Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Has there ever been an economist more insouciant about actual numbers?

Whew…Krugman’s really on a bender today. If his column was a man walking down the street, mothers would be shielding their children and crossing the street in a quick trot. The Krugman article would be muttering to itself, raving like a Lyndon Larouche pamphlet, and making no sense whatsoever. This paragraphed Bowery Bum would grab men roughly by the lapels and scream: “The End is Near!”

For you see, only Paul Krugman – the ever-perceptive! – can see the gathering dangers around us:

And this was part of a larger con. What's playing out in America right now is the bait-and-switch strategy known on the right as "starve the beast." The ultimate goal is to slash government programs that help the poor and the middle class, and use the savings to cut taxes for the rich. But the public would never vote for that.

So the right has used deceptive salesmanship to undermine tax enforcement and push through upper-income tax cuts.
And now that deficits have emerged, the right insists that they are the result of runaway spending, which must be curbed.

Foolish humans! Can’t you see the fiendish plans the Republican have put in motion?

It’s all about the tax cuts for the “rich” says Krugman along with a willful curtailing of tax enforcement. That’s the only thing driving up the deficit to record levels. All that so-called “spending”? – an illusion!

Is domestic spending really exploding? Think about it: farm subsidies aside, which domestic programs have received lavish budget increases over the last three years? Education? Don't be silly: No Child Left Behind is rapidly turning into a sick joke.

Surely even Paul Krugman has heard of the Internet (aka the “Web”). Sometimes when you’re looking for statistics to shore up an argument, the “Web” is just the ticket! Look at what I found in about twenty seconds of searching: the Department of Education budgets for the last 25 years.

Dept. of Education appropriations in 2000 (last Clinton budget): $38.4 billion
Dept. of Ed spending in 2001 (first Bush budget): $42.1 billion (+10%)
Dept. of Ed spending in 2002: $56.2 billion (+33%)
Dept. of Ed spending in 2003: $63.2 billion (+12%)
Total increase from 2000-2003: +65%

Is this “exploding” spending? Krugman says “Don’t be silly.”

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