Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Catch of the Day

Paul Krugman reads David Brooks this morning...hey, I guess someone has to do it. (No, I know; tons and tons of people read David Brooks. Greatest real estate and all that). Anyway: Brooks cited the Tax Foundation, which as Krugman noted made a basic error in calculating the effects possible tax increases on rich folks. Krugman:
They couldn’t possibly have compared one year’s take from higher taxes on the rich with the total stock of debt, could they? They can’t possibly be that stupid, or think that their readers are that stupid, can they?
Yes they did. They actually find that their version of the “Buffett rule” would collect $120 billion a year, which is a seriously significant sum. But they try to make it look small by comparing one year’s revenue with the total debt outstanding.
Meanwhile, see Dean Baker for a good example of why Brooks is wrong that the 99/1 frame is incompatible with serious policy proposals.

But I prefer basic arithmetic, which Krugman swings around like a Nobel prize winner or something. So: nice catch!

1 comment:

  1. Even more enjoyable is Logan's effort to respond to Krugman by arguing that over 10 years the "Buffett Rule" would reduce the federal debt by 8%---and therefore it's not that important.

    Really? One small change in tax policy eliminates 8% of federal debt in 10 years? So if we made, say, 5 more changes of similar scale, half the federal debt would be gone in only 10 years?

    Sign me up!


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