New York Times columnist Paul Krugman did not have nice things to say about the debt ceiling deal on Sunday's "This Week," and he wound up having a polite--but very pointed--debate with permanent panelist George Will about what direction the government should take.
The debate came before the deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans was finalized on Sunday night, but the contours of the deal were well known when Krugman and Will squared off. Krugman said that Obama had essentially caved into threats, and was making a disastrous choice.
"From the perspective of a rational person--in other words, a progressive on this stuff--we shouldn't be even talking about spending cuts at all now," he said. "...The Republicans said 'we'll blow up the world economy unless you give us exactly what we want,' and the president said, 'OK.' That's what happened."
Will dismissed Krugman's prescription. "We are a third of the way through a lost decade, but we're a third of the way after TARP, the stimulus, Cash for Clunkers, dollars for dishwashers, cash for caulkers, the entire range of stimulus, the Keynesian approach, which, by its own evidence, simply hasn't worked," he said. "Now Paul says double down."
Krugman shot back, "people like me said in advance that [the stimulus] wasn't remotely big enough," he said.
"It would be good to go to the electorate and have a Krugman election this time, saying, 'Resolved: the government is too frugal,'" Will responded.
Krugman also shot down an argument by tax hawk Grover Norquist, who claimed that states that have not raised taxes during the Great Recession have seen their economies improve more than states that have. Krugman said this was "just not true."
On Monday, he repeated the arguments he made on ABC in his New York Times column, calling the deal a "disaster."