by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
Mitch’s post “When deficits matter” quotes Kevin Williamson of National Review Online on the topic of Paul Krugman’s sudden (and I mean sudden) about-face on deficit spending. A snippet:
On October 23, 2016, Professor Krugman wrote that the “debt scolds should be ignored,” and that Hillary Rodham Clinton, then presumed to be the next president, should engage in “years of deficit-financed infrastructure spending, if she can.” A grand total of 78 days later, Professor Krugman declared, “Deficits matter again.”
Such a nakedly partisan reversal as this doesn’t surprise Locker Room readers. They probably remember this:
Leftist economist Paul Krugman is a noted practitioner of the politically expedient reversal. E.g., is Social Security a “Ponzi game” (1996) or is calling it a Ponzi game just the “nonsense” of “decades of scare-mongering about Social Security’s future from conservative ideologues” (2008)? Wasn’t Ronald Reagan a supply-sider — or is it that, now that Reagan’s popularity and economic results have stood the test of time while the Krugman-cherished Keynesian superstition fails once more, Reagan was actually a Keynesian, no, seriously?
Or this: Krugman holds that generous unemployment benefits encourage jobless workers to stay unemployed, rather than taking available jobs — when it’s for his macroeconomics textbook. When it’s for his New York Times column blasting North Carolina, however, cutting back on generous unemployment benefits is cruel and mean spirited and will swell the ranks of the unemployed.
Krugman was so far off base with his predictions about North Carolina that he had to pretend they didn’t even exist. That had to be supremely difficult.
But perhaps no task is too tough for “Krugtron the Invincible.”