Pwning Krugman

Mar 5 2013 @ 12:28pm

In some ways, they are talking past each other. Scarborough wants a small investment stimulus now but also wants much more serious entitlement reform later (which is my position too). I’m not sure Krugman wouldn’t be far off that either – but he wants a much bigger stimulus now and seems to argue that we can worry about long-term debt later. Part of the issue is timing: the danger of premature and overdone austerity in an economy with barely any demand to start with is under-rated on the right (and you might want to watch the Cameron government’s woes if you stick to your fiscal conservatism regardless of circumstance). But equally, the long-term debt has not been fully faced by the left and president Obama, while advocating cuts in Medicare, has yet to tackle the long term crisis with anything more than experiments in healthcare provision in the ACA (which might even be working).

Still, Scarborough came prepared and clearly prevailed over a Nobel laureate in economics. Not bad for a hack. And he’s dead right about Krugman’s contempt for those with whom he disagrees. It actually weakens his case unnecessarily. And I have to say that over the past five years, I think Krugman has been more right than wrong.