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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Nicholas Kristof, "Romney’s Economic Model": Kristof Not Destined for a Nobel Prize in Economics

You know Obama is in dire straits when Nicholas Kristof of all people, who knows nothing about economics, feels compelled to echo Paul Krugman's condemnation of "austerity" and demean Romney's "economic model."

In his latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Romney’s Economic Model" (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/opinion/kristof-romneys-economic-plan.html?_r=0), Kristof begins by acknowledging that Obama's economic record has not met anyone's expectations:

"Mitt Romney’s best argument on the campaign trail has been simple: Under President Obama, the American economy has remained excruciatingly weak, far underperforming the White House’s own projections.

That’s a fair criticism."

Actually, Romney's best argument extends far beyond this criticism: In these dire times, Obama is currently not proffering any economic model whatsoever to the American electorate.

Kristof, however, argues that "Republican-style austerity" has not worked in Europe and would be disastrous in the US:

"So, yes, Republicans have a legitimate point about the long-term need to curb deficits and entitlement growth. But, no, it isn’t reasonable for Republicans to advocate austerity in the middle of a downturn. On that, they’re empirically wrong."

Query: Where in Kristof's opinion piece is there any mention of America's $16 trillion federal debt or how it will ever be paid off. Sure, no one wants to curb spending "in the middle of a downturn," but you can't spend what you will never have, unless, of course, you intend to print money.

Do Americans really want the federal government to determine who is the beneficiary of additional deficit spending? Consider the Solyndra and A123 fiascos. The money spent by the Obama administration on green jobs, i.e. a cool $1 million per job, even dwarfs the money Obama tried to spend on job creation via his American Jobs Act, i.e. $344,000 per unsustainable job.

Economics is obviously not Kristof's forte. I think it's time for Nicholas to say goodbye to his investment banker wife and head out once more to the wilds of Afghanistan, from whence he can again extol the virtues of Greg Mortenson (see: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-con-man-and-his-pet-columnist/).

Or perhaps he would again like to explain to us how "chemicals threaten our bodies" (our bodies, of course, consist entirely of chemicals) and how we should "Avoid meats that are cooked well-done" (see: (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/06/opinion/06kristof.html).

There are few bright lights left on the op-ed page of the Times, and Kristof is plainly one of the dimmer ones.

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