Appearing on "Martin Bashir" Friday afternoon, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said that Republican leaders' economic policy is so destructive that "sometimes you do wonder if these guys are moles –Manchurian Candidates – for I don’t know who." (Watch above.)
Krugman also called lawmakers who think austerity programs will jumpstart the economy "completely deluded."
Throughout his appearance, the Nobel Prize-winning economist proffered a philosophy familiar to readers of his column: Governments should spend more, not less, during tough times. He called the austerity programs that have been put into place in Europe and the U.S. a "massive unethical human experiment," and argued that "even if you don't care at all about the people...cutting spending right now now is a way to make the budget, too."
Responding to a clip of Congressman Paul Ryan comparing American economic malaise to that of Greece, Krugman outlined the many differences between the two countries, then attacked the Republican rising star. "About Paul Ryan--you should really look at Paul Ryan's budget, and what's really in it, as opposed to the empty promises," Krugman said. "His budget would actually increase the budget deficit. He wants to slash taxes on the rich, cut benefits for the poor, but it adds up to an increased budget deficit, not a reduced one."
Bashir then asked what Krugman thought of John Boehner's recent assertion that he would once again force a showdown over the U.S. debt ceiling.
Krugman compared Boehner and his ilk to Manchurian Candidates, whose "real job is to bring down America." Republicans have become so extreme, he said that their strategy at the negotiating table is simply to "threaten to destroy the economy unless they get what they want."