This article was first published in the American Thinker blog on July 6, 2011 as Krugman’s Con. It is reprinted here with Mr. Krugman’s statements indented for easier reading.
by Robert R. Barker
Taking Paul Krugman apart is such a simple task. No other person can be so wrong so many times on so many things in just a single sentence.
Watching the evolution of economic discussion in Washington over the past couple of years has been a disheartening experience. Month by month, the discourse has gotten more primitive; with stunning speed, the lessons of the 2008 financial crisis have been forgotten, and the very ideas that got us into the crisis – regulation is always bad, what’s good for the bankers is good for America, tax cuts are the universal elixir – have regained their hold.
No one ever said “regulation is always bad,” except a few Democrats when they want to slander conservatives. Good regulation is part of the Rule of Law applauded by the Right. Only bad regulations are bad, and there are plenty of them.
No one ever said “what’s good for the banker’s is good for America.” Here Krugman seems to be making a play on a famous comment Charlie Wilson’s made in 1955 when he was president of General Motors. Wilson is said to have said — What’s good for General Motors is good for America. But there’s one problem. Wilson never said that. What he actually said was quite the opposite — What’s good for America is good for General Motors. It was a statement of acquiescence that the Left twisted to look like one of arrogance. Are we to believe that the Nobel Prize winning economist didn’t know that?
No one ever said tax cuts, or the lack thereof, had anything to do with the 2008 financial crisis. Very few voices have called for tax cuts since 2008. What the Right argues is that raising taxes during periods of recession can be disastrous. If the Bush tax rates had not been extended, tax rates would be higher in 2011 than in 2010. Only a Democrat could call that a tax cut.
Why should anyone believe that handing even more money to corporations, no strings attached, would lead to faster job creation?
This sort of notion is born of the belief that all money belongs to the government. The issue here is not about money given to corporations by the government; it’s about how much of the money a corporation earns should the corporation be allowed to keep.
Consider first the arguments Republicans are using to defend outrageous tax loopholes. How can people simultaneously demand savage cuts in Medicare and Medicaid and defend special tax breaks favoring hedge fund managers and owners of corporate jets?
“Outrageous tax loopholes” is such an oft repeated mantra of the Left that it should be hyphenated. A loophole is an unintended path of avoidance. What Krugman is alluding to is the accelerated rate of depreciation offered as an incentive for investment in equipment. It was part of the stimulus package promoted by President Obama. It’s not a loophole; it was very much intended.
That only covers the first 3 paragraphs of Krugman’s article. It’s enough.