The Paul Krugman Jeb Bush Feud Is Brilliant – Well, At Least Half Of It Is (VIDEO)

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Krugman Obama's Problem - Not Blaming Bush Enough for Recession

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman has never been a friend of the right, especially of the Bush right. Krugman is against tax cuts for the wealthy. His evidence-based opinion is that austerity doesn’t work and that helping the poor helps the economy. He also thinks Jeb Bush’s economic plan is rubbish.

In a Voters First Forum in New Hampshire, Bush was asked about the economy. He said that he could get the GDP growth to 4 percent instead of 2 percent. Well, his brother had an average GDP of 1.6, so we’ll leave that there for a minute.

We don’t know for sure that Jeb Bush would have the exact same economic policies as his brother, but he did hire one of his brother’s economic advisors. He also regurgitates the tired old talking points about economics: fix entitlements (translation, get rid of Medicare and Social Security), the tax code (flat taxes perhaps or simply writing checks to millionaires and billionaires out of yours and my checking accounts?), regulation (none), and energy (which in Republican parlance means gas and more oil). Krugman isn’t a fan.

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Krugman compared Bush’s goal of 4 percent GDP growth to promising that Americans could lose weight without dieting or exercising (I might almost vote for someone who promises that). Krugman notes that Bush often takes credit for Florida’s economic growth during Bush’s rule as governor, but it’s undeserved because it was the housing bubble and everything was growing. Unfortunately, Florida also felt the effects of the crash more than almost any state.

But Mr. Bush’s economic promises reflect more than self-aggrandizement. They also reflect his party’s habit of boasting about its ability to deliver rapid economic growth, even though there’s no evidence at all to justify such boasts. It’s as if a bunch of relatively short men made a regular practice of swaggering around, telling everyone they see that they’re 6 feet 2 inches tall.

To be more specific, the next time you encounter some conservative going on about growth, you might want to bring up the following list of names and numbers: Bill Clinton, 3.7; Ronald Reagan, 3.4; Barack Obama, 2.1; George H.W. Bush, 2.0; George W. Bush, 1.6. Yes, that’s the last five presidents — and the average rate of growth of the U.S. economy during their time in office (so far, in Mr. Obama’s case). Obviously, the raw numbers don’t tell the whole story, but surely there’s nothing in that list to suggest that conservatives possess some kind of miracle cure for economic sluggishness. And, as many have pointed out, if Jeb! knows the secret to 4 percent growth, why didn’t he tell his father and brother?

Jeb, on the other hand, is thrilled that Krugman thinks he’s full of you know what. He says that the fact that Krugman disagrees with him “warms (his) heart.”

Here’s the video:

It may warm Bush’s heart that one of the world’s most respected economists thinks his plan is not really a plan, but if history is any indication, a fourth Bush term would mean that poor and middle class people will struggle to warm their homes, if they still have homes. In the meantime, while I reassure myself that Bush fatigue still exists and that we aren’t that stupid (are we?), I am thoroughly enjoying this little feud. I hope it continues.


Reprinted with permission from Addicting Info


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