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It’s True, But You Shouldn’t Say It

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I suppose Krugman says all that needs to be said in response to Will Marshall, but I can’t resist quoting the content — such as it is — of Marshall’s substantive critique:

In language that could qualify for a Pulitzer Prize in hyperbole, Krugman claimed that the dastardly centrists would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and cut vital health care and food programs, while offering new a fat tax break to affluent homeowners.

On food stamps and aid to states, Krugman makes a fair point. But some of the education provisions are more questionable and the housing credit, properly targeted on first-time homebuyers, could help to halt the slide in housing prices. In general, Krugman’s outrage seems out of proportion to the actual differences between the House and Senate bills.

So, to summarize, of his four points Marshall concedes Krugman is right on two. On the housing subsidy, he engages in a classic “if things were different, they wouldn’t be the same” evasion; maybe a targeted home purchase subsidy would be good policy and maybe it wouldn’t, but since the actual provision supported by Senate wankers “centrists” isn’t actually targeted this is entirely beside the point. So his only actual disagreement consists of a vague assertion that “some” education provisions are “questionable,” which again even if we’re willing to take Marshall’s word for it isn’t actually responsive to Krugman’s claim that the Senate plan would kills hundreds of thousands of jobs and prioritizes a largely non-stimulative subsidy to rich home buyers over education spending. I believe this is what you call an “epic fail.”

But none of this changes the fact that Paul Krugman totally deserves a Nobel Prize for Teh Shrillness.

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