Hilarious! Krugman in his never ending wail against the imaginary “austerity” measures being taken makes some patently absurd statements as “proofs” against commonly held thoughts regarding debt and deficits.
He offers these arguments…..
Let’s start with the common claim that stimulus programs never go away.
In the United States, government spending programs designed to boost the economy are in fact rare — F.D.R.’s New Deal and President Obama’s much smaller Recovery Act are the only big examples. And neither program became permanent — in fact, both were scaled back much too soon.
Well, yes and no. The programs ended, but the spending never did. I can’t imagine someone who purports to be knowledgeable about such issues never bothering to look at the facts.
In the years of 2008 and 2009 the US government embarked on unparalleled bailouts and stimulus programs. By the end of 2009 we had increased our annual spending by nearly $1 trillion. And even though all of those programs have supposedly ended by now, we’re still spending at those levels! And worse, we now planning on spending even more.
In Krugman’s delusional world, this stimulus ended way too soon! And, yet, the government is still spending at the stimulus level!
But, even more, here is the historical ending of government spending since FDR.
Yeh, Paul, you delusional nutter, we stop spending way too soon, if we had ever, you know, in fact, stopped spending. Throughout this graph, you can see when the imaginary slashers of government spending have caused recovery to by stymied too soon.
Krugman then offers “proof” about programs which “end”.
What about programs designed to aid those hurt by a depressed economy? Don’t they become permanent fixtures? Again, no. Unemployment benefits have fluctuated up and down with the business cycle, and as a percentage of G.D.P. they are barely half what they were at their recent peak. Food stamp usage is still rising, thanks to a still-terrible labor market, but historical experience suggests that it too will fall sharply if and when the economy really recovers.
It is true, unemployment benefits will go up and down by the very nature of the program. I don’t believe anyone argues that isn’t the case. But, that’s a leftist for you, they create strawmen arguments in order to win the argument. But, in the case of food stamps, or what is currently known as SNAP, he’s simply ignoring reality. In fact, if one follows his link, he demonstrates his reality avoidance. He graphs this……
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not arguing the virtues of the Food Stamp program. I’m just pointing out that Krugman is delusional or dishonest. Likely both. Here, Krugman is showing costs. Sure, it may temporarily drop back down. But, to pretend that the costs aren’t going to generally increase as time progresses is to ignore the very history he’s graphed. Let’s look at it in another manner.
The numbers are in thousands. Source. Again, sure, if the economy turns around we can expect to see the number of participants decline a bit. Is it going to decline below the levels of the late 90s? Of course, not. This program, left alone, will only continue to increase has it has since its inception. The very nature of this program requires an ever expanding participation. Population growth and the relative definition of poverty means that this program will only grow.
Again, one can argue the merits of the program, but pretending that it well just go away when the economy recovers is delusional.
I can’t figure out if Krugman just doesn’t understand or if he intentionally misleads people. The people concerned about our deficits aren’t talking about what’s happening right now, they’re looking to prevent a crisis which is occurring in Europe right now.
There’s nothing more harmful than just throwing money away on interest of money borrowed with no plan to repay it. Here is some very optimistic projections.
In just 5 years, our interest payments will be more than our welfare budget. Interest payments are money you can’t do anything with. Already we spending over $200 billion a year on interest alone. Paul, what could we do with an extra $200 billion laying around? This is more than twice the amount we’re spending on Foodstamps. But, it is because of such programs and lack of fiscal oversight that this has occurred, thanks to the likes of Krugman. It is his advocacy which prevents the government from helping in a responsible manner.