Krugman Blames Bush for Harsh Treatment from Critics
When coming under fire for promoting a left-of-center ideology just point the finger at President George W. Bush.
âI was out there â you know we went through a period when a lot of people were worshipping George Bush â if you can say that,â Krugman said. âHe had an 80 percent approval rating, people were saying he is wonderful, anyone who criticizes him is unpatriotic and I was saying, âNo, heâs actually a pretty bad guy. Heâs got bad policies and heâs not being honest with us.ââ
Krugman claimed he was just victim of bad timing â being ahead of the curve.
âAnd even though at this point you know, most Americans agree with me, I will never be forgiven for having been right too soon,â Krugman said.
However, there are myriad reasons not to agree with Krugman and many of them have little to do with his criticism of George W. Bush, as Business & Media Institute adviser and CNBC regular Don Luskin pointed out in an Oct. 14 column he wrote for National Review Online.
âThese days Krugmanâs liberal agenda always takes precedence over economic principle,â Luskin wrote. âHe has described himself as âan unabashed defender of the welfare state.â He has declared, âFor me,
Luskin also pointed out how the Krugman of the pre-Bush administration varied from the todayâs Krugman. âIn 1999 Paul Krugman was paid $50,000 by Enron as a consultant on its âadvisory board,â and that same year he wrote a glowing article about Enron for Fortune magazine,â Krugman wrote. He later went on to blast Enron for its indiscretions and blamed Bush for the whole thing.
Still, Krugman chalked outside criticism up to âhighly politicized times,â when asked about critic Daniel Klein, a professor of economics at George Mason University who called much of Krugmanâs popular work âdisgraceful.â
âLook, we live in highly politicized times. I write a column in the New York Times. Iâm not going to write that column the way Iâm going to write an academic paper,â Krugman said. âIâm a pussy cat in real life, but give me 800 words and I start slashing.â
Krugman used the taxpayer-funded bailout of financial institutions to advance his theory that free markets are flawed and make the case to revisit the New Deal-era policies of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
âIt repudiates the hard-line âfree markets are always rightâ principle,â Krugman said. âIt doesnât say â this is not a case for socialism, but itâs a case for regulation, oversight and for government-led rescues when thereâs an emergency. So, itâs a turning â nobodyâs going to go back. Weâre not going to go back to Karl Marx, but we are going to rediscover some of the things that Franklin Roosevelt learned 75 years ago.â