On Sunday’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman made a case for conservative champion and former President Ronald Reagan, but probably not in a way many conservatives would agree with.
According to Krugman, this economy — unlike the ailing economy in the early 1980s — still hasn’t improved because the public sector is so much smaller than it was in the Reagan era. Krugman said, in his view, Reagan was the Keynesian and Obama was the anti-Keynesian, despite Obama’s passage of an $850-billion stimulus program back in 2009.
“On the Reagan thing, if public sector had continued to expand the way it did during Reagan’s first term, instead of falling by 600,000 as it has, right there, we would have something 1.4 million people working in this country,” Krugman proclaimed. “If you actual look at the actual track record of government spending, government employment, Reagan is the Keynesian. And Obama, mostly because of political constraints, a little bit because of lack of conviction from his own people, has been the anti-Keynesian. He’s been doing what Republicans say is the right answer.”
Krugman went on to advise the administration to make a better case for more government spending.
“If I have a political critique, this administration has been very reluctant to make that case. They have been very hesitant about saying, ‘Look, we’ve been trying to do the right thing but those guys won’t let us,’” Krugman said. “[W]hat do I know about political strategy, but they have to say, ‘Hey look, we could have made this better and it’s, you know the ‘Harry Truman do-nothing’ Congress.”