Every once in a while, the political left shows its true colors such was the case with Paul Krugman during a recent appearance on MSNBC. Krugman says we don’t need to worry about cutting entitlements in the next ten years. Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough took Krugman to task in an editorial for saying that we do not need to cut federal spending. Scarborough went a step further when he reprinted the conclusions of a Rand Corporation study about the negative impact of the growing federal debt.
Scarborough’s attack on Krugman prompted an Atlantic columnist to say that Scarborough “flunked” economics for citing an economist for the proposition that our rising national debt matters. That’s become the party line at the Washington Monthly as well. There’s humor in the efforts of all these journalists to label one of their own a hack. Even more interesting was that none of these esteemed journalists managed to figure out who wrote the piece cited by Scarborough. The original author was C. Richard Neu. Neu makes a simple point: get to work on the debt.
Far from the mistakes of a freshman economics student, Neu is a Harvard Ph.D in economics. In other words, Krugman’s views disagree with a fellow international economist. Perhaps since Krugman is a graduate of Yale and MIT, this is simply another example of Ivy League tribalism.
Markets remain uncertain about the long-term trends, but they aren’t good. Without reform, the wave of baby boomer retirements will outstrip outstrip our tax base. Krugman insists we need more stimulus spending now to create jobs. Just as important is letting people know what their retirement will look like decades hence. Waiting until the crisis arrives is unconscionable.