The Elementary Errors of Frum and Krugman
8:01 AM, Apr 8, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
Frum is highly critical of Ryan’s budget, which he characterizes as pointless and immoderate. His whole piece reads like it was written in 2008, and indeed, he still seems to view the political landscape through that lens. Frum has opposed the repeal movement and has called for the Republican Party to become less conservative. Meanwhile, new (and generally more conservative) Republican candidates swept to victory in 2010 largely because of their support for repeal and their opposition to fiscal irresponsibility and government largess.
Krugman, meanwhile, writes that those who “lavished praise on Mr. Ryan … should have waited until people who know how to read budget numbers had a chance to study the proposal.” But unfortunately for the self-gratulatory Krugman (and the more modest Frum), the claim that, over the next decade, Ryan’s budget would cause the debt to rise by more than under current law, is in error — by a cool $1.929 trillion. And since Obama’s budget would increase the debt by $2.806 trillion more than it would increase under current law, Frum’s claim that Ryan would increase the debt by more than Obama would, is off by even more — by $4.735 trillion.
Krugman opines that Ryan’s budget is “cruel.” What is truly cruel, however, is leaving future generations of Americans with another $4,735,000,000,000.00 in debt.