Dear Paul Krugman

On one of my favorite blogs, Krugman in Wonderland, economist William Anderson regularly explains the pathology of the NYTimes’ flagship economics columnist.

Here he is, in an open letter to Paul Krugman, taking apart one of his recent columns, arguing for the repeal of the Bush Tax Cuts:

In your column today on extending the lower tax rates that now exist on the highest levels of income, you justify your point on two levels:

  1. The government needs more revenue and the state needs to take as much property as possible from private owners;

  2. Wealthy people are unlikely to spend every penny of their income immediately, so it is important for the Political Classes to get their hands on those funds, as governments will spend freely in the short run.

Thus, from what I can tell, you believe that it is the Very Duty of Everyone to spend everything quickly, and since you are advocating such beliefs publicly, I would like to challenge you to practice what you preach. Here are some suggestions…

He goes on to recommend that Krugman impose his own tax rates on himself; spend 100% of his current income; dump his investments; and refuse to buy commodities. He winds up this way:

I realize that you might be objecting by now. After all, why should you be the fall guy? However, as I read your words, you are claiming that there not only is an economic problem with paying less taxes, saving money, and abstaining from some personal spending in order to save for the future, but also a moral problem, then I would hate for you to be forced to act both unprofessionally AND engage in immoral behavior.

Holding the left accountable for its nutty philosophies? Nicely done.