Paul Krugman’s latest effort to undermine his own credibility

Today Paul Krugman wrote a blog post called “Gas tax hysterics”, which criticizes the media and economists for dwelling so much on Hillary Clinton’s proposal for a gas tax holiday.

Here’s his introduction:

OK, this has gone overboard.

Hillary Clinton’s proposed gas tax holiday is not, in my view, a good idea. But the furor over what is, when all is said and done, a small and temporary policy proposal is entirely disproportionate. What’s going on?

You would think that part of any answer to that question would mention that Clinton herself has been hammering away at this issue in order to paint Barack Obama (and economists like Krugman who have criticized the gas tax holiday) as elitist and out of touch. You would think that Krugman would at least mention in passing that Clinton, in the service of short-term political advantage, is explicitly embracing know-nothingism and the assault on expertise that have been hallmarks of the Bush administration. But no, in Krugman’s judgment, the people who have really gone “overboard” are the press and economists whose expertise Clinton denounced and rejected on national television.

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2 responses to “Paul Krugman’s latest effort to undermine his own credibility

  1. Krugman is awesome when it comes to substance. His willingness to change his thinking on trade and his openness to peak oil make him unique among mainstream writers. He is not particularly good at politics, though, and his substance-focused biases (good biases to have, usually) steer him wrong. I have decided to ignore anything he writes about Clinton and Obama. It’s over anyway, I hope…

  2. Right, but he was pretty good at politics in 2000. He was one of the few pundits who saw right through Bush’s bullshit, because he looked at the policy proposals as a glimpse of Bush’s future performance. Well, here’s a case where a policy proposal is a glimpse of Clinton’s future performance, and Krugman acts as if he’s totally oblivious to it.

    Anyway, as you say, it’s over, or seems to be. Thank God — this fratricide is driving me crazy…

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