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  • The National Memo » Gabrielle Giffords And Mark Kelly Take On The Gun Lobby
  • Dean Baker: Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary

    …The major reason that Krugman is not on anyone’s short list is that he has been right about most of the important issues in economic policy over the last decade. The list where Krugman has been right and the Washington insiders have been wrong is a long one.It starts with the housing bubble, which Krugman warned of as early as 2002. Krugman correctly recognized both that house prices had grown out of line with their historic trend and that the collapse of the bubble would have a devastating impact on the economy.

    In the fall of 2008 when the financial system was freezing up, Krugman called for a takeover and recapitalization of the big banks, rather than a bailout that left them largely intact. Can anyone seriously doubt that the economy would be in much better shape today if the Wall Street behemoths had been reorganized and broken up?

    He also argued for mortgage write-downs for underwater homeowners both as a matter of fairness to people who had gotten caught up in the irrational exuberance of the housing bubble and also as a mechanism for boosting demand in the economy.

    At the time the first stimulus was passed in early 2009, Krugman correctly warned that it would be inadequate and that its failure to restore full employment was likely to discredit the concept of stimulus in policy circles. He also said that worries about large deficits leading to high interest rates or inflation had no foundation in the context of a seriously depressed economy.

    He warned against the austerity being pursued in the eurozone crisis countries and then embraced by the Conservative government in the United Kingdom in the summer of 2010. He correctly predicted that these polices would lead to recessions and higher unemployment.

    It is precisely this track record of being right on most of the key policy calls of the last decade that makes Krugman unacceptable as a candidate for Treasury Secretary. To be a serious candidate for this position it is necessary to have been wrong on most or all of these issues.(read the complete article…)

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