Monday, July 22, 2002
Krugman Watch: If Krugman wrote columns like this one in Tuesday's New York Times I'd have to find another whipping boy. It's not that it's 100 percent accurate, or that there aren't some points that I disagree with, but, uncharacteristic of Krugman, it's reasonably fair.
A few minor points of note about the latest column:
Realistically, we are looking at a decade of deficits, which will eventually pose serious problems for Social Security and Medicare.
Wait a second, I thought that Social Security was solvent until 2050 or so? The truth is that it isn't -- and that should be an issue subject to a vigorous public debate. Ignoring the problem, as has been encouraged by these false solvency claims, is a recipe for disaster.
On the other hand, with the recovery still wobbly, this is no time for fiscal austerity ? if anything, right now the federal government ought to be pumping more money into the economy than it is.
Wait. Is Krugman suggesting more government spending? Well, I believe he is. What will all of this spending do to the budge deficit? Make it worse? Yep. I think Krugman is henceforth barred from criticizing Bush for the budget deficit -- because Krugman is suggesting to make it larger. Of course, the difference between Bush and Krugman would be that Bush would propose pumping money into the economy with a tax rebate allowing consumers to buy products, Krugman would pump money in with increased government spending. But what would the government spend money on? Bombs, rockets and missiles? I'm for that. Entitlements? Very bad idea. Because when the economy improves those entitlements won't go away because they're no longer needed. Entitlements never go away.
Krugman quote of the day: "Let's ignore the politics and look at the situation objectively."
We all know how difficult it was for him to write this -- and then actually do it (for the most part). Kudos to Krugman!