Paul Krugman Political Hack

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U_S__Total_Deficits_vs__National_Debt_Increases_2001-2010

 

 

Once upon a time Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman actually had some interesting thoughts about economics.  That was before he became a political hack.  Here is Krugman on the deficit in 2004:

 

 

 

PROFESSOR PAUL KRUGMAN, PRINCETON ECONOMIST: Well, basically we have a world-class budget deficit not just as in absolute terms of course – it’s the biggest budget deficit in the history of the world – but it’s a budget deficit that as a share of GDP is right up there.

It’s comparable to the worst we’ve ever seen in this country.

It’s biggest than Argentina in 2001.

Which is not cyclical, there’s only a little bit that’s because the economy is depressed.

Mostly it’s because, fundamentally, the Government isn’t taking in enough money to pay for the programs and we have no strategy of dealing with it.

So, if you take a look, the only thing that sustains the US right now is the fact that people say, “Well America’s a mature, advanced country and mature, advanced countries always, you know, get their financial house in order,” but there’s not a hint that that’s on the political horizon, so I think we’re looking for a collapse of confidence some time in the not-too-distant future.

TONY JONES: When you say the not-too-distant future, what does that mean?

We know there may be a crisis in paying, for example, in social security…

PROFESSOR PAUL KRUGMAN: What I envision is that at some point, we have about 10 years now until the baby boomers hit the United States.

The US even more than other advanced countries has a welfare state that’s primarily a welfare state for retirees.

We have the huge bulge in the population that starts to collect benefits and earn the next decade.

If there isn’t a clear path towards fiscal sanity well before that, then I think the financial markets are going to say, “Well, gee, where is this going?”

 

Here is Krugman on the deficit this week:

And I do mean fantasies. Washington has spent the past three-plus years in terror of a debt crisis that keeps not happening, and, in fact, can’t happen to a country like the United States, which has its own currency and borrows in that currency. Yet the scaremongers can’t bring themselves to let go.       

Consider, for example, Stanley Druckenmiller, the billionaire investor, who has lately made a splash with warnings about the burden of our entitlement programs. (Gee, why hasn’t anyone else thought of making that point?) He could talk about the problems we may face a decade or two down the road. But, no. He seems to feel that he must warn about the looming threat of a financial crisis worse than 2008.       

Or consider the deficit-scold organization Fix the Debt, led by the omnipresent Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. It was, I suppose, predictable that Fix the Debt would respond to the latest budget deal with a press release trying to shift the focus to its favorite subject. But the organization wasn’t content with declaring that America’s long-run budget issues remain unresolved, which is true. It had to warn that “continuing to delay confronting our debt is letting a fire burn that could get out of control at any moment.”       

As I’ve already suggested, there are two remarkable things about this kind of doomsaying. One is that the doomsayers haven’t rethought their premises despite being wrong again and again — perhaps because the news media continue to treat them with immense respect. The other is that as far as I can tell nobody, and I mean nobody, in the looming-apocalypse camp has tried to explain exactly how the predicted disaster would actually work.

The 2004 deficit that Krugman decried was 3.6% of gdp.  The deficit for 2012 which Krugman assures us is no problem was 7.3% of gdp.  What a mystery!  What could explain this difference in reaction?  Two words:  Bush and Obama.  Krugman did not invent, of course, this type of partisan hackery where an “expert” says contradictory  things  based upon his partisan allegiance, but it is amazing that in the age of the internet he thinks he can get away with it.  Go here to read a column which marks Krugman’s pivot point on the deficit.  It came out, wait for it, in December 2006, right after the Democrats won control of Congress.

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3 Comments

  1. And I do mean fantasies. Washington has spent the past three-plus years in terror of a debt crisis that keeps not happening, and, in fact, can’t happen to a country like the United States, which has its own currency and borrows in that currency. Yet the scaremongers can’t bring themselves to let go.

    Fantasies?
    Yes, people have been warning about deficits and the national debt since I’ve been old enough to vote but Prof Klugman should remember that in the story of the boy who cried “Wolf!” the wolf finally came.

  2. Their sole purpose is to advance the narrative and provide continual propaganda for Obama and the progressive nightmare.

    The post-modern academy seamlessly imbeds fabrications into facts. For these varlets all reading is arbitrary and personal. Theory cannot be proved only disproved. They specialize in ignoring the facts.

    They invent their facts, deny/ignore errors, display arrogance and execrate anybody with opposing evidence.

    Faked but accurate. For these liars, truth, facts, realities, and history do not exist. They are clay on their potter’s wheels. They use them to invent factoids, to do good as they see it. And whatever they need to twist or omit is justified by their purity of intentions – and they always have the purest of intentions. False but justified.

    They fall back on hysterics, insults, lies and weeping and gnashing of teeth to advance their horrid ideas and destructive policies. The facts and truth are not susceptible to their calumnies, distortions, distractions, exaggerations, omissions, and outright lies. They eithyer subvert or suppress the truth.

    In conclusion, economics, in particular, and the social sciences, in general, are mind-numbing hokum. No rational person should have any respect for the so-called disciplines.

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