If you’re confused about what to get Paul Krugman for Valentine’s Day, it’s not like he hasn’t dropped enough hints. He likes spending. Gobs of it. In fact, he thinks President Barack Obama is far too miserly with the public dime. Since Obama was elected in 2008, Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has called for an increase in U.S. government spending 133 times in his New York Times column.
And that number doesn’t even include any of the times that he pushed for raising taxes, increasing spending in European countries or even when he bashed “austerity.” Nor does it include any instances of Krugman calling for more spending anywhere other than his own column. Because let’s face it, if you gave Krugman a can of spray paint and a blank subway wall, not only would you end up with the novelty of Keynesian “Street art;” he’d try to convince you the money it cost to remove his graffiti was creating jobs.
Since 2009, Krugman has claimed that “Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything,” that “it is possible – indeed, necessary – for the nation as a whole to spend its way out of debt,” and even that “[w]e need more, not less, government spending to get out of our unemployment trap. And the wrongheaded, ill-informed obsession with debt is standing in the way.”
Government spending is to Krugman what duct tape is to everyone else: a quick and easy fix for nearly any problem. Put another way (for Monty Python fans), spending is the “large wooden badger” Krugman would like to build after his large wooden rabbit has failed.
Here are just a few of Krugman’s most anti-free market, pro-spending quotes since Obama was elected president:
“At that point governments needed to step in, spending to support their economies while the private sector regained its balance.” The Big Fail, Jan. 7, 2013
“We need more, not less, government spending to get out of our unemployment trap. And the wrongheaded, ill-informed obsession with debt is standing in the way.” Nobody Understands Debt, Jan. 2, 2012
“Free-market fundamentalists have been wrong about everything.” When Zombies Win, Dec. 20, 2010
“There never was a big expansion of government spending. In fact, that has been the key problem with economic policy in the Obama years: we never had the kind of fiscal expansion that might have created the millions of jobs we need.” Hey, Small Spender, Oct. 11, 2010
“[I]t is possible – indeed, necessary – for the nation as a whole to spend its way out of debt.” 1938 In 2010, Sept. 6, 2010
Next week, President Obama is scheduled to propose new measure to boost the economy. I hope they’re bold and substantive, since the Republicans will oppose him regardless.” The Real Story, Sept. 3, 2010
“Many economists, myself included, are calling for a very large fiscal expansion to keep the economy from going into free fall.” Deficits and the Future, Dec. 1. 2008
[sigh] Wasteful government expenditures – is there anything they can’t do?
Dan Gainor, Matt Philbin, Julia A. Seymour and Sean Long also contributed to this report.