Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One More Big Difference

Here's Krugman:

Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously. I know we’re supposed to pretend that both sides always have a point; but the truth is that most of the time they don’t. The parties are not equally irresponsible; Rachel Maddow isn’t Glenn Beck; and a conservative blog, almost by definition, is a blog written by someone who chooses not to notice that asymmetry. And life is short.

Well said, Professor.

But the rational progressive vs irresponsible right is not the difference I mean.

Click Krugman's embedded link on you'll find a graph of federal debt as a fraction of GDP.  This is striking.  From the end of WW II until about the beginning of the Ford admin, debt/GDP shrank from almost 1.1 to about 0.25.  It essentially doubled to about 0.49 under Reagan and Bush 1.  Clinton brought it down to about 0.33.  I'm surprised to see it didn't grown much through most of the Shrub admin. Then it went vertical through the Great Recession.

The Rethugs have been guilty of grotesque fiscal irresponsibility since Reagan.  Clinton, for all his imperfections, was a far better steward of the nation's wealth and resources than any president since Johnson.

But we all knew that, didn't we. 


BadTux said...

Alan Greenspan called Clinton "the best Republican President since Eisenhower" because he actually did all the things that Republicans *say* they stand for, but never *do*. And for that crime, he was nearly hounded out of office by the GOP.

Jazzbumpa said...

Most people aren't aware of Greenspan saying that, and I was actually saying it about Clinton long before I realized I was channeling the great villain of the Shrub pseudo-prosperity.

Back in the day, I was genuinely perplexed abut Rethug hatred of Clinton, since he really did implement what they CLAIMED their policies were. I was quite apolitical for most of my life. The Clinton impeachment woke me up, and Shrub radicalized me.


BadTux said...

Off topic, but I think you'll be interested in this article about whether FDR was influenced by Keynes. Turns out that FDR did meet Keynes, but afterwards complained "I didn't understand a thing the man said, he appears to be a mathematician, not an economist" and mostly followed the advice of his other economists -- many of whom *did* understand what Keynes was saying, at least when it came to the need for jobs and government spending to create said jobs.

Too bad we have no such leader today. Sigh. WASF.

- Badtux the History Penguin