Monday, January 05, 2009

No One Ever Asked FDR For No Stinkin' Proof

I spent time on him last week, but now New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is at it again. Today, he worries that Obama's Keynesian stimulus package will be too little, too late. But what caught my eye, was this little statement here.

The biggest problem facing the Obama plan, however, is likely to be the demand of many politicians for proof that the benefits of the proposed public spending justify its costs — a burden of proof never imposed on proposals for tax cuts.

Maybe it's just me, but I don't have a problem with a world where the government doesn't need to justify reducing the tax burden of it's citizens. And maybe I'm crazy, but requiring proponents of massive government expenditures to justify that spending, with, you know, evidence, isn't such a bad idea either. But what the hell do I know, I didn't win a Nobel prize.


Anonymous rose said...

LL, help me out here because I fail to understand this stuff all the time. How does such an intelligent and educated economist arrive at these kinds of view points? He has such credibility because of who he is, yet I don't know how anyone who has a bit of understanding of the things he's talking about could even take him seriously at this point. What is his end? What is he trying to accomplish when he knowingly misleads? I'm not asking rhetorically, I really would like to understand.

9:31 AM  
Blogger lonely libertarian said...

From what I know, I believe that Krugman's academic work has focussed on international trade. And I believe he is a free trader, or at the very least, opposed to the ignorant forces of protectionism.

But I just don't know how he goes from those academic points to the nonsense he spews in his columns and his political discourse. If you read the entire column (which I don't blame you if you didn't), he distorts Friedman and claims he was wrong and uses that as evidence to support a Keynesian stimulus. He doesn't bother to actually look at the record and see that FDR's policies did absolutely nothing to end the depression.

All I can say is it's ultimately all about politics. For Krugman and those like him, the government trying to help is good and that's all there is to it. I really do wonder about intellectual honesty when it comes to the supposedly intelligent, but it's either 1- He's knowingly being dishonest or massaging the facts or 2- he's just so caught up in his political beliefs that he can't see what's going on.

Even as a strong ideologue, I must admit that I don't get it. I do approach the way I view the world with my ideology, but I don't think that ever blinds me. I can admit what government is good at and when it's efficient. But to listen to liberals, government can do no wrong. When it does, it's only because the wrong people (like George Bush) are setting policy.

12:38 PM  

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