Feature

Don’t blame voters for the fiscal crisis

The lesson: Unless we’re more skeptical of powerful experts pushing nonsensical policies, “they’ll do even more damage in the years ahead,” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times.

Paul KrugmanThe New York Times

Stop blaming the public, said Paul Krugman. The “self-appointed wise men” of the country’s policy elite have recently taken to claiming that selfish, shortsighted voters caused the U.S. budget deficit and economic meltdown by clamoring for goodies they couldn’t pay for. The truth is that our current miseries were caused by foolish policies promoted by the policy elite, not by ordinary voters.

Take the Bush tax cuts, rammed through by fervent supply-siders who insisted they’d pay for themselves, and then some. Instead, they’ve added $2 trillion to the national debt. The costly Iraq war? That was brought to us by an elite circle of neocons who cooked up a “highly deceptive sales campaign.” How about the “reckless deregulation” of Wall Street banks that led to a catastrophic fiscal collapse? That was the work of  economic policymakers such as former Fed chairman Alan Greenspan, who assured us that the unregulated trading of derivatives would be in the country’s best interest.

The lesson: Unless we’re more skeptical of powerful experts pushing nonsensical policies, “they’ll do even more damage in the years ahead.”

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