Paul Ryan Strikes Back

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on August 10, 2010

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And points out that even if Paul Krugman really does disagree with his Roadmap, Krugman could have still acted more responsibly by taking the kinds of actions that journalists normally take:

Talking late this afternoon with THE WEEKLY STANDARD, Republican congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin blasted New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for his “intellectualy lazy” attack on Ryan’s fiscal “Roadmap.” In his Friday column, Krugman called Ryan a “charlatan” and his plan to reform the welfare state and eliminate the debt a “fraud” that is “drenched in flimflam sauce.”Ryan responded to Krugman in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel over the weekend, and elaborated on his criticisms of Krugman this afternooon.

“I realize he’s a columnist and not a journalist, yet he could have easily tried to have verified his claims with a phone call or an email,” Ryan said of Krugman. “Instead he went with his confusion and chose to impugn motives,” said Ryan, “which strikes me as a very intellectually lazy exercise or style.”

Krugman attacked Ryan for not having the Congressional Budget Office officially score how much revenue his Roadmap would generate. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning Brookings/Urban Institute project, showed that Ryan’s tax reforms would not generate enough revenue to eliminate the deficit. But Ryan points out that it is not the CBO’s role to score revenue–it’s the job of the Joint Committee on Taxation.

Krugman wrote on his blog on Saturday that “Ryan could have gotten JCT to do a 10-year estimate; it just wouldn’t go beyond that. And he chose not to get that 10-year estimate.” Ryan says that’s not true. “We asked Joint Tax to do it,” Ryan told me. “They said they couldn’t. They don’t do them long-term outside the 10 year window. They couldn’t do it in the first 10 years because of just how busy they were.” Ryan says Krugman could have cleared this confusion up with a simple phone call. “Megan McArdle figured it out on her own,” Ryan said, referring to a blog post by The Atlantic‘s business and economics editor.

Of course, there is a reason why Krugman didn’t make a phone call, or send an e-mail. He is less a journalist, interested in finding out facts, and more a partisan hack interested in making polemical points, irrespective of what the facts might be.

UPDATE: More from Megan McArdle, whose critiques of Paul Krugman are significantly more devastating than are Krugman’s wild and desperate efforts to undercut Paul Ryan’s standing.

  • http://twitter.com/hunterbaker hunterbaker

    Yes, he wanted it on the record that he, Paul Krugman the nobel laureate, thinks ill of Ryan's plan.

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