Sunday, March 10, 2013

The problem with Sunday shows.

Someone who didn't know the facts would assume that Paul Krugman and Ron Johnson (R-WI) just disagree about what to do about Social Security -- because there's no one there to say that Johnson is full of you-know-what.

JOHNSON:  You've made my point -- you've made my point, we have to agree on the facts.


KRUGMAN:  But the facts are false.

JOHNSON:  No they are not.


JOHNSON:  They are not false.

KRUGMAN:  The Social Security thing, Social Security is -- there -- it has a dedicated revenue base.  It has a trust fund based on that dedicated revenue base.  You can't change the rules midstream and say, oh suddenly...


JOHNSON:  See here's -- here's the problem...


JOHNSON:'s the problem with the trust fund, the federal government owns U.S. Treasury bonds, it's the same thing as if you have $20.00, you spend it.  And by the way, that money is spent, it's gone.  You write yourself a note for $20.00, stick it in your pocket and say, I got 20-bucks.


JOHNSON:  No, you don't.  You -- you have a note that you have to sell in the open market.  The trust fund is a fiction, it doesn't -- it's...


KRUGMAN:  If you -- if you want to think of Social Security as not just being part of the government, then there's no such thing as a Social Security problem, it's just part of the general budget.  You -- you cannot say on the one hand...


KRUGMAN:  ...on -- on the other hand we're going to -- we're going to restrict it to only operating off of...


KRUGMAN: It's -- but it's important to realize that the facts that are being brought out here are in fact, non-facts.  And how...


WILL:  As Pat Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts", and we're going to start this chimeric negotiation from two sides that can't agree on the most basic thing...
 Indeed, George.


willf said...

I remember way back in 2003 when blogs were going to change this dynamic by pointing it out ad nauseum.

JohnR said...

Hey, willf: H.C. Anderson was doing that on his blog (back in the day, they posted blog posts on paper) in the 19th century (cf the Emperor's new, groovy threads). I suspect oral bloggers like Homer were doing their bit as well even before that. I think 2003 is a bit time-chauvinist..

Also, too, "the most basic thing" is that the modern GOP hates reality SO MUCH! Good to see that George F'ing Will is willing to allow that truth and fiction are just the same, from a certain point of view.