Krugman laments he was ‘unready’ to debate Scarborough on economics

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 8:46 EDT
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Economist Paul Krugman appearing on "The Charlie Rose Show." Photo: Screenshot via YouTube.
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In a debate aired Monday night, MSNBC’s conservative pundit Joe Scarborough faced off with economist and columnist Paul Krugman over America’s debt, deficit and level of spending.

Krugman, a dogged proponent of deficit spending as a way to stimulate the economy, admitted before the show aired that Scarborough had gotten the better of him on points, comparing his performance to President Barack Obama’s first debate with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Denver.

“I was tired, cranky, and unready for the blizzard of misleading factoids and diversionary stuff,” he lamented. “Oh, and I wasn’t prepared for Joe Scarborough’s slipperiness about what he actually advocates (he’s for more spending in the near term? Who knew?).”

Scarborough admitted in the debate that he supports “an extra $200 billion” of additional yearly domestic spending on infrastructure and education in the near term because President Dwight D. Eisenhower did something similar when the Soviet Union launched its Sputnik satellite.

“I talk about it all the time,” the MSNBC host insisted. “I go around and I talk to Republicans all the time, and I’ll tell you the example I use: Ike, 1957, Sputnik goes up. What does Dwight Eisenhower do? Well, he invests in a program to put our own satellite up in space, but he also invests in science and creating a new generation of scientists.”

Eisenhower, as many modern liberals point out, would not have been able to do those things if it weren’t for America’s progressive tax structure at the time, which hit the highest earners with a marginal income tax rate over 90 percent — something Republicans today would balk at, to say the least.

The full interview is embedded below an excerpt published to YouTube.

This excerpt is from YouTube, published March 4, 2013.

This video is from “The Charlie Rose Show,” aired March 4, 2013.



Updated from an original version.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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