Paul Krugman Eviscerates Crazy Voodoo Economics of New GOP-led Congress

Jan 9, 2015 by


It’s impossible to reason with people who think facts themselves have a liberal bias.

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As one of his first acts, Mitch McConnell, our brand new Senate majority leader, took credit for the recovering economy. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was as astounded as any other right-thinking individual about that one. “I didn’t see that one coming,” he wrote in Friday’s column. “Never mind the fact that all of the good data refer to a period before the midterm elections. Mitch McConnell, the new Senate majority leader, says that he did it, that growth reflected ‘the expectation of a new Republican Congress.’”

Krugman’s response and that of the Democratic National Committee (and Jon Stewart, for that matter) — “Hahahahahahaha.”

We’re in a brand new era of voodoo economics, suggests Krugman. “Mr. McConnell is claiming not just that he can create prosperity without, you know, actually passing any legislation, but that he can reach back in time and create prosperity before even taking power.”krugman4_0

It’s a little funny, and a lot scary, because underlying this and other Republican talking points are ideologies that simply do not respond to an overwhelming volume of contrary, real-world evidence. How on earth can you reason with, let alone work with these people, who’d rather resort to conspiracy theories than acknowledge reality? Krugman cites examples:

Consider, for example, how some Republicans dealt with good news about health reform. Before Obamacare went into effect, they overwhelmingly insisted that it would be a disaster, that more people would lose insurance than would gain it. They were, of course, delighted by the technical problems that initially crippled the program’s website. But those problems were fixed, and enrollment soared. Their response? “They are cooking the books,” declared Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, who now leads the Senate Republican Policy Committee.

But that was then. At this point we have multiple independent confirmations — most recently from Gallup — that Obamacare has dramatically expanded insurance coverage. So what do they say now? The law “will collapse under its own weight,” says Representative Paul Ryan, the new chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Speaking of Mr. Ryan: Almost four years have passed since he and many others in his party lambasted Ben Bernanke, then the chairman of the Federal Reserve, for policies that they claimed would lead to high inflationand “debase the dollar.” The inflation never materialized, and the dollar proceeded to strengthen, but Mr. Ryan gave no sign of having been chastened — and many conservatives, including favorite intellectuals like Niall Ferguson of Harvard, became “inflation truthers,” insisting that the government is hiding price rises.

Nuts, right? And that’s not even to mention the leader of the environment committee, James Inhofe’s, continued insistence after a year that is the hottest on record that climate change is a liberal hoax. Krugman is deeply troubled, as we should all be, by the fact that, “Congress is now controlled by men who never acknowledge error, let alone learn from their mistakes.”

These ideologues are not on the fringe anymore, they are right in the seats of power. We have to acknowledge that painful reality, and it is deeply troubling. “We can’t have meaningful cooperation when we can’t agree on reality,” Krugman concludes, “when even establishment figures in the Republican Party essentially believe that facts have a liberal bias.”

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