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Paul Krugman's Stunning Economics Lesson - Denial of the Obvious

Paul Krugman Preaches the Mantra of, "Don't Worry, Be Happy": The National Debt and Spending are Not Problems! Oh Yes They Are, Professor!

With due respect to the intellectual syndicated columnist Paul Krugman, his column in Saturday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other essays he has written cause me to conclude that he resides in another universe.

Here are some excerpts from Krugman's "pearls of wisdom":

"The budget deficit isn't our biggest problem, by a long shot. Furthermore, it's a problem that is already, to a large degree, solved...The deficit will come down as the economy recovers...will economic recovery be enough to stabilize the fiscal outlook? The answer is, pretty much... the budget outlook for the next 10 years doesn't look at all alarming...Now, projections that run further into the future do suggest trouble, as an aging population and rising health care costs continue to push federal spending higher. But here's a question you almost never see seriously addressed: Why, exactly, should we believe that it's necessary, or even possible, to decide right now how we will eventually address the budget issues of the 2030s?...At this point, "reform" proposals are all about things like raising the retirement age or changing the inflation adjustment, moves that would gradually reduce benefits relative to current law. What problem is this supposed to solve?...The point is that the case for urgent action now to reduce spending decades in the future is far weaker than conventional rhetoric might lead you to suspect...So, no big problem in the medium term, no strong case for worrying now about long-run budget issues....neither the current deficit nor projected future spending deserve to be anywhere near the top of our political agenda..."

This is apparently the credo of, "We are doing just fine now (wrong), but if we ever run into a problem, we will deal with it then. Kick the can farther and farther down the road!"

Professor Krugman writes this as the national debt (that which is on the books) crashes through $16.4 trillion, an increase in the debt ceiling is imperative, and we have unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs that have been estimated at $86.8 trillion.

I find it chilling that this man teaches economics to impressionable students! Can he be charged with educational malpractice?

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DanielBosh January 23, 2013 at 02:08 AM
Anybody who asks if they can presume something shouldn't be take seriously. It's inherent in presuming that you haven't sought or asked for a definitive answer. Once you've asked you're no longer presuming. So the answer to your question is that no, you can longer presume that. What you meant to say is "is it fair to presume..." Remember this is the same guy who thought that going over the fiscal cliff would add to the deficit. He's a real authority on public finance.
greg January 23, 2013 at 02:36 AM
It is amazing that in our personal affairs we would never want to leave our children our debts but as a country we are OK with living it up on our children s and grandchildren s dime. How exactly are we rationalizing that?
Roger January 24, 2013 at 10:46 AM
With the vote yesterday, Game Over. Daniel, you are right, there is no need to presume. We know that Paul Krugman, plus many others, need a fund for buying new shoes.
Michele Baum January 24, 2013 at 04:40 PM
It's not like we're starting from zero. Just how are we NOT paying the bills from our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents now? Very, very few people are "living it up." I have yet to meet a poor/disabled/otherwise social-services needing person who relishes the lifestyle. A lot of people on these boards want the government to cut spending on entitlements and cite fraud and waste. Fine. Cut them all. Let's have a means test for Social Security and Medicare recipients to start on some of that waste. Aggressively investigate and prosecute cheats big and small to cut fraud. Evaluate programs using objective, rational metrics with which to base decisions about continued funding. Move on to meaningful tax reform that proportionally shares the burden among business, industry, nonprofits, and citizens. Next step? Wake up because it's a dream.
greg January 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM
I am 54 and do not recall being left a 16 trillion plus deficit. I do remember 3% unemployment, adequate government safety nets and good paying jobs that could support a one income family. Lets not make tough decisions and fight our way back, lets have more government healthcare (it is your birthright), more Obama phones, more free contraception, more daycare for families forced to have 2 person incomes to make ends meet. As long as the Chinese will lend us money to spend like the guy who makes 50k/year and spends 80k/year lets just stay the course,

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