Why You Will Only Get Dumber Watching Morning Joe

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Paul Krugman:

Jonathan Chait is boggled by Joe Scarborough’s latest rant. (Dear Jon: I am not “prickly”: I’m aggressive and annoying. But that’s by design, and I only do it when the situation calls for it.) What’s really striking is Scarborough’s certainty that we’re experiencing “explosive” spending growth, which is very much not the case:

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4 Responses to Why You Will Only Get Dumber Watching Morning Joe

  1. GDub says:

    I’m not really interested in Joe Scarborough, but I am interested in this graph.

    Using the same data, in another way, such as http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/graph/?id=W019RCQ027SBEA–the change in spending over the economic crisis does rate at fairly significant–about a 25% increase in the course of the recession. As a percentage of GDP, it is also likely to be a sharp increase. None of that is necessarily “bad”–but I’d be interested how much spending would be required to seem like “a lot.”

  2. GDub says:

    I thought Prof. Krugman was fair with his points in this post: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/martin-wolf-hippie/ (I do like his concept of “hearsay economics,” which to be frank is a huge challenge in all policymaking realms, not just economic!)

    For some reason, I can’t find the log functions on Fred. But it would seem, if we’re talking about “big government” right now–a ten (or twenty year) horizon would seem a more useful yardstick, not expenditures since 1960, and in fact it better shows that initial increase in spending leveled off and has begun to decrease.

    • Jon says:

      I think the point was to show that nothing that’s happened in the last 4 years really takes us outside the historical trend, which is especially damning since the whole point of stimulus was for the federal government to spend pretty well above trend during the downturn, fully replacing the missing spending from firms and households hoarding cash.