I can’t believe I’m writing this again. But The Paul Krugman Bernie Sanders Giving Game continues and it is again time to donate to Sanders!
About as soon as he possibly could, Paul Krugman wrote, Post-Iowa Notes. And in it, he made the point that really doesn’t need to be made — that Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio are all horrifying. But that wasn’t really what the article was about. It was another swipe at the “Bernie bros” and to say, “To be blunt, I think Sanders is selling an illusion, but it’s an illusion many people want to believe in, and there’s no easy way to counter that.”
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Attention Paul Krugman: you aren’t being anymore blunt than you have been for the last two weeks. We get it! Bernie is an idealist who is selling a lie and Clinton is a realist who will produce. Thus far, he has not provided a shred of evidence that Clinton actually would be more successful on a practical level than Sanders would be. This is just an unstated assumption — something Krugman “knows” just as sure as Ted Cruz “knows” that Jesus walks with him and tax cuts pay for themselves.
Look: I don’t care. I think Krugman means to say something else. I think he means to say that Sanders won’t win in the general election. He could make the quite reasonable claim that a Republican president would be so disastrous at this point that we can’t take the chance. He could write a reasonable article like Erik Loomis’s Bernie Skepticism. But he doesn’t. Krugman is just embarrassing himself at this point.
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You may not know this but there is this thing called The Two Rules of Paul Krugman: “Rule number one: Paul Krugman is right; rule number two: if you think Paul Krugman is wrong, refer to rule number one.” And there is a reason for that. Krugman has always been a very careful thinker. He is not inclined toward saying outrageous things. Just the same, he doesn’t back away from saying things that are clearly true but “just aren’t said.” But I’m beginning to think that rule number two needs to be changed to: “If you think Paul Krugman is wrong, and it doesn’t involve Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, refer to rule number one.”
This isn’t just a matter of politics. Check out what Krugman has to say about financial reform, “Substantively, her financial reform ideas are as tough as his, just different in focus.” Oh, is that right?! Well, to start with, they’ve gotten tougher because Sanders is in this race. (Thanks Bernie!) But there just so happens to be an economist I find far more credible on economic matters than Krugman: Dean Baker. Baker has not only been right about just about every important economic issue over the last 15 years, he’s also a very creative thinker.
About a week ago, Baker wrote, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, and Wall Street. He points out how much wiggle room there is in all the proposed regulations. He ended by asking the serious question of which of the candidates would actually be willing to break up the too-big-to-fail banks. I think we know the answer to that.
But more important, there is one thing that we absolutely should do: enact a financial transaction tax. Sanders has been very strong on this. Clinton has only proposed such a tax on high frequency trading. Why?! I think if you look at the last question, you can see that there is one candidate that is more beholden to Wall Street.
Does any of this matter if Republicans still have control of the House in 2017? No, I don’t think it does. I’ve said many times before: I don’t think there would be much a difference between a Clinton administration and a Sanders administration. But to glibly claim that Clinton’s financial reforms “are as tough as his, just different in focus,” is just wrong.
Krugman wants to have it both ways. He wants to claim that Clinton is the practical choice. And then, he wants to claim that Clinton is just as ideologically keen as Sanders is. Which is it Krugman? Because The Paul Krugman Bernie Sanders Giving Game is getting really expensive.
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If you would like to donate to Sanders: This is YOUR movement.