On Morning Joe today, there was the normal Ted Cruz and GOP bashing of late, but what I'd like to write about is the ongoing strawman argument Joe Scarborough continues to push since his interview with Paul Krugman. Scarborough's argument has been so dishonest, I, a libertarian, find myself defending Paul Krugman, and, man, does that feel awkward. Actually, I'm not defending Krugman so much as the truth. I'm also tired of diversions that avoid fundamental problems and solutions.
Scarborough has insisted on Morning Joe and on Twitter that Krugman said we should ignore the debt until 2025, and this is a ridiculous strawman argument that Scarborough likes to build and tear down with righteous relish. Maybe Scarborough just wants to keep the "debate" going because he feels important having a public debate with a Nobel Prize winning economist, but who knows -- certainly he's not that shallow. Perhaps he wants to position himself as a reasonable Centrist who sees both sides and has a solution to the quandary which blocks others from finding solutions.
The debate centers around Scarborough's idea that government should run short term deficits to spend on infrastructure, education, research and other forms of government "investments" to get the economy going, but at the same time government should make plans now to deal with long term entitlement debt. Krugman says that government right now, unfortunately, can't do two things at once, and any long term plans to reform entitlements now will not be passed. Krugman believes entitlements will be a problem in the future, but, if government spending jumpstarts the economy now, economic growth will change the debt projections, and down the road we can reform entitlements when the economy is in better shape and experts have a better idea what solutions are needed.
From a statist perspective, Krugman is right. Scarborough's insistence on making long term debt reduction plans now is a political ploy designed to give the apprearance of serious action regarding debt reduction. However, everytime Congress puts on this show all that happens is entitlement reform is put off, and it never happens, because future Congresses are not bound by the present Congress.
The only way for real changes to come about is major systemic changes that limit government power and allow economic freedom. But this requires public demand and ongoing diligence to prevent future encroachments -- not likely. Economic freedom and total tax restructuring will release American businesses and entrepreneurs to generate sustainable economic growth and create new wealth. Taking money from the private sector and running it through government to create jobs is a waste -- it will not create sustainable jobs and new wealth. New wealth has to be generated to get government expenses in order, but limits on power are necessary to prevent government from doing the same deficit spending and power-grabbing once the economy is churning. Again, not likely. A free market is necessary if we are going to respond to technological changes and create the opportunities needed to reach full employment. Education doesn't need more federal government investment -- eduation needs more private sector, free choice, fundamental solutions. Not likely, not likely, not likely -- but, if we continue down the road we're on we'll collapse the economy. Both parties are at fault.
What government is doing and planning prolongs economic stagnation, which is ironic considering the Morning Joe discussion later on regarding FDR. Newt Gingrich was on Morning Joe and he and Scarborough talked about how great FDR was, but FDR prolonged suffering during the depression, and his interventions created the problems that everyone gives him credit for solving. FDR was a Super-Statist, and he did more damage, because of his influence going forward on modern liberalism and Progressivism, than any other President in US history.