Jane Galt on Krugmanesque Inanity

Jane over at Asymmetrical Information has a very lengthy and amusing take-down of a rather inane post from Salon that compares the one year cost of various social programs to the full (10 year) "cost" of the most recent tax cut voted into existence. Jane calls this approach "Krugmanomics" because:

[it] uses the same technique recently popularized by Paul Krugman: it compares the multi-year cost of a tax cut with the one year cost of something else.

Picking on one of the Holy Saints of Illiberalism always hits a sore spot with the true believers, and so the most tenacious (and tendentious) postings in the comment thread to her post were about denying that there is such as thing as being "Krugmanesque" in the first place, since Krugman has posted a series of 10 (!!) follow up explanatory pieces to justify a one year salary comparison to a 10 year tax cut total. Krugman's rationalization of his piece is cute, but ultimately weaselly, as he wrote his piece with the intent to confuse.

Beyond the whining of the illiberals, Jane's point was that someone else was doing a 10 year to 1 year comparison, and that point didn't depend on whether Krugman "really" compared a 10 year to a 1 year. That the illiberals found that to be the most compelling point of attack is a tacit admission of defeat- when you're reduced to sniping at what are essentially quibbles, you're conceding the argument, not refuting it.

Since, after all, regardless of what Krugman did, the simpletons at Salon certainly DID produce a laundry list of 1-year costs to compare to the 10 year tax cut total, which IS inane and stupid.

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