Lies, Damn Lies, and Paul Krugman

You knew, of course, that Paul Krugman would attack Paul Ryan’s proposed budget, but you had to wait to find out exactly what howlers Krugman would tell. The attack column is out now, and among his many absurdities (e.g., his outrage at the notion that the private sector might deliver health care more efficiently than the federal government) there is this outright lie:

In fact, the budget office finds that over the next decade the plan would lead to bigger deficits and more debt than current law.

This is untrue. It’s not close to true. It’s not even within a country mile of true.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, current law (that’s the March 2011 baseline) will result in a $6.737 trillion deficit from 2012 to 2021 (see table 1, here). President Obama’s budget will result in a $9.470 trillion deficit over that 10-year period (ibid). Under Ryan’s budget, that deficit would be $5.088 trillion (see table S-1, here).

At the risk of belaboring the point, $5.088 trillion (Ryan’s budget) is smaller than $6.737 trillion (current law). To be precise, it’s $1.649 trillion smaller. That’s nearly a quarter of the ten-year deficit.

Ryan’s budget deficit is not larger than current law; it’s much, much smaller. On the other hand, Krugman’s credibility deficit is growing all the time.

(Via the Weekly Standard.)

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