"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Friday, January 07, 2005

Krugman Reveals Truth

I am sure that many of you saw earlier this week Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times, in which he actually argues with a straight face that there is no fiscal imbalance problem inherent in that Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. Why? Because the Trust Fund (Note: There ain't no such animal) contains IOUs from the Treasury to the Social Security Administration, and those IOUs are real assets.

Now, what is interesting about this argument is not that it is utterly preposterous; promises that future Congresses can (and, indeed, will be forced to) change are not real assets even to future Social Security beneficiaries, let alone to the economy as a whole. What really is interesting is that Krugman---who, believe it or not, actually used to be a serious man---knows better, but still is willing to argue the point in public. This reveals clearly that for Krugman his ideological biases---and hatred of George W. bush---have trumped such other considerations as objectivity, fairness, and indeed his own credibility. That he is willing to make himself look silly, without anything subtle about it, in order to defend the indefensible is an indicator of the depths to which he has sunk.

1 comment:

Jay D. Homnick said...

Doc, you're right and you're wrong. Right that he looks silly to us, wrong that he looks silly to the world. The scam of "savings bonds" has captivated this country for generations and its thrall shows no sign of abating.

When one of my kids was born, a relative brought a savings bond as a gift, but I refused to accept. 'Why not?' she asked. I said, 'Who is going to pay that bond in twenty years?' She said, 'The government.'

'And how will the government get the money?'

'From taxes.'

'Who will pay the taxes?'

'Citizens.'

'You mean like little Junior here, working his first job at age twenty.'

'Why, yes, I suppose so.'

'So the bond is a debt to Junior which Juinor himself will end up paying. Let's just save the hassle and return the bond now.'

What happened? She learned nothing and I was labeled as a creep.

Forget it. Out there in the big world of kind-hearted naive American burghers, Krugman looks like a genius. Now if only Tony Randall hadn't died and the two of them could do a remake of The Odd Couple.