Monday, August 27, 2012

Krugman Double Smackdown of Ryan and Christie

When it comes to spotting phony budget cutters, Paul Krugman is pretty solid. In a recent post, he doubles slams Paul Ryan and Chris Christie, with an added kick to the head of Christie:
There will be two big stars at the Republican National Convention, and neither of them will be Mitt Romney. One will, of course, be Paul Ryan, Mr. Romney’s running mate. The other will be Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, who will give the keynote address. And while the two men could hardly look or sound more different, they are brothers under the skin.

How so? Both have carefully cultivated public images as tough, fiscally responsible guys willing to make hard choices. And both public images are completely false...

When Mr. Christie took office in January 2010, New Jersey — like many other states — was in dire fiscal straits thanks to the effects of a depressed economy. Unlike the federal government, states are required by their constitutions to run more or less balanced budgets every year (although there is room for accounting gimmicks), so like other governors, Mr. Christie was forced to engage in belt-tightening.

So far so normal: while Mr. Christie has made a lot of noise about his tough budget choices, other governors have done much the same. Nor has he eschewed budget gimmicks: like earlier New Jersey governors, Mr. Christie has closed budget gaps in part by deferring required contributions to state pension funds, which is in effect a form of borrowing against the future, and he has also sought to paper over budget gaps by diverting money from places like the Transportation Trust Fund...

Mr. Christie talks a good (and very loud) game about his willingness to make tough choices, making big claims about spending cuts — claims, by the way, that PolitiFact has unequivocally declared false...

In other words, meet the new boaster, same as the old boaster. And pray that we won’t get fooled again.


  1. One way or the other, we'll get fooled again. I'm sure Krugnuts has no problem fooling us into believing that Obama has a workable plan when in reality its about as miserly and ineffective as Romney's. The irony of this Presidential election is that which ever part wins, loses in the end when the wheels come off in 2014/15 and their party takes the blame.

  2. Do remember, however, that Krugman is also good at seeing budget cuts where the are none. such as his claims that Britain was engaging in Austerity while they were merely decreasing the projected budget increases.