• Dan Drezner is milder than I would be — not surprising — but gets the basic point: claiming that Republicans can be persuaded by pretending that their political leaders aren't bad people is, well, deranged Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 18:45

    In an ideal world, my goal is to inform and persuade you, the discriminating readers of this newspaper. There are a lot of politicians who make a lot of silly, ill-informed arguments about the way the world works. There are even more commentators whose livelihood depends on ginning up essays and spin that support the blinkered arguments of the powerful. As the philosopher Harry Frankfurt once put it so eloquently, “one of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bulls---.” A key aim of Spoiler Alerts is to highlight the flaws in bad arguments and to tentatively (and sometimes not-so-tentatively) offer better ones.

  • Going to repost book tour info https://t.co/lypSlPIVtU
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 15:35
  • The difference is that housing supply in the Bay Area is constrained, partly by geography but mainly by NIMBYism, while Atlanta has highly elastic supply. Hard to see why similar issues wouldn't apply in the UK 3/
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 13:14
  • I guess this could be true for Britain. But it's absolutely not true for the US, where there has been huge divergence between metro areas that all face the same interest rates. Real house prices in SF and Atlanta 2/ https://t.co/uepKYxSOan
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 13:09
  • Totally off topic and self-indulgent. But to my surprise I find myself disagreeing with Simon Wren-Lewis, who argues that high housing prices are all about low interest rates and that supply constraints aren't important 1/ Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 13:09
    Another paper, this time from the Bank of England written by former MPC member David Miles and Victoria Monro, shows that the rise in house prices we have experienced since 1985 is mainly the result of lower real interest rates. The other, less important, driver is household income. Those two effects together can account for all the increase in house prices relative to inflation. The increase in house prices is not the result of a shortage of new houses.
  • Now, you might say that DOJ says it's OK. Just two words: William Barr 4/
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:54
  • Pretty sure that's just plain illegal. Congress ceded some trade policy to the executive branch, but it didn't make him a dictator free to set tariffs wherever he likes without even offering an explanation 3/
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:54
  • Every time you think you've grasped the awfulness of the Trump administration, you discover new frontiers of contempt for rule of law. Even as Rs try to cover for abuse of power on one front, another is opening in trade policy 1/
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:49
  • RT @walterdellinger: Schiff is not just good. Today is one of the most impressive performances by a lawyer I have ever seen.
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:34
  • I'm sure they can fix this with a Sharpie Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 12:29

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  • Unless you’re doing economics, in which case you call them “agents” and assume that they are perfectly rational Link
    Paul Krugman Wed 22 Jan 2020 00:39

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  • Stray thought watching Adam Schiff: some of the Dem prez candidates are impressive, but their Congressional leadership is awesome. On this front, at least, the party is doing something right.
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 19:14
  • RT @crampell: The Trump administration provided more taxpayer dollars to farmers financially damaged by the administration’s trade policies…
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 17:09
  • Disliking Sanders is OK. Not committing to support him if he is the nominee isn't. If you are horrified by Trump, you should be ready to go all-out for ANY Democratic nominee. Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 15:04

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  • The prized Gordon Gekko endorsement Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 14:18

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  • I'm shocked, shocked to learn that Trump's China deal, which was basically a capitulation even as described, appears to be largely fake Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 14:18

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  • Also, I really don't understand that apparent media consensus that Biden was wrong to call the video "doctored." If you snip out part of a speech to make it seem that someone was saying something he wasn't, how is that different, morally or substantively, from "doctoring"? 2/
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 12:38
  • Sanders apologizes, sort of, for misrepresenting Biden on Social Security, saying that his campaign didn't give the "full context." The full context was that Biden was saying the opposite of what the Sanders people claimed 1/ Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 12:33
    Democratic presidential candidates Tulsi Gabbard, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders walk arm-in-arm with local African American leaders during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade in Columbia, S.C. on Monday. (Randall Hill/Reuters)
  • There's plenty to criticize about Biden's record. Pretending he said something he didn't is not the way to do it Link
    Paul Krugman Tue 21 Jan 2020 12:23

    While the news media has been focused on the “spat” between Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, something much more serious has been taking place between the Sanders campaign and Joe Biden. Not to sugarcoat it: The Sanders campaign has flat-out lied about things Biden said in 2018 about Social Security, and it has refused to admit the falsehood.

    This is bad; it is, indeed, almost Trumpian. The last thing we need is another president who demonizes and lies about anyone who disagrees with him, and can’t admit ever being wrong. Biden deserves an apology, now, and Sanders probably needs to find better aides.

    That said — and this is no excuse for the Sanders camp — it would be good to have Biden explain why, in the more distant past, he went along with the Beltway consensus that Social Security needed to be pared back.

    First, about that Biden smear: In 2018 Biden gave a speech attacking Paul Ryan, the then-speaker of the House, for wanting to cut taxes on the rich...

  • This is a really bad look. It illustrates everything that makes many Democrats distrust the Sanders team — and the buck stops with the candidate Link
    Paul Krugman Mon 20 Jan 2020 18:38

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  • By the way, here's the blow by blow of what the Sanders people did 6/ Link
    Paul Krugman Mon 20 Jan 2020 14:53

    Sen. Bernie Sanders argues that former Vice President Joe Biden sided with a Republican effort to cut Social Security.

    "In 2018, Biden lauded Paul Ryan for proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare," wrote the Sanders campaign in a Jan. 7 newsletter. The night before on CNN, Sanders had attacked Biden’s record on Social Security and Medicare.

    Ryan is a former Republican House speaker who proposed sweeping changes to Social Security that were never enacted. 

    We found that the Sanders campaign newsletter distorts what Biden said about Ryan’s plan.

  • And the evident decision of Sanders and associates to double down rather than apologize for an error is deeply disturbing. Progressives are supposed to be better than this 5/
    Paul Krugman Mon 20 Jan 2020 14:53
  • Biden's record on this and other issues is part of what makes me nervous about his willingness to confront the modern GOP. And it's fair game for Dem rivals. But it's NOT an excuse for lying about what he's said more recently 4/
    Paul Krugman Mon 20 Jan 2020 14:48
  • Now, there's a quite different issue involving Biden's past positions. He was for years a member in good standing in DC's Very Serious People, who insisted that Social Security was in crisis and needed cuts. I spent years crusading against that dogma 3/ Link
    Paul Krugman Mon 20 Jan 2020 14:48

    Lately, Barack Obama has been saying that major action is needed to avert what he keeps calling a “crisis” in Social Security — most recently in an interview with The National Journal. Progressives who fought hard and successfully against the Bush administration’s attempt to panic America into privatizing the New Deal’s crown jewel are outraged, and rightly so.

    But Mr. Obama’s Social Security mistake was, in fact, exactly what you’d expect from a candidate who promises to transcend partisanship in an age when that’s neither possible nor desirable.

    To understand the nature of Mr. Obama’s mistake, you need to know something about the special role of Social Security in American political discourse.

    Inside the Beltway, doomsaying about Social Security — declaring that the program as we know it can’t survive the onslaught of retiring baby boomers — is regarded as a sort of badge of seriousness, a way of showing how statesmanlike and tough-minded you are.

  • Biden was attacking Paul Ryan's agenda; the campaign snipped out a few words to make it seem as if he was endorsing that agenda. And it's refusing to acknowledge that this was wrong, which is really bad 2/
    Paul Krugman Mon 20 Jan 2020 14:43
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