Monday, June 02, 2003
Going off the deep end: The teaser is "Distorting the Facts." The headline is "Standard Operating Procedure." The columnist is Paul Krugman. The subject, however, is not Krugman's columns.
Krugman, who long ago passed the "Entering Loony Left" roadsign, continues beating the "liar, liar" drum (I'm doing my best Tom Friedman impression) when it comes to the Bush administration. In last Thursday's column, Krugman likened the Bush administration's moves to the movie "Wag the Dog." Curiously, the basis of the plot for "Wag the Dog" was to divert attention from a sex scandal. That was the last president, not this one.
In that column Krugman alleges, without evidence that "Just as war critics feared, Al Qaeda has been strengthened by the war." Evidence? Well, none is necessary for Krugman.
In the latest screed, Krugman claims that Saddam Hussein never had weapons of mass destruction. Krugman couches this argument by pointing to the "intelligence failure" that has not yet turned up weapons of mass destruction. Scroll down to Saturday's post to see the fallacy in this argument.
Krugman also takes a whack at the latest tax cut.
Am I exaggerating? Even as George Bush stunned reporters by declaring that we have "found the weapons of mass destruction," the Republican National Committee declared that the latest tax cut benefits "everyone who pays taxes." That is simply a lie. You've heard about those eight million children denied any tax break by a last-minute switcheroo. In total, 50 million American households — including a majority of those with members over 65 — get nothing; another 20 million receive less than $100 each. And a great majority of those left behind do pay taxes.
Krugman is playing the kind of word games here that my father long ago beat out of me. The RNC document that Krugman refers to can be found here. What the RNC should have said, to prevent the kind of word games that Krugman plays, is "everyone who pays income taxes." As I've already noted, those children denied the "tax cut" in Krugman's don't pay income taxes. As far as Krugman's other claims, I'm curious as to his source for them, because I haven't seen it. It seems to me that the reduction in the marginal tax rates would cut everyone's (who pays federal income tax) bill. I'm curious as to exactly what game Krugman is playing here.
I find the fact that Krugman is still on the Times editorial page curious. This sort of mindless, attack-dog drivel can be done by any number of liberal bloggers -- and the Times could undoubtedly get them cheaper. Besides, they're a lot more entertaining.