Over Three Years After His Doomsday Prediction, Paul Krugman Makes Reluctant Admission About the Trump Economy

When last we left you with Paul Krugman, the liberal New York Times columnist was fangirling cheering on House Intel Chair Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) opening statement at the start of the Senate’s impeachment trial. Of Schiff’s performance and “leadership”, Krugman opined that “On this front, at least, the party is doing something right”:


As I noted in my post at the time, the tweet was an indicator that clearly Krugman is still struggling through a credibility crisis that arguably started at the time Donald Trump was elected president in November 2016.

Like many other liberal elites, Krugman went into Code Red mode in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. In a piece published shortly after Trump won, the Nobel Prize winner predicted an economic doomsday scenario worldwide due to Trump’s election:

Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.

Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news. What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in, eight years after the great financial crisis.


Now comes the mother of all adverse effects — and what it brings with it is a regime that will be ignorant of economic policy and hostile to any effort to make it work. Effective fiscal support for the Fed? Not a chance. In fact, you can bet that the Fed will lose its independence, and be bullied by cranks.

So we are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight. I suppose we could get lucky somehow. But on economics, as on everything else, a terrible thing has just happened.


In retrospect, Krugman was clearly wrong about what would happen under a Trump economy, as he is frequently reminded when he weighs in on the issues of the day:

Just last week, in fact, Krugman appeared on the PBS program “The Firing Line” with host Margaret Hoover and one of the topics discussed was a recent tweet from Trump calling for him to be fired from the New York Times:

Because the only thing bigger than his propensity to make embarrassingly bad predictions is his ego, Krugman responded by suggesting he was living “rent-free” in Trump’s head:

Considering Krugman’s extreme TDS tendencies have been called out even by people who are otherwise big fans of his work, one could argue that the “rent-free” thing goes the other way around. Regardless, he again made the claim during the interview with Hoover last week, while also reluctantly acknowledging some things about the economy under Trump by way of giving him a few backhanded compliments:


“The economy is doing pretty well at the moment. Do you agree?” Hoover asked.

“Yeah,” Krugman admitted. “I mean… there’s a lot of stuff that we’re not taking care of that we should be taking care of, but look — best estimate is that Trump has added about $300 billion at an annual rate to the budget deficit. That’s a big stimulus. That’s almost as big as the Obama stimulus at its peak. So, sure.”

He then claimed that the results of the stimulus were “little bang for the buck” considering the size of the deficit.

“So the Trump economy hasn’t been all bad?” Hoover pressed.

“No,” Krugman replied. “I mean, full employment is good. Those of us who were screaming for more stimulus back in the days when unemployment was nine percent still think that some stimulus is good even now.”


He was also quick to claim during the interview and on Twitter that he had “retracted” his dire prediction three days after he made it:


Although if you read it, the only thing he retracted was in his initial insinuation that the global economic collapse would be immediate. In his revised version, he still predicted a collapse, but noted it would happen “over time.”

Over three years later, though, his prediction still hasn’t come to pass. And yet here he is — still getting it wrong.

Never change, Kruggie. Never change.


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