No, Krugman is not giving up.

Today, the American Thinker site posted a ‘nice’ little screed attacking Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist, Princeton professor and NYTimes columnist. Basically, it claims that Krugman is a coward for limiting, not censoring please note, the size of comments posted on his blog. We’ve all seen the attacks on his and other progressive websites by the odds and sods of the right wing with various claims of total refutation and attacks of “America hater!”, so I can understand his move to constrain some of his opponents. There may also be some economic reasoning behind the newly imposed limits, the NYTimes is once again discussing the possibility of charging for article access – we’ll see – but onward to my point.

As is normal there are just a few problems with the ‘Thinker’s’ essay; amongst other mis-statements and quote mines to be found in the american non-thinker article was the following:

When Krugman repeated his claim that Bush’s tax cuts had “caused” the deficit and damaged the economy, commenters first taught Krugman how to count. They then cited two papers by the Romers showing that tax cuts help economies. Christina Romer is, of course, the chief economic advisor to President Obama.

Just a tiny problem with it, it is one of those ‘true’ statements that when the whole of the Romer’s argument is presented, the meaning is changed. It’s called “quote-mining”

First, extending the high-income tax cuts would provide very little job creation in 2011. There is widespread agreement that the short-run economic benefits of high-income tax cuts are small. The Congressional Budget Office lists a tax cut for high-income earners as a particularly ineffective job creation measure. Private sector forecasters have reached the same judgment. The vast majority of economic research shows that higher-income earners spend less of a tax cut and so tax cuts to those earners create fewer jobs throughout the economy.

That doesn’t mean that all tax cuts are ineffective in creating growth. In fact, tax cuts designed in the right way can be highly effective. That is why the President supported numerous tax cuts in the Recovery Act and why continuing the middle-class tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 is so important.


Another argument used by the Republicans – “Increasing the rate for those earning more than $250,000 will hurt small-business owners!” Which might be a good argument if a majority of small business owners made that much money. In the real world, less than 3% of small business owners reported more than $250,000 personal income. The Administration has proposed several programs to benefit real small business owners, not the millionaires who are playing legal games with their earnings. BUT, the Party of NO continues to block all attempts to fire up the economy. It really does seem like they prefer damaging America over actually helping Americans, in their efforts to regain power.
Republicans Block Bill to Aid Small Business

A chart from the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities gives us a good view of how detrimental the Bush era tax cuts have been.

CBPP graph of factors affecting deficit

Now – after screaming about deficits for months, top Republicans are saying, “Well – you know, deficits caused by tax cuts don’t really count.”

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor acknowledged this past week that the deficit would grow if the Bush tax cuts were extended — but continues to insist that keeping the tax rates low for those making more than $200,000 per year would result in job growth.

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) told Bloomberg News

“Well, as I said before, I really believe the priorities of the American people today are job creation and fiscal discipline, and I believe that it’s in that order,” the Indiana Republican said. “I think the American people know we’re never going to balance this federal budget again unless we get this economy growing. And the very idea that we would allow taxes to increase on job creators in this country on January 1st of next year, I think, is astounding to most Americans. The last thing you want to do in the worst economy in 25 years is raise taxes on people that create jobs in the city and on the farm.”

The claim that “tax cuts increase jobs” is totally absurd and is shown to be absurd by the record of the American economy since 2001.


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