Friday, August 16, 2013

The Paul's down with this

I read a lot of economics reporting in the pre-Internet era, and by and large it was terrible. In part this was because the reporters and pundits often knew little economics — in fact, there was a sort of bias against having reporters with too much expertise, on the grounds that they wouldn’t be able to relate to the readership. In part it was because there wasn’t an effective mechanism for checking facts and interpretations: a reporter or pundit could say something that everyone who knew anything about the subject realized was all wrong, but those with better knowledge had no way of getting that knowledge out in real time.
Now we're in a Golden Age of Economic Discourse. (Though apparently we weren't back in 2002)  And we wonder how long the infatuation will last, now that Tom Maguire is back on the Anti-Paul-dolatry squad;
So rather than take comfort in the nearly inevitable decline in the reduction of the deficit as the economy recovers from a dreadful recession, [Eric] Cantor remains worried about the long term projections of a growing deficit (even as a percent of GDP). And this is irresponsible, deceitful leadership?
The Politfact ruling:
Cantor said that the federal deficit is "growing." Annual federal deficits are not growing right now, and they are not projected to grow through 2015, a point at which the deficit will have shrunk by three-quarters since 2009. By this standard, Cantor is wrong. However, unless policies are changed, deficits are projected to grow again in 2016 and beyond, according to the CBO. On balance, we rate his claim Half True.
So literalists and partisan pundits will claimn Cantor is wrong; folks actually evaluating our current path will have cause to worry about growing deficits.
Which, as Maguire notes, was the same problem deficit worry-warts had in 1996 (Krugman's earlier example of 'deceit' by those rascally Republicans); that CBO projections showed rising deficits in the near future.

She's fickle, that internet.

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