Huffpost Politics

Krugman: 'Right-Wing Intellectuals And Politicians Live In A Bubble'

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Paul Krugman took on the argument that America is becoming a nation of takers.

"Right-wing intellectuals and politicians live in a bubble in which denunciations of those bums on disability and those greedy children getting free health care are greeted with shouts of approval — but now have to deal with a country where the same remarks come across as greedy and heartless (because they are)," he wrote in a blog post on Sunday.

The New York Times columnist pointed to Republican criticism of the increase in people who receive Social Security payments for disability.

"Yes, there has been some liberalization of the criteria — if you have multiple interacting conditions or mental illness, you may qualify in ways you didn’t before — but that liberalization is pretty reasonable," he said. "It’s still quite hard to qualify for DI."

Even more telling, Krugman said, is the rhetoric used by conservatives when discussing so-called entitlement programs.

"What strikes me, however, isn’t just the way the right is trying to turn a reasonable development into some kind of outrage; it’s the political tone-deafness."

Krugman has long contested the notion that people who receive government aid are takers. Last month, he said that "cutting Social Security benefits is a cruel, stupid policy."

Republicans and Democrats were at odds last month over whether or not to make cuts to Social Security in order to help balance the budget and avoid the fiscal cliff. Major cuts were avoided.

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