Krugman Lies and Distorts History to Blame Recession and Budget Deficits on Bush

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman Monday wrote another in a series of factually dishonest pieces about budget deficits and what he likes to call 'the Great Recession."

In his "The Unwisdom of Elites," the unabashed liberal made numerous falsehoods and omissions to blame our current economic and budget woes exclusively on George W. Bush and "small groups of influential people":

These days Americans get constant lectures about the need to reduce the budget deficit. That focus in itself represents distorted priorities, since our immediate concern should be job creation. But suppose we restrict ourselves to talking about the deficit, and ask: What happened to the budget surplus the federal government had in 2000?

The answer is, three main things. First, there were the Bush tax cuts, which added roughly $2 trillion to the national debt over the last decade. Second, there were the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which added an additional $1.1 trillion or so. And third was the Great Recession, which led both to a collapse in revenue and to a sharp rise in spending on unemployment insurance and other safety-net programs.

So who was responsible for these budget busters? It wasn’t the man in the street.

President George W. Bush cut taxes in the service of his party’s ideology, not in response to a groundswell of popular demand — and the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority.

Ah, yes - the infamous "tax cuts for the rich" meme. Krugman and his ilk have been dishonestly misrepresenting this lie for over ten years now.

I guess the Nobel laureate missed an assessment by the liberal Brookings Institution last July that completely debunked what the left and their media minions have been telling the masses since these tax cuts were proposed. As NewsBusters summarized:

According to Treasury, the total ten-year cost of completely extending the Bush tax cuts is $3.675 trillion. The ten-year cost exclusively associated with extending tax cuts to folks Obama, the Democrats, and the media consider rich is $679 billion.

This means that almost $3 trillion of the cost associated with the Bush tax cuts over the next ten years, or 82 percent, is not for benefits to the so-called rich.

That's right. According to Brookings - which used data directly from the Treasury Department - 82 percent of the Bush tax cuts go to folks making less than $250,000 a year. Yet Krugman claimed "the bulk of the cuts went to a small, affluent minority."

But that was just the beginning of the dishonesty:

Similarly, Mr. Bush chose to invade Iraq because that was something he and his advisers wanted to do, not because Americans were clamoring for war against a regime that had nothing to do with 9/11. In fact, it took a highly deceptive sales campaign to get Americans to support the invasion, and even so, voters were never as solidly behind the war as America’s political and pundit elite.

Really? A USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll taken days before the March 2003 invasion found:

By a 2-to-1 ratio, Americans favor invading Iraq with U.S. ground troops to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Not since November 2001 have they approved so overwhelmingly. Nearly six in 10 say they're ready for such an invasion "in the next week or two."

Would you say 2-to-1 is "solidly behind?" How can a person writing a bi-weekly column for a major American newspaper be allowed to lie this way?

Sadly, the man praised by so many on the left wasn't done:

Finally, the Great Recession was brought on by a runaway financial sector, empowered by reckless deregulation. And who was responsible for that deregulation? Powerful people in Washington with close ties to the financial industry, that’s who. Let me give a particular shout-out to Alan Greenspan, who played a crucial role both in financial deregulation and in the passage of the Bush tax cuts — and who is now, of course, among those hectoring us about the deficit.

There is certainly no question that deregulation was behind the housing bubble and the eventual collapse of the financial services industry in 2008, but what Krugman dishonestly did here was ignore the pieces of legislation involved as well as who signed them into law.

The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 passed in the Senate by a vote of 90 to 8 and 362 to 57 in the House. This is what completely deregulated banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies to invest in anything they wanted. It was signed by William Jefferson Clinton that November.

Clinton enacted the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 - with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress - the following December. This largely deregulated the commodities industry, in particular credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations directly tied to the expansion of the credit bubble.

To thoroughly ignore these bills and who signed them in a piece blaming Bush for all that ails us is the height of dishonesty. It is also deplorable to discuss budget deficits without once mentioning that the major cause of the current imbalance is a 41 percent increase in spending since the Democrats took over Congress in 2007.

Yet the folks at the New York Times continue to believe this man deserves a bi-weekly column. What does that tell you about the integrity of that so-called "news" organization?

And here's the delicious punch line better known as Krugman's conclusion:

But the larger answer, I’d argue, is that by making up stories about our current predicament that absolve the people who put us here there, we cut off any chance to learn from the crisis. We need to place the blame where it belongs, to chasten our policy elites. Otherwise, they’ll do even more damage in the years ahead.

Pretty funny considering it is Krugman "making up stories about our current predicament that absolve the people who put us here" while incorrectly placing the blame. It is his dishonesty along with the media outlet that employs him that are doing "damage" to our nation and its ability to solve problems facing us.

As long as people like Krugman are elevated to positions of status thereby allowing them to present economic, financial, and fiscal falsehoods with total impunity, it is going to be next to impossible for America to make the decisions it needs to in the coming months and years to prevent a crisis far worse than what we saw in 2008.

Heaven help us.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.