Once again, the two-faces of Mr. Krugman serve to make all economists look bad. At least elitist economists ones from MIT. The NY Times columnist has shown that he will do and say anything in his “expert commentary” to sell the populist position.Take is NY Times column on Friday, which he begins by calling Lamar Alexander a liar:
It was obvious how things would go as soon as the first Republican speaker, Senator Lamar Alexander, delivered his remarks. He was presumably chosen because he’s folksy and likable and could make his party’s position sound reasonable. But right off the bat he delivered a whopper, asserting that under the Democratic plan, “for millions of Americans, premiums will go up.”
Wow. I guess you could say that he wasn’t technically lying, since the Congressional Budget Office analysis of the Senate Democrats’ plan does say that average payments for insurance would go up. But it also makes it clear that this would happen only because people would buy more and better coverage. The “price of a given amount of insurance coverage” would fall, not rise — and the actual cost to many Americans would fall sharply thanks to federal aid.
Of course the economic Guru from MIT forgot to mention that payments would go up, because Americans would be forced to buy the higher insurance. Well he forgot to mention it until he met up with George Will today on the view, who turned Krugman’s argument into Silly Putty. (the exchange happens about 4 and a half minutes into the video below).
GEORGE WILL, ABC NEWS: Now Paul says, that, in fact, the Republicans have no ideas. They do. Cross selling across state lines. Tort reform. All this. Just a second, Paul. Then you say they’re telling whoppers, that was your view. He said about Lamar Alexander, “When he said, ‘For millions of Americans, premiums will go up.'” You said in the next sentence in your column, “I guess you could say he wasn’t technically lying because the Congressional Budget Office says that’s true.
PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: No, that’s not what it says. Can explain this? This is actually a point.
WILL: Let me set the predicate here, because you then go on and say, “The Senate does say the average premiums would go up but people would be getting better premiums.
KRUGMAN: Let me explain what happens, because you actually have to read the CBO report. And what the CBO report tells you in fairly elliptical language is that what it will do, what the bill will do is bring a lot of people who are uninsured, who are currently young, and therefore relatively low cost into the risk pool which will actually bring premiums down a little bit. It will also however let a lot of people get better insurance. It will lead a lot of people who are currently underinsured who have insurance policies that are paper thin and don’t actually protect you in a crisis, will actually get those people up to having full coverage. That makes the average payments go up, but it does not mean that people who currently have good coverage under their policies will pay more for their insurance. It does not. In fact, they’ll end up paying a little bit less.
WILL: One question: If the government came to you and said, “Professor Krugman, you have a car. We’re going to compel you to buy a more expensive car, but it’s not really more expensive because it’s a better car.” Wouldn’t you tell them to get off your land? (Transcript Source Newsbusters)
Krugman did not really have an answer for Will and the conversation quickly moved to some of the other progressives on the ABC News show