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Thursday, December 06, 2012

'The Fiscal Ignoramus Factor'

Paul Krugman notes another ill-informed Republican politician:
The Fiscal Ignoramus Factor, by Paul Krugman: Some of us had fun with the Business Insider poll finding that by a large margin, people who thought they knew something about the fiscal cliff believed that it would increase, not reduce, the deficit. Ha ha ha — although I actually have a lot of sympathy for ordinary voters, who don’t follow these things closely...
I have less sympathy for major political figures who also can’t get it straight.
As Jonathan Chait points out, Bobby Jindal — who is supposed to be one of the intellectual leaders of his party — has just published an op-ed on the cliff that sure looks as if he has no idea whatsoever what the cliff is about. ...
You really have to wonder how someone who’s a major political figure could be this uninformed — but you have to wonder even more about the state of mind that induces you to write an op-ed about a subject you don’t comprehend at all.
But this isn’t the first time something like this has happened to a supposed GOP star. ...
I think it comes back to the epistemic closure issue. Even supposedly well-informed people on the right get their “facts” from the likes of the Heritage Foundation. Probably Jindal never talks to anyone who will quietly explain that the fiscal cliff is a problem because, well, Keynesian economics is basically right, and you really don’t want austerity in a depressed economy. So he has some vague notion that it’s about the wages of fiscal irresponsibility, which it isn’t, and apparently believes that he knows enough to pontificate.
It’s pretty amazing, actually...

The people the right trusts have mislead them, and those who know better (certain Republican economists come to mind) have not stepped up to set the record straight.

    Posted by on Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 12:31 PM in Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (56)


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