I realize that this will come to some of my readers as a revelation on the order of the statement that all other things being equal, on average and in the long run, evidence seems to indicate that water is wet. This post is principally for the benefit of those of my gentle, educated and clever friends and—I hope, at least occasional—readers who take the opposite view that this claim is a vile slander on the integrity of our recent and most honest recipient of the Swedish Riksbank's Alfred Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, crying out as a lone voice of reason and sense on the campus of a
clown college small community school and in one of the last bastions of unbiased reporting, albeit it a provincial circular.
The latter should read the most recent issue of Econ Journal Watch and in particular the article When the White House changes party, do economists change their tune on budget deficits?
Economists differ on the risks and benefits of budget deficits on fundamental grounds and even when there is fundamental agreement economists may reasonably change their opinion on the issue depending on economic circumstances. Given that much leeway, much of the variability in the urgency and frequency of counsel for or against deficit yields only limited evidence of political bias. The most glaring exception appears to be our dear Herr Doktor Professor Paul Krugman whose views on the issue appear to follow changes in the party currently in control of the White House with almost acrobatic alacrity. Those who still take his popular writings as a reliable source of economic intelligence may just want to bypass the middle man and just read the DNC's press releases on the subject straight.
But the principal reason for this blog post is that it gives me an opportunity to quote the article's opening epigraph:
A true party-man hates and despises candour; and, in reality, there is no vice which could so effectually disqualify him for the trade of a party-man as that single virtue. The real, revered, and impartial spectator, therefore, is, upon no occasion, at a greater distance than amidst the violence and rage of contending parties. To them, it may be said, that such a spectator scarce exists any where in the universe. Even to the great Judge of the universe, they impute all their own prejudices, and often view that Divine Being as animated by all their own vindictive and implacable passions. Of all the corruptors of moral sentiments, therefore, faction and fanaticism have always been by far the greatest.