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The Perpetual Dishonesty of Paul Krugman
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, June 19, 2006

Greg Mankiw finds a good example of Paul Krugman's selective memory...
George Bush at the 2004 Republican Convention:
We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account — a nest egg you can call your own, and government can never take away.
Paul Krugman in today's NY Times:
...in 2004, President Bush basically ran as America's defender against gay married terrorists. He waited until after the election to reveal that what he really wanted to do was privatize Social Security.
Perhaps Krugman missed all of the Kerry/Bush debates, in which Bush said things like "I believe that younger workers ought to be allowed to take some of their own money and put it in a personal savings account..." Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he missed that. And perhaps Paul Krugman also missed this quote from 2004...
If Mr. Bush wins in November, we can be sure that they will move forward on privatization — the creation of personal retirement accounts.
....which was written by a fellow named Paul Krugman.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Social Security reform was one of the reasons I voted for Bush in 2000.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Another example of Krugman’s selective memory of his own written words here. Read the first part, then read the last paragraph of the post.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Krugman is only six months away from being right for a change!

Seriously though, with the plethora of his own words as ammunition against Krugman, do we really need to turn to Greg Mankiw who quite possibly may be the only economist who’s been more wrong?
 
Written By: davebo
URL: http://
Hey thats NOTHING! Krugman has also forgotten basic Economics, and the simple relationship of supply to demand.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
What an unsatisfying display inductive reasoning.

"Personal savings account" does not mean investment in private companies.

And then Krugman’s apparent speculation to suggest President Bush’s full disclosure...amazing.

To make your point, find a statement by President Bush that directly implies investment of taxes in private companies before the election.

I’m not a Kruger fan or a Bush hater, but this post has good inspiration without real follow through.
 
Written By: David
URL: http://
OUCH!
 
Written By: slickdpdx
URL: http://knownunknowns.blogspot.com
Seriously though, with the plethora of his own words as ammunition against Krugman, do we really need to turn to Greg Mankiw who quite possibly may be the only economist who’s been more wrong?
I’ve no doubt that Mr Mankiw has been wrong about various things, but did you have anything specific in mind? And I ought to remind you that, while Mankiw served as head of the CEA under the Bush administration, that is not a policy-setting role. If you disagree with Bush administration policies, that doesn’t make Mankiw wrong.
"Personal savings account" does not mean investment in private companies. [...] To make your point, find a statement by President Bush that directly implies investment of taxes in private companies before the election.
I’m sure you know full well that Bush tried to avoid the word "privatization" because of how the word was perceived. I’m also quite sure you know full well what Bush meant by ’personal accounts’. If you’d like the chance, though, please feel free to make the case that Bush only meant non-private sector investments.

If you need help, here are some quotes...

His Social Security framework would also give all wage earners the opportunity to invest in financial assets, an opportunity that only half of Americans can now afford. [Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 29, 2003]

The President’s proposal would ensure that workers who have participated in 401(k) plans for three years are given the freedom to choose where to invest their retirement savings. The President has also proposed that choice be a feature of Social Security itself, allowing individuals to voluntarily invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts.
[Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 29, 2003]

The President’s proposals would ensure that workers can sell company stock and diversify into other investment options, minimizing their risk.
[Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 29, 2003]

But we’ll allow younger workers at their choice to invest some of their own money in the private markets to get a better rate of return so that the Social Security promise will be kept. [Source: Speech in St. Charles, MO Nov 2, 2000]
That’s a good start. It was perfectly clear from way back around 99-2000 that Bush wanted to institute personal accounts (i.e., partial quasi-SS privatization)

Paul Krugman doesn’t get to announce it as a certainty in 2004, then turn around and pretend it was suddenly sprung on the electorate in ’05.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Bush expressed support for private Social Security accounts dating back to his tenure as Governor. Krugman did not deny this.

Rather, Krugman argued that the President made little mention of private accounts during the 2004 campaign. (The issue in fact was not a major force in the outcome based on exit polls.) Consequently, there was a disconnect when the Bush suddenly rallied hard on the issue at the start of his second term.

Considering that federal lawmaking consistently addresses tax and spend issues more often than social matters, Krugman was rightly frustrated that Republican-favoring, hot button ’moral’ issues such as gay marriage disproportionately influenced the 2004 electoral season.
 
Written By: Eric
URL: http://
"At a rally in Pennsylvania last week, Mr. Bush declared, as he does at almost every campaign stop nowadays, that ’’younger workers ought to be able to take some of their taxes and set up a personal savings account, an account that they can call their own, an account that the government cannot take away and an account that they can pass on from one generation to the next.’’

—"Bush Revisiting Social Security, And Fight Is On," by Robin Toner and David Rosenbaum, New York Times, September 17, 2004, Front Page."

Yeah, Eric. Little mention of it.
 
Written By: buzz
URL: http://
You can often refute Krugman’s column with one of his past, just as you can refute the economic analysis in his columns with what he has written in his text books.
 
Written By: tom
URL: http://
"And perhaps Paul Krugman also missed this quote from 2004..."

Maybe he just missed 2004 in its entirety. Perhaps he was suffering from some kind of fever...

 
Written By: kcom
URL: http://
Sure, Krigman’s a hypocrite. But that won’t affect his careeer/audience one iota. What matters is telling a certain group (you know who they are) what they want to hear.

As long as he’s doing that, not only won’t factual omossions and distortions matter, but the RIGHT omissions and distortions (such as the one cited in this post) are crucial in maintaining the attention and support of his readership. Indeed, Krugmanites such as David (in your earlier comments) will twist themselves into pretzels to justify him, since he in turn justifies them.
 
Written By: Mr. Snitch!
URL: http://mistersnitch.blogspot.com/
Never mix facts and Krugman columns. Like oil and water.
 
Written By: Crank
URL: http://www.baseballcrank.com
"Sure, Krigman’s a hypocrite. But that won’t affect his careeer/audience one iota. What matters is telling a certain group (you know who they are) what they want to hear.

As long as he’s doing that, not only won’t factual omossions and distortions matter, but the RIGHT omissions and distortions (such as the one cited in this post) are crucial in maintaining the attention and support of his readership. Indeed, Krugmanites such as David (in your earlier comments) will twist themselves into pretzels to justify him, since he in turn justifies them."


An excellent comment bears repeating. Eric above is another pretzel.

For some reason, the fact that Jon makes this point brings joy to my heart. Jon loves the NYT, or used to. I used to as well - back before it became a ... well, just what has it become?
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://

 
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