It really is amazing that anybody takes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman seriously.
Consider the following factual misrepresentations in what he wrote Friday:
On the other side, we’ve been assured that spending cuts would do wonders for business confidence. But that hasn’t happened in any of the countries currently pursuing harsh austerity programs. Notably, when the Cameron government in Britain announced austerity measures last May, it received fawning praise from U.S. deficit hawks. But British business confidence plunged, and it has not recovered.
Really? Not according to KPMG:
Preview figures from the Global Business Outlook survey, compiled by Markit Economics on behalf of KPMG, show that 68% of manufacturing industry respondents expect activity to improve during the next 12 months, compared with just 8% anticipating a decrease.
The resulting balance is the highest since the survey began in June 2002.
In the service sector, meanwhile, 57% of firms think activity will increase over the coming year, with only 12% expecting it to fall. This balance is the strongest since April 2007.
So, in the manufacturing sector, confidence is the highest it's been since June 2002, and in the service sector, it's the highest since April 2007 before the recession began.
As such, Krugman wasn't just wrong - he was dead wrong.
On a related note, unemployment in Great Britain never got higher than 8 percent during this recession. Readers are reminded that this was the level the Obama administration said unemployment wouldn't exceed if their stimulus plan was enacted.
But that wasn't the only falsehead in this article:
In early 2009, John Boehner, now the speaker of the House, was widely and rightly mocked for declaring that since families were suffering, the government should tighten its own belt. That’s Herbert Hoover economics, and it’s as wrong now as it was in the 1930s.
Actually, spending under Hoover increased by six percent in 1930, eight percent in 1931, and 30 percent in 1932. During Hoover's four years, spending increased 47 percent. That's actually more than spending has risen since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007.
So exactly how does Krugman get away with publishing such falsehoods on a regular basis?