Paul Krugman

Europe is Not Entitled to Hector Any Country
January 13, 2011

In the circles in which I move there are many people who are quite snarky about Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman. I've never really understood why. Maybe it’s just because he wants higher taxes than they do. But as an explicator of economic realities he as good as they come. And in a New York Times Magazine essay about the grim financial status of contemporary Europe he has made it all crystal clear. Most of the members of the European Union have made a tremendous mess of their fiscal situation, and many are in desperate trouble or near- desperate trouble looking into the future.

Maybe Find A Better Defense Of Michele Bachmann
January 13, 2011

A few days ago, Paul Krugman noted that famously unhinged member of Congress Michele Bachmann urged her constituents to be 'armed and dangerous." Wall Street Journal right-wing blogger James Taranto calls this a "lie," and insists the the context of Bachmann's full quote is very different. Here, per Taranto, is the context: But you can get all the latest information on this event, this . . . a must-go-to event with this Chris Horner. People will learn . . . it will be fascinating. We met with Chris Horner last week, 20 members of Congress.

Nice Speech, But We Won't Be Coming Together
January 13, 2011

The President’s speech last night was beautiful but ultimately, a magnificent punt. It was brave for Obama to crisply dismiss the idea that partisan rhetoric is what drove Jared Loughner to kill, given how much currency that idea now has among the bien-pensant kinds of people who elected him.

‘Right of Revolution’
January 11, 2011

In the wake of the Tucson massacre, the left is attributing the violence at least partially to a “climate of hate” encouraged by anti-government extremists on the right—the phrasing used by Paul Krugman in his latest column—a reaction made easier by conservatives’ frequent use of violent and intimidating rhetoric since 2008. Conservatives have responded by alleging the politicization of a random act of violence by a lunatic, and sought to place themselves in the ranks of victims of the event.

Again, Right Wing Extremism Is A Problem, But It Isn't This Problem
January 10, 2011

Good point by Brendan Nyhan: People have been having a hard time holding two ideas in their head at the same time: 1. What Paul Krugman calls "eliminationist rhetoric" is bad. 2. Contrary to his suggestion, there is no evidence that such rhetoric caused Saturday's events. Even if such evidence is later found, it would not justify the evidence-free claims that have been made in the last 48 hours. I wrote, "I don't believe that analogizing politics to combat encourages anybody, even the mentally ill, to take up violence.

Zombie Lies Try To Eat Krugman's Brain
December 29, 2010

A couple weeks ago, Tim Pawlenty accused President Obama of creating a massive upsurge in government jobs while private sector job growth has dwindled: {G]overnment, which, thanks to President Obama, has become the only booming "industry" left in our economy. Since January 2008 the private sector has lost nearly eight million jobs while local, state and federal governments added 590,000.  Paul Krugman pointed out that this was totally false. Government employment has fallen.

No Happy Dances for the Tax Deal
December 07, 2010

Virtually every liberal analyst I've read today agrees that Obama's tentative deal on taxes is a little better than they had come to expect. Mainly that's because the compromise includes some modest fiscal stimulus, which the economy desperately needs but which majorities in Congress had seemed unwilling to endorse. But none of these analysts are excited about the outcome and many remain angry at how things turned out. I can understand why. One reason is that the stimulus is front-loaded, just like the last one.

Like the Tax Deal? Hate the Tax Deal?
December 06, 2010

President Obama just announced that he's reached a tentative deal with congressional Republicans over how to extend the Bush tax cuts. It's not final; House Democrats don't seem to have signed off yet. But the people in Washington who watch these things closely all seem to think it's close to a done deal.  What's in the deal? As expected, the two sides agreed to extend all of the tax cuts, including those that would benefit only very wealthy people, for two years.

Is the Mortgage-Interest Deduction Really A Middle-Class Tax Break?
November 16, 2010

Over in the comments section for our editorial about the deficit commission, several readers have taken umbrage with our claim that the mortgage-interest deduction overwhelmingly favors the wealthy. One makes his case by citing this paragraph from a recent Paul Krugman column: Actually, though, what the co-chairmen are proposing is a mixture of tax cuts and tax increases — tax cuts for the wealthy, tax increases for the middle class.

Do Krugman And I Disagree On The Debt Commission?
November 12, 2010

My take on the debt commission is provisionally favorable, while Paul Krugman's take is unremittingly hostile. That's kind of interesting, because I generally agree with Krugman about economic policy. What, then, is the source of our disagreement? Let me go through a couple points in his column. First, Krugman objects to the revenue cap and the cap on health care spending: Start with the declaration of “Our Guiding Principles and Values.” Among them is, “Cap revenue at or below 21% of G.D.P.” This is a guiding principle?