Krugman on Stimulus Skeptics
What’s been disturbing, however, is the parade of first-rate economists making totally non-serious arguments against fiscal expansion. You’ve got John Taylor arguing for permanent tax cuts as a response to temporary shocks, apparently oblivious to the logical problems. You’ve got John Cochrane going all Andrew-Mellon-liquidationist on us. You’ve got Eugene Fama reinventing the long-discredited Treasury View. You’ve got Gary Becker apparently unaware that monetary policy has hit the zero lower bound. And you’ve got Greg Mankiw — well, I don’t know what Greg actually believes, he just seems to be approvingly linking to anyone opposed to stimulus, regardless of the quality of their argument.If Paul really wants to know what I believe, he can read what I have written on the subject.
Let me make one thing clear: When I link to another economist here on this blog, it is typically because I think his or her arguments are worth hearing and thinking about, not necessarily because I agree with all of them. I don't have the time (and, in some cases, expertise) to offer a refereeing service for every article I mention. So when I say, "Here is an article by Professor X," I mean "Here is an article by Professor X," not "Here is an article by Professor X, and I approve of everything he says."
In recent weeks, I have linked to Christy Romer making the case for the Obama fiscal stimulus as well as many economists on the opposite side the debate. It is true that I have linked more to those opposed. That is partly a reflection of my opinion on the issue. It is also partly to provide a counterpoint to the view disingenuously promoted by some members of the incoming administration that almost all major economists are lined up behind their stimulus plans. As Paul's list of prominent stimulus skeptics documents well, that is simply not the case.