Chronicle of the Conspiracy
Friday, January 23, 2004TNR ON KRUGMAN'S EXCUSES FOR ANTI-SEMITISM The New Republic upbraids Paul Krugman for his naive and self-serving defense of the anti-Semitism of Malaysian dictator Mahathir Mohammed.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 3:15 PM | link
DEAN PILES ON GREENSPAN Al Sharpton is not the only radical Democrat to call for a new Fed chairman. Howard Dean piles on, saying,
""I think Alan Greenspan has become too political. If he lacks the political courage to criticize the deficits, if he was foolish enough -- and he's not a foolish man -- to support the outrageous tax cuts that George Bush put through, then he has become too political and we need a new chairman of the Federal Reserve."He's echoing the words of the man whom he says he will appoint as his foremost economic advisor -- Paul Krugman. Thanks to Jill Olson and Caroline Baum for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:21 PM | link
WILL SOROS MAKE THE MARKET CRASH JUST TO NAIL BUSH? Insight Magazine has the story. Luskin and Bartlett are quoted extensively.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:09 PM | link
JENNINGS: If during your term as president, if you become the nominee, and you have the opportunity to nominate someone to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, what kind of person would you consider for the job? You can name someone in particular, if you have someone in mind.Thanks to Greenspan-watcher Caroline Baum for pointing this out.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:52 AM | link
"That the event had the air of a major rock concert or sporting event was evidenced by the number of people at the corner of Allston Way and Milvia Street holding up signs seeking tickets...I've already thoroughly debunked this signature Krugman lie using statistical evidence from Krugman's own hand-picked source. But now reader Vivek Rao points out a new paper by academic economists John Graham and Alok Kumar, stating:
"The stock holdings of retail investors indicate a preference for dividend yield that increases with risk aversion and age (the latter is consistent with life-cycle or consumption preferences) and decreases with income (consistent with low-tax investors holding high-yield stocks)...
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:26 AM | link
JOKE OF THE DAY
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:15 AM | link
KOHN VERSUS KELLER Bob Kohn, the author of Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted tells Times editor Bill Keller: apologize to "public editor" Dan Okrent or resign. I agree. If Okrent is to be more than an in-house critic kept as something between an exotic pet and a fig-leaf, the Times has to respect him and respond substantively to his views. From what I can see, he's being stonewalled.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:15 AM | link
Thursday, January 22, 2004THE HIGH PRICE OF REFORM The definitive laundry list of everything that's wrong with Sarbanes Oxley -- from Insight Magazine.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 3:23 PM | link
For the moment, the foxes remain firmly in control of the henhouse. At some point will "public editor" Daniel Okrent dare to take on this most sacred of cows, and try to shame the op-ed page into accountability?
Update... Our friend Bruce Bartlett adds, "So outside writers for the Times are held to a higher standard than those the Times actually employs? At most papers, it would be the reverse."
Update 2... Here's the state of play on the Times' columnist corrections policy from Robert Cox at The National Debate.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:27 AM | link
JOKE OF THE DAY
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 9:15 AM | link
Wednesday, January 21, 2004DELONG ADMITS WRONG Who would have thought? Brad DeLong departs from the standard of behavior set by his mentor, and admits error -- to a supply-sider, no less. Good going, Bruce.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:44 PM | link
SOWELL WRITES OFF DEAN A scathing put-down of Dr. Dean by Dr. Sowell. I must say, has the quality of printing an obit before the guy has died.
"The prevalence of image over reality was painfully apparent in the fact that Governor Dean, who never governed as many people as a mayor of Houston or Phoenix, was considered qualified to be President of the United States in a time of deadly national peril."
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:01 PM | link
REWRITING JFK'S TAX-CUTTING HISTORY Slate's reputation for biased, one-sided economic analysis continues with this revisionist history of John F. Kennedy's historic tax-cuts. We can't wait for Bruce Bartlett's inevitable counterblast.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 3:08 PM | link
THIS STRIKES EVEN ME AS GOING TOO FAR The Village Voice examines New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman's supposedly nefarious connections to a Bethesda synagogue.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:11 AM | link
JOKE OF THE DAY Looks like somebody beat Bush to Mars...
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 5:01 AM | link
"HATE DOES TERRIBLE THINGS TO PUNDITS" An especially good critique of Krugman's column yesterday at Power Line.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:59 AM | link
It's all so simple. The day of the caucuses, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Dean, if elected president, would appoint Paul Krugman as his "foremost economic policy adviser."
That's all it took. From front-runner to "run screaming" in a single day. Apparently having America's most dangerous liberal pundit actually influencing real-world economic policy is too horrifying even for Democrats to contemplate.
Okay -- I'm kidding. I have no idea whether any Iowa delegates even gave Paul Krugman a thought on Monday. But at the same time, the caucuses were a big blow to the whole "angry liberal" movement that Dean and Krugman have staked their careers on.
Krugman has been increasingly clear in his New York Times columns that he endorses Dean, with Wesley Clark serving as an understudy -- the two "angry" candidates. In his January 2 column, he came within an inch of urging all the Democratic candidates other than Dean and Clark to drop out of the race so that the two front-runners -- the front-runners then, that is! -- could rage at President Bush unobstructed. In his column Friday -- the last one before the Iowa caucuses -- he endorsed Dean and Clark again, saying that they were the ones angry enough to land on the right side of "the great Democratic divide...between those who are willing to question not just the policies but also the honesty and the motives of the people running our country, and those who aren't."
About the nicest thing Krugman has ever said about Iowa winner John Kerry is that he wishes the press would stop talking about his hair (in fact, Krugman wishes that so much he's mentioned it in no less than three Times columns -- here, here and here -- what's up with that?).
But then came Iowa. Could it be that Democratic voters lap up Krugman's anger shtick in the pages of the Times -- but they actually have very little to be angry about? Krugman keeps predicting economic catastrophe -- but the economy is booming, with US household wealth at all-time highs. Krugman keeps talking about the failure of the war on terrorism, but there hasn't been a terrorist act on American soil since September 11, 2001, Saddam Hussein is behind bars, and Afghanistan has a new constitution. He keeps talking about the Republicans' "coded appeals to racism", but the Bush administration is visibly the most ethnically and gender-diverse one in history.
Most important, perhaps, Krugman keeps telling voters that they should be angry because they didn't really get a tax cut. Almost all Bush's tax cuts went to the rich -- so Krugman's story goes -- which means that Bush lied when he said ordinary Americans would get a tax cut, too.
But it turns out that here too, in this key pocketbook issue, voters have very little to be angry about. Indeed, they should be thrilled. That's because it's not Bush who lied about tax cuts: it's Krugman. Since all the Democratic candidates -- angry and otherwise -- are calling for some form of repeal of the Bush tax cuts, let's have a closer look.
Using his authority and credibility as a Princeton economics professor, Krugman has made the claim that Bush lied about the tax cuts the centerpiece of his case against Bush. In fact, Krugman cited this when he was asked by Alan Colmes on Fox News' "Hannity and Colmes" to prove that George Bush is a liar (this was the same show, by the way, in which Krugman the angry liberal got so angry that he slandered me by claiming that I "stalked" him "personally").
According to Urban Brookings' analysis of the tax cuts described in that State of the Union address, about 53% of "tax units" (individuals, married couples, households, and so on) got nothing or less than $100. Does that mean Krugman is right when he says "half of tax payers either received nothing or less than $100"?
No, because here's what Bush really said in his 2003 State of the Union address:
Note that Bush was talking about people who pay income taxes. Jeffrey Rohaly, the director of tax modeling at Urban Brookings, told me that virtually all the tax units who got no tax cut -- 36% out of the 53% who got less than $100 -- paid no income taxes in the first place. In fact, thanks to refundable child credits, many of them have what amount to negative income taxes -- the government pays them. By shifting the argument from income tax payers to all taxpayers, Krugman stacked the deck. As he might say, "it was designed to mislead."
So let's drop out the 36% who pay no income taxes to begin with, and see what the Urban Brookings' analysis tells us about which income tax payers got what kind of tax cut:
That's a lot of real money in the hands of real people -- not just "the rich." So did Bush lie? No -- Krugman did. Are those tax cuts anything to be angry about? No. In fact, voters might start getting angry at candidates who are so angry that they might take those tax cuts away.
So what are angry liberals like Krugman and Dean and Clark supposed to be angry about at this point?
Well... just wait till November. They're going to be pissed as hell.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 4:46 AM | link
Tuesday, January 20, 2004ENTER, STAGE RIGHT Our friend David Hogberg debuts on National Review Online.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:20 PM | link
"It's the season of the angry liberal."January 2, 2004:
"...by seeking to undermine the election prospects of a man [Howard Dean] who may well be their party's nominee, Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Kerry have reminded us of why their once-promising campaigns imploded. Most Democrats feel, with justification, that we're facing a national crisis — that the right, ruthlessly exploiting 9/11, is making a grab for total political dominance. The party's rank and file want a candidate who is running, as the Dean slogan puts it, to take our country back. This is no time for a candidate who is running just because he thinks he deserves to be president."Apparently the Democrats in Iowa have a different idea of who deserves to be president.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:24 AM | link
JOKE OF THE DAY Wag the dog... or something like that...
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:20 AM | link
Monday, January 19, 2004MYSTERY SOLVED Turns out the "lost gnome" ads were teasers for Travelocity. And to think... all along we thought they were advance publicity for Paul "Gnome Chomsky" Krugman's new book.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 10:20 PM | link
"What has been your best blogging experience? > There have been a lot of wonderful experiences. The best? I'll have to think about that…Thanks to reader Peter Mork for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:15 PM | link
"Who [sic] would you rely upon as your foremost economic policy adviser? Former Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin and New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman."
Thanks to reader Jeff Jacobson for the link.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 11:51 AM | link
JOKE OF THE DAY Is this from Paul O'Neill? A blind man in a room full of blonde people...
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 7:51 AM | link
Sunday, January 18, 2004UNFACT OF THE DAY: ODD ODDS From our long-lost informer "Irrational Exuberance":
"Barring a repeal of the laws of probability and common sense, a recent adulatory CNNMoney commentary on mutual fund manager Bill Miller warrants un-fact designation.
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 1:53 PM | link
Posted by Donald L. Luskin at 12:02 AM | link