Deficit Hawks Impervious to Math, Logic

It's the '30s all over again as Germany, US cut spending
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2010 11:38 AM CDT
Demonstrators carry banners and flags to protest the government's planned austerity measures in Stuttgart, Germany, on Saturday, June 12, 2010.   (AP Photo/dapd/Daniel Maurer)
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(Newser) – Paul Krugman is in Germany, and he’s sparring with deficit hawks, in this case supporters of Angela Merkel’s new austerity plan. It “feels a bit like arguing with US Iraq hawks back in 2002,” he writes in the New York Times. “They know what they want to do, and every time you refute one argument, they just come up with another.” Explain that their economy will suffer, that tax revenues will fall, and that their debt is so cheap relative to GDP that they shouldn’t worry, and they’ll babble nonsense about market reaction.

At least they’re better than American deficit hawks, who are mostly “hypocrites, pure and simple: They’re eager to slash benefits for those in need, but their concerns vanish when it comes to tax breaks for the wealthy.” The Germans seem at least sincere, but like most austerity fans, they “pose as hardheaded realists” but “can’t, and won’t, justify their stance with actual numbers—because the numbers do not, in fact, support their position.”

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