And by on Krugman, I mean in the sense of a prison rape:
Paul Krugman now says that some kinds of Keynesian stimulus spending just aren’t as effective as other kinds. Specifically, he suggests, aid to state and local governments (to enable them to keep government workers in their jobs) is a sort of second-class stimulus:
So what happened to the stimulus? Much of it consisted of tax cuts, not spending. Most of the rest consisted either of aid to distressed families or aid to hard-pressed state and local governments. This aid may have mitigated the slump, but it wasn’t the kind of job-creation program we could and should have had.
Hmm. That’s not what I remember him saying back in 2009. In 2009, if I remember right, job-preserving aid to state and local governments was almost the most important thing in the world. Let’s see … searching … searching … Sorry I’m a little rusty … searching … whoops, hit the Times paywall … searching … ah, yes:
Now the centrists have shaved off $86 billion in spending — much of it among the most effective and most needed parts of the plan. In particular, aid to state governments, which are in desperate straits, is both fast — because it prevents spending cuts rather than having to start up new projects — and effective, because it would in fact be spent; plus state and local governments are cutting back on essentials, so the social value of this spending would be high.
It’s always the same with Keynesian cultists. They hold to the faith that government stimulus works even though the economic logic dictates that it can’t. And when it doesn’t work, it must not have been big enough. And when it is shown that the stimulus was bigger than they recommended, then it just wasn’t the right kind. And when it is shown that it was the kind that they recommended, well… we’ll just have to wait for Krugman’s latest epicyclistic excuse.