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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Krugman on the "Snookered"

We covered earlier this week Paul Krugman's column on the "unserious" Paul Ryan; also, his early hit on Niall Ferguson's horrid Newsweek attack on Obama and hot embrace of Ryan.  Ferguson hit back at his critics, citing a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that, surprisingly, found that the Ryan budget plan would indeed cut the deficit.  Krugman's colleague David Brooks has also cited that.  That was so counter-intuitive it seemed fishy to me, and now Krugman, in a blog post, confirms that, under the title "Saving Serious Ryan."

His main point:  "As I pointed out a few days ago, CBO did not score the policy provisions in the Ryan plan; there wasn’t remotely enough detail for a comprehensive assessment, and they didn’t do a partial of what was specified. Instead, they laid out the implications of revenue and spending paths that were just assumed per Ryan’s instructions — without expressing any view about whether these paths were plausible....So Ryan gamed the system: he got CBO to produce a report which looks to those who don’t actually read it like a validation of his numbers, when in fact he prevented any actual scoring of his proposals. If you think otherwise, you’ve been snookered."

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