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July 5, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Economic genius is being wasted

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I just don’t understand it.

Week after week, Paul Krugman holds forth from his column in The New York Times (and the Sun). His message is simple and powerful. All the country needs to do to get going is just to have the government print and spend money. Lots of money.

I know they read The Times in the White House. How can they ignore Dr. Krugman? All the country needs is to have Dr. Krugman appointed as the country’s chief economic adviser. I would sincerely like to see the president make that appointment.

Dr. Krugman is just too valuable a resource to ignore.

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  1. Seems to me that Obama is Krugman on steroids, The orinting presses are running at burn metal speed. That's one of the major problems we face. Currenc debasememt is a serious problem. Inhlation is something that will eat our standard of living alive. It's just around the corner, and will hit the middle class and elderly the hardest.

  2. This is a joke, right?

  3. Krugman is an advocate of Keynesian theories and policies. As pointed out here many times, Hohn Maynard Keynes, and Krugman who espouses him, believed trickle down government sparks demand and hence stimulates growth. It did once upon a time a long time ago. No more. Now people know and it doesn't. The problem with most economists and their theories is that they don't factor in that the economy is dynamic, not static. Times and events change and the once predictable outcomes are not anymore. Hence they make the same mistakes over and over.


  4. We can all agree that Krugman and his views are controversial.

    Government doesn't create jobs but government spending does. There's not a dime's worth of difference between reducing government spending by a trillion dollars and increasing taxes by a trillion dollars. Either way you've reduced demand for goods and services by a trillion dollars.

  5. I cannot know why Paul Krugman believes that we can print money as long as necessary because the the dollar is the world currency and that inflation and the debasement of our own currency will never take place.

    I also cannot know why President Obama and others believe that they can continue to operate with budgets that contain spending increases that far outpace increased taxes and spending reductions and not debase our own currency and bring on crushing inflation in the future.

    These beliefs may be born of ignorance or they may have a goal. I do believe this though. Whether President Obama gets the majority of what he wants or we go over the fiscal cliff, our economy is going to get worse.

    Ann Coulter said recently that the Republicans should compromise with President Obama and she was attacked by Conservatives. Ms Coulter is correct. If Republicans compromise and make it clear that they are doing so ONLY to avoid the fiscal cliff and not because they believe in Krugman's theories or President Obama's proposals, when the economy is still very slow in a year, they will be in a position to lead the country in another direction.

    I've said many times that Americans are not ready to do the tough stuff necessary to solve our problems. Too many of us are still doing too well. A year or two more of this and I believe enough of us will be ready for some tough medicine. Let the President have most of what he wants. It isn't going to work. Then, perhaps, finally, we can begin to take the medicine necessary to begin to undo what all the unpaid for spending has caused.

    If Republicans 'Stand on Principal', the Principle President Obama will make sure they are remembered for is 'protecting the wealthy over all else' and they will get the blame for a bad economy. Ms. Colter is being 'practical', which is what the Republicans should be, both for the good of the country and the good of their own party.


  6. "There's not a dime's worth of difference between reducing government spending by a trillion dollars and increasing taxes by a trillion dollars. Either way you've reduced demand for goods and services by a trillion dollars." @Jim Weber

    Gross Domestic Product [GDP], the accepted standard and measure of US economic growth [and most other economies of the world], is comprised two-thirds of consumer spending. [Not government spending]. If you take more away from consumers in taxes [to be spent by the government], you lessen their after tax discretionary income to purchase goods and services and invest. The economic consequence is that GDP stays flat, goes down, but certainly does not go up. That's exactly where the US is and has been since 2009. Despite all the Government stimulus and Fed Reserve quantative easing to infinity. So what does the President propose: Higher taxes. More keynesian kabuki ala Dr. Paul Krugman and company.


  7. Michael

    Bad policy is bad policy regardless of whether it is popular or not. On principle, stand firm. On fad, go along.


  8. Ed Dornlas, Las Vegas,

    Comedy hour at best.

    You guys and gals know Ed is being sarcastic, cynical, and suggestive at the same time. And showing the road to high inflation.

  9. The Sun shouldn't print letters without being explicit that the author is being sarcastic or they should leave it to the professional comics territory. Meanwhile, Carmine is an expert an economics. Now THAT's funny!

  10. This sort of letter is entirely typical of conservatives living in their bubble. They have no data to support their "theories" (read, "ideology"), so they resort to name calling and ridicule of a Nobel laureate.

    It's equally transparent and pathetic.

  11. Emthree,

    The comments by Ed Dornlas are wasted space.

  12. Carmine,

    The country is in the midst of a political and ideological 'war'. In a 'war' it is sometimes necessary to determine if it is better to retreat a little, in order to be able to fight another day, or to charge ahead into almost certain defeat.

    Ann Coulter, to her credit, understands the distinction. She believes that President Obama's policies will be unsuccessful and will not lead to economic recovery. She also understands that Republicans are not well thought of by many Americans and that they just lost an election to a man who should have lost with this poor an economy.

    She is arguing for Republicans to place themselves in a position where they cannot so easily be 100 % blamed when the President's policies are not successful and they cannot so successfully be portrayed as only caring about the wealthy.

    The Republicans can stand on principal if they wish, but if they do, without compromise, they will likely be successfully portrayed as the 'cause', when the economy does not improve and also as a party that is out for the rich, and not the country as a whole. Some Conservatives, like Colter and Bill Crystal see what is happening with a clear and practical eye. Other Conservatives need to see it as well, and act accordingly.


  13. What I like about critics of Krugman is that they invariably mischaracterize and oversimplify his thinking -- and then offer nothing in response. If the debate was happening in a University's physics department, it would sound something like this:

    "Einstein's quantum theory holds that light is made up of thousands of tiny glowing unicorns, which we all know is incorrect because Albert is a poopy-head."

  14. Michael,

    Your referencing Ann Coulter for support? Michael, really?

  15. LastThrows,

    Nobody that is fair can argue that the Republicans really screwed things up. But now, we have to take the critical look at the Democrats and President Obama that we didn't with the Republicans.

    The plan presented by President Obama has additional spending that far outpaces any spending reductions and revenue from tax increases. There are few changes to SS or Medicare, only promises to address them 'later'.

    I have no problem with people who don't like or trust Republicans, but really... the plan offered by President Obama is not a very good plan.


  16. Longtimevegan,

    I would positively reference anyone, including Paul Krugman, when I think they are correct. Anyone can be wrong on many things, but it doesn't mean they can't be right on some things. Coulter's advice to Republicans is correct in my opinion.

    The Presidents plan needs much higher taxes on many more Americans, much less new spending, more reductions in spending in more places or a combination of all three, to be a viable plan.

    Coulter believes that and so do I. She also believes he will be unsuccessful even if he gets most of what he proposes. I also agree with that, unless he does much more unpopular stuff than he is letting on.

    When what he tries is unsuccessful, Colter thinks the Republicans should put themselves in a place to say: We disagreed with President Obama, but he won the election, so we cooperated as much as we could for the good of the country, and we can all see the results and they are not good.

    Longtimevegan... This is exactly the strategy the Democrats used against the Republicans... and it worked beautifully.

    I'm sure you are convinced the President's policies will work and if they do, Republicans will be on the outs for a long time, and rightfully so. But if the Republicans obstruct so he can't implement his policies, they will be blamed for the out come.

    If Republican's REALLY believe Obama's policies will fail, if implemeted, as I do, they should let him implement them. Them when they do fail, he will take the blame, as he should.

    You may not like Colter and I often disagree with her, but in this case, she is correct.


  17. Mark,

    Paul Krugman has an economic theory. Some economists and others subscribe to it and others do not. Some people who argue against it offer nothing in response, but many others offer an alternative theory that you and others just disagree with.

    Those are the facts.


  18. Notacon,

    There are many accomplished economists in this country with Krugman among them. What is it that makes his theory the only one worth listening to?

    If you believe Krugman, fine; many people do, but that doesn't automatically make everyone else's opinion worthless.


  19. "Carmine is an expert an economics. Now THAT's funny!" @Mark Schaffer

    And also the advantage of being true.


  20. "If Republicans compromise and make it clear that they are doing so ONLY to avoid the fiscal cliff and not because they believe in Krugman's theories or President Obama's proposals, when the economy is still very slow in a year, they will be in a position to lead the country in another direction."


    The question to ask is how can the Republicans do this? Compromise but stand on principle? My recommendation, and it is difficult if not impossible, is that Republicans in both Houses of Congress vote present on bad economy policy. Read more of the same old same old. And let the chips lie where they fall.


  21. Carmine,

    I don't see how this is hard to follow. To the extent they could, Republicans obstructed Obama from 2010 to 2012. The economy was still pretty bad in 2012. Obama simply said that the economy is improving and will improve more if Republicans stop obstructing and cooperate. He further said the Republicans ideas were the same ones that caused the mess in the first place. What happened? Obama won an election he should have lost.

    What is different now? The economy is improving but is still bad. Obama proposes a plan. You argue that Republicans should obstruct again. Obama will again claim things would be better if Republicans cooperated instead of obstructed. Obama can't run again but another Democrat can and Republicans can lose the House in 2014 if Obama's strategy today works as well as it did in 2012.

    What is the saying: insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.


  22. Jeff,

    She is to be ignored because she is near fifty and childless? She only commands attention because she doesn't look like Madeleine Albright? REALLY?

    Surely, you can do better than that. How about addressing the points I made?


  23. Michael wrote some vague things...and so did Carmine.

  24. Future,

    I don't disagree that Obama got some of what he wanted, but he didn't get the jobs plan he wanted and he didn't get more stimulus spending that he also wanted. The Republicans did obstruct.

    I'm not defending him or his policies. I am however pointing out that enough Americans believed Republicans obstructed Obama that it helped him win re-election. The Republican argument in 2012 was: Look at what he did. Look at the results. Obama's argument was: Things are improving and would be better if Republicans stopped obstructing. Their ideas were tried and they failed.

    Which argument won? Obama's did and still many are arguing for the same strategy to continue.

    It Republicans really believe Obama policies are going to fail, the best way to prove it to our thick headed electorate is to let him implement his policies, take away his excuses for poor performance and let the people see the results.


  25. Jeff,

    If you want to name call instead of engage on what I said, there isn't much else to say.

    Have a nice day...


  26. Notacon,

    It's pretty obvious that we can't spend and not tax enough to pay for it, which we did under Republicans.

    To me at least it's equally obvious that we can't continue to spend and then not tax enough, which is what the Obama and Democrat plan calls for.

    However you slice it and dice it, we still don't have our act together. I think we have much to criticize about how our government implements economic policy, whether it is based on what Paul Krugman believes or what Art Laffer believes.


  27. Milton is my hero.

  28. Future,

    I'm not advocating that Republicans capitulate. I am arguing that they compromise as little as possible but enough to get a deal that avoids the fiscal cliff. That, in my opinion, would be the best course for America and for the Republican party, given the circumstance at this moment.

    I understand the desire of not violating principal but practicality must also be a consideration. Republican actions put both the country and their party in the place we all find ourselves.


  29. Notacon,



  30. The letter is satirical. Nothing more or less. If the letter is "for real" the writer needs to get their head examined.

  31. Michael:

    The truth and facts are simple to follow. You don't vote for bad policy just to be popular and get along. That's suicide, not just for the party but the country. If that is the standard for decision making [popularity and not principle], then the GOP, and whoever does so, will most defintely lose. You've read "Profiles in Courage," by JFK. It may be time for Republicans and others to do so again.


  32. "You argue that Republicans should obstruct again."
    @ Michael

    That presumes that I believe they did before. And I don't. One example, Obamacare for instance was and still is bad policy. The Republicans were right not to go along. It has and will be a millstone around the neck of most Americans, the country and the economy.


  33. "What is the saying: insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.


    That's exactly what President Obama's policies, led on by Dr. Krugman and the keynesians, are doing. Not the GOP, UNLESS AND UNTIL, THEY SIGN ON TOO.


  34. Still waiting for the House Republicans to vote on the Senate approved bill, extending the Bush Tax cuts for 98% of Americans.

  35. Michael,

    You could have made your point without referencing Ann Coulter. Bad choice.

  36. "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.."

    This is the GOP practiced since Bush stole the White House.

  37. Longtimevegan,

    Whether Coulter made it or someone else, the point is valid.


  38. Michael wrote,


    Whether Coulter made it or someone else, the point is valid."

    Michael, I believe the Truth spoken by anyone will be heard.

    However, in Ann Coulter's case, it is a truth should does not believe or practice. She's in the business of selling philosophy and opinions generated by others. She then repackages and presents as her own. She's a TV personality packaged for the week-day and Sunday talk shows. If not for Foxnews, she would not be noticed.

    Ann Coulter, bad choice.