Politics & Media
Jan 26, 2009, 10:40AM

Fear the Krugman

When it comes to fixing our economy, there is little time for divisive hyperbole. That Paul Krugman is taking off the gloves is not a good sign.

Paul Krugman is pissed off. The New York Times columnist and Princeton economics professor with a Nobel Prize sitting on his mantle writes in this weekend's paper that conservative arguments against the recently proposed $825 billion economic stimulus plan are not only wrong, but disingenuous and misleading. There are what he calls political "cheap shots", and then there are the truly misleading claims:

...the obvious cheap shots don't pose as much danger to the Obama administration's efforts to get a plan through as arguments and assertions that are equally fraudulent but can seem superficially plausible to those who don't know their way around economic concepts and numbers. So as a public service, let me try to debunk some of the major antistimulus arguments that have already surfaced. Any time you hear someone reciting one of these arguments, write him or her off as a dishonest flack.

That an economist of Krugman's stature would feel provoked enough to dismiss his opponents as "dishonest flacks" is a strong indicator of how much trouble our economy is in. Here's hoping that Obama heeds the call, albeit with a bit more emotional restraint.

  • One, Paul Krugman took off the gloves when he was born. His column in today's Times is, whether or you not you agree with it, consistent with his take-no-prisoners columns that he's written for the Times for the past eight years. I don't agree with Krugman at all, but it's misleading to suggest that he's become hyper-partisan all of a sudden. Remember, this is the guy who said the Enron scandal would be historically far more significant than the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

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