Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman says Congressman Charles Rangel's (D-N.Y.) ethics scandal has absolutely no national significance.
As the Roundtable segment of ABC's "This Week" turned to new revelations concerning the powerful Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Sunday, the New York Times columnist was all by himself in making the case that Rangel hasn't really done anything wrong.
"I'm unhappy with this," he said. "I wish Rangel would go away, but it's, it really has no national significance."
Krugman actually said this after everyone on the panel, including host Elizabeth Vargas, Cokie Roberts, and Sam Donaldson, discussed how egregious Rangel's ethics violations were (video embedded below the fold with partial transcript):
GEORGE WILL, ABC NEWS: To know Charlie Rangel is to like him. Wonderful spirit and all that. Still, one has to wonder. Suppose a Republican had revised his disclosure form and suddenly his net worth doubled and he came upon not one but two checking accounts with $500,000 in them. I mean, there comes a point at which the tax writing committee be headed by someone without the...
ELIZABETH VARGAS, ABC NEWS: And Speaker Pelosi and Steny Hoyer were all calling for Tom DeLay to relinquish his post when he was also admonished by the ethics committee.
PAUL KRUGMAN, NEW YORK TIMES: Yeah, this is, you know, it is worth pointing out that none of these things actually seem to affect national policy. When Billy Tauzin, when Billy Tauzin basically wrote the drug, the Medicare drug bill, then left to become head of the pharmaceutical lobby, that was much more serious, but it didn't actually violate House ethics rules. So, yeah, I'm unhappy with this. I wish Rangel would go away, but it's, it really has no national significance.
I guess Krugman watched the previous segment when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said almost the same thing:
But the fact is, is that what Mr. Rangel has been admonished for is not good. It was a violation of the rules of the House. It was not a -- something that jeopardized our country in any way.
As such, the Times columnist appeared to just be echoing Democrat talking points concerning Rangel; the Nobel committee will probably give him another prize for it.
That said, isn't it amazing how folks like Krugman don't find ethics scandals to be earth-shattering when there's a "D" next to the name of the offending party?
Why is that?