Obama Calls Out Krugman

Ezra Klein at American Prospect has already commented on some footage that I just saw on CNN.

Paul Krugman marshalled his critique of Obama’s stimulus plan from his blog onto the op-ed page of today’s New York Times. A front-page story in the same newspaper suggests that Democratic legislators have been reading Krugman. Obama responded by throwing down the gauntlet for people in general, and Krugman specifically, to put forward better stimulus ideas.

As Klein notes, Krugman has already been pretty clear about his constructive proposal: a larger stimulus package with proportionally more new spending and fewer tax cuts. In another post, Klein outlines a more specific proposal from the man who gave the PEF’s inaugural Galbraith lecture: hiking Social Security benefits and cutting Social Security premiums.

Klein (correctly) argues that Social Security premiums are regressive because they apply only to the first $102,000 of income. By comparison, Canada Pension Plan premiums apply only to the first $46,000 of income, which makes them much more regressive.

I would put far more emphasis on improving benefits than on cutting premiums. But if we are going to have tax cuts, we should indeed aim to cut regressive taxes.

UPDATE (Jan. 11): Another specific suggestion for Obama


  • I have written a superior “2009 Progressive Social Security Modernization Plan.” To access a 2 part You Tube video, Google: “Social Security Modernization.” Hit “Feeling Lucky.” It should come up for your viewing. Please send me your comments.

  • I agree 100% w/ & thank Paul Krugman for forcing PE Obama out into the open & pointing out that PE Obama’s Wall Street Driven Economic Bill is just = Wrong & Won’t help.
    I would only like to add .. Will Anyone Call Out PE Obama on His Campaign Pledge / Promise to Repeal the disastrous Bush Tax Cuts? Will Anyone do a ‘Shout Out’ what Keeping Them in Places Costs Main Street ?

  • I would just like to add:
    I think there needs to be a Huge Outcry & Protest Against at PE Obama’s yet another give-away to just a few mega Wall Steeters like Citigroup = Obama’s New & Additional Tax Revenue Starvation Enhancement Program = expanding write-off against profits from 2 years to 4-5 years! We need to just say No!

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