While Krugman can sometimes be somewhat over-the-top in his criticisms of Republicans, he was right on in this instance. His premise was completely and immediately confirmed by the Republican nominee himself today, during Romney's "closing argument" speech in Wisconsin, where he said:
You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress. He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy. The President was right when he said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case, you can take him at his word.The debt ceiling crisis was, and perhaps will be, entirely a Republican construction. Prior to this Congress, the debt ceiling was always increased without controversy. But because Republicans wanted to pass things for which they didn't have enough votes, they chose to hold the economy hostage to get what they want. Romney admitted today that the GOP plans to repeat the tactic, once again threatening to drag us all down. This is no different from a mobster threatening a citizen for protection money. Give us what we want, or else.