Saturday, February 15, 2014

They can't take that away from me

Indignation. That's still a port in the storm surrounding the Congressional Budget Office's backhanded admission that Casey Mulligan had it about right. Paul Krugman is a tad uncomfortable about all this;
Mulligan tells his readers that both Gruber and I are too dumb or craven to admit that the disincentives to work created by some aspects of the Affordable Care Act impose economic costs. ....
...both of us acknowledge that there are incentive effects and that they have a cost; but both of us argue on quantitative grounds that the cost isn’t large. Hardly the doctrinaire liberalism Mulligan thinks he sees.
Oh, and bonus misrepresentation: Mulligan:
Paul Krugman goes even further and calls it “misrepresentations” to interpret the marginal tax rate provisions of the Affordable Care Act as destructive.
No, I didn’t — I called talk about “2 million jobs destroyed” a misrepresentation, because it is. Who says so? The CBO itself.
On to the broader point. What one sees in this particular Mulligan piece is something I encounter all the time, in many contexts: the myth of the stupid progressive economist.
When we all know that it's the other guys who are stupid. Why? Because Paul says so, that's why;
You say that deficit spending is helpful in a depressed economy? You must be saying that deficits and bigger government are always good, which is stupid hahaha. You say that increasing unemployment benefits in a demand-constrained economy can create jobs? But you also said once upon a time that unemployment insurance can raise the natural rate of unemployment, so you’re stupid hahaha.
Well, somebody’s being stupid, anyway. 
Wethinks the lady doth protest a little too much.

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