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.