Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and The New York Times’ Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Krugman continued the debt debate on Charlie Rose last night and in Krugman’s own words, “I just had my Denver debate moment.” His takeaway from the episode? “Urk.”
Check out the top 5 moments from the Scarborough-Krugman face-off.
1.) Scarborough: You predicted this!
Scarborough: But what has not changed is the fact that baby boomers, as you predicted, they would be moving towards retirement in 1997, in the age of diminished expectations, you said specifically, “Why worry about deficits? There’s a huge army on the march; baby boomers are getting older, the enormous generation is going to be turning 65 in 2010, their ranks will swell, the aging population will create huge foreseeable budget problems.” You predicted that in ’97.
2.) Krugman: “a deficit that will make Argentina look like a model of responsibility.”
Scarborough: But this is what you’ve always said. This is what you said in 2005, Medicare and Medicaid are going to sharply increase the deficit in 2010. The deficit might well exceed 8% of GDP sometime in the next decade. That’s a deficit that will make Argentina look like a model of responsibility.
Krugman: Well, I’ve learned a few things since then too.
3. Scarborough: “Paul just agreed that only three people agree with him!”
Krugman: If it wasn’t for me and a few people who are loudly saying, ‘the deficit is not a problem’ without first qualifying it with three paragraphs of–’well, you know, longer term it is a problem.’ I don’t think this message that spending cuts are hurting the economy would be getting across at all.
Scarborough (laughing): By the way, Paul, it’s very important to note: Paul just agreed that only three people agree with him and are saying this.
Krugman: No, no, only three people–I said only three people are saying it without prefacing it with the obligatory three paragraphs. On the substance–Ben Bernanke gave a speech last week that was, for all practical purposes, saying the same thing I’m saying. He said–you know, the deficit–the outlook looks relatively okay for the next ten years. Now, we would like it to be lower, but it’s relatively okay. But spending cuts right now are a really bad thing.
4. Scarborough to Krugman: I’m quoting you back to you.
Scarborough: Paul, again, you’ve been predicting this for 20 years.
Krugman: You know, that–you know, that’s such a tired argument, to go and search for quotes in stuff I said once upon time instead of dealing with the issue.
Scarborough: It’s not once upon a time. We’re talking about you said this for 15 years. And so then you woke up one day and said, ‘I was wrong.’ You said we needed to create a housing bubble to replace the NASDAQ.
Krugman: Come on. That’s–you know that I was joking when I said that.
Scarborough: You were joking?
Krugman: Yes, of course. Joe, this is–this is so disappointing.
Scarborough: It is. It is disappointing.
Krugman: It’s so disappointing if all you can do is ad hominem and say, oh, you said this, and you were–you know, pull out the ad hominem.
Scarborough: Anybody that knows me knows I don’t engage in ad hominem attacks.
Krugman: That’s what you’re doing right now.
Scarborough: I think it would be–actually, I’m quoting back what you said.
5. Capitol Hill and multi-tasking
Scarborough: Next year? I don’t think over the next, three, four, five years it’s going to cause a serious problem. I think–I think if you look again at the projections, if you look at what we need to do for Medicare, Medicaid, I think we need to start planning for that right now. And that’s, I think, where we disagree.
Krugman: But –
Scarborough: I think Washington can do two things at once.