Krugman, Ryan, Peterson, Stockman and the Debt

In my April 5 post I told of an upcoming panel discussion including economist and columnist Paul Krugman and David Stockman, a former budget director for Ronald Reagan, on Week End with Stephanopoulos.  While I had planned to return to a discussion of this encounter, it struck me after watching it twice that it was not worth it.   Had it just been those two it might have been, but there were three other panelists as well which fractured the nature of the discussion to the point where no points were really developed, just differences emphasized in a scattered fashion.

This is a common problem with such so-called discussions on TV.  They seldom lead anywhere due to the complexity of the issues and the short amount of time that the programming allots.   I thought Chris Hayes did the best of anyone with that kind of format, but he had two two-hour programs on weekend mornings to do it.  Now MSNBC has moved him to a one hour show late week day afternoons and, while no doubt  a promotion, I believe his program suffers as a result.

I’m not here just to gripe, though  (I already did that in a couple of posts last May when Krugman also happened to be on  Stephanopolis).  Instead I think it worthwhile to develop some background information on these issues, so  that I can refer readers to it when writing related posts, as I am about to do right now.

The Governomics page, linked near the top of this home page, gives a thumb nail sketch of my present take on the nature of the huge fiscal problems that appear in store for us over the next 10 to 25 years, let’s say.  Tied to that is a sub-page where I describe three different assessments/approaches to these fiscal problems, one of them with liberal Paul Krugman as the poster boy, another with Paul Ryan and a third with fellow conservative Pete Peterson, probably the least known of the three but by far the richest and spends his money to be influential.  I also include David Stockman, who seems to fit well in the Peterson camp.  This seems a more fruitful way to broach these issues  than a return to the Stephanopoulos verbal merry-go-round.