Thursday, January 1, 2009

NYTimes Paul Krugman on deficits

Thursday, January 1, 2009 5:46 PM
From: "Arnold Nelson" To: "NYTimes Letters" Chicago

Editors, New York Times


In his Monday, December 29 column "Fifty Herbert Hoovers" Paul Krugman reassures us that "The Obama administration will put deficit concerns on hold while it fights the economic crisis."

On Thursday, October 20, 1932 The New York Times printed all 5600 words of a speech given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Pittsburgh, PA., the previous evening. In that speech FDR used the word 'deficit' 19 times, as in 'pile up deficits', 'unprecedented deficits', 'billion-dollar deficit of 1931', 'stupendous deficits', 'staggering deficit', 'concealments of deficits', 'continuing deficits', etc., blaming every instance on President Hoover, but not a mention of putting any of them "on hold."

Krugman also repeats the column title in the second and last paragraphs, defining it as "state governors who are slashing spending in a time of recession...." This speech may be most remembered for FDR concluding: "I shall approach the problem of carrying out the plain precept of our party, which is to reduce the cost of the current Federal Government operations by 25 per cent." In 1932 FDR campaigned that the federal government was spending too much money, not too little.

Arnold H Nelson Chicago IL

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