Don't need a Ph.D for that. Yer welcome.
cjg (60148)
@DM But 'stop printing money,'' literally, is not the remedy you're offering. What you are saying is the government should stop spending more than it takes in -- end deficits. That, sir, would take trillions out of the economy and lead straight down to a deep recession, perhaps even a depression. So, no. Not a good idea.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@cjg: The amount of money needed for stability of prices has to be keyed to the rate at which money changes hands and the total wealth of the economy using the currency.
RJ (Mount Vernon Ohio)
Sounds good to me.
Pogo (South Central)
Republicans don’t have an inflation plan the Dims are doing it for them.
Eknath (NYC)
The author has very little credibility on the topic of inflation. Essentially his bad historical record on the subject cancels out his Nobel. Then he is understood to be a partisan hack. So naturally he will find no basis for voters preference. Bottom line is people want to punish those who poured gasoline on the fire. They hope the Republicans replacing those losers aren't losers in other ways. But they know that almost every politician is an idiot in at least one way.
cjg (60148)
@Eknath Paul Krugman is a Keynesian center-left economist. He has been right on most of his guesses, far more than Trumpians. "Pour gasoline on a fire' is right-wing talk radio jargon for sending out stimulus checks to keep people from starving. In December of 2020 that was the suggestion of the defeated election loser Donald Trump, who actually wanted larger stimulus checks -- said to great applause by his backers. What new President Joe Biden did was bipartisan and the popular will. Now it is the cause of all inflation? No.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@cjg My 17 year old son got stimulus checks his entire 11th grade year while he was remote schooling so it was hardly just to save people from starving. My friend owns a restaurant with many Hispanic immigrants workers who got checks but went back to Mexico to live while they were shut down. The were working back home as well. This was rushed and poorly done with no means testing and no checks and balances to even attempt to eliminate waste. What Biden and the Dems did was mislabel the names of their Bills to push through a bunch of big government giveaways to buy votes. The people see this to Dem's chagrin.
Kerm (Wheatfields)
A new name for the republicans who spew the the donkey stuff: "Mule's Mouths" Should be on every cap and bumper sticker for a Better America, with a logo attached.
AL (Upstate)
So why is the fact that Republicans basically have no rational plan to help only brought up in an Opinion piece (no offense Paul). Why is this not front page news? Why is the NYT not making this very clear to voters?
James Febbo (Merritt Island, FL)
@AL Because its not news. Its olds
John (Bristol)
On high food prices Are Americans aware that this is the result of Biden’s actions ? The Telegraph, UK, July 26 Joe Biden to block Boris Johnson’s answer to global food crisis "Mr Biden’s officials made it clear on Sunday that Washington will attempt to block the plans in a bid to protect US farmers” I am NOT making this up. Click on the link to verify for yourself As to why. Mr. Biden might act so: The Biden administration does need the farm vote to hold the Senate
John (Bristol UK)
On fighting Inflation Do the Democrats have a plan ? To fight inflation requires to raise taxes The Telegraph , UK, today Rishi Sunak plans to expand windfall tax grab The Prime Minister could target energy firms as he tries to raise billions of pounds to balance the books By Daniel Martin, Deputy Political Editor ; Rachel Millard and Laura Donnelly, Health Editor 27 October 2022 • 9:54pm Rishi Sunak is drawing up plans to expand the windfall tax on energy giants as he attempts to raise billions to help balance the books. At present the energy profits levy on oil and gas firms - known as the windfall tax - is set at 25 per cent and, according to law, will expire in December 2025. The Telegraph , UK today Moving to the US Just wondering? Why is there NO one in the US H.R.7061 - Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act117th Congress (2021-2022) | Bill Sponsor: Rep. Khanna, Ro [D-CA-17] (Introduced 03/11/2022) That is March. It is now late October Committees: House - Ways and Means Latest Action: House - 03/11/2022 Referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means.  (All Actions) Tracker: Tip It is stuck in the D controlled House in the Ways and Means Committee - since March Chair is Chairman Richard Neal (D) 1st Congressional District, Massachusetts Call him . Even more effective : The author of this article would call him. He is the most cited writer in the NY Times
Cynical (Knoxville, TN)
The GOP has a win-elections-first plan. It's something the Democrats and progressives must learn.
Kathy (SF)
Republicans have lost the popular vote to Democrats repeatedly. They're elected by the Electoral College not by the majority. But they still need to cheat, because they do nothing for anyone but their owners and themselves.
Larry (New Jersey)
The republican’s tax cuts are part of a two-step process. First step is cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations so deeply that deficits explode. Once deficits explode, use that explosion to cut discretionary spending they don’t like like Social Security and Medicare. Making self-fulfilling prophecies is what they do best. Claim that there is fraud in elections so often that their followers believe it and then use that belief to justify restricting voting by those who won’t vote for them. The republicans are using Goebbels’s playbook.
Cisero (AZ)
I truly believe that Republicans have no plan for what to do with this economy because it doesn't fit anything we have seen on the past. I also believe that, like in England, they will do more harm than good. But in this country people want things "yesterday" or otherwise throw it out. Change for change sakes doesn't work.
Devin (Philly)
The overall inflation numbers aren't telling the true story. Compare the cost of ordering the same goods as I did in 2018, I'm paying close to 20-30% more for the same thing. My budget doesn't operate on quarters or markets. I live week to week on paychecks. I'm a lowly worker in this country. And I'm here to tell you I've lost complete faith that EITHER party has a plan that helps me. The Democrats keep raising the bottom and the top. The Republicans just keep raising the top. Leaving me stuck in the middle, again.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Devin: My inbox is choked with pleas to send money because the other party has raised more. There is never anything about policy.
Les (SW Florida)
@Steve Bolger I made a small contribution and am getting flooded with emails for more money too. IMHO, minds are made up at this point.
bsb (ny)
You are one of the very few economists that feel that America, is NOT headed towards a recession. Your gas price analogy is falling on "deaf ears. Why? "...despite G.O.P. rhetoric, Biden administration policies have had little impact on gas prices..." What a false narrative! With the war, he could have helped expand rather than contract our energy needs. Instead, he has led the "war" on our domestic energy producers. By using the SPR for political manipulation, has put American energy independence in severe jeapardy. The majority of Americans, even with "that average wages have risen about 15 percent over the past three years" is not reflected in their monthly expenditures. And yes, Biden Everyday expense like butter, eggs, underwear, shoes, etc., are unaffordable for most Americans. But then again, you are writing from your "glass kingdom"; you are insulated. You can afford these luxuries that most of us cannot, due to inflation, that you seem to belittle. "The bottom line is that while the G.O.P.’s election strategy is all about blaming the Biden administration for inflation, the Republican Party doesn’t actually have any plan to reduce inflation. To the extent it has an economic plan at all, it would make inflation worse." No Paul, the bottom line is that the Biden administration is bankrupting America and its citizens, with a faulty, misguided partisan plan, with no relief in sight.
Les (SW Florida)
@bsb Big Oil is posting record profits and not increasing production. Biden is not an oil executive.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@Les Why is he attempting to increase the oil supply then by using the strategic reserves for an unintended purpose ? Clearly he is acting with an interest. what is it ?
Dan-O (CA)
Just look it up, it's right there: Kansas and the Republican Experiment Trickle down doesn't work, never has, and never will.
H. Clark (Long Island)
Republicans’ inflation plan consists of going after Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@H. Clark Yeah who cares about corruption unless it has Trump's name near it ?
Sumner (Phoenix)
“Team Transitory” is in hiding.
Bruce Maier (Shoreham, BY)
GOP message: Dems terrible, us great. GOP actions: Increase income inequality. And the rank and file doesn't get it. That their masters are lining the pockets of the wealthy, and the problem isn't the other, i.e. the Mexican, the Muslim or the undocumented, those folks are not stealing their good paying jobs. The most explosive detail that is hidden from view is that Trump KNOWS he lost the last election. It is now well documented. But his legions are not capable of ever learning that. Their brains would explode. A post-truth society.
Lorenzo Jones (Bronx, NY)
Biden declared inflation was over, so your comments are moot. And moot is better than the truth about the column, which is downright political propaganda for Democrats. But why comment at all when Biden has declared inflation over?
Republicans are interested in only one thing--revenge for the 2020 election debacle. A majority of Republicans and their supporters believe the election was stolen and that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are not the legitimate President and Vice President. Their only plan is impeaching Biden and Harris.
Alan J. Shaw (Bayside, NY)
If "Change We Can Believe In" was the slogan of Obama's Administration, voters for the GOP in the midterms place their trust only in change for the sake of change.
SixplusFour (Dallas)
Well, actually the problem here is the US has a relatively "low quality" population by Western standards, at least in its lower quarters. What can you really expect from a population where almost half of which thinks the species Homo sapiens is less than 10,000 years old? The ultimate question: "Is a population this ignorant and mean-spirited really deserving of democracy"? The fault is not in the stars...
magicisnotreal (earth)
Let me see if I can explain so that the focus is corrected. American Capitalism is a highway system on which most everyone obeys the rules and traffic flows well and in understandable patterns. Republican capitalism is a two lane road on which they say it is just fine to use the other lane because it is empty and almost no one ever wants to ride the opposite direction anyway. No need to spend money to build another lane over on this side. When an accident inevitably happens it is the fault of anyone but the republicans who said it was just fine to drive in the other lane. And gosh darn it the republicans are going to punish them! Inflation is Wall Street jacking up prices because no regulator has the sense/willingness to stop them. The fed raising interest rates to stop inflation is like locking up heroine addicts, without treatment of any kind, to stop drug dealers selling to them.
SoBlue (Illinois)
Is this Biden’s fault too? The world’s largest oil companies continue to reap rewards from sustained high commodity prices as Exxon Mobil Corp. [US:XOM] reported almost $20 billion in profit, its most lucrative quarter ever, while rival Chevron Corp. [US:CVX] reported just a slight dip from the record haul it set in the prior quarter. Wall Street Journal
jonmik (DC)
Paul is one sane economist. Too bad sane counts for little anymore. Who knows after Nov?
Jan (VA)
All I see when I look at the top picture is "WOW aren't we lucky we have all those eggs..."
Partagas (PacNW)
Holy cow, most of the commenters are like the Peoples’ Temple, blindly following Jim jones to the kool aid dispenser, except you are libs blindly following the equally misdirected krugman. First of all republicans don’t use January 2021 as the golden age for comparison, but January 2020,,that time In the trump administration immediately prior to the pandemic when taxes and inflation were low, as was employment,which was at historic lows, particularly for minorities. Despite all of the publicity about how hot the labor market is now, the labor force participation rate is more than a full percentage point lower now than it was then. January 2021 was when the pandemic was in full throat, vaccines had been developed (thanks to operation warp speed) but were just starting to be deployed, and the economy was well on its way to healing itself without the inflation inducing federal spending that biden and the Dems in congress were soon to pass. And to say that a sudden increase in gdp for one quarter following two negative quarters is a “return to the norm” is as misleading as it is likely wrong. Chances are that the 3rd quarter numbers are the anomaly and negative gdp will soon return. Most everyday folks and many economists believe we are in a recession. That is most folks’…what is it you libs like to say….lived experience. Republicans DO have a plan to address inflation and high gas prices; succinctly “drill baby drill”. Unleash the vast reserves of oil and gas we have.
Wayne (Rhode Island)
More jobs now than 1/20. 1/20-increasing deficit yearly. Lost manufacturing jobs. Drill, baby Drill is a slogan. Not a plan. A GOP plan. Simple and simple minded. Another GOP plan. Cut taxes in the wealthy. Very courageous?
@Partagas The pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench in what we used to know about economics. This is going to require some new thinking. Inflation is high due to Covid and gas prices (record oil profits). There are plenty of jobs and the economy has grown for all but 2 quarters. And those 2 quarters weren't hugely negative and occurred as we were coming out of the pandemic. Define a recession. I'll wait. Oil companies have plenty of drill leases. They aren't using them. Who's fault is that? Big oil has record profits and they like that. Would it kill them to act for the greater good and lower gas prices? The US also doesn't set oil prices. That's a global thing. Paul's point is that Republicans are whining but are offering no solutions - as usual. They want power. They don't want to solve problems and govern. Everything is a culture war. I'm just sick of it all.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@NP Is there a political party that doesn't want power? I know of none.
Trevor Bajus (Brooklyn NY)
Point out some stats and saying, "Ignore the evidence of your eyes, fool!" isn't going to win over any hearts and minds, Doc. My friends who are not in the 1% are still suffering from expensive housing costs, low pay, few opportunities for improving their lot in life. I miss the Krugman who criticized Obama when he was blowing his chance to help Americans, not this new guy who tries to spin the incompetence of the Democratic leadership. Trump wouldn't be a threat if the Democrats pulled their faces out of the hog trough every once and a while and actually did something meaningful, even if it would make a donor slightly less obscenely wealthy. But as long as they continue to care about themselves more than their constituents, we will all lose.
Sue (NJ)
@Trevor Bajus so fascinating. So the inflation reduction act which is spawning infrastructure projects all over the country isnt "doing something"? The legislation capping seniors' Rx costs, and capping costs for necessary drugs like insulin, aren't "doing something"? All that something was never going to come from the GOP. All the GOP defenders want is more oil drilling, like that in itself would instantly drive gas prices down (it wouldn't- and neither would tax cuts for the wealthy (again)). If you don't think the projects of the Inflation Reduction Act are working, explain why GOP electeds are all over the country taking credit for them.
Trevor Bajus (Brooklyn NY)
@Sue Perhaps you should look at some polls sometime. Also, I see you rather pointedly ignore literally everything I said: unaffordable housing, low wages, and the death of the American dream. This is what people care about. Also, correct me if I am wrong, but Americans still the pay the highest prices in the world for their own drugs. The Democrats are still fighting tooth and nail to prevent Medicaid/Medicare from negotiating lower prices, due Big Pharma's generous donations to both parties. Pointing out that Republican policies are bad is not the same as proving the Democrats' plans are good. I'm always surprised that people don't seem to be able to understand that.
Les (SW Florida)
@Sue I'm still waiting for the Trump infrastructure bill and ACA replacement. He says he is still president. The silence is deafening.
Marc Panaye (Belgium)
Mr Krugman. The title should be shortened to: "Republicans have no plan".
M. (Flagstaff, Arizona)
Sure they do. Haven't you heard Taylor Greene explain how they're going to impeach Biden?
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@M. With Harris in the wings this is not happening. One thing Joe learned from Obama was the value in picking an incompetent VP
famj (Olympia)
Same economic plan as always when Dems are majority, after they fix it, come in and take credit for the results. See 2009/11 and 2021/2023 (?). GOP tool: tax cuts and blow up deficit if they control government. Dems come find revenue sources, cut deficit, get booted out, GOP claims trickle down works and the zombie lives on.
Independent (the South)
During the first three months of the Ukraine war, gas prices went up to $5 / gallon. The came back down during the next three months of the war. Apparently, gas prices are not because of the Ukraine war? Probably more to Wall St. fear and speculation because of the Ukraine war. Throw in price gauging and record profits for the oil supply chain.
@Independent It should be illegal to speculate in anything (like oil) that affects people's ability to function. It's awful that oil companies are using us getting back on our feet after the pandemic to make up for the massive profits they didn't make during the pandemic.
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@NP Yeah business shouldn't run like they have always been run as it may hurt the Dems. Probably doesn't help when Biden says he wants to end the fossil fuel industry.
What do the Republicans stand for other than serving privilege and reducing their taxes (they will eventually reach the lower bound assuming they are not guaranteed minimum annual tax payer payments). If Biden pursued a negotiated end to the Ukraine war what percent of world inflation would be curtailed?
Emile-Victor (NorCal)
If gas prices are the issue, let us look at the oversized profits that are being made by the major oil companies. Does the word "gouging" come to mind. The unscrupulous and greedy in this world are raking money in at the expense of all of us and of world stability. The Republican Party is political wing of this group of people. It stands to reason that we cannot expect the Republicans to do anything to correct the current situation.
That's What She Said (The West)
I think what you have in America is a huge disconnect. The masses right now are constantly shoved into the base of Maslowe’s Heirarchy of Needs and cannot escape the bottom level. Everyday is a an episode in basic needs survival while DC and Politicians are preaching economy concepts. What Republicans as scrappy political animals have gotten right is to speak the masses language and hoodwink them into thinking that means support
R. K. Stockton (Yountville, CA)
Republicans have no plans for anything, except, grabbing every penny they can from the government. The only exception is how much they can get the government to spend on the military industrial complex, which is also getting the money back and getting more of it. The Republican party has become the 21st Century's Robber Barons.
Judith MacLaury (Lawrenceville, NJ)
The sadder thing is that the other arm of the Republican attack is on crime over which Biden has no control and the Republicans have no plan for that either!
Fully Recovered Liberal (New York)
@Judith MacLaury They absolutely have plans at the State and local levels but keeping spouting CNN and MSNBC talking points. In NY they will bounce out these abyssmal progressive DA's and bring back stop, ask and frisk and go back to broken windows policing. Despite the howling from the Left this would work.
lastcard jb (westport ct)
If they (the GOP) wants to take over the government - house etc.... they should present us with their plan. If indeed one wants change - better solutions to the current problems(real and imagined) - wouldn't it be great if that other party said- we've got this, here's what we will do! Kind of like the health care blustering- Obama care (The PPACA - patient protection and affordable care act ) they had years to come up with something better, instead they just wanted to tear it down and replace it with nothing. With the GOP/ Republicans/ Trumplicans they have no plan moving forward other then- we aren't them! They have no platform other then - we aren't them! Please, the current admin and the current fed are doing what they think is best- a plan. Inflation was caused by too quick of a rebound, people had too much money to spend, unemployment is low, wages are up, jobs are there for the taking, infrastructure spending is possible, sure gas is expensive- talk to the cartels and the private oil thieves - sorry- companies. The price of goods is up because - well- they can . Their profits are up selling less goods and making larger margins. Its not the government thats got its hands in your pocket - it's Exxon, Purdue (chickens) Nestle, etc....
C (New York, N.Y.)
It can't possibly be that Mr. Krugman is unaware of Republicans stated goal of increasing US oil and gas production? So his assertion that the Republicans have no plan to deal with inflation or high gas prices is patently false. Not only is it false, but he must know it's false. In all my years of reading this column, I've never run across a similar circumstance, even in the most blatant partisan and fact bending words that came from his pen, typewriter, computer. How is it that no other comments are calling him out on this? The column is not without detractors, no shortage of those who disagree with the party line. It's like the recent Oklahoma New York crime debate. Oklahoma has 30% more murders per person, but New York has 550% more murders per square mile. Krugman says this just means New York has more witnesses to crime. As if adding more people to the subway platform makes you safer since the statistically this decreases your chances of being the one pushed onto the track. Somehow I don't think riders are comforted much by the thought. Here is some more data on that: Other false statements? Oil is global unaffected by US production. False, the US is the largest producer of crude. And new wells produce oil within a year.
A Humble Comment (Dallas)
Mr Krugman referred to refining problems as the source of transient high gas prices, not to production. Nonetheless, production increases lack an immediate effect on current inflationary variables, and have adverse compounding influence on the policies that try to mitigate the current climate crisis
C (New York, N.Y.)
@A Humble Comment False, false, and false. Krugman has consistently tried to convince readers that oil prices would not be affected by US production. That's why he was against the US boycott of Russian oil, a critical element of any effort to exert pressure on Russia or get Europe to end it's dependence on Russia. He wobbled on this after Biden was forced to preemptively act before impending congressional action. The current price of oil and gas is affected by anticipation of future supply and demand. Saudis are also less likely to cut production if they know the US will take up their market share. The biggest influence on climate change is that Krugman and Biden's policy lead to Republican control of congress. Expanded production responsibly led by Democrats with oil taxes funneled to renewable development, or put Republicans in charge. Which mitigates the climate crisis?
Wayne (Rhode Island)
We became net exporter under Obama. Most of our refineries handle imported oil. What do you think the Saudis will do if we pump more oil? They wouldn't do the same thing under Trump because they want Trump to be President and the GOP to be in power. So do Putin and Xi and the clown in NK. So why do you want to vote for him? I can understand the enemy of your enemy is your friend. Not the friend of your enemy.
Sendan (Manhattan Side)
Krugman is correct when he says the MAGA PARTY has no economic plan. Its because they dont care about the overall economy. Fairness for all; A workingman’s wage for a full workday. It’s all beneath them. What they really care about is the subjugation of women. Limiting a women’s right to self governance; Denying women the right to an abortion and their health. The MAGA incarnation voids the rights to a free and peaceful process to vote. Their laws are purposely aimed to subjugate the masses and to deflect the will of the people, namely Democratic ideas; black, white and brown. The MAGA PARTY actually loves corporations…. that is corporations of their own kind that do their bidding while churning a profit for shareholders; both real and imagined. So why talk economics when it comes to the MAGAfied, it’s all a put-on.
alan (MA)
The Republicans "inflation plan"? Blame the Democrats.
Larry (Morristown)
It's the 2 Santa Claus theory once again. It's the only play in their book. Make the Government bankrupt so they can justify killing off social programs they never liked. "See, there's no money for social security or national health care" Why?? because they have systematically maneuvered things to be so.
Perry (Beloit)
This is comical. Democrats single handedly created the worst inflation of my lifetime in just 20 months of 'work', then say that Republicans have no plan to fix their mess. Here's a thought ... don't ever go Woke and this will never happen again.
Wayne (Rhode Island)
The Dems created 10 million jobs and cut the worst deficit by over $ 1T. Cleaning up GOP mess is what the last 3 Dem Presidents were left with as their job. Increased manufacturing jobs. Having to deal with the GOP supported antivaxx campaign causing greater disruption of supply chains, Trump tariffs which helped set up the inflationary spiral. Paid off the farmers in this base so they didn't have to produce as much grain for export. Did that contribute to food shortages and higher prices? The GOP has no plan because they don't care, it's too much thinking, when their only goal is permanent power.
George (Pa)
@Perry How about evidence? Democrats did it single handedly? No fault assigned to the greedy oil companies and other corporations engaged in price gouging?
Leslie (Arlington Va)
Remember when Trump repeatedly said for months on end that he was just "weeks away" from releasing his "Big and beautiful" healthcare plan? If I have learned anything about MAGA Republicans is that they are not even slightly familiar with the adage "fool me once...."
jahnay (ny)
@Leslie - Remember "Infrastructure Week'? Every week.
Geoffrey (Washington, DC)
Republicans are quick to tell you who and what they hate. But, they’ve zero written policy positions on infrastructure, education, housing and healthcare.
G Williams (Ohio)
Biden Administration policies have had little impact on gas prices. The same can not be said about Trump, and I don't understand why it is never mentioned today. Be consistent. In the midst of the pandemic, when demand had for gas had bottomed, Trump intervened and negotiating an unprecedented "historic deal" (as Fox Businesses proudly proclaimed then) to REDUCE global oil production. The key benefactors were the Saudis and Putin, with US Oil producers a distant third. The losers were consumers, who paid higher prices then, and even higher still once demand returned (remember his "deal" continued through April 2022) Here's a reminder from Fox back in 2020: "President Trump played a key role in the historic agreement between the world’s largest oil producers that trims global production by nearly 10 percent. Production will also be reduced by 8 million bpd from July through December and 6 million bpd from January 2021 through April 2022. Trump also bragged that he spoke to President Putin yesterday and Saudi Crown Prince Thursday and expects them to announce an oil production cut of 10 million barrels and could be up to 15 million. Trump tweeted "OPEC is looking to cut 20 Million Barrels a day, not the 10 Million that is generally being reported." The president later tweeted that a production cut would be “great for the oil & gas industry!” It sure was.
GregAbdul (Miami Gardens, Fl)
Professor I love you because you slay so many of the lies. But the why of the lies is what is depressing me a little at this present time. The Hispanic vote decides it. Lately, they have decided they will cast their lot with chasing whiteness: the struggle for many immigrants to move into and stay in white areas and to identify with typical white middle class causes. Herschel Walker? Wannabe. Clarence Thomas and Ted Cruz? Wannabes. The goal is not policy but that a certain set of whites needs to be in charge. Cubans immigrate to Miami with talk of hating the dictator Castro, but now have no problem with dictator Trump. The unsaid is what is driving the right. They assume the cruelty associated with GOP policies with bring order to chaos. Never mind the Trump cruelty on January 6th almost broke our federal government. Ironically, I am with Trump, but let's not just pick on Muslims. We need to shut down our immigration for a minute. We have new citizens who claim they are running from non democratic systems, yet support lies and undemocratic behavior in their new country. In Miami, I watch footage of dead fish by the thousands floating in Florida Bay and the news guy says it's only a matter of not using fertilizer during rainy season...when October is not rainy season and it no longer rains in rainy season in Florida! We are swimming in a sea of lies. The cure for the racism and the irrational chasing of whiteness is truth. Thanks for your regular dose of sanity.
JK (Paris)
Armed with untold barrels of snake oil, the GOP, although it abhors big government, is going to fix all the economic and social ills of America through the agency of, well, big government. Remember how they were going to replace the Affordable Care Act by a new "great" healthcare plan? Their only real economic objective is to enrich their largest donors. You don't need a weather map to predict more corruption and incompetence coming our way.
jahnay (ny)
Something else the maga's, 3%ers, oath keepers, proud boyz et al can look forward to when their beloved republicans take over government. The disappearance of their Social Security and Medicare.
Arthur Werry (Michigan)
Krugman says: "So what is the Republican plan to bring gas prices down? There isn’t one." This from an award winning economist? Even a seventh-grader who has watched the news would be able to articulate the GOP plan better than Krugman's lie here. I'll help Krugman by putting it in a way even he can understand. The GOP plan is simple: PUMP. MORE. OIL. PS The problem isn't that Krugman doesn't know or understand what the GOP plan is. The problem is he is a liar.
Mark Smith (Fairport NY)
@Arthur Werry It is not that simple. The Saudis are holding back production along with other members of the cartel to weaken Biden and promote authoritarian regimes. Oil is not only economical but also political.
Javier Baldrich (Baltimore)
Larry Summers was right on inflation
John (Westport)
No offense, but I don’t think you have all that much credibility on this topic given your months of columns denying that inflation was even a thing, or predicting it’d be under control any day now…
SMS45 (Coral Springs)
Once again, the economy does better under Democratic administrations. This is not partisan bluster, this is readily verifiable fact. Don't take my word for it. Donald Trump, before you found out that Republican pockets were easier to pick, confirmed that he was a Democrat because they do better with the economy. And yet, when polled, registered voters think Republicans can better handle the economy. Truly we have gone from an abundance of low information voters preponderance of misinformation voters.
Sarah (Ann Arbor)
Oh, but they Republicans do have a plan! It’s their only plan. Distract. Accuse. Create chaos. Keep citizens uneducated and confused. The GOP plan is not a plan for the country, but for them. They sew the seeds of hate with glee.
HLW (Phoenix)
The Democrats have abandoned free trade and more immigration. Inflationary. The democrats have targeted tax rebates for electric cars to American workers at the expense of American consumers. Inflationary. The democrats are hiring lots of IRS agents while increasing the complex nature of our tax code. This is an attack on Democrats in Blue States. Two earner families who support their homes and kids education. The super rich can go head to head with the IRS because they can lawyer up with the tax lawyers that wrote the complex tax code. And don't forget they raised the cost of stock buybacks that's hurting your self directed retirenment savings. If you don't work for the government you don't have a fixed pension. Of course you have to vote for the Democrats because the alternative is 1930's style fasicsm. On the other hand divided government when you have two parties that are hurting our economy isn't such a bad thing.
Mark (Germany)
Republicans Have No Inflation Plan". Well, neither do Democrats, or if they do they are not telling anyone about. Neither do they have aplan for the border - or if they do no one is talking about it.
Kurt Pickard (Murfreesboro, TN)
I suppose if you look at todays mortgage rates at 7 percent compared to 3 percent two years ago through Paul's rose colored glasses, homeowners are in a much better financial position today. People aren't stupid, they know the economy is in crisis. However, that won't stop the political pundits from attempting to whitewash what we know to be the economic reality
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
Republicans have no plan for anything. All they do is complain, criticize, and foment anger and fear. I would like to hear some, any journalist pin one of these fakers to the wall and ask them exactly what they're going to do if elected and not get away with a meaningless answer.
Fred Wild (New Orleans, La.)
The only plan republicans need is keeping the Fed's feet to the fire in restraining money supply growth. After exploding the M2 money supply 40% in the 22 months after Covid onset the Fed finally throttled back against an igniting inflation. M2 has stabilized since January. Inflation will slow in the coming two years, but only if the Fed resists misguided political pressure and stays the restraining course.
Legal (Indiana)
The Trump tax cuts took effect in 2018. Given it created deficits, but also job, wage, and GDP growth with NEGILIGIBLE INFLATION. Please explain.
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
@Legal You can be exposed to lead or other cancerogenic substances today and get a cancer a decade later... The same is with a seed. It takes the decades for the mighty tree to develop. There is the time delay between the bad behavior and tragic consequences too.
magicisnotreal (earth)
@Legal Shh, you are not supposed to notice that or the disappearance of inflation for 40 years as soon as the republicans were able to destroy the New Deal, our industrial manufacturing base and the Union men and women who worked there under reagan's first term. Inflation is a republican methodology not an uncontrollable force like the mythical markets. Look at all the greatly elevated from before the pandemic profits being made. That can only be because of greater sales and that means greater production of product or because they have the same or less sales but have raised the prices because they can.
Legal (Indiana)
@Kenan Porobic A good philosopher would state analogies are poor arguments. But politicians blaming their predecessors for their poor results is timeless.
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
A half of century ago I lived in a country that tried to introduce the use of the bank checks into the economy. The completely untrained people got an opportunity of their lifetime. One of them spent much more money than he had in his banking account. When the authorities showed up to collect the debt, the poor fella was completely relaxed. He offered to write them a check to pay off his debt. Our government is intellectually at his level. It is granting the blank check to itself. For some strange reason the leaders are now shocked there is the rampant inflation…
Pretzel (Amherst, MA)
But they don't want to offset spending cuts, do they? They want an excuse to cut expenditures on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. A shrinking revenue stream would provide that excuse.
Michael (Westchester County)
The real problem here is that the financialized economy is addicted to a near zero interest rate structure. The treasury market, the lifeblood of this structure, is now slowly becoming less liquid. The potential for a debt crisis is very real. The deficits must be financed by a liability that is either held by the public in the form of debt or by money created by the central bank used to buy the debt. With the Fed now pulling back, and the public unwilling to buy the debt at rates so far below inflation, we have fewer choices. Each party has a spending agenda but neither has a solid plan to deal with rapidly rising interest costs on the debt or the inflation that resulted from prior policies to finance it.
Steve Bolger (New York City)
@Michael: "Quantitative easing" regulates the amount of currency in circulation by the Federal Reserve Bank buying and selling government debt instruments. It is a better way to regulate inflation than tinkering with interest rates.
Kenan Porobic (Charlotte)
Now we have the proof in a shape of inflation that those who claimed over the last four decades that the deficits don’t matter have lied to us. The problem is the people are going to vote exactly for two political parties that have been fooling us all the time. Democracy is the system in which the people are replacing the current losers with the losers from the previous elections. Why have we such bad short-term memory? Those promising us to fix all the problems couldn’t do it four years ago when they had an opportunity to put us on the right course. The politicians are never focused on what’s good for the country but only on what’s good for them. That’s the very definition of the politicians. If a political party and a country had identical interests, there would be no reason for the former to exist… Those who were borrowing against the future should understand the future has arrived. Today is just yesterday’s tomorrow… From this perspective it’s completely irrelevant who is going to win the elections. Nothing changes until the system fails completely.
magicisnotreal (earth)
@Kenan Porobic You can only be right if magic is real. Prices are being increased because of greed and the feeling of impunity on Wall Street and the corporate offices of the companies ripping us off.
joe (St Louis)
I believe that ending reckless inflationary spending is a plan. Clearly, we need a change in Washington.
Mr. Adams (Texas)
@joe Republicans haven't mentioned many spending cuts though. The most common cut I've heard is defunding the IRS ... which would definitely make inflation worse by reducing tax enforcement. They probably don't talk about big cuts because they can't accomplish them. There's no political will to cut Social Security or Medicare. All the pandemic support programs have already ended. There isn't even political will to repeal Biden's infrastructure plan, because to be brutally honest our nation is crumbling and badly needs it. Nope, other than cutting IRS funding, the GOP plan is more tax cuts. That's the opposite of fixing inflation.
Michael (Wisconsin)
I think the Republican plan can be called "let's stop the bleeding". After the Biden administration came in, they underestimated the severity of inflation. They injected, against sound advice from some of their own economists, $1.9T into a recovering economy. They claimed inflation was transitory and kept rent and loan forgiveness programs going far too long, thereby making the problem worse. And recently, they forgave student loans to many people at taxpayer expense. This doesn't even begin to look at their policy towards fossil fuels - even if you're thinking of going to a green economy at some point, we need fossil fuels today, and I just don't get the point of depending on people like the Saudis and Venezuelans. How about we elect people who promise not to do any of the above? That's good enough for me for now.
Tim Kane (Mesa, Arizona)
@Michael That $1.9t is not responsible for the inflation we are now seeing. There are two sides to it: logistical and financial. The logistical came from covid & war. The financial came from the FED's program to back stop PRIVATE securities markets in Spring 2020 that were in a freefall due to Covid. Those securities are >80% held by the <1% - so purely benefitted the rich. This program is why Bezos & Musk's networth increased by roughly 50% during the pandemic. In that program the FED pumped $1t A DAY into markets. The program began March 20th & ended April 10th. It injected at least $10t into the economy. But that's only half of it. The other half is that money came from thin air - the FED merely flipping a few bits on a computer screen creating the money. Compare that to Biden's $1.9t - that was barrowed money. Borrowed money is money that already exists. So it is in no way as inflationary as the FEDs own program. That FED program benefitted the rich but the price for fixing the inflation it caused will be born by the working and poor classes. I'd say the FED has a major morality problem - and perhaps you might consider examing your own biases as well. Its always easy to punish the little people for the vanity of the rich.
Michael (Wisconsin)
@Tim Kane Do you think so little of people that you think you can get away with the claim that giving people money at a time of constrained supply will not lead to higher prices? This was not just the $1.9T, but the extended forgiveness programs and now the college debt forgiveness program on top of everything else given to people who couldn't manage their finances or just picked majors with zero employment opportunities. And as much as you don't like gasoline, it is needed today to transport the things we use and eat everyday. Not recognizing this, actively undermining policies that would promote the usage of our or Canada's crude and natural gas resources, depleting our strategic reserve, then going hat in hand to some of the worst regimes in the world - these are the people in charge today. Thankfully, it looks like the election will change that.
Donald Walker (Fort Worth)
The Republican response to COVID would have been to limit spending, which would have been devastating to the millions of unemployed. Inflation is inconvenient, but unemployment is true misery. Moreover, the US did ride the break during the Obama recovery, and inflation did not heat up. The Republicans then rewarded Obama by spending 8 years whining about how sluggishly the economy grew — throughout an impressively long period of growth. So, the Republicans have no plan but are awesomely talented at complaining. They don’t plan. They just whine.
Mark Smith (Fairport NY)
Gasoline producers need to be careful here. As they have done in the past, they destroyed their market by holding back production. When the prices crash, the producers produce more at a lower price to retain customer loyalty and market share thereby causing a glut. Bootleggers with freighters will ship Russian, Iranian and Venezuelan oil to refiners to fill in the held back production. Right now, places like India and China are benefiting while the rest of us pay more. Other retailers are feeling the effects of their own connivance. I see that my local 7-11 reduced prices by 1/2 for some of their nasty pastries. TVs have $400 discounts at Best Buy. Unless there are actual shortages like the snow crab collapse in Alaska, inflation corrects itself by when idle capacity kicks in.
John (PA)
Right, the Republicans have no plan. However, they will argue that if they were in charge, we would not have this inflation and no plan would be required.
Real Observer (Ca)
stocks are down ? depends on what you bought. owning some defensive stocks is a no brainer. Exxon- up 75 percent for the year(gouging us) Chevron - up 50 pct (same.gouging) Cigna- up 37 pct Merck - up 30 pct abbv - up 13 pct. They used to offer a large dividend. Biden's stimulus did not pay rich and ultrarich people a cent in checks.There was no need either. They did fine and their net worth is up a long way since he took office. Only the middle and low income received stimulus checks. 50 percent of americans do not own stocks. His policies and that of the democrats have helped the americans needing help the most. Lowering prescription drug prices for seniors may have helped all seniors-including wealthy seniors
John L (Manhattan)
My personal economic planning is to exit the US and our crumbling infrastructure in favor of a locale with good government and reliable constitutional arrangements. Oh, and regulated gun ownership and an absence of the heroic loner myth.
Retired Fed (Northern Westchester)
@John L Any suggestions? I'm thinking Panama- they speak English and take American currency.
Charlie (Arlington Virginia)
The economy and inflation are clearly on the voter's minds so if the GOP knuckleheads' start out with abortion prohibited for all, which will be vetoed, that should fix them up for 24. People want effective government not extremism that will fail. That's easy. Effective governance is very hard.
Carlito Brigante (Cleveland, Ohio)
Memo to Krugman: Of course the Republicans have issued no plan for inflation. Why would they ? Democrats own the House, Senate and Presidency which means THEY own the inflation problem. So here we have Krugman criticizing the Republicans for not coming up with a Fix-It Plan for inflation and he gives Democrats who OWN this inflation problem a Free Pass. So I get only 2/3'rds the amount of groceries today as I did 2 years ago with the same amount of $ expenditure which is totally a Democrat-owned-created problem and Krugman bad mouths the Republicans ? Is it any wonder nobody trusts the Press and Pundits anymore with this type of behavior ?
SoBlue (Illinois)
So do conservatives in Britain own the British inflation problem? They have been in power for 12 years.
Donald Walker (Fort Worth)
“Why would they?” Because, ostensibly, they want to govern. That’s why they should have a plan.
dn33 (Washington DC)
@Carlito Brigante Inflation is world-wide; in fact it's less severe in the US than in other countries. Democratic policies have literallly NOTHING to do with it. (See, I can use all caps too!)
C. M. Jones (Tempe, AZ)
Unfortunately, this has been obvious for some time, even to political moderates like myself. Americans have the collective intelligence of a flock of seagulls. And considering the general obtuseness of the American people I’m surprised the Republic has lasted as long as it has. The end is almost inevitable.
lastcard jb (westport ct)
@C. M. Jones good band. "I Ran" was a decent song...for the time.
Thick Brick (Glen Cove, NY)
No plans, but they have hate and fear on their side.
T Bucklin (Santa Fe)
Looking for a rational, reality-based thread in Republican pronouncements over economic policy, or any other policy consideration is a fool’s errand. That’s in part because their principle form of communication is by bold anti-factual proclamation, in which the jibberish jumble of word salad refers obliquely (but without coherent adherence to what we commonly know as “meaning” or “logic”) to a set of debunked theories (see Trickle Down Econ, etc) they all nonetheless use to prop up their proclamations. But all that is theater they perform for our benefit, to prevent us from being able to say outright, Those people are crazy! As long as they sound like they are being rational, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt. But they are crazy. And we know this because instead of rational discourse, the true objective of their words is a kind of one-upmanship of crazy, where the more anti-rational and outlandish, attention-getting a proclamation or action, the more conservative cred you get. Look at DeSantis Marthas Vineyard stunts or H Walker’s abortion sitch, the talk of impeachments and debt limit sabotage among the rabid right. They are so divorced from reality by design, on purpose, because that’s now how they signal to one another, not with the words they speak, (their words’ only function is to convince us they still want to play ball, ala Lucy with the football) but with the gestures of crazy. They can say anything, and it doesn’t mean a thing. So, PK, What to do?
Ben Andrews (Phoenix, Arizona)
The inflation Trigger explanatory journalism—where is it? The Trump/GOP admin is responsible for the increased size of our current inflation? 1) Every break-away inflation has a trigger. That trigger is an outsized threshold imbalance in supply and demand. 2) The 'Trump/GOP admin' politicized all the major Covid public health measures. This made them much less effective against the pandemic. That enlarged the size of the pandemic and increased the human damage caused. (We hold a world record for Covid deaths! That and US cases and disabilities are twice what they should have been.) 3) The enlarged pandemic created EXTRA human damage. Some of this EXTRA human damage happened in the US supply-chain workforce. 4) The enlarged size of the pandemic also created EXTRA volatility in the demand-side of the US economy. 5) Part of the trigger was the EXTRA human damage to our supply-chain workforce in manufacturing, food processing, ground cargo transportation, and seaport cargo transfer to and from trucks. 6) The other part of the inflation trigger was the increased size of our pandemic. This added EXTRA volatility to the demand-side of the US economy. 7) Thus, the Trump/GOP admin loaded extra heft into the two-part US inflation trigger—extra human damage and extra fear. 8) The Trump/Biden stimulus payments ultimately revived the US economy. 9) Then the GOP-enlarged US inflation-trigger "BOTTLE-NECKED" our supply-chain and triggered our current inflation.
Real Observer (Ca)
The market took a shellacking under nixon,reagan(the 1987 crash), g h w bush(the 1990 recession), dubya(the dot com crash erased trillions), dubya(the 2008 great housing and financial depression.millions of foreclosures, stock market nosedived), and trump(20 million jobs lost, stock market and our retirement savings almost disappeared-only saved by schumer, pelosi and the fed). Biden is right.They will crash the economy again. They are a one trick pony.Cut taxes for corporations and their crony billionaires
P2 (NE)
GOP has no plan other then to reduce taxes on rich (helps me) but none of it will help my country: USA. GOP is making America weaker and working to put it in the feet of Oligarchs just like Russia is.
Ben Andrews (Phoenix, Arizona)
The inflation Trigger news coverage/explanatory journalism—where is it? The Trump/GOP admin is responsible for the increased size of our current inflation? 1) Every break-away inflation has a trigger. That trigger is an outsized threshold imbalance in supply and demand. 2) The 'Trump/GOP admin' politicized all the major Covid public health measures. This made them much less effective against the pandemic. That enlarged the size of the pandemic and increased the human damage caused. (We hold a world record for Covid deaths! That and US cases and disabilities are twice what they should have been.) 3) The enlarged pandemic created EXTRA human damage. Some of this EXTRA human damage happened in the US supply-chain workforce. 4) The enlarged size of the pandemic also created EXTRA volatility in the demand-side of the US economy. 5) Part of the trigger was the EXTRA human damage to our supply-chain workforce in manufacturing, food processing, ground cargo transportation, and seaport cargo transfer to and from trucks. 6) The other part of the inflation trigger was the increased size of our pandemic. This added EXTRA volatility to the demand-side of the US economy. 7) Thus, the Trump/GOP admin loaded extra heft into the two-part US inflation trigger—extra human damage and extra fear. 8) The Trump/Biden stimulus payments ultimately revived the US economy. 9) Then the GOP-enlarged US inflation-trigger "BOTTLE-NECKED" our supply-chain and triggered our current inflation.
RLB (Portland, OR)
The Republicans don't have an inflation plan just like they didn't have a health care plan. Trump Republicans don't have real plans to solve real problems.
Lumpy (Home)
GOP had no platform in 2020, none whatsoever. It was “whatever Trump wants” GOP doesn’t want to solve problems because they don’t want to pass legislation. How many bills has McConnell killed thru the years vs passed or even proposed?
TR Connolly (Old Greenwich)
Paul, Republicans have no plan for anything but trying to retake power. We thought by ridding ourselves of Trump civility would return. It hasn't, the ads and the candidates have gotten nastier. We thought after January 6th the whole country, particularly Republicans would wake up and realize what they almost lost. Then haven't. We thought after the illegal vote to try to overturn the last presidential election Republicans would come to their senses and repudiate and atone for what the 140 of them in house did. They didn't atone, they continued to spread the lie. They weren't thrown out of their seats, censured or indicted. This political class, that's what it is, seeks not to serve us citizens, has no plans but to stay in power, and will only subject the country to more Trump like behavior and autocracy. Anyone would have to be crazy to vote for a Republican. Right now it is only a party of thugs, seeking power, hiding under the flag of a once respected political party. Vote for anyone but a Republican in this election - we need to throw them all out and restart our two party system.
Aubrey (Alabama)
It is astounding. For as long as I can remember, basically all the religious/republican right wing party has had to offer at election time was name calling and division. A continuation of the culture wars. As far as economic policy (or, indeed, any policy) all they have is to cut taxes on the well-to-do. Yet it seems the electorate falls for it every. They use to say that America was the "land of the free and the home of the brave." But in recent years we seem to have become the land of the gullible. Does anyone else dispare for the future of the country? (Repubicans don't talk about it, but in each Republican breast lurkes the thought that some day they will be strong enough in Congress, and hold the WH, so that they can dismantle Social Security and Medicare. So they actually do have a policy proposal other than cutting taxes on the wealthy. If they actually accomplish this goal, it will be the destruction of this country. Most elderly people in the future would be living in poverty.)
@Aubrey Yes, I despair for the future of the country. I'm second guessing my decision to have children because they are the ones that are going to have live out their lives in this disaster unless we turn things around. Of course, the Republicans want to cut SS and Medicare just as our 401K have been losing money. They don't want to govern. They just want to be "in charge". They had the presidency and congress and they still didn't accomplish anything. Why would anyone think it will be different if they have them power again? If you're not rich, they don't care about you. I don't understand how they have conned the working class so thoroughly.
RobNYC (Long Island)
Well, perhaps the Republican plan would be not to spend almost $7 trillion in less than two years and not spending billions of unappropriated funds for college loan forgiveness. Perhaps, the Republicans will not stifle and block pipelines, fracking, and other regulations and executive orders that decimate the U.S. energy industry. A good start. Sometimes doing nothing is the best approach.
eclectico (7450)
Well, yes. The Republican powers-that-be know, as well as I, that we don't vote FOR candidates or parties, we vote AGAINST them. Accordingly, to swing votes your way, don't tell the voters all the great things you will do; no, tell them all the bad things the others will or have done. Yes, as a Democrat, I don't vote for Menendez, I hold my nose and vote against the Republican.
@eclectico Very good point. We have seen the enemy and they are us.
T (MN)
The truth doesn't matter anymore. I haven't seen a Republican ad advocating any position not also supported by the D they were running against ("support police") or attacking a Democrat for a position or policy the D in question OR D leadership actually held, supported or voted for in over 8 years. And I get 5+ ads a day despite watching zero television. And enough of America buys it. I don't have a solution other than try and figure out how to prosper after our democracy dies.
Colona (Suffield, CT)
Since we off shored the economy to the Federal Reserve and under either party for the last 40 years, and have mostly given up on any attempt to control the power of pure capitalism. We are getting the government we deserve.
E Ciambarella (Eciambarellamd)
Doesn't matter what the issue is this year, the only Republican plan for anything is 'Let's Go Brandon'. That's all they got. I wish though that there would be some analysis of how this summer gas prices were going down and the market was going up and there was talk of the Dems keeping both Houses etc. Then Putin and Saudi Arabia cut back on oil production and gas prices went back up.
Audrey (Germany)
"Republicans Have No Inflation Plan". Well, neither do Democrats. Or am I missing something?
BMalone (Boston)
@Audrey have you heard of this thing called the Inflation Reduction Act? Democrats already passed it
Not to mention (U.S.A.)
@BMalone Of course we have Audrey was probably referring to real action and not virtue signaling
Grabski (Morris County, NJ)
@Audrey We are living in the Democratic Plan Give the other team a try…
Chris (Bellingham WA)
This is a well thought out, accurate analysis.. too bad it wont matter. All people see is how much gas costs and then lay the blame on the party of the current president. The Republicans know it is smarter politics to not propose any solutions.
NYC Former Resident (The South)
What inflation? It is transitory.
Grabski (Morris County, NJ)
The fellow who said inflation was “transitory” wants to blame the Republicans on inflation? How about: Drill Man Drill. End mandates. The inflation rate in the GDP report was over 7% year/year; higher than wage growth. Biden’s answer? In Syracuse he claimed gas was over $5/gal when he took over. Nooo, $2.30 He said the economy was crashing Nooo: Q3 2020 growth was over 10%; Q4 was 7% Some crash. Facts matter
TheProf (Maine)
@Grabski Current inflation IS transitory. Aside from gas, it is caused by a normal amount of money chasing an abnormally limited amount of goods due to the pandemic. Have you tried to buy IT equipment lately? A $40 part is $250 due to the fact that production and supply chains have not yet retuned to pre-pandemic levels. It is not due to excess demand; few have decided to buy an extra dozen computers to leave around the house. People are not buying dramatically more food than in pre-pandemic times, forcing the price of food higher. Inflation in the price of gas is mostly due to the war in Ukraine. It is hard to see how anything done in the US would affect the world market prices we have to pay for fossil fuels. Indeed, since most of the world is suffering the same or worse inflation as we have here in the US, it would seem that US policy choices can make little difference. Facts (not just a couple of factoids) do indeed matter.
Trevor Bajus (Brooklyn NY)
@Grabski Facts matter, unless those facts are climate change, what Krugman actually said, or anything this guy doesn't like.
George W (Manhattan)
Sure, they have a plan: Lower taxes for the rich. That solves all problems. I can never understand how so many middle income people think Republicans have the answer.
Grabski (Morris County, NJ)
@George W Have you noticed the question, framed by the Democrats? Are you better off than you were two years ago?
George W (Manhattan)
@Grabski That is not a question Democrats ask. People may not be better off, but the problems are worldwide and have little to do with the administration. Republicans always fail to mention that.
M (Cambridge)
Republicans don’t have any economic or social plans because they have no intention to govern. Their only goal is to rule.
David Ricardo (Massachusetts)
Well, despite all the Krugman logic that says that the Republicans are the wrong stewards for the economy, the smart money right now says that they will control both the House and Senate after the mid-term elections. It's not even close. So, what can we conclude from this? The voters are either woefully uninformed and should be prevented from voting, or perhaps they know a little more than we give then credit.
Doug (New England)
@ David Rickado so you believe polls are infallible what happened in 2016 and 2020. The problem with polls is they tell us results before one vote is cast. Some voters see the poll and think why vote my candidate is going to lose and the poll becomes self fulfilling. Why not fine pollsters if what they publish is inaccurate that might put an end to these fraudsters.
@David Ricardo The former.
BMalone (Boston)
@David Ricardo do tell what secret magic Republican voters know about that the rest of us don’t
Donalan (Connecticut panhandle)
I don’t get it. With annual inflation running over 8% and GDP growth at 2.6%, aren’t we just seeing people buying less stuff at higher prices? Is that really growth?
I understand the basics of inflation I suppose. Too much money, too few goods. But why would that scenario cause inflation if not for corporate greed? They raise prices because they can.
ACA (Providence, RI)
@LFK It depends on where the money goes -- higher cost of doing business (e.g. raw materials, transportation, labor, the latter unfortunately being commodity in the corporate world) or to profits, which essentially rewards shareholders. What the phrase "corporate greed" leaves out is who actually benefits when corporate profits rise. It is shareholders, which often represents a diverse group of fairly ordinary people such as those with stakes in pension funds and 401K plans, as well as college endowments and anyone else with a stake in the earning potential of a business. Still, when shareholders benefit excessively at the expense of people who need essential products, such as gas or medications, something is wrong. Objecting to "corporate greed" is partly right, but in fact more complicated than the phrase implies.
@ACA When I first studied business many eons ago (before Gordon Gecko), the reason for corporations was not "shareholder value".
ACA (Providence, RI)
Having been invited to pose questions at a recent candidate forum, I found myself looking at some actual numbers that relate to the Republican "fiscal responsibility" and "conservative economics" idea, which is presumably at the heart of their claim that they are the ones to combat inflation. Under President Trump, federal budget deficits were the following 2018: 780 billion 2019: 980 billion 2020: 3.13 trillion 2021: 2.7 trillion Under President Obama, budget deficits in the preceding four years range 480 billion to 670 billion, uniformly lower. The first budget signed by President Biden had a deficit of 1.38 trillion (fiscal 2022). (Data from, available on line. Note that the fiscal year begins in October of the previous year, so fiscal 2021 begins in October 2020 and the budget is determined by who is governing in October, 2020, which was President Trump.) In short, Trump, the current Republican standard bearer had no qualms inflating Federal deficits when it was convenient to stimulate the economy. As Mr. Krugman has pointed out many times, with far more experience and data than I can muster (one reason I am here reading his column), Republican fiscal conservatism is one of the other Big Lies of modern politics. Republican fiscal governing is, for the most part, a batch of policies that reward the wealthy at the expense of people whose needs can only be met by the government. It is more "post truth" politics.
A Voice of Reason (Indiana)
I sincerely wish Biden, or some coalition of Democrats/Independents would hold a press conference or series of press conferences and lay out honestly what the state of the economy is, the challenges that we face, and what we plan to do about it. Don't just try to paint a rosy picture or pretend the challenges don't exist. Be honest, call out policies that are needed including some level of across the board tariffs (not tit-for-tat trade war) and changes in tax policy to level the playing field and not reward corporations for keeping profits offshore, the need to change tax policies restore progressivity, perhaps even call for a balanced budget aka the last years of Clinton administration before the Bush tax cuts. Also, be honest about immigration that we do have a problem, but that we actually need somewhat higher legal immigration, but that the problem is the asylum system and failed states in central america. In short, lay out comprehensive policies with an overarching philosophy of how reigning in big banks and wall street, restoring progressivity to tax code, closing tax loopholes, enforcing anti-trust, and even moving toward government provided health-care and away from for-profit health care, will result in better lives for us all. But that these policies will take time and the effect will not be immediate. As it is, Republicans are poised to take over and will reap the benefits of the Infrastructure bills that Democrats worked so hard for.
JFJ (Takoma Park MD)
@A Voice of Reason Walter Mondale, Summer 1984: "He'll raise taxes, so will I. He won't tell you, I just did." Walter Mondale, November 1984: Carries one state. The idea that the American people want blunt honesty is not supported by any evidence that I know of.
Grabski (Morris County, NJ)
@JFJ And Pres Reagan cut taxes across the board in 1986. It was honest that he would hike taxes. Like much electoral rhetoric, it was baseless projection.
JFJ (Takoma Park MD)
@Grabski Mondale assumed that Reagan would bow to economic necessity and raise taxes; Reagan, knowing he would never directly face the voters again, ignored the necessity and went ahead and cut taxes some more, leaving Bush to clean up his mess and take the political consequences later. Not exactly something to hang your hat on.
Sapman (Cbus)
“…almost the only concrete economic policy idea we’re hearing from Republicans is that they want to extend the Trump tax cuts, which would … substantially increase the deficit.” Tax cuts would also fuel inflation and work against what the Federal Reserve has been trying to accomplish by raising interest rates (which would have to go even higher to counter the stimulus of Republican tax cuts). Instead of cuts, taxes should be increased to slow spending, which is exactly what Democrats tried to do last summer with proposed tax increases on billionaires. But no Republican would join Democrats to support that. Conventional wisdom tells us voters have this absurd notion that Republicans should be elected to better manage the economy. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Grabski (Morris County, NJ)
@Sapman Um, billionaires save and invest the overwhelming share of their money. G
@Grabski Increase the capital gains tax and remove some of the carried interest loopholes. Why do they get special treatment when they already make more money and own more government than we do? Liz Truss learned the hard way about cutting taxes to the upper class. Hopefully, the Republicans are paying attention. When you have bills you can't pay, don't you look for a second job or a better paying one? Cutting taxes doesn't do anything for paying down the deficit.
FoodieNJ (Bergen County NJ)
Sadly, most of America is ignorant of macro economic impacts on prices and supply. The GOP who should know better, use it to blame Dems and the President. Thing is, supply chain issues are self inflicted due to the pandemic and failures by the last administration to quickly get it under control (instead fueling distrust and defiance). Suppliers and downstream sellers took advantage with pricing actions, none of which were reversed. All commodities are sold via global markets, no matter where they are produced and consumed. Putin's war (let's not forget who bowed down and enabled him) has disrupted oil markets, and food commodity pricing due to the impact on wheat and sunflower oil. Despite US requests for OPEC to increase global production (even though US imports are very low), Putin convinced MBS to decrease, raising prices. And why is no one in the GOP talking about record gas supplier profits - Shell more than doubled their profits year over year. Price gauging is real. We also forget average gas prices a year ago were $3.40 a gallon. At pump pricing, immediately went up after the OPEC move, despite no oil at that price being used yet. GOP supporters don't know how to look up facts to see for themselves. Instead they believe the false political rhetoric the GOP consistently throws. No one wants to admit the tax cuts put us on this path.
geoffrey godbey (state college, PA)
Because the world food supply and the world energy supply have been significantly diminished. Your rhetorical question seems to assume it is optional for a political party to have plans and policies. It is not. A fundamental reason the Republicans no longer constitute a serious political party. Only the chess pieces of the rich.
A P (Eastchester)
Republicans will do what worked in the past. The redundant, "drill baby drill," will be the party's mantra. They will ignore the facts surrounding the economics of oil production and refining. They ignore or say its fake news that there are more oil leases on the books now than during Trump's tenure. They won't talk about how investors in fracking lost billions. Republicans will hammer home the idea that they, "care," about Americans suffering from high prices. For the conspiracy-loving base, they will push the idea that Democrats have a plan to eliminate, "all," petroleum products and force society to use public transit, buy unaffordable EVs, and erect windmills where there's no wind. If and when Russia disrupts the oil markets this winter and drives up prices to $150 or more a barrel, Republicans will claim that too is Biden's fault.
Dori (Midwest)
Why would the Republicans need an inflation plan as we were blessed with the Inflation Reduction Act?
Clearheaded (Philadelphia)
Because when the Republicans get their hands on any bit of power, they will directly use it to sabotage everything that the Democrats are doing. Really, have you not been paying attention?
June (Charleston)
That the Republicans have no plan is irrelevant. They are excellent marketers of their brand and that is why citizens vote for them. There is no need to succeed at anything if you are excellent at marketing yourself. Republicans just keep on marketing and winning elections.
Mark (South Carolina)
Yes, Republicans have no plan, and one should not vote for them. That does not excuse the original sin of the Biden plan that exacerbated our current inflation: giving billions in free money to people when the worst of the pandemic was over. Many of our current problems - inflation, learning loss, plummeting college enrollments, increased addiction, crime - can be traced to our overreaction to COVID. It was dangerous, but not as dangerous as many assumed, especially after vaccines became available.
@Mark I hardly think *more than a million dead Americans* is an over-reaction. I think I heard that resulted in several million friends and family grieving. Republicans told their people that masking was infringing on their rights - never mind about the rights of others not to die. They also said that vaccines were dangerous or didn't help with Covid. So, are you sure about your theory?
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
You're too kind Dr. Krugman. Money does something to the human soul. Republicans are the inflation plan. They always plan to pillage the nation during Democrat leadership years by inflating prices, then when the political cycle occurs bringing the Republicans back into power, they pass tax cuts so they can keep the proceeds of the years of robbery by inflated prices. The Republican inflation plan is inflation itself. The wide spectrum of price gouging, price fixing, production curtailments to reduce supplies to raise prices without suspicion. The Republicans are who own big business. Transportation failed to maintain supplies and prices increased. A potential Railroad strike and dock strike almost occurred to raise prices. The idea of a strike began in the two biggest unions to spread the idea quicker. And the Republicans blamed it on the Democrats who bailed out the down and out of America. The economy is manipulated for maximum profits. Just as OPEC curtails production, so do Republicans. And you all believe them. Because they own the cameras.
TexMex (On The Border)
Have not read the article yet, only the title. Indeed Republicans have an “inflation plan”. It is simply welcome inflation as of it were a virus spread by Biden et al rather than a global effect of stimulus, supply chain issues and demand caused by many central banks and many nations’ activities.
John (Arlington Va)
Biden administration and Congress have cut the fiscal deficit by over a trillion dollars in fy 2023 from prior year; lower government spending will over time reduce the GDP and inflation. The Fed has jacked up mortgage rates to close to 7% which already has cut housing industry and eventually housing prices which are a major component of price index and thus cut inflation. Supply bottlenecks have been sharply reduced and this will cut inflation over time. What more could Republican Congress do? If they engage in major tax cuts, this will stimulate spending. They do not control the Fed and so interest rate policy is out of their control. They are full of nonsense. Our economy and the world economy is locked into high inflation right now, but it is ebbing. No one wants a worldwide recession and further interest rate hikes or major cuts in government spending will do that.
Arthur Werry (Michigan)
@John "Biden administration and Congress have cut the fiscal deficit by over a trillion dollars in fy 2023 from prior year" Yes, the deficit has come down. Show me the "cuts" Biden has made that reduced the deficit. You speak of "lower gov't spending" - ok, I'll bite. Where is Biden calling for gov't to cut back spending? Neither side has called for serious reductions in gov't spending. Both sides have been trying to outdo the other in spending more and more. Biden pushes a half-trillion dollar bailout with student debt relief and then claims that the Dems are the party of fiscal responsibility. Ha! Fiscally responsible representatives are few and far between in DC today.
Thorsten Debs (Summerland)
Perhaps the first step to righting the ship of state is to understand that electoral politics succeeds only in changing the faces and rhetoric while policies remain fairly constant since both parties serve the same employers. Voting is designed to give you the feeling that you have some influence over those policies. You don't, you do not have enough money.
David H (Northern Va.)
Yesterday I heard an interview with one of Trump's economic advisors. This fellow (whose name I did not catch) said that people need to separate Trump's persona from his policies as President. He went on to gush over the US economy under Trump -- inflation under 2 percent, the lowest unemployment in US history, polls which before the pandemic showed 70 percent of Americans happy with the economy. He also made the point that divided government is best for the economy. I'm not a fan of Trump and I regard as anathema both political parties in this country. But cutting taxes AND cutting spending seems like a good idea. Bill Clinton did it, right?
BlueIsle in a RedSea (NC)
@David H Our government is about more than money. The bottom line of our government is We the People, not profits. What businesses are run as if they were a government? Then why should our government be run like a business ...being embezzled?
JFM (Hartford)
@David H - trump economy inherited a strong economy from President Obama, and then did nothing but claim credit. Republican control during his presidency laid the groundwork for increased deficits and inflation (remember all THAT stimulous) which is what President Biden inherited and has to deal with. Our dysfunctional politics have earned us this economy, and pretending republicans can or will fix anything is just advertising.
David H (Northern Va.)
@BlueIsle in a RedSea I now recall that Nancy Pelosi could not bring herself to allow a vote last month on a bill to bar lawmakers in Congress or their family members from trading individual stocks. (Link below.) Yet today, American consumers are watching their grocery bills increase and retirement accounts implode.
International Herb (California)
Yes Paul Krugman but it doesn't matter if the House or Senate Republicans have an inflation plan. Objectively their only power is to obstruct a Democratic administration and I'm sure that's what they're planning. And that's it, that's all they're planning, and then run against the do nothing Democrats in 2024. And in fairness, this inflation did take place solely under a Democratic administration whose supporters were crowing about a "Biden boom," and really were caught unawares by it. It's ironic that Keynesians who understand the implicit interface between the market and the state in our current iteration of post catastrophe Capitalism, would be surprised that the market didn't work it's job creating magic all on its own. Coming out of a crisis and Covid is/was a crisis, you really need an Industrial policy. And that we don't have one, is because the Democrats, when push comes to shove, are still a Party run by corporate tools.
RF (Arlington, TX)
Republican may not have a coherent economic plan, but rest assured, they do have a plan. It is always more or less the same: tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts in (or outright destruction of ) social programs like Social Security, Medicare and The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). It's always for the rich, a fact that many middle- and lower-income Republicans (most of the MAGA crowd) don't seem to notice.
Tony Zbrzezny (Binghamton, NY)
Please explain the Democratic plan. Excessive spending. Printing money on worthless paper. Promises of loan forgiveness. Equates to one thing. To few goods and too much money. If you want oil to cost more simply stop drilling. That’s not what happened the government shut it down. We are already hearing the rumbling from the left that corporations are making too much money. I see price controls in the future. That makes me afraid.
Bob The Plumber (Long Island)
I’m afraid of Republicans that lie about everything and won’t accept the results of elections. I’m afraid of people blaming Democrats for inflation when inflation is a worldwide problem. I’m afraid of people that won’t use the brains the good lord gave them and see what a scam the Republicans are pushing.
Maljoffre (Germany)
The Republicans don’t need an inflation plan because Mr Krugman assured us that inflation is a temporary blip before prices return to normal.
T (Cleveland)
@Maljoffre That was before Ukraine.
Real Observer (Ca)
motown, read benjamin graham's book. when assets are heavily undervalued but the business itself is worth a lot more, that is when the investment risk is lowest and upward growth potential for the investment the highest. bad news for some can be good news for others. tech stocks have had a long run and have just given up some gains.they are up 100 percent over five years(vgt) and the s and p 50 pct. stocks were getting overvalued and he correction is healthy. apple had significant revenue is pretty solid though interest rate increases dented their earnings. when the fed has contained inflation the stock market could is trying to break the shackles.trillions are sitting on the sidelines in savings. the economy is robust.
Real Observer (Ca)
motown, the market's long upward run has gone on for over ten years. 20 percent down is nothing.It is a good buying opportunity if done selectively.
Paul Göransson (Norrtälje)
I always find it hilarious when americans complain about "high" gas prices. Yesterday I payed about 2.5 dollars/liter of diesel (gasoline is slightly cheaper) which means about 10 dollars/gallon. I have 62 miles to work and pay around 45% in taxes. Oh and the wages are on average lower as well. I wish and dream I could have your gas prices.
Drew (San Jose, Costa Rica)
Au contraire sir. The Republican economic plan as well as their plan in general is clear, concise and comprehensive: non-stop investigation of Hunter Biden. How that helps the economy is a bit more convoluted. Distracts from the tax cuts, I suppose.
Tony Zbrzezny (Binghamton, NY)
You mean like the endless January 6th prime time committee? That helped the economy.
@Tony Zbrzezny I would hope that it would wake people up to how close we are to losing our democracy when someone in power can manipulate things. I really don't want to live in Hungary or Russia. I wish the MAGA that like that kind of thing would go live in those places. My America is just fine thank you. If you don't like it, go live somewhere else. Isn't that what the MAGA tell everyone else?
David (Portland, OR)
Wait don't tell me! Let me guess the Republican plan. Cut taxes for the rich, cut social security and government spending except for the military, and repeal pollution, climate, and safety regulations? How close was that? It's always that same tired plan regardless the economic situation.
James (Arlington)
Krugman states that gas has become less affordable, but not by nearly as much as Republicans claim. This, however, ignores the release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve by Biden. In November 2021, Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels from the strategic petroleum reserve to address high gasoline prices. On March 1st 2022, Biden announced the release of 30 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve because of the Russia's invasion of Ukraine. On March 31st 2022, Biden announced the release of a million barrels a day for the next 6 months. The strategic petroleum reserve was intended to address supply shortages. It was not intended to be a slush fund to get the Democrats re-elected with lower gas prices. All of this oil will have to be repurchased at some point at the cost of easily 22 billion dollars.
Michael (Connecticut coast)
@James $22 billions versus the Trump/Ryan/McConnell deficit financed rich guy & their billion dollar corporate tax cuts of $1.75 trillions, so they could use certainly more than $22 billions for stock buy backs? Release of that strategic petroleum help to buoy the economy and those who were hurting.
Martina (Chicago, Illinois)
It is simply not true that us Republicans lack a Republican Economic Plan. Our Four Point Republican Economic Plan is: Point 1: Save money by abolishing Social Security and Medicare. Point 2: Save money by defunding the government and laying off 100,000 government workers. Point 3: Save money by reducing war supplies to Ukraine. Point 4: Reducing taxes on millionaires, billionaires, and Musk.
bubba (TN)
@Martina - you forgot their plan would also include saving money by getting rid of medicare.
RocketScientist (Munich)
Paul overestimates the Republicans. They are for tax cuts for no other reason than that is what they have been saying for years. There is no connection to policy or even reality.
S Lawrence (Nirvana)
@RocketScientist "They are for tax cuts for no other reason than that is what they have been saying for years." No! They are for tax cuts for no other reason than this is what their financial backers have been paying them to do for years.
A Philips (New York)
Krugman once again proves to be among either the least informed, or the least honest. Policy does little to arrest inflation. But it does an awful lot to fuel it, and the (intentionally?) misleadingly named inflation reduction act poured fuel on the problem. The fed could have addressed it by increasing interest rates more than a year ago, but they are too little too late ... and now too aggressive. Those of us paying attention predicted recession beginning by Q2 2023 and into early 2024. Couple it with bad energy policy and a president who doesn't understand how to (or can't) play with unscrupulous and more strategic adversaries, and we're heading into a very dangerous time. Buckle your seatbelts.
SixplusFour (Dallas)
@A Philips Did you agree with Trump that the Fed should have been pumping more money into the economy which was his constant blathering? "President Trump has made heckling the Federal Reserve, and its chair, Jerome H. Powell, something of a sport. He has berated Mr. Powell for raising interest rates and taking steps to end a crisis-era stimulus program, likening the Fed to a powerful golfer who has “no touch” and cannot win." NYT June 2019.
Go Blue (New York)
@A Philips I'm going to believe a Nobel winning economist over a person who has the temerity to call that economist ill informed.
Toast (Midwest)
The choice is simple: elect democrats, inflation will be fixed. Elect republicans, inflation will go out of control.
Alec (North Carolina)
Democrats control the House, Senate. & WH. They signed a bill called the inflation reduction act and it’s done the opposite. It’s time for a change!
A Philips (New York)
We elected democrats. Inflation is out of control.
Carla (Brooklyn)
Democrats do not create inflation, nor does President Biden. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s happening all over the world. So far I have heard no plan from Republicans on how they intend to fix it,
Floyd (New Mexico)
The GOP’s plan for inflation will likely begin with threats. Threats of subpoenas to the Federal Reserve Chair and Board Members before congressional committees, to grill and further threaten if Interest Rates are not lowered. Remember Trumps attacks on Powell the last time rates were on the rise. We probably can not on them calling the energy giants to the carpet though. To the grandstanders, gasoline prices wouldn’t be so high if it wasn’t for Biden.
Motown (Michigan)
GDP growth driven by increases in Federal and local government spending and exports (likely influenced by energy exports and higher currency values) but with slower growth in consumer spending growth and decreases in housing doesn’t bode well for the 4th quarter. This may be the quarter we whistle past the graveyard.
David Henry (Concord)
"Reality," as defined by the GOP, is fantasy. Since 1980, the rabbit hole strategy has worked wonders: the rich no longer pay taxes.
A. Citizen (U.S.A.)
Okay, it goes against logic to vote for a Republican but it also goes against logic for Republicans to actually offer policies or solutions for any problems. The Republican base would rise against Republicans who offered solutions because that would make them RINOs and Democrats wouldn’t vote for a Republican who said all the right things because the assumption would have to be the Republican is lying. It’s a lose, lose idea for Republicans to actually do what you want them to do.
Art (Seattle)
I think the GOP anti-inflation plan matches their universal health care plan. And their infrastructure week proposal.
Dumboy (Novato CA)
When Republicans say that tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves, the “themselves” they’re referring to are Republicans politicians.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Republicans are Inflation. They profit from inflation. They pillage with inflation. They are the Hoods Robin'.
J, (C)
Correction: Headline should read, "Republicans Have No [insert any societal issue here] Plan."
Bruce B (New Mexico)
Republicans are non-programatic authoritarian radicals. Republicans don't want to acknowledge that inflation is a worldwide problem caused by the pandemic, high demand/low, Supply chain disruptions, corporate Greed (Price gouging), the war in Ukraine (oil, fertilizer, & food), and trade barriers on Food Supplies by governments Some economists say that the primary ways to try and curb inflation are the following: Raise interest rates Raise taxes Cut spending The three ways listed above can be painful and unpopular.
Grove (California)
It doesn’t matter that they have no plan. People have been voting for them for 40+ years while they have dismantled the middle class and given tax cuts to themselves and their rich friends. They know that they don’t have to do anything and somewhere between 30% and 50% of voters will vote for them anyway. There is no incentive to do anything but grift.
James Jordan (Falls Church,Va)
Dr. K, Your analysis puts the inflation issue and the price of gasoline at the pump in the correct perspective. I hope that your analysis and you are featured in the television news. Voters hopefully will realize that the social safety net and Democrat majorities over our national history have created a better life for all Americans and the GOP leadership starting with the election of Ronald Reagan slowed the progress in our standard of living, opportunities for our children, and choking the Democratic progress in a more equitable distribution of income. A Democratic majority in Congress is the only real hope for carrying out the bold, heroic efforts of the Biden Administration for the U.S. to lead the world in the development of market-propelled solutions to climate change. When you cast your ballot, think of droughts, wildfires, Ian, Katrina, and pandemics. Think Jan 6. We are on the right path to stay with the Democrats.
Rande DeGidio (Portland Oregon)
@James Jordan Of course we are. But commenters and readers here of this paper/column are basically butting our heads against a wall of idiocy. A separation is so utterly needed at this point. The time has true come.
James Jordan (Falls Church,Va)
@Rande DeGidio Thanks for reading my comment. I urge you to keep butting your head until we get through a wall created by decades of disinformation. I am an old Senate staffer and Republican Mark Hatfield of Oregon was a great mentor and friend and fellow Navy officer. There are few like him, but I know that it is possible for intelligent life in the Republican Party. The numbers are small now I am certain that Senator Hatfield would agree, the country would be harmed if we returned to Republican majority.
Tom Miller (Oakland, California)
How can one reason with a cult that loves Putin, believes Democrats eat babies and forest fires are started by Jews shooting laser beams from outer space?
Not to worry Trump will come out a pack of lies that FOX NEWS will repeat all day long and many folks will believe the lies as they say it again and again. Trump will push the election of 2020 was stolen from him and whine non stop about it again most Republicans will believe it because Trump said just like Obama was born in Kenya etc MEXico will pay for the wall and just inject bleach to cure Covid etc.
Jabusse (90807)
Still campaigning for the DNC I say. Pathetic. No Plan is better than what we have.
That's What She Said (The West)
Republicans have made clear they have no platform, agenda, or positive vision for America at this time. Republican Party is a vacuous wasteland
Rande DeGidio (Portland Oregon)
@That's What She Said As is the half of America that votes for that waste.
DPQuinn (New Jersey)
YES, they do !!! They're so inflated with egomania, they don't need one.
Kathleen (Massachusetts)
Can I get this headline on a bumper sticker? Immediately!
gARG (Carrborro, NC)
Oh yes they do! They plan to use it as a weapon. They are the Teflon party - bad stuff on their watch: it was the last democrats fault. Good things - great leadership. I can't believe I live in a society where half the people think Biden is to blame for global inflation and gas prices. The political ads must be made for people with low IQ. Black-and-white video (or the dreaded x-ray effect): bad people! Color video - good people!
Kodali (VA)
Simply because Republicans have no plan doesn't mean they can't say they have a plan. They will announce the plan on the first day they take office. What is wrong with that if that gets them elected? Democrats can counter it by saying that Republicans have a plan that include collecting funds from oil companies for their party and let them raise gas prices after they get elected. It is always better to put the opponents spend their time answering the false accusations than providing explanation for higher inflation or recession. Democrats stop wining and do whatever it takes to win, if they ever want to do any good for the country. Democrats just winning itself does lot of good for the country.
Sutter (Sacramento)
Paul, their plan is this: They have a lot of friends in the oil business including MBS. They will use this leverage. Just like they used it in the opposite direction to hurt the country when they wanted to do that.
Independent (Scarsdale, NY)
Thank you Professor Krugman for your objective analysis.
MCT (Houston, TX)
@Independent ha!
Johnny Xerox (Los Angeles)
How about negotiating a cease fire and starting a peace negotiation? That should help inflation, the recession and humanity all at once. End Joe & Tony's Proxy War.
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
@ Johnnyxerox Joe and Tony’s proxy war but Mad vlad’s war of choice. Should the west let him get away with it or should we punish him for his war crimes and crimes against humanity? I bet I know your boss’ position and its to let him get away with it again and again and again. I’m glad NATO and Joe are reaching Pudin a lesson he won’t soon forget. Next!
Independent (Scarsdale, NY)
This is an outstanding piece by an outstanding citizen.
Mitchel Osman (Michigan)
Republicans don’t need an inflation plan. They say what’s necessary to get elected. The billionaires are not much affected by inflation and can profit from high interest rates, and war, too. Electing republicans brings nothing but misery and Bush/Trump consequences.
Bob (Alexandria, Virginia)
"Republicans Have No Inflation Plan"? Nonsense. Republicans 'Inflation Plan' is more tax cuts for the wealthy. Also more things named after Ronald Reagan.
Bluhorizons (America)
US ECONOMY STOOD ON ITS HEAD The American economy has been turned upside down. During the first year of the Biden Administration, height of the Pandemic, with businesses shut down, millions out of work and everyone that could staying home, the stock and housing markets rocketed up. The reason was “Quantitative Easing, “ driving money out of bonds into the stock and housing markets. Now, in relatively good times, with high employment, large goods inventories and a much reduced pandemic, the stock and housing markets is going down! That is because the overvalued market was impacted by higher interest rates otherwise called “Quantitative tightening” This is nothing less than evidence of a gross mishandling of the economy by the Fed and the Biden administration. There are immutable rules of economics. You just can't inject 40% more money into an economic system that during the same time grows just 2.5%! You just can't spend trillions on feel-good programs to buy voters in the worst inflation in 40 years! You just can't let 30 million illegals flood a country with diminishing low-skilled jobs. What is clear is that the Administration will do anything, anything to win votes and the consequences do not matter a hoot.The damage is done and now Mr Krugman wants to know what the Republicans can do about it.
A (Denver)
@Bluhorizons The main difference between between the Democrats and Republicans seems to be that the Democrats make spectacular and expensive policies while only funding those policies halfway so those policies only succeed a quarter of the time while Republicans make spectacular promises but only ever actually implement tax cuts as a policy without funding those tax cuts with spending cuts at all. The result is poor national investment under Democrats and the rare balanced budget. Republican administrations leave office having invested nearly nothing into the nation while increasing the national debt for every year they are in office. There are policies which are long-term neutral to the deficit such as Trump's trade war with China or prison reform which I agree with but over the past 60 years, Republicans embrace of tax cuts without concurrent spending cuts is the main driver of the national debt. There is no free lunch and GOP election cycle promises are just hogwash as they never do what they promise except cut taxes- almost always on the wealthiest people and largest corporations who coincidentally are the Republican parties largest donors (not individual candidates- Trump and Bernie had the most donations from small donors which is why they both scared the establishment so much).
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
@Bluehorizons: the economy is humming where I live. People are working, people are buying and generally people are happy with their lives. I know politics is important to you because you don’t really have much else in your life or you would see that paying an extra 12 cents for your eggs isn’t really the end of the world. I bet, if asked, you’d say your own personal finances are good because of how smart you are and how wise your decision making is but then out of the other side of your mouth you lament the economy because of your political views. I’m doing well financially and so is everyone i know.
Bluhorizons (America)
@A Your comment is hypothetical but mine has the facts. A government can't play fast and loose with the laws of economics. It just can't inject 40% more money into an economy that grew just 2.5% at the samw time. There is this thing called "The Business Cycle." It is inscrutable. If we knew how to manipulate it successfully the market would only go up! But history shows that when the Fed messes with the business cycle, they make it worse.
Thomas Tisthammer (Ft Collins Co)
Now wait; they had a plan for health care, remember? "Don't get sick".
George M. (NY)
The fact that the Republicans have no plan to fight inflation should not be a surprise to anyone. When was the last time these hypocrites had a plan to benefit the vast majority of Americans/legal residents? Their only plans have been to benefit the top 5% (in terms of wealth), if not 1%, of Americans/legal residents. Any programs that were introduced by the US government, over the years, to benefit all Americans/legal residents, yes even the top %5 (in terms of wealth), were denounced as socialism - somehow the Republicans have managed to attach a negative connotation to the word "socialism" and often equate it to communism. These very same harsh critics of the "socialist" programs, Social Security and Medicare, have always tried to disable, if not kill them. They should be credited for coining the phrase "starve the beast" - "a political strategy employed by American conservatives to limit government spending by cutting taxes, to deprive the federal government of revenue in a deliberate effort to force it to reduce spending." That's all they have offered time-and-again. Is that a plan? Well, yes it is a plan if all you want to do is kill the programs that benefit millions of Americans/legal residents. And, as we all know, they never had a plan to replace "Obamacare", all they wanted to do was repeal it, not replace it. Republican hypocrisy knows no limits.
A. Citizen (U.S.A.)
@George M. The Republicans warned us more than a half century ago when they repeatedly told us the Reds were coming and they were going to destroy America from within. They were correct and honest since it is the Red States voting Red Republican that is destroying America.
George M. (NY)
@A. Citizen I suppose they omitted the qualifiers following the Red. Quite convenient ;-)
M Ford (USA)
noun: recession; plural noun: recessions 1. a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters. Oxford It is not fake news or misinformation to define a recession using a dictionary. The rejection of the dictionary definition of a word is fake news and disinformation. I took nine economics classes in college. Very few of the definitions used in the classes are used correctly by far left extremists. As far as inflation is concerned, the die is cast. What caused it to go up has already occurred and cannot be changed. The Republicans repeatedly warned the Democrats that borrowing money and spending it would cause inflation. The Democrats borrowed the money, spent it, and now we have inflation. It's the power of prophesy that adds to the Republican's credibility. The Democrats are working without a scapegoat for their failures. They run the House, Senate and the presidency.
Leonard (Chicago)
@M Ford, Republicans repeatedly call for tax cuts and reduced immigration, both of which make inflation worse. And of course you ignore all of the other causes of inflation that have nothing to do with American policy. We could have high inflation AND higher unemployment without the money the government spent. Plus, let's not pretend like Trump himself didn't hand checks out to everybody-- he put his name on them!
Rob (Georgia)
@M Ford ... Maybe you should read the beginning of the article again. He clearly stated where the definition came from. "In that newsletter I explained why, despite a lot of misinformation in the news media, a recession is not defined as two quarters of declining G.D.P. and the first half of 2022 was unlikely to meet the actual, multidimensional criteria used by the committee that determines (after the fact) whether a recession has started." Also ... Who's rejecting the dictionary definition as fake news/disinformation? It wasn't Paul Krugman. You came here to fight ... but brought a dull knife.
Bob (San Francisco, CA)
@M Ford Gosh, another econ major. Just like The Other Guy. You just can't argue with them. They know everything.
Dan (NJ)
"First, it’s remarkable how the right has reimagined January 2021 as a golden moment for America." No joke. We are absolutely in bizarro land. It doesn't matter to Republicans, who could have been covered in festering sores and living off of tree bark, so long as Trump was the King. Listening to him babble incoherently about drinking bleach and looking forward to his next rally was the best.
CaliforniaMan (Silicon Valley)
This is funny, coming from a failed Economist like Paul. Consider: o Nine months ago, he told us that there WAS no inflation. o He said the "Inflation Rumor" was spread by Republicans. o Two months later, he said "Inflation will last 3-4 months" o In July, we acknowledged that "Inflation is here to stay" o In October, Paul insisted it's not President Biden's fault Sorry, Paul. You have lied to us over and over on this issue, all in an effort to campaign for the Woke Progressive Wing of the Democrat Party. Sorry, but we don't believe you any more.
Allen (OR)
@CaliforniaMan Paul has been wrong at times, and he's owned up to it. Republicans have been wrong far more often than Paul and yet they double down on their statements, insisting that any evidence to the contrary is fake news or some kind of plot cooked up by George Soros and Hillary Clinton.
Chuck Amok (CALIF)
Does anyone here remember that Capitalist Superstar, the Secretary of Defense William Rumsfeld, opining that the war in Iraq would “cost $ 30 billion dollars, $100 Billion dollars MAX !” ? Of course he did not factor in Inflation and the $100 billion dollars quickly became $2 TRILLION DOLLARS. Last I looked the budget for defense per year is about $1 Trillion. Face it our defense budget is a ‘make work’ jobs program. Strangely nobody here seems to factor in the built in inflation that comes with increased prices in the form of labor costs, and increased prices in materials. Did that 2x4 at the lumber yard really cost 4 times as much to grow as it did 5 years ago? No, it did not. So who is reaping the profits? You or the giant corporation that sets the prices? The only answer to stop inflation is to buy only that which you need, and keep production within the borders. Do YOU make an effort to Buy American?
Conrad (MIT)
Re:Republicans Have No Inflation Plan Does Paul Krugman “ "But for those paying closer attention to the flow of new information, inflation panic is, you know, so last week. Seriously, both recent data and recent statements from the Federal Reserve have, well, deflated the case for a sustained outbreak of inflation.” Paul Krugman NY Times June 21 2021 Have one ?
Ed (Ottawa, ON)
I am really surprised with ability of Paul intentionally and convincedly to mix facts but not to look deep in the problem. It is in some way a cognitive bias to hate GOP and write article about it but not to address the issue. I am upset with this transformation of once talented economist
hm1342 (NC)
"Republicans Have No Inflation Plan" That's right, Paul. Trash the Republicans for not having any plan to fight inflation. Just ignore the fact that inflation has occurred under the Democrats' watch. As a result, they will probably lose both the House and Senate. Make sure you don't assign blame to the Dems for any of this...make the Republicans out to be the bad guys even before they take over Congress. Good plan!
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
I spent a lifetime in the "Empire State" of New York. I grew up in a suburb, and in later years lived out on eastern Long Island where the nation's richest call home. Television rules. West Point, just up the Hudson, protects Manhattan. The NYTVPD is Bloombergs "Private Army". Wall Street is surrounded by a defending moat. The rich in the Hamptons would be wisked out of the country by Helicopters from a nearby airport and flown on transports to safe places. Governor Cuomo wanted to build a subway route from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport. There is already a rail link to Kennedy Airport. Like the commercial chimes; "You Can't Stop a Trane". The rich have exported our markets wealth, businesses and assets to other nations out of everyone's reach. Your stock market wealth can't be retrieved if everyone wants to all at once and nothing has been stated about a policy in the event the markets are stopped due to a run on investments beyond a day. Candidate for Governor Lee Zeldin is military and resides nearby that evacuation airport. The rich are taking America's wealth and running, and they won't be coming back. It's a locust thing. It appears they are counting on protection in Communist nations. It's the perfect crime you never suspected. Even Cops and feds anjd military were duped into protecting them and transporting them.
Charles (Mt. Bethel Pa.)
As with science and now economics, the GOP seems to follow the beliefs and practices of Lysenkoism.
Mookie (Mossy in Seattle)
They sure do. Drum Roll… “tax cuts for the wealthy and their corporations.” The Dems played a horrible campaign by ignoring and downplaying inflation. They held their hopes on Roe ignoring inflation. GOP has the edge since they can play the “blame game.” But why couldn’t the Dems simply ask “What is their solution?” Inflation is global. Our is the lowest. OPEC lied and are feeding their insatiable greed.
That's What She Said (The West)
From what I gather, Republicans have a plan—to impeach Biden and reverse any Biden Administration actions that actually help people. It’s pure mayhem I’m bracing for. I cannot believe people do not take in the big picture, just short term gains zeroed in on now
Robert Salzberg (Sarasota, Fl)
The reality of American politics is that reality doesn't matter.
Seriously? (Austin)
Why do they need a plan? Biden caused it. Stopping his profligate policies will stop inflation. That’s the plan Paul.
A. Citizen (U.S.A.)
@Seriously? And if Republicans take control of Congress and everything gets worse will you still blame Biden?
linhof (Santa Fe, NM)
@Seriously? I'm amazed your brain generates enough energy to power your autonomic nervous system.
PaulB67 (South Of North Carolina)
So how come reporters and debate moderators holding Republicans to account for their acuity about inflation and every other major issue? People who vote Republican are supporting nothing. There is no there there. The only ideas anyone has heard from the GOP involve investigating Hunter Biden and Tony Fauci (maybe Hillary again). It blows my mind that we are about to turn over America to a political party that is intentionally -- boastfully -- devoid of rational thought.
Fitzsimons (Ireland)
Not very convincing. But at least the focus on economic matters is better than NYT polls that show "the midterm races are being shaped by larger and at times surprising forces that reflect the country’s ethnic, economic and educational realignment". Only the "liberal" media could be surprised by that! The current inflation is being caused by a trade war with China and an economic war with Russia along with the author's dollar printing recommendations - but hey! - the McJobs are numerous in a country that has virtually no social welfare net. Look no further for the reason the GOP snake-oil sells...
expat (Japan)
Yes, Paul, they do. it's "Blame Biden and the Democrats". It's their pat response to all of the country's problems.
Al (Cicero NY)
The Republican platform - Crime is a problem, so we allow more weapons to enter circulation without restriction or monitoring ownship and transfer. Too much money is in circulation from the poor and lower middle class causing inflation, so we propose to give a tax cut to the wealthiest among us and corporations to reward them for jacking-up the prices. Immorality is endemic in our society, so we shall eliminate the separation between church and state - provided it is our church. We'll deny and evade inquiry into insurrection and sedition, because our guy can shoot someone on 5th Avenue and we don't care. Ukrainians have been placed on notice because Republican support is fickle, inversely related to the price of gas fueling our big trucks (besides we admire tough guys like Putin and have grown bored with NATO). Women, what can we say except your body is ours, so local politicians will get between you and your doctor - the choice is ours, not yours. Minority people, just remember your place and know this - we're in charge and only tolerate your existence provided you remain silent and out-of-sight because you make us uncomfortable.
Paul-A (St. Lawrence, NY)
In the words of St. Reagan, I'll say to Mr. Krugman: "Oh, there you go again!" Mr. Krugman, your problem (which is shared by most unAmerican Leftists) is that you're trying to convince people by pointing to facts and using logical reasoning. Don't you know that ever since January 2017, the world is run by "alternative facts"? Don't you know that information can be summarily change by a simple swipe of a Sharpie? Don't you know that logical reasoning has been replaced by more important considerations, such as fealty and sycophancy? Don't you know that when confronted with your own demonstrated contradictions and lies, one can simply declare "wrong" or "fake news" and ignore what was just said? If you would get yourself out of the pre-2017 world and join the new one, you'd stop trotting out outdated and irrelevant dinosaurs like facts and logical reasoning, and accept the new reality: Republicans are always right, and Liberals are always wrong, No. Matter. What.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Everybody views me with dark lens glasses. I'm trying to save Americans. Grandious? Yes.
Real Observer (Ca)
The extreme far right party's 'plan' is to undo all the great work the Democrats and Biden have done, out of spite. They just divide America and stoke white supremacist and christian right nationalism, by undermining elections, denying election results, repressing voters,and minority voters, in red state cities in particular, and by gerrymandering to discredit elections altogether. They have destroyed the integrity of the scotus,which has become an extreme far right party wing.
Not to mention (U.S.A.)
Well it sure beats denial
NP (New England)
True, but it doesn't matter. Because "ma' rights"!
Michael (Toronto, Canada)
English please! Perhaps the appropriate title would be “Republicans have no plans to fight inflation”
Art (An island in the Pacific)
I think their inflation plan is to capitulate to King Daddy Putin, Champion of the Traditional Christian Values of the Other West (the GOP's West). That will bring down the price of oil, gasoline, wheat and sunflower oil: "It profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world . . . but for Wales!"
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Russia Joined OPEC in 2016. Trump rose in 2016. Prices have risen since. The Republican party is a Capitalist Crime ring.
HLW (Phoenix)
@PATRICK This is spot on. The Democrats simply are terrible at governing. The Republicans are crooks. The outright theft of our treasury during the Iraq war under Bush and the curroption under Trump was staggering.
Bill (Seattle)
Republicans don't need a plan...they just need a wedge, a fear, and a dog-whistle.
James (St. Paul, MN.)
There are a number of GOP plans that are clearly understood: • take away the voting rights of all minorities. • make Christianity the national religion (to be fair, this is the completely corrupted un-Christ like version of that formerly respectable religion that the GOP endorses). Condemn all non-Christians to second class citizenship. • complain that poverty is always self-inflicted and assert that wealth (even inherited wealth) is always due to one's strong character, hard work, and obvious talent. • take away the health care rights of all women. • reduce taxes for the wealthiest at the expense of all others. • reduce access to quality education so that ignorance will define voting behavior. • shrink government until it is small enough to drown in a bathtub. • reduce health care coverage for all but the wealthiest, by ensuring that profits of health insurance companies are the most important factor in any health care decision. • Bring guns into every home, school, workplace, and outdoor space---and let the shooting begin....... In short, re-create the wild west, but without any honor, integrity, fairness, mutual respect, or concern for the rule of law.
Steven Mccain (New York)
Why aren't The Dems shouting this from the highest hills? As with Obamacare they just take it on the chin and whine. While we wait for their healthcare plan we can't wait for their inflation remedy. How about telling voters why Putin and OPEC decided to stop pumping as much oil around our elections?
D Ryan (California)
And the Dems????? Less of a plan, not a single clue. And no clue on crime, another major concern of independents like me. Who cares about abortion when you worry about your next meal and going out at night. It’s going to cost dems, say bye bye Congress.
Woof (NY)
On the Economic Outlook (wonkish) and Recessions Initial Unemployment Claims 2022 An initial claim is a claim filed by an unemployed individual after a separation from an employer. The claim requests a determination of basic eligibility for the Unemployment Insurance program. Economist have established that it is a leading (not trailing) indicator of recessions to come "Predicting Unemployment from Unemployment Insurance Claims” Here are the data for 2022 Initial Claims (ICSA) March 19 : 166 000 Sept 24 : 190 000 Oct 15 : 214 000 Oct 22: : 217 00 They are still relatively low, but they are climbing, On the historical record, that predicts a recession Data I could go on and cite the Fed* but I will leave it at this: ICSA predict a recession will be coming ---- *
Gary Thomas (Michigan)
Certainly the Republican Party does not have a plan for inflation. They don’t need one. All the Republican Party has to do is introduce the American people to their own personal mirror in their own private bath rooms as their brushing their teeth in the morning - contemplating how prices have exploded. Let’s take a sneak peek at their pantry closet where a dozen tubes of tooth paste will fall out over the top of three dozen rolls of toilet paper with the same amount of paper towels hidden in the back. That’s just in the bath room area. Go to the kitchen pantry and it’s a personal warehouse of all things Costco! But, don’t think your going to hold the American people back after two years of pandemic - oh, nooo - we’re going on vacation even though airline fares, hotel rooms, rental cars, and restaurants are up double digits, we’re still going! We have after all money to burn with federal government pandemic checks in the bank. Still, the American people point their inflation fingers with whispers: it’s Biden’s fault; Democratic Party liberals; the war in Ukraine(why can’t they end that?); supply chain issues(why hasn’t Biden fixed that yet); and add your own personal favorite. But, the American people need to go back to the beginning. Look into the mirror. Take a good long look. You forgot the most basic principles of economic thought: SUPPLY, DEMAND, and PRICES. It should have been mastered in primary school. It’s a pity. Perhaps a refresher course is required.
Ayzed (Malaysia)
The Dems should never have had anything to do with the COVID "experiment". That will be their undoing.
AKG (Right Here)
The republican plan is to cater to trump's every whim.
Art (An island in the Pacific)
The GOP has a plan: capitulate to King Daddy Putin, Champion and Protector of Traditional Christian Values of the Other West (the GOP's West). That will bring down the price of oil, gasoline, wheat and sunflower oil: "It it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world ... but for Wales!"
Vibertarian (Yonxville)
Neither do you or janet Yellen. You said it was all 'transitory"
jane raskin (10011)
Thank you. Brilliant, as usual
Ugly And Fat Git (Boulder, CO)
Republicans never have any plan. They just take use religion and race to win elections.
Socrates (Downtown Verona, NJ)
If you want to see the Republican plan for inflation, look at the Republican plan for healthcare. Zero Nothing Nada Zilch Oh, I remember ! Tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and large multi-national corporations. Cast your ballot for the one-trick tax-cut GOPony today !!
Misha38 (Portsmouth, NH)
Krugman is the NYT's economic front-man for every Democratic talking point on the planet. You can't find a single column that diverges from the liberal dogma. He was completely wrong on the current inflation trends and is doubling down. If you want a much better economist to listen to, it's Larry Summers, who predicted our current economic malaise.
Mike C. (Florida)
Republicans are incapable of doing anything positive. All they do is create crisis and hate out of thin air.
Robert (New Orleans, Earth)
Their plan is to monetize the bullying of trans people while standing at the border and shooting assault weapons at migrating birds. Maga.
JC (San Diego)
We can sum up the GOP plan for everything as follows, 'Whatever Donald says is right" A Bucket of KFC on every table!
Ted (California)
Of course Republicans have a solution to inflation: Cut taxes for corporations on the wealthy, eliminate legislative and regulatory barriers to greed, and cut government programs and services that benefit the non-wealthy. This has been Republican economic policy ever since Ronald Reagan. And it has been the one-size-fits-all solution to every problem, from recession to inflation to unemployment. It is, in fact, the only idea Republicans have had for 40 years. Never mind that the promised "trickle down" has never happened in all that time. And never mind that corporations inevitably use their tax cut windfall to buy back their stock, buy other companies, and pay their shareholders dividends rather than the promised investment and job creation. Trickle down is an article of faith. We mustn't let mere facts impair that faith. And anyone who doesn't Believe is obviously a far-left socialist lib who hates America! Republicans have a toolkit that contains one hammer. Which means every economic problem is a nail that must be hammered down with more tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans have no other ideas. But when you have a propaganda apparatus devoted to launching culture wars, you don't need ideas anyway. "Winning" and "owning the libs" is sufficient to keep millions of Believing chickens eagerly voting for Colonel Sanders. And if the announcement of tax cuts for the wealthy crashes the economy as it did in Britain, it's all Biden's fault!
David (Brisbane)
And the Democrats do? I am curious what that plan is? To print even more money?
JRS (Oregon)
From your column: "Few things I’ve written in recent years have generated as much hate mail as a relatively low-key, somewhat nerdy newsletter I put out... " Mr. Krugman, I'm really sorry you even receive hate mail at all. It's ridiculous and totally inappropriate. I for one appreciate your lucid and nerdy explanations of topics that I haven't studied for many years, and never really understood. I consider your articles and opinion pieces part of my ongoing education. Never mind the snark and ignorance. Please just keep up the good work!
Calling It Like I See It (Behind The Plate)
Since it seems highly the Republicans will take the House and Senate next month, I’ll guess they’ll need to come up with one. By the way, does Biden have one? And I don’t mean the “inflation reduction” act.
LMartin (UT/FL)
The author’s interviews with Republican leadership were quite revealing, along with his data tracking the relationship of government spending with economic measures. 0h wait, Krugman didn’t do any of that - but since he is simply echoing Democratic talking points, that’s sufficient for the faithful.
Jim (Citizen of The World)
uggg, as if the Republicans don't do that themselves. You're dismissed.
William Neil (Maryland)
I agree. Let's go to the historical record. Since at least the mid-18th century, French Physiocrats excepted, Britain and Scotland have set the Western pace on economic thinking and the Industrial Revolution. Although I suspect Professor Krugman would not agree, the best account of this pace setting, leadership is Karl Polanyi's 1944 masterpiece, "The Great Transformation." It is not on most Republican reading lists. But Britain set the pace for transforming "embedded" economic relationships with the broader society into markets for land, labor and capital, and put the world on the gold standard, which Polanyi tells us, even the Bolsheviks clung too like a "religious" life saver. Despite the decline of the Empire via the costs of World War I and II, and the rise of the American Century, before Reagan there was Thatcher and the revolt against Keynesianism and the adjacent power of labor unions encased in the American New Deal. The Economist magazine and the Financial Times still dominant the thinking of "the best people" and even Larry Summers defers to the Pope of Economics: Martin Wolf at the FT. Thus when the party closest to the world's heartbeat pulse of economic thinking (China will forgive us temporarily) - the Conservative Party of Britain, implodes itself in an ideological fury of fireworks and 8th grade economic reasoning, I do expect the Republican Right in the US - also driven by Libertarian utopians, to take us over the side as well. Lifeboats please.
Citizen-of-the-World (Atlanta)
The Republican plan is to blame the poor and weak and “them” for all our problems while exalting the rich and powerful and “us” as saviors. This justifies their tax cuts for the wealthy, who already pay way less in taxes than the middle class in relative terms. (Hey! Think you pay too much in taxes? Get really rich! Problem solved! But I digress.) So, the Republican plan is not a plan that actually works, or solves any problems, but it’s the only plan that many of their voters ever get wind of because they’re glued to Fox. (Can’t call it a news network, because its failure to air the Jan. 6 hearings is a disqualification.)
Mike Murphey (Atlanta)
One thing Republicans will try to do is reduce regulatory burden on business of all sizes. Less regulation results in higher productivity which will increase supply and quality of goods and services, reducing inflation and growing jobs. An equally large knock off benefit is the pride people will have supporting there families and achieving their dreams from gainful employment.
Flight (New Orleans)
@Mike Murphey Although less regulation could increase productivity, it wouldn't necessarily increase quality. If you look at the air quality from the 70s and prior, you'll see that smog and air quality has drastically improved due to regulation. Toys are less likely to have lead based paints, glass, or other toxins that affected our next generation. I believe a review of regulation is necessary to refine good regulation and cull useless regulations should be the goal.
Wesley Brooks (Upstate, NY)
@Mike Murphey Good luck feeding your family with Pride. Unless that is what Republicans are planning for renaming Bologna. In that event there will be an abundance.
Citizen-of-the-World (Atlanta)
Yes, let’s do away with all those regulations that protect the environment from destruction, the consumer from fraud, and the workers from exploitation! But only in the company that I own.
Ski bum (Colorado)
The seeds for this latest inflationary cycle were planted by trump and republicans when they handed corporations and the rich a generous, multi-trillion dollar tax cut. Once again republicans created problems that democrats have to clean up, and clean it up they will.
Jim (Citizen of The World)
@Ski Bum, Yes, yes, and yes. Biden inherited a crashed economy the same way Obama did, Trumputin was a beneficiary of that 128 month long expansion. That is until he crashed the economy.
Unclebugs (Far West Texas)
Republicans don't need a plan because all they have to do is criticize while hoping the economic winds shift their way.
Gregory (Australia)
I presume no plan is better for the voting public than an enacted plan that has pumped trillions into the economy.
Frank (The Socialist State of Washington)
About that increase in the GDP in the 3rd quarter. Why did that happen? Net exports contributed 2.77% to GDP growth, or more than 100% of the total, as the trade deficit receded in the third quarter. Increased government spending added 0.42%. This not a strong economy. It will be revised, away, in the coming months.
Greg L. (Brewster NY)
They have no plan because they know they don’t need one. Their modus operandi is simply to get into office and hold it at any cost. Then, appease big money and appoint judges.
JFox (32 degrees north)
the echo chamber in this comment section is fascinating. I guess the study that says that 91% of the readers of this outlet identify as democrats or liberals is true after all. Here’s a plan for all dems who keep forgetting how yellen (who was on the fed) lied (or failed to understand) that inflation is here and it’s not “transitory” or any other adjective the administration added to it in a desperate effort to keep power by not telling the population the truth in the face. 1. Cut governments spending - the government from dc all the way to your local school board has fat that can be trimmed. 2. Start with salaries of all elected officials 3. As above on the military industrial complex and other “agencies” 4. Bring back energy costs down by acknowledging that the transition to cleaner energy will take energy and we can’t afford getting bankrupt in the process. 5. Encourage people to work by creating projects and programs that actually incentivize people to work and not stay home.
ElmoUpNorth (UpMi)
Hmm. #4&5 sound exactly like what’s in the Infrastructure Act & Inflation Reduction Act.
Hugh R Garner (Melbourne)
As someone who throughout my life has been dedicated to logic, science and the practical (although not necessarily immediate) of the value of observation, hypothesis, experimentation, theory formation, ruthless efforts to disprove theory and replace it by a better one by testing and experimentation, I can honestly say, Krugman’s articles are to my mind fearlessly based in reality. If you disagree with his formulations, prove it. All the GOP does in advertising, and they are savvy at that. There’s no altruism in advertising of making profits. Some think that’s what the US values the most.My wife contradicts this as do all her friends and what I observe. They are some of the most good and wonderful people I’ve ever met. Some are Republicans and Independents. Fred Trumps alleged modus operandi was you had to win at all costs. Otherwise you are a loser.This meant transgressing morals, laws, and human decency amongst other things.The GOP and Trump have been careening towards each other for decades, unknowingly, and have collided in perfect harmony, in a symphony of fakeness. Nihilism and envy has been honed to an art form, ‘mocking the meat it feeds on’ ie the great democratic structures and democracy in constant formation in the US. The GOP is the nemesis of democracy. Green would better be the colour the GOP and how it functions. The green eyed monster is the GOP.
havnaer (Santa Ana, CA)
Dr. Krugman, Ah, at last! Somebody asked the question: "What are YOU gonna do, Republicans?" So how is a $1400/taxpayer American Rescue payment different from a $1400/taxpayer tax cut? How is one Inflationary and the other is not? The Pandemic was an economic Black Swan. The economy was shut down to combat it. Unlike the Black Plague, the modern economy adapted quickly and jobs destroyed in many fields were replaced with new jobs to service the new situation. When does that happen in normal times? Scholars will write dissertations on it 100 years from now. And where is gas $3.75/gal??? In my neighborhood its $6/gal. 75-cents of that is State tax, but the other $1.50/gal is just price-gouging of Californians by oil companies. Gavin Newsome needs to file a lawsuit. Cutting taxes is like asking your boss to cut your pay. You might think he'll give you more hours, but he only works you what he needs. It means you have less money to pay the same debt. So you cut elsewhere - kids' education, home repairs, car maintenance, savings, etc. You live in perpetual poverty. That's the Republican Plan - to cut taxes and budget until life in America rivals the Third World. "We're Number 24!! We're Number 24!! We're Number 24!!"
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Recent extraordinary inflation isn't an economic phenomenon. It's the biggest heist in Americxan history as the Republicans, in serious trouble for historic crimes, is taking all the money and running. The Cops, Feds, and Military are helping them.
Medicare For All Would (Save 68,000 American Lives Annually)
When you have tens of millions of citizens who want to turn left, tens of millions who want to turn right, and tens of millions who want to stay the course, you get a country like the United States. We need to ditch the word "United." The Loosely Affiliated States of America? The Disunited States of America? The Gridlocked States of America? The At-Each-Other's-Throat States of America? How much longer can we remain as the Schizoid States of America? For efficiency's sake, and to return a large degree of peace to our warring factions, we need a friendly divorce. However, that's practically impossible: Our cities are blue; our rural areas, red. After searching for some off-ramp to sanity, I think the best solution is FDR's and Eleanor's: Remain in the relationship with the understanding that we have irreconciliable differences. It's highly discomfiting, but the best we can do for the kids. Maybe with time, enough changes in personnel and world events will divert us. My old boss used to say that we needed a good war; it would clear the air, but the price is entirely too high. Besides, we have a war in Ukraine, a proxy war for us, with clearly good and bad actors involved. Nonetheless, Americans are still divided about who exactly they are. I feel like the builders of the Tower of Babel after God yoked them with different languages: dazed and confused in a hopeless situation. Maybe we have a modern version of that curse? If so, it's all Paul Krugman's fault!
Frank (The Socialist State of Washington)
@Medicare For All Would This country was founded on the United “States” of America. At our founding, there were Virginians. And New Yorkers. And the other 11 colonies. Loyal to their colony. These 13 colonies agreed to combine, to form a new nation. But to still retain their states’ rights. Starting in the early 20th Century, those Progressives tried to eliminate all of this. The popular vote of Senators, formerly reserved to State Legislatures. And many others. The march has moved on, to more and more of a centralized state. To where we are, now. And as you point out, this is not working. Today, we have the Dis-United States of America.
Medicare For All Would (Save 68,000 American Lives Annually)
@Frank I see no argument against: "this is not working." The Senate is a failed institution . The Supreme Court is packed and now a political institution. The President has too much power, yet to get anything done at all, he must issue an Executive Order, which is not democracy. The two political parties are armed camps with some very abnormal people in both, yet we're told to revere each extreme as fellow Americans. It's unsafe anywhere and everywhere for everyone, even in church, especially in church. Forget going to school, the mall, or a nightclub. We need a makeover, but as we now stand, that could never happen because we disagree on virtually everything, with a few exceptions. Is anyone happy with our status quo? We all see the problems, but does anyone see viable answers? Workable solutions that we could actually implement, not just dream about?
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Of course Republicans have an inflation plan. They plan it to become richer, then they pass tax cuts to inflate taxes on everyone elses.
Jp (Ml)
"Republicans Have No Inflation Plan" At least we wouldn't have to listen to elected officials claiming that it's transitory and nothing to be concerned about for the longer term. That would be a start.
Ann Onymous (The Untied Status of America)
@Jp They don't say that anymore, because they learned that it really annoys people. It's like, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" The thing is, supply chain disruptions and economic fallout from Putin's war are still the underlying causes of our economic woes right now, whether it annoys you or not.
Caroline S (New York, NY)
Elected officials can do a lot of good and a lot of harm, but they aren’t God. Blaming them for pandemics, global trends, and economic woes that originate in the private sector is just silly. Crime has risen in all states, regardless of ruling party. Students lost learning in all states, regardless of party or length of school closures. Inflation and gas prices are higher almost everywhere else than they are in the US. Yet we’re about to seriously hamstring out government due to the delusion that it will change any of this. With Repubs in control, all legislation will come to an end. Great solution, y’all.
Joseph (Boston)
I mean, yeah no specific plan. They'll just cut government services and create divided government to prevent more blowout spending. Honestly, at a certain point getting nothing achieved is better than going full speed towards disaster in pursuit of utopia
Mike Murphey (Atlanta)
@Joseph Excellent comment Joe!!!
ElmoUpNorth (UpMi)
Fact: Republican administrations spend more than Democratic ones. Fact: Tax cuts for corporations are “socialism” - for and by the rich. Fact: Striving for “a more perfect Union” is what our country was based on.
Larry Thiel (Iowa)
Maybe the Republican plan should be to just say, "inflation is transitory", and keep saying it no matter how completely ridiclous it sounds.
dzeiher (Owatonna)
Are people still saying that? I know that was the sentiment last year, but then Treasury Secretary Yellen owned up to that assessment being wrong. Again, that was months ago. The only ones still saying it are folks who haven't been paying attention.
Gus (Albuquerque)
Republicans don't think government spending is a problem. They tend to spend more when in power than the Democrats do. They like spending, just not spending on social programs. They *probably* don't think tax cuts pay for themselves, even though they pay lip service to that. No, there's a third reason. They think tax cuts for the rich are good, full stop. It's all about the bottom line for the rich for them, and they're extremely myopic about it. All they care about is what they're paying right now in taxes, and the long term consequences don't even cross their minds. They're myopic about everything. They're unable to see any sort of investment in the country as being good for them unless they directly benefit right now. That's why, for example, they hate spending on education, and infrastructure bills stall when they're in charge. The thinking is entirely too long term for them, and the benefits to them too indirect.
Rajashekhar Patre (Bangalore, India)
@Gus Republicans constantly talk about inflation and blame it on the policies of Biden administration. Actually, the cause of inflation is elsewhere, being the result of war in Ukraine.During the pandemic, there was less demand for gas and asa result prices never got out of control. Republicans still talk of cutting down of taxes as Trump visualised and mention that it will bring down the inflation.Yes, they are myopic and no vision for the country's economy or it's growth.
Robert (Long Island City)
Of course inflation is just an available stick to beat the horse with. But the Republicans do have an economic plan--protect and expand the wealth of the wealthy. But they don't even need a plan here--the wealthy have done just fine since 1980 no matter the party in power, right through the pandemic. It's only the poorer 50 per cent which suffer under the Republicans, and suffer a little less under the Democrats.
Jim G (Greenville, SC)
@Robert And we keep voting republican. We hate trade with China but love shopping at Walmart. We hate government spending but love social security and a military that costs 10x the next 12 countries combined. We have no idea if the carbon in the atmosphere is rising or falling or what that might mean for the global heat balance but we know that climate change is a hoax. We hate immigrants but we love exploiting them in our farms, construction projects, and making the beds in our hotels.
The End Is Where We Start From (Little Gidding)
I just have to say that, as much as I fear having the GOP return to power, I would never, ever seek to take away the lawful votes of my fellow Americans, even from the GOP. It sickens me to know that large swaths of the Republicans in our country would gleefully take away my vote if they could. They will lie, spin, and steal their way to a return to power, including creating greater fear about a recession than is warranted.
N Merton (WA)
Well, we're about to see if they make it worse. Our guys had their chance and blew it by every possible measure. Even if the GOP didn't earn the right to take the reins, we sure earned the right lo hand them over.
Robert (Seattle)
@N Merton "Our guys had their chance and blew it by every possible measure." Please explain. Just what were the mistakes that "our guys" made? In light of the known facts. Inflation is high or higher virtually everywhere. The former fellow's bumbling of the pandemic made the economic impact including inflation worse. Joe Biden didn't bumble the pandemic. The former fellow encouraged Putin to invade Ukraine which made inflation worse. Joe Biden has helped Ukraine not encouraged Putin. The pandemic aid payments (and two out of three of them were done under the former fellow) were responsible for only a tiny fraction of the inflation. Second, for extra credit, prove that, from your perspective, the term "our guys" truthfully points to the Democrats.
Bill (Detroit)
@Robert You are mis-reading his comment. It's the rest of it, the border, wokeness, Afghanistan, loan forgiveness, etc. And dragging poor Fetterman along because you are desperate to pick up a seat is a bad look.
Pruss (Pdx)
@N Merton if you remember it was two particular senators….
Sunshine (CT)
Maybe we are in an economy that is immune to low and high interest rates where banks are not relevant.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Republicans have always appeared to believe that if you talk loud enough and often enough, everyone will believe you, and they did. Even the Democrats are in a state of confusion and marginalizing the one group that gets it; "The Squad" Speaker Pelosi; This election loss is attributable to your blase' behavior and surrender in seeking bipartisanship. It's yours to lose. The Republican cameras are editing you.
David Bronstetter (Montreal Canada)
Three words: Shell Oil profits.
Nevermore (Denver, CO)
I'll bet ya a gallon of gas that MAGA Republicans will fix prices if they get control of the government... to thunderous applause. Maybe, just MAYBE, voters will rethink that plan if goods stop being produced because no one will manufacture, ship, and sell at a loss.
expat (Japan)
@Nevermore That's why the GOP and the Chamber of Commerce were bhind the offshoring of US jobs - it was more profitable for the ownership class to do so, and Clinton and Gingrich tore up the social contract that corporations and the government once had with US workers.
jwgibbs (Cleveland, Ohio)
Republicans have no legislative plan ( planS) whatsoever. Period.
Arnold Satterthwait (San Diego)
I'm surprised by the comments. Republicans will with little doubt if they gain control resort to their former threats to shut down government if it does not rope in Social Security and Medicare. Of course, they have no plan as if they told us once again what they would do, they would lose their senior vote and that of anyone 50+ in a landslide.
Robert (New Hampshire)
Yes, and they never had a healthcare plan either. The party of no to all things good and bullies to women who seek health care.
C. Wren (Seattle)
Wake up, fellow libs, for goodness sake. The Republican drive to retake congress has NOTHING to do with having a plan, and everything to do with power. Stop trying to make sense of what’s not there. That approach STILL isn’t working and STILL distracts us from reality. We’re not dealing with people who care about reality.
AACNY (New York)
@C. Wren You're talking to fellow commenters who would vote for the unfit Fetterman just because he's a "D". They don't need schooling in "It's all about power."
Jonathan (USA)
No one should laugh at a Republican who says he knows economics. Even though it shows the he's is delusional, it's not polite. Republicans should just be ignored when they try to play adult.
Prestor John (Baton Rouge)
There is much blame to share beginning, perhaps, with Phil Gramm and his blessed derivatives which involved the Enron scandal and derivative mortgage bundling financing. Since the latter President Bush-O'Bama-Trump-Biden parade has passed or is proceeding, our nation has created a lot of money. I'm right of center and I hate both parties, for neither has a plan to pay in full up-front for anything. Our nations credit worthiness is diminished. The Democrats, Mr. Krugman, have dirty fingers too although you don't wish to give them their due.
el abuelo (Oregon)
@Prestor John Yes, but that is beside point, isn't it. No Congress in our history has ever paid in full up-front, yet we seem no worse off for that. Looking at the markets, I think you can't really make the case that our credit worthiness is diminished, but just imagine what will happen if/when the R's actually do push us to default by voting down a deblt limit increase. You seem very emotional, not very thoughtful.
SixplusFour (Dallas)
Trump spent much of his term in office complaining that the Fed wasn't printing money FAST enough and that he would fire the Fed chairman because of that. He was handed an economy with continuously declining deficits and then did a 180 on that with huge unfunded tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. The GOP never proposes actual practical solutions to anything. Ask a GOPer what he would specifically do if he were president to lower gas prices. You would get the same blank stare if you asked that question to your beagle. Examples: "What would do about A?" Answer: "Tax cuts for corporations." "What would do about B?" Answer: "Tax cuts for corporations." "What would do about C?" Answer: "Tax cuts for corporations." And so on..........
Rol (Connecticut)
The most recent inflation data for (let's pick one) Hungary is...? You know the country run by Mr. Orban, a gentleman whose policies are much favored for their stalwart conservatism by Mr. Carlson and his friends at Fox. Well, the most recent data as of September 2022 shows Hungarian inflation at an annual rate of 20.1%. Not to cherry pick, you pick the country...The point: The US government has little to do with inflation. If you are looking for bogeymen, blame a small virus and a small Russian. I don't think either vote Democrat.
TroutMaskReplica (WIsconsin)
@Rol Thank you. There's a little thing called the private sector that sets up the supply chain, and is supposed to anticipate demand so that it can produce enough to meet that demand. People on the right who hate leftists and socialists believe that the government runs the economy!
Robert (CT)
Republicans are great at pointing out problems but are terrible at fixing them!
Kevin Cahill (87106)
Biden should end the war now. That would reduce inflation as well as deaths, wounds and destruction .
Em (Austin)
@Kevin Cahill What makes anyone think Biden can end the war? Even without US support, the EU would likely continue to support Ukraine and the Ukrainians themselves have something to say about quitting hostilities. And while you are supporting Putin, just remember that if you keep giving in to Putin, he will ultimately come asking you for your lunch money.
Eric Carey (Arlington, VA)
GOP Masterplan to Save America: tax cuts to control debt, more guns to control crime, more carbon to stop climate change destruction, default on debt to stabilize economic conditions, repeal affordable health insurance to improve health, defund education to improve needed skills, abandon Ukraine to lead the free world, tariff war to help farm sales, no help with childcare to increase workforce, undermine Social Security and Medicare to help elders, outlaw books to improve schools, outlaw women's personal choices to respect women and ignore a deadly pandemic to earn the title "Party of Life."
Pogo (South Central)
@eric I love your vision for the country if the Republicans get back in control. You forgot more affordable housing and ship the migrant aliens back to where they came from . We don’t need more economic refugees.
Catie (Georgia)
Oh my goodness, YES! The Rs have zero plans to fix ANYTHING, except of course as always, cut taxes for the wealthy (their plan for everything). And yet, this no plan party is trusted more on the economy than the Ds. Infuriating!
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Look at all those beautiful egg cartons. Way to go folks! If you eat more eggs than Chickens, there will be more chickens to lay more eggs. Unfortunately, I wrote that for years but instead of prices going down, they doubled. America has become a Capitalist Crime.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Absent minded I can be. Eggs are always about half the price of chicken meat and a good source of protein. You can eat eggs anytime; As Jamelle likes to do, here is my favorite recipe including two eggs; Begin by boiling a packet and seasoning packet of Ramin noodles, until almost done. Then pour in about two tablespoons of olive oil, amybe a bit more to taste, then pour in two prescrambled eggs from a mug or glass and stir rapidly for a minute to emulsify the oil and cook the eggs so you have a ramin noodle eggs and olive oil smooth and tasty bowl of delight.
Mike Livingston (Philadelphia PA)
Now that the Democrats realize they will lose, the tactic is to throw stones at the Republicans, before they are even elected. I don’’t think this is very constructive
flaind (Fort Lauderdale)
I live in South Florida and buy gas at Costco for $3.09 per gallon. If you go buy traffic at restaurants and bars here, you'd never imagine there is a recession in progress! Unless you talk to a Republican!
Pogo (South Central)
@flaind Same thing here in SoCal. Double lattes, Teslas much much golf. I don't talk about politics to Dims unless we need to build a wall and build more unaffordable housing. How about more affordable housing in Tijuana?
AACNY (New York)
Too much damage done already.
Eider Brown (Minneapolis)
The Republican plan is to create chaos. They lack the moral or intellectual capacity for anything else.
Penguin (WA)
I listened to a fascinating Jon Stewart podcast with economics professor Steve Hanke. He makes a lot of good points, backed up by data which suggests that the Fed doesn't really have a plan to get inflation under control either, just a plan for the Fed not to be blamed for it.
Woof (NY)
Re: You can make the case that large deficit spending early in the Bi den presidency fed inflation (although it had little effect on the most politically salient prices, for energy and food, which have soared around the world). The most most important inflation figure around the world , for the US ,is that of China a showdown for global economic dominance The Economist , Consumer Prices % Change Oct 27 th China Sept 2.8% % Change one year ago * 2022 China 2.1 % *Estimate by the Economist Intelligence/Forecast So why is inflation 4 times as high in the US , the worlds largest energy producer (almost twice that of S.A.) and the world largest food exporter ? China , on the other hand is the world's largest energy importer
Conrad (MIT)
@Woof Thank you for the numbers on China. Inflation rate in China (worlds largest importer of minerals, and energy) has you to be printed in the NY Times (Editors are welcome to check), even though from a global perspective it is the most important number re the US inflation rate Why this is so I can only speculate. Might it interfere with the statement that US inflation is all due to the effect of supply line problems ?
Julia (Bay Area)
I'm sure that the Republicans don't have a plan, but how would we know? The NYT has no end of "horse race" political articles, who's ahead/behind, the latest 10 year old who couldn't get an abortion, or woman who accuses Walker of paying for her abortion, etc. but could we please have some fact-based tables or charts that just show the various candidates' stated proposals/plans/positions? If the candidate has no plan for what they will do once elected, then let that blank space speak for itself!
Joe You (NYC)
Mr Krugman wrote multiple times applauding the spending and denying the stimmy checks would drive inflation. Later he claimed the inflation was just a “narrative”. I think facts are important. Track record is important. He is wrong. Again.
Erik hagen (chicago)
they do have an inflation plan, it's to stop all the Biden spending to lower the amount of money in the system. when you give away $20k for deadbeat student loan forgiveness, $3 trillion for pork and checks., paying $500 per child, free EVERYTHING of course you have inflation cut that back like responsible adults like myself who pays taxes and doesn't beg for handouts, you'll have motivation again for people to work, less wage inflation and even less inflation. the Democrats have taken it too a new level, trump was bad enough with handouts, but Biden is like trump in crack. giving money to every mad, woman, child, and probably cats. stop already
@Erik hagen you must be blessed to have a life where nothing is a struggle. Are you a Christian? What do you think Christ would say to you? The student loan forgiveness involves no cash. It frees up people’s income to pay food, housing, health care, or maybe to save for retirement since the Republicans are going to do away with SS. I repaid my student loan. I bear no ill will to those who may benefit from the program. The child tax credit raised millions of kids out of poverty. Since Republicans refused to renew it, they are back in poverty and wondering where their next meal is coming from or if they have clothes for school. I ask again, what does Christ expect from us?
Russell (Whiting)
All an illusion, eh Professor Krugman? Things not as bad as they seem after all? As far as your recent bills at the supermarket, oil for your pre-winter fill up, rising interest rates and mortgage payments, ignore this because the economy is actually growing. In essence, things are improving and Republicans can't hope to fix things because they have no plan. Nonsensical, of course but what should your readers expect other that your consistently tendentious posturing and incompetent analyses, that has misread every economic event of the last ten years?
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
With the possible exception of a Clean Air Act Amendment in 1992, the GOP has not sponsored and passed a single piece of legislation in 50 years which has benefited a majority of Americans. NOT ONE. So, if someone spent 50 years telling you how much they were going to help you, yet in those 50 years that never did anything to actually help you, would you still trust and believe in them? Apparently, 70 million Americans do. Why? Well, having an IQ over 100, I haven't the foggiest idea.
All they have to get elected and stop the D spending bills. That's all anyone can do. The Fed is about to crush they want it above 6%. The next year or so won't be pretty.
Carol B. Russell (Shelter Island, NY)
How does anyone identify what the GOP is today ? What if any plans do the current GOP have that anyone actually articulate? I their "think Tank" is running on 'empty"....nothing to write about.
Jeb (Out yonder...)
It's not just that they have no plan...they don't even have a platform....except for 1) owning the libs and 2) tax cuts for the rich. Wow. How long did it take them to come up with that? The party that likes to talk a lot but does zero, zip, zilch, nada for their own constituents or anyone else (except the GOP fat cats.)
Mark (Cincinnati)
Mr. Krugman, it’s right there in plain sight, in absolutely stunning detail—in their 2020 party platform. Oh wait, wrong universe.
Acme Joe”” (Connecticut)
Are you kidding? Good grief! Inflation is so bad that average red-state American households are being forced to cap their firearm purchases 4-AR15s and 6-9mm Glocks per year. And don’t get me started on ammunition. Oh…the horror!
Paul Wortman (Providence)
Just another great example of Republican's gaslighting (pun, obviously intended). Republicans are illegitimate on every level as their goal under Trump is to misdirect (or gaslight) the psychological situation so that voters forget their true intent is to overthrow our democracy and replace in with Trump's white, racist, Christian fundamentalist authoritarian rule. To buy their snake oil will have the same result as their hyping hydroxychloroquine as a cure for Covid--death of our democracy.
TL (Bethlehem, PA)
Plan? Just a lot of outrage. At whatever.
Phyliss Dalmatian (Wichita Ks, Homosassa Fl)
Inflation, like taxes, is for the little people. GOP Policies 101.
Ed (Colorado)
Is there any Democrat--any Democrat at all, just one--who ignores the truth and, yes, lies like a Republican? I'm asking seriously. I can't think of one.
Don B. (Richmond)
Start with Biden. You’re welcome.
Mike (Phoenix)
The republicans do have a plan. It is called civil war.
signmeup (NYC)
The REPUB plan is the Truss's always the same for those right-wing nuts: Lower taxes on the rich, lower benefits to the 99% and we'll throw you some crumbs... Maybe Elon will give you a discounted ride on his space shuttle? Maybe Jeff will give you a $10 gift certificate? So, Shell Oil made a record $9+ billion while the price of gas went through the roof...but no REPUB is after DEM either, for that matter.
Grove (California)
The Republicans definitely have a plan to end inflation: More tax cuts for themselves and their rich friends!! Republicans are ready to tackle all of America’s problems. Gas prices?? More tax cuts for themselves and their rich friends!! Opioid crisis? More tax cuts for themselves and their rich friends!! Healthcare?? More tax cuts for themselves and their rich friends!! They have a solution that has worked well for them at least since the Reagan regime, and will keep using it until people vote against it.
Matt Warburg (Seattle)
They don't have a plan for anything.....not just inflation. All the GOP cares about is kissing Trump's behind, reducing taxes for corporations and the wealthy, and telling women what they can/cannot do with their bodies.
Robert (Seattle)
Cut taxes for the rich. "Sunset" Social Security and Medicare. Pass a national, no-exceptions, forced-birth law. Abandon Ukraine, snuggle up to Putin. Exit NATO and destroy it. Extort Joe Biden with threats of a government default. Replace a couple hundred thousand federal government employees with partisan hacks. Let states decide whether these are illegal: consensual sex, same sex marriage, interracial marriage. Not exactly a plan. But exactly what they have publicly said they'll do. And, yes, it wouldn't do squat for inflation.
northlander (Michigan)
It’s a secret plan, like Nixon had for Vietnam.
hawk (New England)
For the GOP, it’s the not Democrat plan. Insane off the chart spending How many Republicans voted in favor of the “American Rescue Plan”? Inflation reduction plan?
Dr. Gonzo (NY)
Treating Saudi Arabia as a pariah has not been a great move for sure…
Aaron (Utah)
Republican politicians obstruct and lower taxes on the rich. That's it. Oh, and a boat load of lies.
That, that woman is inside the eggs. Those mildly more expensive eggs.
Dan (NYC)
Republicans warned Biden from the beginning not to pour so much money into the economy, but he did it anyway to buy the votes, while at the same time telling everyone not to worry and that inflation was transitory. Prof. Krugman emphatically maintained the same in numerous articles of his. Democrats and this very writer lost all credibility on the topic. No one is listening
1515732 (Wales,wi)
Why worry or comment on inflation Paul Krugman. You are the one who said it was transitory.
Philip Roberts (Portland, OR)
Paul- Don't you understand? If they had a plan, they know it would lead to their defeat. The plan is to not have a plan, make people feel "good" (Republican style)- and above all things foreign and domestic- TAKE POWER.
BKLYNJ (Union County)
Political MadLibs, 2022: "Republicans Have No (Challenge facing the USA) Plan"
Mark L. (Wisconsin)
The Republican plan will be to turn mere inflation into stagflation, by increasing the money supply thanks to tax cuts while the Fed is inducing a 1982-style recession in the name of corralling inflation. But as long as they and their pet media talking heads can stick President Biden with the blame, they won't care one little bit. Get ready to be taken economic hostage, all in the name of having grade AAA campaign material to use for 2024.
Blair (NJ)
Let’s see. The Democrats voted for the American Recue Plan ($1.9 trillion) and the cancellation of student debt ($400 billion). They wanted $3.5 trillion for Build Back Better but the Republicans held them to $1.7 trillion ($1.8 trillion). Add those three numbers up and you can see that having the Democrats control Congress has added $4.1 trillion of inflationary pressure so far and counting. And now Krugman says the Republicans don’t have a plan for dealing with inflation? How about not creating it in the first place? How about that for a plan? Remember when Krugman said don’t worry about borrowing, interest rates are low. Not only is inflation a problem in the US, we have exported it to the world with a strong dollar making goods more expensive in weaker currency countries and, because of the flood of money here, we have consumed more goods more than warranted at full GDP employment, also adding price pressure around the world. Thanks a lot Democrats! Thanks a lot Krugman! The economy is doing so poorly, the Progressives want to pull the plug on Ukraine.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@Blair From fiscal year 2017 to 2020, the Trump administration added nearly 7 trillion to our national debt. The inflation is caused by the pandemic disruption, which broke the global just-in-time manufacturing and inventory management system. Trump's trade war didn't help, either--tens of thousands of goods sold in the US have had tariffs applied, making them more expensive. The pandemic also caused a precipitous drop in demand for gasoline, which caused refineries to shut plants, causing a shortage as demand rebounded. Ukraine war and the Saudi cut in production have also caused problems. Inflation was a problem in other countries at the same time as it was occurring in the US; current monetary policy did not suddenly cause this. It is strange that consumer spending is still robust; if the economy is as bad you say, how is this possible?
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@PL Republicans will buy voter’s support by giving tax cuts the nation can ill-afford. Trump took a healthy economy and juiced it with unnecessary tax cuts that enriched the wealthiest Americans, gave expiring chump change tax cuts to the middle class and in the process increased the deficit by trillions. Even after all that, Trump’s job creation numbers never matched Obama’s.
HT (Ohio)
I have a question that I hope someone with genuine expertise in economics can answer. From what I can see, there's been a rapid increase in hourly pay for unskilled labor. I have two kids with part-time jobs in service/entertainment industries. In two years, their salaries when from $9/hour to $13/hour -- without nowhere near a comparable increase in their skills, productivity, or responsibility. From what I can tell, this is a national trend. Wouldn't this drive inflation? If small business owners must pay workers substantially more for the same work, at some point they would have to respond by raising prices for the same quality of goods and services.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@HT this is a good point--everyone wants better pay, but higher wages cause prices of goods and services to rise.
Susan (San Diego, Ca)
@PL We have a very large problem with government assistance, especially in states where the minimum wage won’t support an individual, never mind a family. So we can either pay for better paid employees through higher prices, or we can pay for government assistance through our taxes. Take your pick.
HT (Ohio)
@PL I'm asking if this is correct, PL, not making a political statement. I never had a chance to study macroeconomics and I would genuinely like an educated answer to my question.
Daniel (St. Louis)
Here is a Republican anti-inflation policy. Do not give free government money to pay off people's loans for as much as $20,000 even if they are doctors or lawyers and can expect to earn many times more than the average retail worker whose taxes must for pay for this.
EM (Colorado)
They only get the debt relief if their income is under $125,000 per year, so it’s unlikely that most doctors and lawyers would qualify.
Daniel (St. Louis)
@EM Yes, they would. Doctors who are residents in training make much less than $125,000. Same with lawyers in early training. But they make much more than retail workers even then.
Eknath (NYC)
@EM Not if they're married to a non-doctor or non-lawyer and their combined income is under 250k.
dre (NYC)
Good column. Of course they have no plan to end inflation. And do you want an end to social security and Medicare. And more trillion dollar tax cuts for the wealthy. And nothing to help average people, or the nation as a whole. Then of course vote republican. That's always their plan and solution to everything. Which of course solves nothing, but enriching the 1%. No taxes, no government, no infrastructure maintenance and no regulation to protect air, water and our collective well being. Yet regulation of women's bodies is a top priority. It's all about me, your welfare means nothing. Truss said her plan was to lower taxes, cut welfare and subsidies (except for the rich) and supposedly ignite the economy. Nearly everyone, including banks and investors knew it was absurd. She lasted 6 weeks, but her plan was nothing but the GOP plan year in and year out. Vote blue for at least some sanity, red for an end to democracy. Hope we survive.
Pragmatist (Austin, TX)
Of course not. They haven't had an original idea since before Reagan.
David R (NYC)
Their plan is to cojole the oil companies (secretly, behind closed doors) to lower their prices. After all, they are reaping record profits, which was probably also a behind-the-scenes deal they worked out--help us get back Congress by raising prices on gas and then lowering them once we're back in power and we'll reverse every environmental law ever written. The stupidity of this plan is that the rest of the world is dropping fossil fuels and when international customers have all switched to renewables, they won't have enough customers to buy their oil. The fossil-fuel-powered car is going the way of the film camera and once there's enough momentum, only fools will be betting on fossil fuels.
hm1342 (NC)
@David R: "Their plan is to cojole the oil companies (secretly, behind closed doors) to lower their prices." Sure, just like Biden tried to deal with Saudi Arabia? "U.S. Officials Had a Secret Oil Deal With the Saudis. Or So They Thought."
John (Carpinteria, CA)
Not only do Republicans lack a plan for inflation; they lack a plan for anything. They didn't even have a platform in the last election. For them, it's not about ideas; it's about anger, concocted or real, and about who and what to hate. Unfortunately, for a significant number of Americans, that seems to be more entertaining and engaging than good policies and solid ideas.
Chicago Guy (Chicago, Il)
The GOP plan? Supporting white supremacists. Open carrying of assault weapons. Environmental deregulation. Packing the courts with ideologues. Scapegoating immigrants. And giving everything to the rich. That's been the alpha and the omega of their "plan" for the last four decades.
MEM (Los Angeles)
MAGA rhetoric notwithstanding, what aspect of life in America or the rest of the world would not be made worse by a Republican administration and Congress? The economy. Climate change. Civil rights. Global security. Perhaps the dark cloud of a Republican Congress next year might be the silver lining that when the recession does arrive on their watch voters will finally wake up and blame them. Although Trump will still be blaming Bill Clinton, Obama, Hillary Clinton, Biden, fake media, and the deep state.
Martian_Perspective (Somewhere, USA)
Mr. Krugman. You lost your credibility on inflation. Initially, there will be no inflation. Then it is "Transitory." And then it is the "Supply chain," "Putin," and "Saudi Arabia." Whatever. Yes, Republicans do not have a plan for inflation. But the hope is they will not give out another $5 trillion dollars of the dole, cancel more debts, and incur more debt. I really dislike the so-called "Inflation Reduction Act" when there is no way it will curb inflation. And the $500 billion in student loan forgiveness. Of course, GOP has its own stupid mantra of tax cuts, but at least that will be money in the pockets of those paying taxes. And they will also engage in wasteful witch hunts and investigations. (As for taxes, I personally I prefer progressive taxation and no loopholes for the rich.) At least for me, it is not a preference of the GOP but keeping woke people from controlling the House, the Senate, and the White House. Inflation can be tamed by two things - fiscal prudence and monetary tightness. And both have to go hand in hand.
DavidCT (CT)
If the GOP does break through and take control of Congress - and things get worse, which they would then they will own the mess come 2024. That would give the Dems leverage on the economy. But little of this is really about the economy - it is all displacement from the real GOP agenda of racism and misogyny and guns. And guns are really about racism and misogyny. And misogyny is mostly about racism and 'white' loss of privilege. The GOP's strategy is that The South Shall Rise Again. The worrying thing is that so may people seem to be signing up. Fixing inflation won't fix America.
lizannes (Corvallis, OR)
What a pity Democrats haven't been stating these facts loudly and repeatedly instead of letting the Republicans spew their falsehoods. We need a third party that focuses on real issues and facts rather than the party of the big lie or the party of Twitter trend chasers.
Edward Allen (Spokane Valley)
The saboteurs are campaigning on the damage that they have done, and I fear the American public is foolish enough to fall for it.
Matt (Minneapolis)
The republicans don't have a plan for ANYTHING. health care, immigration, inflation, or climate change. Just tax cuts for the rich, cut the social safety net, and endless culture wars and fear mongering. Too bad that's all they need because fox has convinced their voters of the primary rule of cults: ignore or attack everyone who isn't in the cult. And conservative brains respond to fear, so they never question the narrative, they just get afraid and lash out.
Giovanni (Florida)
The electorate writ-large is so uninformed that it matters little if their policy positions are a fiction. The easiest lies to sell are the ones your audience wants to believe.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
The Republican Party has an Inflation plan indeed; High oil prices. Banks usury rates after they repealed usury laws. Raising business prices to pillage the bail out money from Democrats. And giving tax breaks to the rich to inflate taxes and tariffs on the 99% of us.
Sam (NYC)
Why should Republicans have a plan? Democrats told us inflation would be transitory.
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
@Sam: it’s pretty clear you don’t know what the definition of ‘transitory’ is. If you did then you’d know that it doesn’t define a time frame. But you got your politics to push so I understand your comment.
AKJersey (New Jersey)
The US economy is growing. That is great news! The US economy has recovered from COVID, and the COVID-induced inflation is ending. Thank you, President Biden!
Call Me Ishmael (Rockaway Beach, NY)
What a splendid two-party system we have, where the party out of power roots for a crippling recession so they themselves can achieve power again. Look at presidential elections from 1948 to 2020, the electorate swinging back-and-forth between each party. No consistent good governance. We don't know what the heck we are doing, and never have!
AV (Houston)
Many compelling arguments on why the republicans are bad. Should be a democratic sweep on Nov 8 so the goodness can continue. Look forward to it are some ideas to help. We know statistically the chances of being pushed on a NY subway are very low and crime is actually down when compared to the 80s. Only ignorant voters worry about this stuff. Statistically the chances of dying in a terror attach are even lower. We should dismantle the TSA to save money. Actually police are an expense because statistically the chances of being a crime victim are low. The destruction of trillions by a bumbling Fed has already taken 25% off retirement accounts. Now we just need to wait for housing to be 50% cheaper for the payoff. So much to look forward to. Clean streerts, respect for private property and taxpayers is a feudal concept and homelessness, drug use and squatting is to be preserved and encouraged so our children can learn from this experience every day. The chance of being assaulted while walking down the street are low and only magnified by racists. I greatly fear the republicans undoing any of this so look forward to the democratic sweep on Nov 8.
A.A.F. (New York)
I hear nothing coming from Republicans about solutions whether it be on inflation, immigration or crime but they are very quick to blame President Biden and the Democrats for all of the country’s woes. What is the Republican plan? Does anyone know? I think not because they don’t even know.
Chip (Wheelwell, Indiana)
Look at all those eggs! No shortage there. But go to the pharmacy. Every customer in line is told that the pharmacy is out of their medicine, waiting for it to come in. We really need to stop getting our meds from China and India. Can't believe this shortage hasn't been in the media yet.
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
No one who laments the economy and/or inflation in the comments ever says that their own personal finances are awful. Being aggrieved because they have their politics to worry about is really what I read in between the lines. In fact if you surveyed the commenters they would brag about how rich they are and how smart they are and how their wise decisions have kept them ahead of others. Comical really. Oh my the dozen eggs I bought last year for $1.00 now costs $1.08-the sky is falling!
dave (Mich)
I left the republican party in 1984 after the trickel theory caused huge deficits with tax cuts for the ultra rich. Then when I pointed this out I was told this is ok because it is starve the beast. Starve the best meant we do not really care about reducing programs and keep cuting taxes until the deficit is so high the country goes into finacial ruin. I pointed out the progranms where generally popular and this would blow up the economy. I was told that was the plan. I never voted republican again.
manfred marcus (Bolivia)
You just described what is affecting the Trumpian G.O.P., and it is called 'hypocrisy'. The republicans attack Biden mercilessly, and without scruples about their own incompetency and obstruction to any and all that democrats have proposed, and done, in spite of the huge benefit to a majority. They keep punding on inflation but have eaxctly zero proposals to alleviate the difficulties 'we' are feeling on account of higher gas prices. Have they forgotten this is a world-wide inflation, and that criminal Putin's stupid war, and his misusing the supply of gas, is what's causing it?
H. Clark (Long Island)
We’re still waiting for the “great, great Republican health care plan, folks” that the Republicans promised was coming any day now — seven years ago. Don’t expect them to ever have a plan to fight inflation. The only plan they have is to give billionaires tax breaks. That’s their platform. Oh, and hating everyone who isn’t wealthy and White.
Michael (Wisconsin)
Well at least their policies won’t make it worse.
Mike O (USA)
The point is! They have no policy(s).
kay (ny)
McCarthy and Scott did hint at a plan; their plan is to not fund the gov't, cut social security, cut Medicare and cut Medicaid and follow Truss off the cliff. They will make life worse for everyone.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Hence, the Republican business economic cycle in which they pillage the nation with high prices or inflation under Democrats then as they gain political power, they give themselves tax cuts so they can keep the robbery procedes.
Somewhere (Michigan)
My father used to tell us kids some 50 years ago now: "with the Rupublicans, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." That's the Republican plan, and it has been as long as I've been paying attention. Too bad so many Americans haven't been able to put 2 and 2 togeteher.
ben (IL)
their plan is to block new spending, and take money from oil lobbyists to get more oil production, many in the future, it r make gas cheeper , but not right away although they really couldn't of had a plan, if there was anything easy to do, Biden would of done it, and if there is anything easy but to partisan for him to consider, its not happening anyway
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
Dr. Krugman, you have to be a professional paranoid to understand crimes. I'm rather good at it. Remember that some conspiracies are real because people do conspire.
JHM (Providence)
No one has an inflation plan. Other than raising interest rates. Sounds like Dr. Krugman is panicking.
Dave (New Jersey)
Inflation will not be defeated by gratuitous giveaways to irresponsible people. Too much money chasing too few goods is a recipe for economic disaster. We are not a banana republic. As the late great Iron Lady once said, “the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” As Bezos, Musk, Dimon, Zuckerberg and many others are indicating, we have officially run out of other people’s money. Time to tighten the belt.
Dorothy Wiese (San Antonio)
They do have a plan, cut taxes for the rich, cut earned SS, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA and VA for everyone else.
Brody (NYC)
Who says the Republicans need a plan? It is the Federal Reserve that is tasked with controlling inflation. President Biden said so himself when trying to deflect blame after his 2021 $1.9 trillion boondoggle known as the American Rescue Plan overheated the economy and got us into this mess. The only remedy is to put a stop to more unnecessary government spending. We certainly do not need another reincarnation of Biden's Build Back Better. As they say in retail, if you break it, you own it. The cost? The Democrats are about to get routed in the midterms.
The Constitution Matters (missouri)
Inflation is a worldwide phenomenon. The fact the Capitol Rioters are blaming it on Biden is disgusting. If high prices truly do concern them: the Oil Lobby in the GOP might want to contact their Saudi friend MBS to increase production; since that, more than anything else in the world, would bring prices down immediately. (Petroleum underpinning all other inputs in the supply chain....) Or is the GOP, under MAGA, politicizing their relationship MBS/ OPEC... getting them to pump more oil only if Trump is elected; and getting them to refuse to pump so long as Democrats remain in power? That, indeed, is the question. Republicans pulled a similar stunt during the Iran hostage crisis... arranging things so the hostages were released weeks later than otherwise, once Carter was officially out of power... so Reagan could get the credit. Let's hope, during these fraught geopolitical times, the collusive ties between MAGA and MBS are not conspiring to help Trump, here, to the detriment of the American people as a whole who are hurting at the gas pump and elsewhere.
This paper is more and more like HuffPost each day. The Fed is going to need the unemployment rate at 6%. That's the only plan that matters.
Mark (Tucson, AZ)
GOP economic policy = If it's bad, blame the Ds + Tax cuts solve for everything.
Frank Ohrtman (Denver)
“Gas was only $2 a gallon when Trump left office!” This nonsensical statement implies we should vote for Republicans in general in 2022 and Trump in particular in 2024 based on $2 a gallon gas in 2021. I recall paying $1 a gallon when Clinton was in office and $.25 a gallon when Carter was president. Both Carter and Clinton are still alive and arguably more cognitive than Trump and just as if not more capable of sitting in the Oval Office. Ergo, for those who vote based on gas prices at the pump, I propose a "Draft Jimmy 2024" campaign to bring back $.25 a gallon gas as $.25 a gallon has got to be much more popular than $2 a gallon. What am I missing?
Barry Long (Australia)
Of course Republicans have a plan. Tax cuts and small government are the panacea for all economic problems for them. There's no need to analyse the source of the problem or why tax cuts will help. It is a universal truth that is written into the fabric of creation like white supremacy and the divinity of gun ownership. Ye of little faith!
Kurfco (California)
Refusing to pour more gasoline on the fire is a plan.
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
@kurfko every time the republicans have been in charge they ran the economy into the toilet and that of course will bring down inflation. So you got a valid point there. Vote republican so they can tank the economy again and then your eggs won’t cost 8 cents more than they did last year!
Joshua Koplin (Philadelphia)
I would finally like to thank Krugman for pointing out what has been sorely missing in the discussion about republican ideas, that there are no real workable ones, just a series of angry blaming vitriolic slurs at the democrats, and when someone finally asks them for a workable and pragmatic set of ideas to push forward, their cupboards are and have always been bare. It's that simple, there are and never have been any ideas, the ones that existed simply didn't work to a degree that has wrought significant social destruction over the american landscape, from the inner cities to small towns, and created mass market poverty. These great economic policies have forced us to have to talk so much about economics simply because all of the ones we have been living in have never really been working, except to benefit a very few. So, I'm glad to hear this turn, and welcome so many more pieces of actual critical thinking that lay bare these orthodoxies and hopefully shake the middling classes out of their fog about the ideas they have been living with for decades that are mere marketing fluff.
Tim (CA)
Agreed, the Republicans do not have a plan but neither do the Democrats. Based on your past columns, none of the economists one either side have any idea how to read this mess. You have freely admitted that your measurement tools are all over the map so how can we expect politicians who can barely spell recession to have any idea what to do. The Fed doing what it does because it only has a few "knobs" to turn to try to deal with the inflation mess. In the end, it does not matter who caused the runaway inflation, what matters is how we bring it under control. It is up to both sides to put on their big boy pants and work with the Fed to regain economic control.
Edith Fusillo (The South)
Nothing new here--Republicans lie, about whatever, to achieve whatever, and are simply rarely held accountable for those lies. It is sadly true that Democrats are not very good at trumpeting (excuse the term) their own horn, but Biden has accomplished so much for the country in his two years in office that many people simply don't know about or understand. The economy is fine, manufacturing is recovering, the infrastructure (and that covers so much more territory than roads and bridges) is being supported by Biden initiatives. Yet the GOP will lie, and fool masses. Please, people, vote in the interest of the country, and in your own interest: vote BLUE.
Sean (Pennsylvania)
It's not entirely true that they have no plan; it's that their plan is "Just wait it out. We have two years, and the factors that are actually driving inflation globally will have spent themselves by then, particularly if we decide to stop funding the Ukrainian military. Let's not let this crisis go to waste!"
Silicon Valley Matt (Palo Alto, Ca)
It used to mean something to be a conservative economist. One characteristic was that there were reasons for their policies. Now Republicans have two things missing from their play book: reason and policy. McConnell makes no bones about it. They ain't got none. But that doesn't seem to reach the ears of the R version of Liz Truss, namely Kevin McCarthy. He wants to go back to cutting taxes on the rich, and thereby really causing inflation the old fashioned way. Unless you also count on their perennial plan to cut established benefits, continue to defund the IRS, cut aid to Ukraine and install Victor Orban policies. Now THAT'S a plan.
pH7 (North Carolina)
"Do you really want to say that we were in a recession from January through June but have miraculously recovered?" Paul, you're pointing out another similarity of the Biden economy to the Carter economy. In 1980, an election year, we had a 6-month recession fully -vetted by the NBER. That one lasted from January to July and then we "miraculously recovered." What came next was a 12-month recovery followed by a 15-month recession as Paul Volcker finished the job left half done by William Miller. Whether NBER calls this episode a recession or not is irrelevant. The question is, is the inflation fighting job done? It was not finished in 1980, and this period has many of the earmarks of that one, but the employment numbers mask them. Low unemployment today is more a function of demographics combined with Covid shutdowns than economics. Paul is engrossed in politics, abandoning economics. All summer, he focused on core inflation, but now he's fixed on "the most politically salient prices,..." As to strategy, how about this? The Fed stops buying Treasury securities and MBS so that Biden and Congress have to go to the market to float their debt. As more and more debt floods the market, interest rates on that debt will rise sharply. Elizabeth Warren won't grasp the significance, but markets and real senators will. Citizens deserve a stable currency. We depend on it to make our livings and fortunes. Perhaps elected integrity is too low, though, for any kind of stability.
Bob (Portland)
Paul, a large segment of the population thinks we can have a recession WITH job growth AND economic growth at the same time. Maybe we should call it an "attitudinal recession". Everybody "thinks" there is a there is one? The inflation rate, & the mortgage rate (7%!) can make everyone feel like nothing is affordable, or won't be.
Sk (USA)
In contrast, the Democrats have an inflation plan. Their policies will cause more of it. Mr Krugman has to yet be right on any of his economic predictions in the last six years.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Sk Does that mean you sent back your American Stimulus check?
tanstaafl (Houston)
I really don't need any more political analysis from the Nobel prize winning economist; anyone and his brother can talk politics. Regarding the economics: seems to me that the government caused the inflation, with its (1) shutdowns; (2) excessive Covid spending in the $6 trillion range; (3) excessive Fed balance sheet accumulation of around $4.8 trillion in assets. So, the solution is (1) No more shutdowns; (2) Restrained government spending, and no tax cuts; (3) Fed raises interest rates until the inflation subsides. And the lesson should be: government will cause a lot of pain in its efforts to rein in inflation that IT CAUSED, so government should never take low inflation for granted ever again.
Byron (Brooklyn)
@tanstaafl Read the article again. Other countries are seeing inflation that's as bad or worse, so your arguments 2 and 3 don't hold water...and 1 doesn't really make much sense. How would shutdowns cause inflation on their own?
tanstaafl (Houston)
@Byron Other countries shut down, printed money and borrowed money. This includes most countries in the EU. In addition, U.S. inflation is exported because the dollar is the world's reserve currency; there is an especially strong link between printing dollars and rising energy prices worldwide. Finally, shutdowns increase prices by reducing supply; for example, the shortage of microchips led to a shortage of new cars, which led to soaring used car prices.
QTCatch10 (NYC)
I imagine if republicans were in an analogous position to the tories, they would choose a few boogeymen within "the markets" and somehow make it all about corporations wanting to be woke instead of wanting to be successful. Blowback to their terrible plan among the investor class would be framed as facebook discriminating against republicans. And their voters would believe it, and absolve the GOP of responsibility for the problems.
Mary Hudak (Hilo, HI)
Somehow I don't understand why we Americans are so short-term-thinking when the actual future of democracy is at stake here. Yup, let's all complain about gas prices, but would we use public transportation if it were available where we live? Yes, prices are high but how many of us would rally for the low wage earners who are the ones really feeling the pinch? Could we, as a country, start to seriously ponder what our lives will be like if our democracy fails? I just wish there was a long term perspective here involving inflation, energy consumption and consumer spending.
Peter (CT)
The Republican Policy is to go all out in favor of energy independence - including use of fossil fuels. The Democrats could do them one better by imitating China - go all out with every fuel available, including fossil fuels, and put the profits into building a renewable energy infrastructure. China is way ahead of the rest of the world in the race towards a non-fossil fuel future. How embarrassing! Democrats have a righteous policy that ultimately dooms us to failure. China has energy now, will have renewable energy later, and coincidentally has lower inflation than the US. Could the Democrats possibly be wrong about something??? Even more shocking, might the Republicans be at least partially right about something?
Matt (Minneapolis)
As much as I have problems with China, they plan for the future and make things happen. They are not wilfully blind to the reality of climate and are actually building things for the future. In America we can't even fix things faster than they decay.
A (Denver)
@Peter Do you believe everything the Communist Party of China says? China is not even close to being energy independent and while they lead the world in manufacture of solar panels and generate between 25-30% of their electricity from renewable sources- hydroelectic is the largest source but climate change has led to a major drought and many dams in China have been producing half the normal amount of electricity. China's actual TOTAL energy generation from renewables is around 13% which is better than North America's 11% but does not even crack the top 20 nations proportion of renewables. China is actually forecast to use a smaller % of renewables over the next three years due to persistent drought and growing energy demand outpacing installation of renewable energy generation as every river in mainland China already has a dam- only rivers in occupied Tibet still have unfinished dam projects.
SLY3 (parts unknown)
The Republican Party's plans are: 1. To utilize the techno-authoritarian police state that Bush the Younger installed to punitive ends, much like one-party China. 2. To exacerbate wealth inequality, enriching themselves, much like post-Soviet Russia. 3. To destroy the environment under the banner of "business", much like Bolsinaro's Brazil. 4. To imprison those that engage in political dissent, like Turkey or Hungary. 5. To entrench extreme religious doctrine as state policy, like Saudi Arabia. They are the company that they keep.
R A (CA)
When it comes to Economic decisions, the GOP has an unshakeable plan and that is to lower taxes for the rich. If the economy is strong, the plan is to lower taxes. If the economy is weak, then also lower taxes. This is their daily diet or daily prayer.
Bobby (NY)
Actually the Republicans do have an inflation plan: to lie about inflation and to deny the fact that inflation has been flat for five months and then when they get into office the they'll claim that inflation has ended under their watch.
Jorge (USA)
Dear Mr. Krugman: I think the GOP plan is to just stop doing the things you and other progressive Democrat economists claimed, erroneously, would not cause inflation. Chiefly, pumping trillions of dollars into an economy that had been shut down by covid lock-down measures, and which could not possibly keep up with surging demand. You advocated sending out fat checks to people who were sitting at home, knowing these workers were not producing goods and services, and the global supply chains were broken. It is not just the irresponsible fiscal juicing itself that sparked this contagion; it is the timing of the stimulus. The D's irresponsible stimulus spending was piled on top of the Fed's "hot money" policies, such as zero interest rates, and $9 trillion on the balance sheets (QE), creating a trickle down wealth effect in which the rich -- who could afford to buy homes and stocks and bonds -- got rewarded with high asset values, while the working class saw their paychecks shrink. Mr. Krugman, you were among the biggest inflation deniers in the media, and were wrong repeatedly -- about the causes, severity and duration of inflation. So when you claim the GOP "doesn’t have any coherent economic plan at all," just look in the mirror and say, "Not that."
Somewhere (Michigan)
@Jorge In the three years Trump occupied the White House before the crisis, two rounds of tax cuts and two spending deals with Congress added some $4.5 trillion to the deficit, figures Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which advocates for a sustainable national debt. Tump threw far more money at the pandemic than Biden did with the American Rescue Plan, and Trump had proposed spending even more when he was campaigning against Biden - in fact, their numbers were not a whole lot different. Short memories.
Robert (Where Truth Prevails)
@Jorge: how are your own personal finances? I bet they are good. So why the dour view of the economy? Politics? That’s my guess.
Mark F. (Cockeysville, MD)
@Jorge Since when did people's paychecks shrink? When?
Dolphin (Los Angeles)
Republicans are running on a single issue---inflation at 8.2%. Democrats ran, and won with President Biden, on a single issue---not Trump, with the result being infighting between moderate Democrats and Progressive. I don't see the difference here.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Dolphin For many of us, not Trump was a significant enough of an issue.
Dolphin (Los Angeles)
@N. Smith I understand, but Trump did not directly affect your ability to pay rent and buy food. Inflation at 8.3% is a significant issue. Many people can't buy food for their children, or pay for gas to get to work. If you've lived through inflation in the past, it hurts the poor the most. Yes, inflation is a very significant issue.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Dolphin Actually, in a way he did. Trump's resistance to confronting the pandemic ultimately helped to cripple U.S. (and the world's) economy. Ever hear of supply and demand? Another thing. Republicans don't have a plan to stop inflation. They only have a plan to stop Democrats.
Walter Ingram (Western MD)
Prior to the 2008 elections, a gas station that I passed on the way to work everyday closed it's door, not to reopen. On that day, the price on the sign was $3.79 for regular gas. One might ask, how do I remember. The answer, the sign is still there, frozen in time.
Walter Ingram (Western MD)
@Walter Ingram Did I mention, G.W. Bush was President?
Mark Shoenfield (Cedar Grove)
So where exactly is the failure that more people don't understand this and will vote without the ability or choice of critical thinking? Is it the fault of the media, the education system the religious community bad parenting etc that folks cannot apply logic, common sense and their own self regard when listening to "information"? That folks cannot discern lies distortions and propaganda. Where is the fault, what is the remedy?
Mark Shoenfield (Cedar Grove)
@Mark Shoenfield I'm so tired of people/media pointing out how poorly voters make their choices without explaining why that is and what needs to be done, and can it be done, to have "better" voters in this country.
Jonathan (USA)
When Republicans can grift free money from our government that was intended for those in poverty, they take the money by fraud and then turn around and blame the government for spending money on those who don't deserve it. At least they get the part about not deserving it right. But back to President Biden's stupendous success in restore our economy to health. We're not going to undo that by electing Republicans, are we?
HOUDINI (New York City)
"It therefore seems worth pointing out that the G.O.P. doesn’t have a plan to fight inflation. Actually, it doesn’t have any coherent economic plan at all." I'm tired of people giving advice that isn't—aren't you America?
Jonathan (USA)
@HOUDINI You've cited a statement that is 100% accurate. Well done.
HOUDINI (New York City)
@Jonathan Merci.
glennmr (Planet Earth)
As with all GOP plans, it will have nothing to do with reality...But it will be a tax cut followed by increase in defense spending and defunding any and all programs the dems back and they don't like. (The GOP will propose a tax cut to fix a broken arm)
Peter (CT)
Inflation seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. Not sure we can blame it on Biden. There is less inflation in Scandinavia, but then again, there is less in China. Seems like there are many different ways to address it, but in America, what happens is every economic "crisis" is an opportunity for the rich to gouge the masses. Are corporate profits up? If the answer is yes, that means the Republican policy is working.
J Hagen (Sacramento)
Republicans don't have an inflation plan. That's true. But our party does have a plan for the border, for crime and for taxes. And we do have a plan to undo the regulatory quagmire created by the Biden administration. Americans don't need the government to fix inflation. They just need the government to stop spending and deliberately slowing growth, which is driving inflation.
Jasr (NH)
@J Hagen The Republican Party has no party platform at all. Vague promises to "close the border," "fight crime," "stop spending," and of course give billionaires another massive tax cut, is not a platform or a plan. And in what world does spending "slow growth?"
glennmr (Planet Earth)
@J Hagen Considering how Trump ballooned the deficit to a trillion in his first year...about a 60% increase--and kept is very high, spending by the GOP has always been on their Keynesian agenda whilst simultaneously denying such.
JayPMac (Minnesota)
@J Hagen Plans for the Border, Crime, and taxes. Great news! Oh. Wait. Just what are those plans? "But if you believe that cutting taxes without any plausible plan for offsetting spending cuts isn’t a problem even in a time of inflation, markets beg to disagree." Perhaps you misread that sentence.
Sunyilo (MA)
Prof Krugman, I rather see the Republican playbook unfolding in the direction of appeasing Russia (at the expense of abandoning Ukraine) as a means to reduce inflation - who knows if it will work, however Putin would play ball by pushing OPEC to cut production and reduce oil prices. All it needs from Republicans (who will likely win the House) to block further requests from Biden to support the Ukrainian efforts. They are just eager to commit the same long-term mistakes Angela Merkel had done by tying Germany's energy supply largely to the whim of Russian leadership.
Steve Hunter (seattle,wa)
As some other reader has pointed out did we ever get the Trump Republican's health care plan that was going to be "great health care" for any American who is sick, and at affordable prices". Remember build a wall and make Mexico pay for it and the Republican's infrastructure plan that never materialized. My personal favorite was the plan to eliminate the Federal debt in 8 years and instead the Republicans passed a major tax cut for the wealthy and big corporations ballooning the debt. Yes we are all familiar with Republican plans. Republicans couldn't flip burgers without asking Democrats for help after complaining to them first that it is the Democrats fault that they don't know how.
David (Boston)
While the little people argue about "tax cuts" the wealthy employ an army of lawyers to set up layers of GRATs and IDGTs and then ensure the IRS is under funded. I use this simple example of the game being played at a whole other level, well out of view of the joe sixpack and sally starbucks.
T.H. (Atlanta)
Inflation is raging with the current administration. Inflation was very low during the previous administration. If the old formula worked then use it. Don't need a PhD in economics to figure it out.
Craig Freedman (Sydney)
@T.H. A PhD in economics might mean that you would look for cause and effect. What old formula was working then? What exactly did the Trump administration do to keep down inflation? Was it a coincidence that inflation was low world wide? Or do you think that the Trump administration was responsible for that as well.
Brian W. (Santa Cruz, CA)
There wasn’t inflation pre-2021. There was inflation after 2021. Every year after 2021 has had inflation. You don’t need a PhD to know we just need a time machine to turn back the clock. Although, a bachelor’s degree might help you make a cogent and logical argument.
Peter (Chicago)
@T.H. Agreed, all we have to do is undo the supply problems created by continuing industrial upsets in China and energy and food price increases caused by disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Simple!
James (Newport)
As with every other issue, the Republican secret is they don't actually care about inflation, not the large companies and the billionaires who fund and control that party at least. They actually like it, because for one, they believe they can use it to drive Democrats out of power so they can keep giving themselves handouts from the public till; and two, they understand that one of the major causes of inflation is the worker shortage and the subsequent rise in wages (and power gains by workers in the marketplace), and they know that companies can always avoid losing profits when wages go up by simply raising prices for goods and services so that they never feel the pinch. The "pinch" goes downward, and those pinched masses then blame Biden and vote Republican. See how easy it is? Get ready for that next massive tax cut, because it's coming. That's what and who (the billionaires) the economy is really working for. Bottom line: The economy "works" only when workers are exploited and their power is suppressed.
Jonathan (USA)
Republicans have declared many times that they would rather shut down the economy than see Americans thrive, most recently today. But Republicans have demonstrated their inability to improve our economy not just by their repeated threats to shut down our government to get their way, but by their plan to raise drug prices, to increase poverty, to ensure our water supply is toxic, to end health care for a hundred million Americans, and to present to savings, tax free, to the multi-billionaires. We can ensure the fiscal health of our country and the elimination of poverty and malnutrition by electing Democrats. Electing Republicans has NEVER been a good idea for the past century and a half.
Werdna (Vancouver)
@Jonathan neither the Democrats nor the Republicans “can ensure the fiscal health of (your) country”….when both parties pump tax payers money into the endless maw of the military and financial sectors you will never get fiscal health in America….both parties are owned and operated by the same club/class…both parties exist solely to stay on power so as to serve their betters in the Great Club of Oligarchs….neither party serves the people unless it serves a profit to the bosses!…sad but true!
Scott (Philadelphia)
why is everything always about Republicans or Democrats with you - how about a plan that actually solves any one of the significant problems we have: Climate Change (how are we going to make the investments to actually solve the problem), Inflation (hurting everyone, but absolutely crushing some of our citizens), relationship with China, adversaries (Russia, Iran).
Barry Long (Australia)
@Scott In such a divided society, everything is about Republicans or Democrats. Or rather, everything is about two opposing belief systems that can cause or alleviate societal and economic problems for the nation and for individuals. It seems to me that Mr Krugman's extensive knowledge, training and analysis of the economy has more often, but not entirely, brought him down on the side of Democrats than Republicans on economic issues. Accordingly, the distinction between Republican and Democrat solutions is important in his narrative. If one side of politics has solutions, or otherwise, surely it's important to recognise that when seeking solutions. It's not just about Republicans and Democrats. People in other countries recognise the same division between conservatives and liberals.
Jonathan (USA)
@Scott It's a Republican-or-Democrat issue because Democrats want to solve the problem and Republicans want to use the issue just to grift. Republicans couldn't care less about solving problems.
Jasr (NH)
Because we are two weeks away from an election.
Bob (Texas)
Democrats own the Inflation Problem. That is why Republicans have not brought forth a plan. The issue is complex in that Republicans may not have hurt the economy with closing businesses and schools down during the pandemic. Additionally they may not have allowed the fed to increase interest rates. The increase in interest rates is worsening inflation not making it better.
Jasr (NH)
Political leaders do not have any power over the Federal Reserve. The system is designed that way.
N. Smith (New York City)
@Bob I respectfully disagree. The Feds own the inflation problem by not recognizing it and taking appropriate action in a timely matter. And the WORLD owns the inflation problem because like it or not, we're living in the time of a global economy. And yes. To a certain extent Republicans own the problem--not only because pandemic which began and spread during the previous administration, but also because of the generous tax breaks it granted the wealthy elite. All that to say this. There's enough blame to go around.
Jonathan (USA)
@Bob Inflation is a world-wide problem (one that is hurting the vast majority of countries harder than the United States). Thank you for granting Democrats ownership of the world, but it's just not true. Your claim that Republicans may not have hurt the economy with closing businesses and schools during the pandemic is so much blather.
ansuwanee (Suwanee GA)
The way trickle down works is this - GOP makes the rich richer by putting money in their pockets, so the rich dont have a need to squeeze the middle class more than is needed. The captains of industry (oil, housing, finance, whatever) have zillions of ready-made excuses to increase the prices of the products and services consumed. The Fed has only been making life worse for the middle class with all these rate increases - ostensibly to fight inflation but having no impact whatsoever because the cause for inflation was supply side problems rather than bloated demand. And in the process the Fed has given the GOP and their moneybags more reason to keep prices higher. So, the uber rich GOP supporters with the able assistance of the Fed have manufactured the inflation and the recession fears in order to stymie Biden and prevent him for doing any more of the Build Back Better agenda. Time for Biden to take the gloves off,
Not good (Fl beach)
krugman, what inflation? wasn't inflation transitory in december-- wasn't that your plan -- let it go and keep printing money (march 2020)
C. R. Justice (Chicago, IL)
@Not good Seems to me that Putin invaded a sovereign country since then and has upset global oil and food markets. Seems to me that’s when the inflation ball started rolling.
straydog (s.f.)
why have a plan we are living the Republicans dream. high healthcare cost, education, and childcare cost. low or non existent taxes on the rich. few workers rights. a pay to play system.
PATRICK (Pennsylvania)
America, wake up. We have a mighty big problem. Republicans have the money and have been pillaging the economy by raising prices and thus, inflation, to rob the nation, but under the protection of the nation's police and Military who always serve those with the money. So you see, we are all being robbed at gunpoint. What shall we do?
JF (Palo Alto)
Good column. I know full well what the Republicans plan to do in their fight against reproductive rights since they've shown us in state after state, but I don't really understand what they want to do to fight inflation.
William A Keating (North Amityville, NY)
Dr. Krugman certainly does not believe that that the Democrats have it all right all the time and the Republicans have it all wrong. A moderated discourse appears unobtainable. The Republican plan for inflation is the same one they used with success in the 1980s. It begins with the Federal Reserve Bank raising the fed funds rate to increase the price of borrowing money. Less money in circulation means less demand for goods. President Carter actually began the pushback against inflation when he named Paul Volcker to direct the Fed. Volcker knew that his job was to raise interest rates, which he promptly began to do. Reagan may or may not have helped the cause by engaging in a small war with labor when the Union of Air Traffic Controllers called for an illegal strike. The President fired all of the controllers. Point taken? But the path of the war against inflation proved to be rather common (at least under those set of circumstances). The recession caused by the rate increases was harsh, pushing unemployment to 10 percent, but was brief enough to open the way for the easy re-election of the President. Americans have short memories, and did not take long to put inflation behind them. The voters also tend to always assign the blame to the sitting President. This did not help President George H. W. Bush, as the first recession to come along after the end of the Volcker/Reagan recession came on his re-election year.
Blandis (honolulu)
@William A Keating What is the Republican plan for fixing inflation caused by Russia invading Ukraine and the businesses converting US jobs into overseas jobs without accounting for the likelihood of a pandemic which shut off the manpower being used overseas. Do the Republicans plan to force the Ukrainians to give up to Putin? Do the Republicans have a plan to force the overseas suppliers to open up their cities and businesses no matter what they think about the dangers of COVID?
William A Keating (North Amityville, NY)
@Blandis I guess you feel pretty safe there in Honolulu. The bellicosity of Biden toward the other two global nuclear powers I feared we'd get from Trump. What are the disadvantages of our interference with the Russian desire to gain control over, if not annex, Ukraine. 1) Thousands of civilians and tens of thousands of soldiers have been killed. 2) The strategy of the West to limit Russia's revenue from sale of natural gas to Germany turned around and bit them when Russian decided not to sell Germany any LNG. Europe and Asia and Asia are now competing for LNG at 20X the pre-war price. 3) Serious recessions are forecast for Western Europe, with a possible catastrophic recession in England. 4) The shortage of oil and grain and fertilizer have pushed the price up higher than poor countries can afford. 5) As Biden put it, we are how closer to Armageddon than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis. 6) Cost to U.S. 70 billion and counting. Could our people use that money? Advantages: 1) U.S. and NATO prevent the corrupt carcass of what used to be formidable alliance of Soviet and Eastern European states from re-establishing control over a former Soviet state that may be more corrupt. Why is this of interest to us? Is it worth 70 billion dollars and the threat of nuclear warheads detonating? Russia has a GDP ONE FIFTEENTH of the United States. It's conventional military we have seen is too incompetent to defeat Ukraine even before that country got our advanced weapons.
Krugman is right. We Republicans, in contrast to Democrats, have no plans to produce worthless money, expand the deficit, pay off political buddies, and inflate the currency. We have a plan to cut costs, cut taxes, restore energy independence, and stymie the retrograde policies of Joe Biden.
JayPMac (Minnesota)
@JOHN S5ating the GOP plans in 7 words or less is admirable. Are We the People privy to the details? Or should we simply place our trust in a Republican administration?
Rachel (LA)
Very much looking forward to the next recession these Republican plans bring us…. And the planet becoming hostile to human life.
James (Newport)
@JOHN Well, except during the 4 years of Donald's reign, he increased the debt and deficit more than anyone else in modern history besides GW Bush. He cut taxes, but also revenue, and increased spending - "bigly," to quote the Orange One. And many of the economic woes we face today were born from Trump's incompetence with covid, his dumb trade wars, and his bungling of the entire Ukraine / Russia situation pre-war. HIs tiny fingers are all over the problems we face today, I mean. So have some integrity and own some of that. Why is that so hard?
BC (Sydney)
What do they need any economic plan for? They have a different plan: win Congress and the Senate, refuse to pass anything, then blame Biden for everything and then finally win back the presidency. It's astonishing that this generation of Republicans remain even remotely in contention for any office but they do. The future looks dire and unimaginable.
Chet (Jay)
Well the Republicans certainly didn't come up with the brilliant ideas such as shutting down the whole economy (including schools and small scale industries) while distributing free money to all their favorite constituents (even for those who didn't ask for), deliberately closing down the fossil fuel industry by intentionally hyping climate change philosophy (though it may never pay off other than lining up the pockets of a select few elite billionaires), passing massive spending bill in the name of 'Inflation Reduction Act' as a joke on the hard working American Taxpayers! I'm sure they don't have a clue how this is done to address the Inflation myth. Let us go back to reelecting the Democrats and send them back to DC so they can address their Inflation policy with the super brilliance of President Biden and his tireless administration by Taxing more and Spending more utopia! After all we can always print trillions more money so every democrat supporter (including the lucky student loan borrowers) can have a their fair share of the loot!
Michael (Wisconsin)
@Chet Excellent comment. If the Republicans who were elected did absolutely nothing, that would have a bigger impact on bringing down inflation than what the Democrats are doing - since their current policies are contributing to rising inflation.
Jonathan (USA)
@Chet Actually, Republicans have declared many times that they would rather shut down the economy than see Americans thrive. But Republicans have demonstrated their ability to improve our economy not just by threatening to shut down the government, but by their plan to raise drug prices, to increase poverty, to ensure our water supply is not safe, to end health care for a hundred million Americans and to present to savings, tax free, to the multi-billionaires. We can ensure the fiscal health of our country and the elimination of poverty and malnutrition by electing Democrats.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Michael Um, the inflation is global. Turn off Fox Noise and educate yourself.
Michael (Wisconsin)
The major component of the Republican plan is energy independence and becoming self reliant on natural gas and oil. It also does not include inflationary policies like loan forgiveness. That's better than the status quo.
Dr Jones (Colorado)
@Michael so they plan to remove the country from the world oil market? That’s the only way to be independent
N. Smith (New York City)
With all due respect Mr. Krugman, that's not true. Republicans do have an inflation plan Obstruct every bill and plan Democrats put forth -- even if it means defaulting on the national debt. Then blame it on them.
Taykadip (NYC)
Say what? The Biden administration policies have had little impact on gas prices. I'd say the Biden administration's policy of funding the war in Ukraine has had a dramatic impact on gas prices.
Victor (Boston)
@Taykadip and your solution would be to let one of the few democracies in eastern Europe to fall under tyranny?
Cynthia (Jakarta)
Not quite. The GOP plans to side with Russia to end the war at Ukraine’s expense. The coalition of Russian sanctions will fray, and gas prices will normalize. The GOP will gloat, ignoring that their actions supported the anti democratic aggressors because it doesn’t affect “us.” The world will be less safe. Sigh.
Thomas E Martini (Milwaukee Wis)
Republican's Plan is to blame the other guy. If we get rid of the other guy who is causing all our problems, life returns to its bliss full state. That my friends is magical thinking. It is time for the Republicans to actually legislate and come up with solutions not whining about stolen elections and how immigrants are ruining the country. Look at all the contributions that immigrants have done to make the US one of the best countries in the world. So we want to shut the door and not give these people a chance. Look at what an opportunity this is, instead of a problem.
Rob M. (Midland, TX)
Much of the inflationary pressure is driven by energy costs, and contrary to Mr. Krugman's assertion, that is, indeed, the fault of Biden and the Democrats. Ever tried to get a permit to drill or build a gas line on Federal land? I've been doing it for 40 years, and never has any administration been so obstructive. We have gone from NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) to BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anyone). Us oil guys profit immensely from Government incompetence and ill will towards us, we're making money hand over fist with crude oil twice the price it was when Biden slammed the brakes on the permitting process, but this is not good for ordinary Americans, and I take no pleasure in it. And of course Republicans have a plan: encourage domestic energy production. It's just a plan that leftists hate. Of course it would work, which makes leftists hate it even more.
TM (San Francisco)
@Rob M: Except, of course, that domestic oil and gas production is still below pre-pandemic levels. This means it has nothing to do with any restrictions on drilling (when, in fact, the Biden government issued more licenses than his predecessors - to much chagrin of environmentalists) and everything to do with a cost-risk analysis of the oil and gas industry which doesn’t want to increase production for 2 main reasons: a) higher production would decrease prices and thus profits and b) they don’t want to be caught again on their left foot like during the pandemic when the economy declined and the surplus of oil and gas ruined their profits. Your explanation also proves incorrect when looking at the bigger picture - energy prices are (painfully) high globally, not just in the US. Let’s focus on facts not fiction.
Christopher Slevin (Michigan)
This is what I have been trying to get across for several months now. The republican party has nothing to offer to address the economic needs of the American people. They are playing up unreasonable fears as the only policy they can offer the constituent. Encouraging gun violence and immigartion cruelty is not what we need now. Our priorities are for economic recovery and the social reforms we need to restore confidence in the American dream. These are things we have no chance of achieving under a self-interested Republican government. To enter an election with no overall economic plan demonstrates the insanity of the republican party. Violent is the last thing our nation needs. Regardless of what the polls are predicting we need to stay the course we are on. 2024 will be the opportunity to define whether a change is warranted. Until then give the democrats a chance to succeed or fail. Hopefully by then trump will be where he belongs. In a cage for wild animals
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Christopher Slevin Agree on all counts, but no wild animal could possibly do the amount of damage that IQ45 has done to our country.
Jackson (Virginia)
@Christopher Slevin When you say they encourage gun violence and immigration cruelty, please tell us whom you are quoting. And no, we don’t need to stay the course we are on. Fortunately 80% of the country agrees with me, not you.
2manyhorsez (DC area)
@Jackson 80%? Cite your source.
Emil (Pittsburgh, PA)
The government did what it had to do during a national crisis. It sort of acts on automatic pilot with or without competent political leadership. Americans are not looking to President Biden for vision, that is up to us, to direct our own lives, to invest in the future, to be community minded and good citizens. Over time, if we all act in a thrifty manner, inflation will cure itself. But there are some bad players out there, the oil companies, the corporate agri-businesses, the real estate developers, and lots of cowardly state and local politicians. The world needs visionaries, people who can see over the pandemics, wars, global warming, and divisiveness. Those are in the purview of bureaucrats. A visionary sees the future in counterintuitive ways. Instead of bigger, faster, tech-driven modes of transportation, consider slower, bucolic, spartan and aesthetically pleasing modes. Many environmentalists, including me, have been writing about them for years. The car gets in the way of all good ideas. The Republican strategy of slamming President Biden on the economy is as old and tiring as antediluvians blaming God for droughts or floods. Inflation and the economy are emotional issues; voting is cerebral, a carefully thought-out decision. I trust Americans will make the right choice. One day a good looking, smart and charismatic leader will rise from the rubble and lead our government into a more sustainable, cleaner, and peaceful country.
Michael (Boston)
Sadly, this isn't ever pointed out in the coverage of them.
Christine (OH)
I'm no economist but even I can see that the GOP is terrible on economics for the nonwealthy I didn't lose my job when they crashed the economy in 2008 but the value of my home and retirement accounts lost at least half of their value. Nobody in my immediate family or circle died from Covid, lost their jobs or homes because of GOP failure to protect lives and the economy from the pandemic (due to their mindless inability to organize anything other than tax giveaways for the wealthy and business ,which was also their main concern even when faced with mass death) And there is their climate change denial and refusal of states to take steps to ameliorate the consequences but which then expect the rest of the country to pick up the tab for their denial and mistakes which are costing us billions of dollars and thousands of lives. Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat it and unfortunately they condemn those who do remember and are trying to avoid these constant GOP repetitions of massive misgovernance.
See also