Tag Archives: Paul Krugman

Today’s biggest deficit problem: A Clueless America

Paul Krugman wondered what a poll would look like asking people what has happened to the federal budget deficit over the past three years or so, while writing about Rand Paul either lying or being unforgivably ignorant about this issue.

He linked to a poll from 1996 showing the public wrongly “knowing” that the budget deficit had increased during the Clinton years when it had plummeted and then turned into a surplus.

Google jumped in and ran a survey which showed similar results: a plurality of Americans believe that the budget deficit has “increased a lot” since 2010, when in fact it has fallen from $1.3 trillion in late 2009 to an estimated $700 billion by the end of this year. Only 11.8% of Americans correctly know that the deficit is plummeting.

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Five more points on Mitt Romney’s plan to nowhere

Paul Krugman takes Mitt Romney’s five point plan and addresses it point-by-point, but I think there’s a lot more to be said than can fit comfortably into a paragraph each. The White House did the same thing, which I haven’t read.

Here are the points, Krugman’s take, and my take below that.

First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables.

Krugman’s take: “This describes what Romney wants to see happen, not what he’d do to make it happen. But to the extent it means anything, it means scrapping environmental protection so that we can drill, baby, drill. Why doesn’t he say that? Because voters care about the environment.”

My take: I’m not sure where these Romney points originated so I can’t blame the Romney campaign for making such a simple geography error, but it’s pretty embarrassing regardless. “North America” is a continent that includes 23 sovereign nations including Canada, the United States of America, Cuba, and Mexico. Neither Mitt Romney nor Barack Obama decides energy policy for North America.

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