If you look at the track record, the Obama administration has been wrong about some things, mainly because it was too optimistic about the prospects for a quick recovery. But Republicans have been wrong about everything.Really? Republicans have been wrong about everything? That's quite the statement to be made by the man who attacked those who criticized those very same rosy "optimistic" projections? I'm confused: was Krugam wrong then or now?
Why did the administration get it wrong? It wasn’t exaggerated faith in the power of its stimulus plan; the report predicted a fairly rapid recovery even without stimulus. Instead, President Obama’s people failed to appreciate something that is now common wisdom among economic analysts: severe financial crises inflict sustained economic damage, and it takes a long time to recover.So, when Krugman defended these optimistic projections years ago he failed (along with others) to recognize that severe financial crises's "inflict sustained economic damage?" Just what did he think the crisis of 2009 was? A small correction?
The truth is that Krugman failed. The administration didn't just fail "mainly because it was too optimistic," it failed because it shut it's ears to anyone who told them they were wrong. A problem that they have yet to rectify. It's also a problem that Krugman also has to rectify.
So back to the other assertion that Krugman makes - that Republicans have been wrong about everything. A statement that sweeping deserves more than one argument, yet I can only find one in the void of Krugman's column (I honestly thought I heard crickets as I searched for it):
So, basically, after some calculated inferences from an IMF report about economies facing entirely different problems, on the other end of the planet, in some cases where taxes have been raised on the rich as part of "austerity" he concludes that cutting government budgets to induce job creation is a failure.
The latest devastating demonstration of that wrongness comes from the International Monetary Fund, which has just released its World Economic Outlook... this analysis concludes is that a disproportionate share of the bad news is coming from countries pursuing the kind of austerity policies Republicans want to impose on America.
O.K., it doesn’t say that in so many words. What the report actually says is: “Activity over the past few years has disappointed more in economies with more aggressive fiscal consolidation plans.” But that amounts to the same thing.
For leading Republicans have very much tied themselves to the view that slashing spending in a depressed economy — “fiscal consolidation,” in I.M.F.-speak — is good, not bad, for job creation.
For this reason, and this reason alone he is concluding that "Republicans have been wrong about everything."
Firstly, that hardly proves an incapability of entire section of the US electorate from being able to be right about anything. I don't agree with Progressives, but I'm not foolish enough to make a claim that they have been wrong about "everything." But I suppose in the heat of keyboard pressing, words have a way of slipping by you without noticing... I have been guilty of that myself and am willing to give Krugman latitude and conclude he just chose a poor choice of words.
Secondly, ignoring Kruman's wild leap from the IMF report, the failure of austerity to provide results in some parts of the EU is hardly a final statement on the effectiveness of austerity. It is well more than reasonable to argue that job creation in the EU has yet to come as a result of austerity - - it has only been delayed and perhaps less so than without. The history of the US proves that. Clinton (the democrat) cut the size of government in the 1990s and jobs increased. But one only need to look north to my Country Canada for an example of a jurisdiction which has been making cutbacks with significant job growth and an unemployment rate lower than the US. Current reality and history time and time again proves Krugman wrong on this point.
No doubt the Republicans have been wrong about some things, and Obama has been wrong about many things, but clearly Krugman is wrong about by far the most things.