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Well, here's something I didn't expect to see: MSNBC morning host Joe Scarborough agreeing with a New York Times columnist that it's a bad idea to cut spending when the economy is growing slowly:

"What this [the sequester] is going to do to the economy, is very, very troubling," said Gail Collins of the Times. "Whether it's crazy spending in defense, or smart spending elsewhere, just pulling the plug like this is going to be bad for us."

"Right," said Scarborough. "It's interesting, the Republicans actually don't believe in stimulus spending when it's attached to domestic programs, but you do hear people like Eric Cantor in Virginia saying 'This stimulates the economy, if you cut defense spending, it's going to cost jobs.' And it will, also. I mean the economy is upside down right now. We were in negative growth this last quarter."

So, if you're keeping score at home, at 8:30 AM ET on Feb. 21, 2013, Joe Scarborough finally admitted that cutting spending costs jobs when the economy isn't doing well is a bad idea. The thing that makes this so surprising is that for the past few weeks, Scarborough has been waging a campaign against a different New York Times columnist—Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman—for saying the same exact thing. For example:

Wayne LaPierre's views on guns are as extreme as Paul Krugman's views on debt.
@JoeNBC via Twitterrific
According to Scarborough, Krugman's economic ideas are so far out of the mainstream that virtually nobody agrees with him, but as Scarborough's comments on Thursday morning make clear, the real problem is that Scarborough simply doesn't understand what Krugman is saying.

To be fair to Scarborough, I'm pretty confident that he doesn't share Krugman's spending priorities—Krugman would rather spend money to lift people from poverty and to invest in our nation's future than on the military bloat supported by Scarborough. And Krugman probably would spend more money than Scarborough because he wants more economic growth than Scarborough. But even though Scarborough will never explicitly admit it, they do share the same basic economic theory: that when the economy is weak, more government spending means more jobs. The debate shouldn't be about whether we spend the money—it should be about what we spend the money on.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  oh g*d, please stop pointing out he's right (4+ / 0-)

    for once, people might start thinking he's reasonable... LOL

    "It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." *Ansel Adams* ."Even if you are on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."*Will Rogers*

    by Statusquomustgo on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:05:58 PM PST

    •  He's not right at all. (4+ / 0-)

      He doesn't even realize how inconsistent and wrong headed he is or he wouldn't say this without some qualification like:
      "I realize I have been saying that Krugman is wrong for saying that cuts are destructive but...."
      But....
      I have no idea what he could say after the "but...." which is why he is a dope.

      •  And that screen cap (5+ / 0-)

        of his twitter feed.

        Is he really cloaking himself with the mantle of William F. Buckley? I know he's been trying on the "intellectual and moderate Republican" thing since the election - but please. Joe is a hack.

        The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy... the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

        by lcbo on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:37:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scarborough's really at his comical best... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lcbo

          when trying to refute Krugman's analysis of the economy.

          For as many times as he claims Krugman's in the [vast] minority of economists who think "entitlements" are neither in immediate financial peril or major drivers of our national debt, I've yet to hear him cite anyone who believes differently other than former car czar Steve Rattner and "plutocrats-r-us'" chief spokesman Pete Peterson, both of which are all-in on the dubious "Fix-the-Debt" commission.

          Scarborough's only fooling himself (and his table full of sycophants) if he thinks he can even stand on the same intellectual ground as Krugman.

          "That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history." ~ Aldous Huxley

          by markthshark on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:49:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Perfectly sums up American politics (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcbo, salmo, pastol, vernonbc, peregrine kate

    Joe Scarborough is a classic BMOC idiot who doesn't know what he is talking about, a boyman who works hard to keep DC like high school and is proud of it, and relishes how much conventional wisdom he helps drive rules the Village wankery cess pool. "Everybody knows" x, y, and z. Um. No. No, Joe "everybody" doesn't know x, y, and z. Magically, when you provide a list of names, or data that refutes the nonsense, those names don't count. "Everybody knows x, y, and z aren't serious". Data too. "Everybody knows x, y, and z are fringe positions, like Bircher Birtherism and Climate Change Denialism."

    So, of course, he has a huge block of tv time on basic cable to spew nonsense. He's enthusiastic feedback in the feedback loop.

    Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize winning economist, one who has been right about most everything for years, and has been working hard to stop stupid and ignorant people from destroying America's middle class and gravely harming the poor on the advice of mendacious people acting in bad faith.

    So, of course, the moron industrial complex of the Village media, they who sit at the kewl kidz table, must sneer and tweet about him while pouring gas on the rubble they are helping to create.

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:28:13 PM PST

    •  Scarborough didn't actually admit (0+ / 0-)

      that spending cuts will destroy jobs.  He reinforced Gail's point that MILITARY spending cuts will destroy jobs.  He has skated along the edge of admitting this point before.  But he's setting up a future campaign endorsing military spending but insisting that all the other sequester cuts will be good for the economy.  This is the argument he had with Paul Krugman.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:58:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So what is Scarborough's expertise in economics? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      not this time

      I couldn't find it. He got a BA from the University of Alabama, but I couldn't find his academic major. Has he published any papers in refereed economics journals? I think he may have played football and he had a band.

      After graduation, Joe got a law degree. Then he became a politician and, more recently a pundit.

      In the meantime, Krugman got a PhD in economics, has published numerous papers and books, is an economics prof at Princeton, and received a Nobel prize for his work.

      So who should we believe?

  •  Scarborough is still a right-wing wacko ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ditch Mitch KY, sebastianguy99, lcbo

    just that, lately, he sometimes makes a little more sense
    than the Tea Party anarchist type of Republicans.

    *Austerity is the opposite of Prosperity*

    by josmndsn on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:29:06 PM PST

  •  Yep I'm Pretty Sure He Doesn't Mind Slashing (0+ / 0-)

    spending on people, even in an "upside down" economy, only on the military and other corporate friendly programs.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:34:12 PM PST

  •  Joe Scarborough is a corporatist Republican who (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    banjolele, Phoebe Loosinhouse

    clearly supports Bowles-Simpson's recommendations.  And basically, this is also what Gail Collins is supporting in this video.

    She says:  "What this [the sequester] is going to do to the economy, is very, very troubling," said Gail Collins of the Times. "Whether it's crazy spending in defense, or smart spending elsewhere, just pulling the plug like this is going to be bad for us."

    And BTW, Joe's a member of "No Labels."  Mika, too. That why he's in favor of the sequester.

    Here's an excerpt and the link to "No Labels," at Wikipedia.

    No Labels was founded by veteran Democratic fundraiser[11] Nancy Jacobson, Republican political adviser Mark McKinnon, and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker, among others.  The inaugural meeting of No Labels was held at a home in Houston, Texas,[3] and the organization was officially launched six months later in New York City.[3][12]  Over 1,000 people representing all 50 states gathered at the launch conference.

    The event featured a lineup of speakers and panelists consisting of elected officials, journalists, and business leaders, including Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Antonio Villaraigosa; Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, and Joe Manchin; Reps. Bob Inglis and Mike Castle; former Rep. Tom Davis; Gov. Charlie Crist; Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado; David Brooks; Joe Scarborough; Mika Brzezinski; and David Gergen.[4][15][16][17]

     

    Mollie

    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

    "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

    by musiccitymollie on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:57:13 PM PST

  •  Joe claims we all don't understand (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jed Lewison, JML9999, lcbo, satrap

    the difference between short term and long term as well as the difference between debt and deficits.

    I'm always amazed he makes this claim constantly about someone teaching economics at Princeton who was awarded a Nobel in the same subject.

    He even claims Alan Blinder disagrees with Krugman when he obviously doesn't.

    Welcome to Joe's universe, where none of us understand him.  

    "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

    by Jim R on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 01:57:34 PM PST

  •  Damn, my clock broke (0+ / 0-)

    I like it when these conservocorporatarians actually stop and think, and discover that we are right. For a few brief seconds they make sense, and realize that we make sense, and that we can solve most of our problems if they'd just potty train their fracist wing.

    Then their eyes glaze over again and they go back to spout the party line.

    Alas what might be, if only......

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:56:08 PM PST

  •  not sure what Collins' opinion on sequester (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    effect on economy is, does she really have any basis for her comments, any more than anybody else?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:35:31 PM PST

  •  To be fair to Joe Scumborough (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6ZONite, not this time

    His main mental sparring partner on that show is doing little other than proving a tremendous disappointment to her father.

    Side note: Wikipedia says her job is to "read the news headlines for the program." So sad.

    Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor. - John Dickinson ("1776")

    by banjolele on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:38:52 PM PST

  •  regarding poverty, military and jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    , going the armed services route is a good route out of dead ends and poverty for a lot of americans.  as long as the inequality structure stays in place it'd be a bummer if the part of the military that got cut was headcount

    what lincoln said http://cleantechnica.com/2012/10/10/abraham-lincoln-was-on-to-wind-power-long-before-the-rest/

    by rasfrome on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:40:32 PM PST

  •  What do people think is going to happen here? (0+ / 0-)

    Will the sequester actuallly go through?

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:40:46 PM PST

  •  Joe Scarborough agrees with (0+ / 0-)

    New York Times columnist that spending cuts will destroy jobs...

    Will they destroy them with a FILE CABINET DRAWER?

    Inform me when Joe Scarborough's head is being used as firewood. Nothing more.

    I'm never sure if I've forgotten and left the lid up, or if InvisObama™ is using the loo.

    by The Gryffin on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:42:18 PM PST

  •  But I thought the Government can't create jobs! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap
  •  Joe might be a dick, but he's about the only (0+ / 0-)

    R I can remember who can either a) change his mind or b) express an opinion that nominally sounds like a D.  I can't hate him.

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:45:48 PM PST

  •  Republicans are on a mission to destroy our (0+ / 0-)

    country and try to blame their obvious attempts on Democrats.  Treasonous bastards.  All of them.  How do we, the people, get rid of this cancer on our country?  I am beyond disgusted and outraged over their concerted efforts to destroy us from within.  Let's pay them all back big time come the next general election.  America has got to get rid of Republicans in Congress if there's any hope for the majority of us to survive.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 05:47:58 PM PST

  •  That's actually a reason to favor the sequester. (0+ / 0-)
    Whether it's crazy spending in defense
    When I was in college, back in the stone ages, there were a few studies that showed defense spending to cost net jobs.

    All spending is not the same.  It all costs money, but it doesn't all generated the same economic benefit.

    Unless, of course, you include the ability to blow strangers to kingdom come as an ecnomic benefit.

    I sincerely hope the sequester happens and that our leaders are forced into the awkward position of having to actually negotiate with each other in an effot to keep us form becoming too roylally pissed with them.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:29:52 PM PST

  •  When LaPierre wins a Nobel Peace Prize... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    not this time

    ...then, and only then, can you try to compare them. Until then close your mouth, Scarborough, you're letting all the stupid out.

  •  Negative growth my ass (0+ / 0-)

    Joe Scarborough has been listening and reading to too much Wall Street Journal.  He needs to get down right now to the Bay Area, California.

  •  Nobody cares what Joe Scarborough thinks about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Val

    anything. He is a boring and bombastic narcissistic blowhard. It is insanely frustrating to listen to sometimes interesting discussions get diverted as he reminisces about his time in Congress where he singlehandedly solved every fiscal problem imaginary and was personally responsible for the Clinton boom. He is such a lightweight it's embarrassing. I always enjoy the show much more when he is not on it. They could get rid of him and keep the name since the show is sponsored by Starbucks and "Joe" is the nickname for a cup of coffee.

    They should let Chris Hayes guest host even once just to show people what it's like when a smart person who does his research hosts and is not compelled to "win" discussions.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:54:10 AM PST

    •  .... (0+ / 0-)

      My suggestion is to move him to music director of the show--he does have good music.  

      Then, slot Solidad O'Brien into his place  and let her perform actual journalist duties like asking questions and demanding real answers.  

      The ratings for that show would be so much higher with him off of it, but he probably has a long-term contract.  If NBC just renewed David Gregory's contract, there isn't much hope for common sense staffing on the network.

  •  Scarborough = Cognitive Dissonance (0+ / 0-)

    Joey S. cannot admit the obvious conclusion that the right-wing dogma he has been spouting for 20 years does not match up to the facts that he has been forced to confront.  If you listen closely to his arguments against Pres. Obama and Prof. Krugman, there really does not end up being that big of a difference on substance (although I agree that his spending priorities are probably different).  This morning, Scarborough even came out in favor of the "Buffet Rule" in which millionaires would pay a minimum tax rate of 30%.  His complaint about the President seems to be primarily one of style--the President talks too much about tax increases and not enough about spending cuts.  Scarborough does not seem to be able to come up with a real substantive disagreement with the President or a criticism of the President's actual plan.

    Scarborough certainly mischaracterizes Krugman's position by claiming that Krugman wants to ignore Medicare until 2025 after it has collapsed.  I don't think Krugman has ever suggested waiting that long--Krugman merely wants to wait until the economy is out of crisis  (and wait to see how effective some of the measures in Obamacare end up being at lowering health care costs).

    Scarborough is frustrated that reality has a well-known liberal bias, and his recent "hissy fits" are evidence that he is desperately trying to resolve this "cognitive dissonance" rattling around in his head.

  •  He actually has been saying this for a while (0+ / 0-)

    AND it is the very reason he created a strawman to attack Krugman on.

    He could not be seen as in full agreement with a guy that has the word liberal in his blog name and save any chance of running for office again.

    The only difference between the Joke crew and Krugman is they want to talk about entitlements and debt literally right now as if they were Veruca Salt.  They think they are doing it because "the country" but they don't realize they are selling the line that stops the Pete Petersons of the world from getting tax hikes.

    "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

    by justmy2 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:01:30 AM PST

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