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O'Reilly, hiding behind his desk, attacks absent Krugman

Reported by Chrish - March 5, 2007 -

Bill O'Reilly used his scurrilous Talking Points Memo Friday 3/4/07 to attack economist Paul Krugman for his analysis of the Bush administration's policies' effects on the US economy. Never mind that Krugman is a Princeton University Professor of Economics and International Affairs, and author or co-author of dozens of books on the subject; he is also a New York Times columnist so he must be attacked. It is duly noted that O'Reilly did not take on Krugman man-to-man.

O'Reilly said

"...some Americans are hoping bad things happen to this country. You may remember a couple years ago I let New York Times columnist Paul Krugman have it for distorting economic information to make the Bush administration look bad. Maybe I was too hard on Krugman but what I said was exactly true. He consistently paints a negative picture of the economy for partisan reasons. — Krugman is about as left wing as they come.

Now, today Krugman described the latest stock market swoon as a, "great market meltdown" and "the financial wreckage of a global recession." Wow! Nineteen twenty-nine here we come.

Now, maybe this time Krugman will be right. Maybe the markets will just blowup. But it's worth notes that Krugman has been predicting doom ever since President Bush took office. In December 2002, for example, Krugman wrote, "So where's the economy heading? Put it this way, it's getting harder to tell a tale with a happy ending."

That column was followed by four years of a strong economy that saw low unemployment and a nice rise in prosperity for most Americans. — And that's according to the stats. So my conclusion is that Paul Krugman wants the economy to tank because he wants a liberal in the White House who will champion big government entitlements. To Krugman the pain of an economic disaster is worth the ideological gain. "

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office shares Krugman's view that the US economy is headed for trouble. We are staying afloat now through intensive, unsustainable debt. David M. Walker, the head of the General Accountability (nee Accounting) Office and Comptroller of the US, is on an unprecedented "Fiscal Wake-up Tour" of the US,

"talking to anybody who will listen about the fiscal black hole Washington has dug itself, the "demographic tsunami" that will come when the baby boom generation begins retiring and the recklessness of borrowing money from foreign lenders to pay for the operation of the U.S. government.

"To show that the looming fiscal crisis is not a partisan issue, he brings along economists and budget analysts from across the political spectrum. In Austin, he's accompanied by Diane Lim Rogers, a liberal economist from the Brookings Institution, and Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Their basic message is this: If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation.

A hole that big could paralyze the U.S. economy; according to some projections, just the interest payments on a debt that big would be as much as all the taxes the government collects today.

And every year that nothing is done about it, Walker says, the problem grows by $2 trillion to $3 trillion. "

O'Reilly went on to attack the Houston Chronicle, calling them out for using the Washington Post as a source supporting an editorial view that things in Iraq are not getting better. O'Reilly denied that assessment saying

"OK... So what do the facts tell us? Well, murders and violent encounters have dropped dramatically since American forces began patrolling Baghdad. And sectarian violence in that city is way down as well.And most of the surge forces aren't even in place yet."
But he failed to cite any source whatsoever to back up his claim even as he ridiculed the Chronicle for their analysis: "Does The Houston Chronicle not have reporters? Why would they quote another newspaper? Come on, do your own work." Oh puh-leeze.

Couching his criticism (against libel suits? slander?) he said

"Now, I could be wrong, but I don't believe The Houston Chronicle would ever acknowledge improvement in Iraq no matter what happens because that would strengthen the Republican Party.

Like Paul Krugman, The Chronicle hopes Iraq will not work out. Again, I could be wrong. — I can't read minds. But the paper's flimsy editorial back-up pretty much makes my point.

It is beyond O'Reilly that people can say negative things about the administration because they are true; it is all political to him, which makes this statement directed at Krugman and The Houston Chronicle a moment later all the more hypocritical:

""It is important for all Americans to understand that ideologues on both sides, right and left, will never be able to handle, much less report the truth. They will always bend the facts to fit their preconceived belief system.