As predicted, the US midterms have not gone well for the Democrats, as they have lost control of the House of Representatives. But they retain a majority in the Senate, so some are predicting that the most likely outcome is a repeat of the gridlock of 1994, after a similar conservative revolt led by Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing media provided the opportunity for Clinton’s re-election in 1996.
Paul Krugman has a different take as the current US economic situation is very different from the mid-1990’s:
The economy, weighed down by the debt that households ran up during the Bush-era bubble, is in dire straits; deflation, not inflation, is the clear and present danger. And it’s not at all clear that the Fed has the tools to head off this danger. Right now we very much need active policies on the part of the federal government to get us out of our economic trap.
But we won’t get those policies if Republicans control the House. In fact, if they get their way, we’ll get the worst of both worlds: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible tax cuts — cuts they have already announced won’t have to be offset with spending cuts.
So if the elections go as expected next week, here’s my advice: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
As a bonus this post from Rightways has the 10 worst ads in the campaign. More money was spent than ever before, a lot of it by faceless and nameless groups in the last stages of the election. We can expect the same here next year, particularly in the anti-MMP campaign. The current National Party Bill still in select committee allows for completely unregulated television advertising. They won’t all be as bad as these.
lprent: I added a featured image from wikipedia. For interest here is the deflation/inflation history of the US since 1666.