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Monday, April 25, 2016

Paul Krugman, "The 8 A.M. Call": Hillary Is an Economic Genius!



In a New York Times op-ed entitled "The 8 A.M. Call," Paul Krugman informs us that "[b]arring the political equivalent of a meteor strike" (Is an FBI recommendation to indict Hillary the equivalent of a meteor strike?), Hillary will be the Democratic candidate, and she will run against either Trump or Cruz. Krugman says of each of these potential candidates (my emphasis in red):

  • Clinton: "Mrs. Clinton isn’t just the most knowledgeable, well-informed candidate in this election, she’s arguably the best-prepared candidate on matters economic ever to run for president."
  • Trump: "I doubt that anyone will be shocked if I say that Mr. Trump doesn’t know much about economic policy, or for that matter any kind of policy. He still seems to imagine, for example, that China is taking advantage of America by keeping its currency weak — which was true once upon a time, but bears no resemblance to current reality."
  • Cruz: "He chose, as his senior economic adviser, Phil Gramm — an architect of financial deregulation who helped set the stage for the 2008 crisis, then dismissed warnings of recession when that crisis came, calling America a 'nation of whiners.' Mr. Cruz is, in other words, a man of firm economic convictions — convictions that are utterly divorced from reality and impervious to evidence, to a degree that’s unusual even among Republicans.

Got it: Only Republicans are given to fanciful economic thinking. However, it was none other than Krugman who wrote in an October 6, 2011 New York Times op-ed entitled "Confronting the Malefactors":

"Occupy Wall Street is starting to look like an important event that might even eventually be seen as a turning point.

. . . .

It’s clear what kinds of things the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators want, and it’s really the job of policy intellectuals and politicians to fill in the details."

And then there was Krugman's trillion dollar coin proposal, which even Jon Stewart labeled a "stupid f#cking idea."

Or stated otherwise, there are those who might justifiably question Krugman's grip on economic reality.

But maybe Paul is correct in his claim that Hillary is the "best-prepared candidate on matters economic ever to run for president." After all, she has proven extraordinarily adept over the past few years at milking the system for millions of dollars by lecturing to multinational corporations anxious to gain the benefit of her economic acumen. (Of course, there was no possibility that her lectures amounted to one big influence peddling scheme.) And then there was the "expertise" she displayed by turning a $1,000 investment in commodities futures into a gain of nearly $100,000 within 10 months. (Here, too, there was no chance of foul play.) Hillary's just one heck of an economic wizard.

Cruz's economic adviser, Phil Gramm, helped set the stage for the 2008 crisis? Oh really? And all this while I thought that it was President Bill Clinton who repealed Glass-Steagall, thereby setting the stage for the 2008 economic debacle.

And so it goes: On Sunday, we were told by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof that Hillary doesn't lie much given the records of other politicians, and today we have Paul Krugman telling us that Hillary is an economic genius. Spare me!

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