Just One Minute
Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

The Best Defense

Mickey Kaus has crushed Paul Krugman like a bug for laughable misstatements in Krugman's July 16 column. Mickey also suggests a column idea for Paul: how about some corrections, starting with this one? So when we see Krugman's latest column, titled "The Memory Hole", we are braced for a new "Truth-in-Hatcheting" initiative from the earnest Professor.

Oh, dear. Mistakes have been made, all right - by Krugman's critics. We receive a long explanation of how the OMB mis-stated some tax cut and defict ratios, and Krugman lectures them on the correct way to present a retraction. Ironists applaud in delight.

But there is always a banana peel: Krugman is back on the "Bush trifecta" story! Man, this "trifecta" thing is like watching "Friday the 13th" - it just won't die. What is Krugman's latest?:

"So what's the Chicago line? In his speeches, Mr. Bush claims to have laid out the criteria for running a deficit when visiting Chicago during the 2000 campaign. But there's no evidence that he said anything of the sort during the campaign, in Chicago or anywhere else; certainly none of the reporters who were with him can remember it. (The New Republic, which has tracked the claim, titled one of its pieces "Stop him before he lies again.") In fact, during the campaign his budget promises were unqualified, for good reason. If he had conceded that future surpluses were not guaranteed, voters might have wondered whether it was wise to lock in a 10-year tax cut."

In fact, if Krugman were reading more blogs, including the estimable "Spinsanity", he would know that the budget projections were qualified. The Washington Post reported that Lawrence Lindsay, Bush's senior economic advisor, had endorsed the trifecta language during the campaign. Wrong again, Professor, but thanks for playing. Should we look forward to another retraction?

UPDATE: More from The Master. How many mistakes has Krugman made? Maybe just one - comparing Mickey Kaus to a rhinoceros. Thick skinned, stubborn, able to make his points forcefully - go, Mickey!

UPDATE 2: Matthew Hoy always adds to the Krugman discussion.

Comments: Post a Comment