With the debate over the taxes intensifying between House Republicans and the White House as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, Paul Krugman weighed in yesterday floating the idea raising tax rates to 91%, back to levels seen in the 1950s. His rant is based on digs at conservatives and the same old “fairness” drivel that has been used by the Left since the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts were passed.
Most of us who read Krugman’s missive probably laughed it off. After all, this is the guy who, in the wake of the tsunami in Japan last year, said that the disaster would spur economic growth. He said the same of 9/11 when it occured. Krugman also called for a fake alien invasion to ramp up government spending, which he believed would have helped the economy. This, of course, defies a rule of economics called the “broken window fallacy.” But that’s just an example of Krugman’s crazier side.
Written by Michael F. Cannon, Director of Health Policy Studies at the Cato Institute. Posted with permission from Cato @ Liberty.
I find myself on the wrong side of the facts. Again. So says Paul Krugman:
Still, wouldn’t private insurers reduce costs through the magic of the marketplace? No. All, and I mean all, the evidence says that public systems like Medicare and Medicaid, which have less bureaucracy than private insurers (if you can’t believe this, you’ve never had to deal with an insurance company) and greater bargaining power, are better than the private sector at controlling costs.
I know this flies in the face of free-market dogma, but it’s just a fact.
And Krugman should know. As the following clip shows, this is a guy who always has the facts on his side:
Yes, that was me at the beginning of the clip. Krugman was selflessly trying to instill in me his respect for evidence and his command of the facts. For some reason, I have yet to absorb either.
The New York Times’ pundit Paul Krugman finally admits what a lot of people have known for some time now—that he’s a partisan Democratic party hack:
Several commenters have asked that I provide examples of Republicans making reasonable economic arguments; some of them seem to be saying that I’m proving my bias if I don’t provide such examples.
But it doesn’t work that way: if all Republicans are saying unreasonable things, then it’s a distortion — indeed, a form of bias — to insist that there must be reasonable Republicans.
Now look, I’m not going to go out of my way to defend Republicans, as they’re a political party that’s less interested in governing and fixing our problems than in scoring cheap political points for theater, but the above statement is fairly outrageous. Not all Republicans are saying unreasonable things. In fact, a great many of them—Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Justin Amash, Richard Hanna, Jeff Flake, Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, Jon Huntsman, even Paul Ryan to an extent—are saying very reasonable things.
But no, Paul Krugman is declaring them all to be unreasonable, because they are…Republicans. Not on their merits, just because they have an “R” after their name. Thanks for finally admitting it, you poseur.
It’s been a few days since President Barack Obama told White House press reporters that the private-sector is “doing fine” and claimed that the public-sector was the part of the economy that was really hurting. Mitt Romney and Republicans have been hammering away at the remarks, and justifibly so. Even Paul Krugman, who is often serves as an apologist for Obama, criticized the remark and Joe Biden’s former economic adviser “winced” when he heard it.
But we’re still very early in the campaign and, as I’ve noted before, voters have a short memory. Just because a candidate said or did something very stupid months before an election doesn’t mean that it will be remembered on election days — in fact, most elections boil down to what happens 60 days prior.
Over at Outside the Beltway, my good friend Doug Mataconis argues, noting opposing commentary from Chris Chris Cillizza and Mark Halperin, that it’s unlikely that Obama’s comments will have any lasting effect and complaining that the media spends too much time on the dumb things politicians say:
Paul Krugman may have picked a fight with the wrong country. Desparately trying to show that austerity doesn’t work, Krugman posted a graph showing stale GDP growth in Estonia, a tiny Eastern European country, during the worldwide recession. This caught the eye of Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who blasted Krugman on over four separate tweets earlier this week:
Let’s write about something we know nothing about & be smug, overbearing & patronizing: after all, they’re just wogs: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/estonian-rhapsdoy/
Guess a Nobel in trade means you can pontificate on fiscal matters & declare my country a “wasteland”. Must be a Princeton vs Columbia thing [Ilves went to Columbia for undergrad.]
But yes, what do we know? We’re just dumb & silly East Europeans. Unenlightened. Someday we too will understand. Nostra culpa.
Let’s sh*t on East Europeans: their English is bad, won’t respond & actually do what they’ve agreed to & reelect govts that are responsible.
The problem with Krugman’s conclusion is that Estonia is actually one of the few Eurozone countries that is doing quite well; a point that Dan Mitchell, an economist at the Cato Institute, noted yesterday:
Bloomberg News tends to be a slightly more left-leaning economic news source. They often mix ‘green energy’, ‘poverty reduction’ and aid for the ‘third world’ into their news pieces. Normally I do not listen too closely, to these liberal Wall Street syndicate news-sayers. Although they have a neat free radio show in the morning, they do not interview enough American investors for my taste. But this last Monday, I was surprised that good news was again being shown.
A roughly half-hour clip, had Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul squaring economic knowledge against a New York Times columnist: big government Kaynesian, Paul Krugman. The moderator left the debate open to its flow, did not meddle with too many specifics and let the Texan politician play with ‘Krusty Krug’ like a voodoo doll. Paul Krugman seemed ill at ease, and frightfully underprepared. Over and again, Krugman tried to drown Paul in bombast, but his facts and claims lacked historical accuracy.
Contender Ron Paul looked sprightly, fresh and well-off to making his best talking points, Krugman couldn’t make him vascillate. One thing that liberals like to do, when talking about economic issues, especially spending and taxation; is set their own agenda. They do this by single-mindedly picking vantage points from the historical record. Revising history and economics for us all, as though what happened before WW2 carries no meaning. Only those out of touch with reality, make the mistake of thinking they could ‘regulate’ the economy, the world, society or anything else.
On Monday evening, saw a battle of two schools of economic thought — Keynesianism and the Austrian school — in a brief battle between Paul Krugman and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).
While it wasn’t the educational videos put out by Econstories that have actors playing the parts of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek giving a defense of these schools of thought, it’s among the closest thing we’ll see to a real debate between the ideals of statism and economic liberty.
H/T: Club for Growth
Even with Americans still struggling to keep with high gas prices, President Barack Obama yesterday targeted the oil industry with more proposed regulations — once again offering nothing in the way of real solutions to increase oil supply. The Los Angeles Times notes that Obama wants more money for regulators and more penalties for what “manipulation” of the oil market:
Facing heat for high gasoline prices, President Obama tried to shift the focus to Congress, Republicans and energy traders, calling for legislation that he said would “put more cops on the beat” to crack down on potential manipulation of the oil market.
Obama called on Congress to provide more money for regulators and increase penalties for market manipulators. The president, flanked by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., suggested that traders and speculators are affecting the price of oil and digging into Americans’ pocketbooks.
“We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” Obama said in brief remarks in the Rose Garden on Tuesday. “That’s not the way the market should work.”
Obama’s proposal would add $52 million to the budget for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees oil futures markets, to pay for improved technology and additional employees. The president also proposed increasing the maximum civil and criminal penalties for manipulative activity in oil futures markets and beefing up data collection.
“When goods don’t cross borders, soldiers will.” - Frédéric Bastiat
As the White House sends much needed free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea to the Congress, Senate Democrats are pushing a bill that China warns may very well spark a trade war:
An angry China warned Washington on Tuesday that passage of a bill aimed at forcing Beijing to let its currency rise could lead to a trade war between the world’s top two economies.
China’s central bank and the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs accused Washington of “politicising” currency issues and putting the global economy at risk after U.S. senators voted on Monday to start a week of debate on the bill.
The response suggested China sees a greater risk from the proposed bill than it has in the past when U.S. lawmakers attempted to put forward similar legislation to speed up the pace of appreciation in the yuan, or renminbi.
Tuesday’s coordinated salvo and the central bank’s warning of a trade war and a slowdown in China’s exchange rate reforms indicated Beijing was taking the latest currency bill more seriously.
“It is very rare for three different ministries of the country to refute something so quickly and strongly, showing how deeply the Chinese government is concerned about the yuan bill,” said Wang Zihong, a researcher at the China Academy of Social Sciences, a top government think tank.
“The strong responses made by the Chinese government may also suggest that the possibility would be quite high this time that the United States will pass the final bill in the end and that Beijing is worried about the possible negative impact on China’s exports resulting from the legislation,” he said.
So Paul Krugman is out with a blog post responding to all of us “right-wingers” who found his old piece in the Boston Review saying that Social Security has a “Ponzi game aspect” to it and saying “I never called Social Security a Ponzi scheme!” Well, yes and no. Here was my take previously, and here’s the link to the actual BR piece Krugman wrote back in the day. The most relevant excerpt is below (emphasis mine):
Social Security is structured from the point of view of the recipients as if it were an ordinary retirement plan: what you get out depends on what you put in. So it does not look like a redistributionist scheme. In practice it has turned out to be strongly redistributionist, but only because of its Ponzi game aspect, in which each generation takes more out than it put in. Well, the Ponzi game will soon be over, thanks to changing demographics, so that the typical recipient henceforth will get only about as much as he or she put in (and today’s young may well get less than they put in).
Here’s what he’s saying now in response:
Notice what I didn’t say. I didn’t say that the system was a fraud; I didn’t say that it would collapse. I said that in the past it had benefited from the fact that each generation paying in to the system was bigger than the generation that preceded it, and that this luxury would be ending in the years ahead.
So why did I use the P-word? Basically because Paul Samuelson had done the same; he was basically just being cute, and I was emulating him — which now turns out to be a mistake.