Who Bought the Bubble?

Paul Krugman, being interviewed by the Liberal Oasis. [*] Shrill and partisan, as usual:

The huge budget surpluses of the Clinton Administration had a lot to do with the stock market bubble. They were not really a lasting achievement. The gradual return to a balanced budget was a real achievement. But that move into surplus was the stock bubble.

Was the improvement of economic performance real? Yes. The stock market got ahead of the real economy. But the improvement of economic performance was real. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was Clinton’s achievement, but it was real.

Most of the improvement in the budget, but not that last couple hundred billion dollars, was a real achievement.

[The Bush] tax cuts were justified on the basis of the surplus that wasn’t real.

If you ask, “who was it that bought into the illusions of the dot-com bubble?” It wasn’t Clinton. It was Bush.

I hadn’t thought about it quite that way, but it’s obviously right once you hear it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com