Economist Paul Krugman: Biden needs to ‘go big on stimulus right away’ if he wins

Economist Paul Krugman: Biden needs to ‘go big on stimulus right away’ if he wins
Image via Gage Skidmore.

With the 2020 presidential election only two weeks away, Paul Krugman is among the many blistering critics of President Donald Trump who is hoping that former Vice President Joe Biden will be victorious on Tuesday, November 3. And the liberal economist/New York Times columnist, in an October 20 Twitter thread, stresses that if Biden wins, he needs to "go big on stimulus right away."

Krugman opens his thread by linking to a New York Times article by author Neil Irwin, who also covers economic issues for the Times. Irwin, in his October 19 piece, warns that whoever is inaugurated on January 20 — whether Biden wins or Trump is reelected — will face an "economic mess." And Irwin encourages an aggressive economic stimulus program.

Krugman, similarly, has been stressing that because the coronavirus pandemic has taken a brutal toll on the U.S. economy, more stimulus is needed — not less. And Krugman recalls that back in 2009, during the Great Recession, he urged President Barack Obama to ignore Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and other Republicans in Congress who were discouraging stimulus.

Krugman recalls that back in 2009, he wrote, "I see the following scenario: a weak stimulus plan, perhaps even weaker than what we're talking about now, is crafted to win those extra GOP votes…. And then, Mitch McConnell says, 'See, government spending doesn't work.' Let's hope I've got this wrong."

Eleven years later, Krugman tweets, "Back in 2009, I was tearing my hair out, warning about exactly the scenario that in fact played out."

Krugman concludes his thread by stressing that Obama shouldn't have listened to Republicans in Congress who, in 2009, discouraged a strong economic stimulus plan — and that if Biden wins in November, he needs to make stimulus a top priority regardless of what Republicans say.

"I think the Biden team has learned that lesson," Krugman writes. "But I do worry that some of his advisers will urge caution, when that's exactly the wrong approach to take."

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