Harvard economist and former economic adviser to Mitt Romney Greg Mankiw has a column up on the New York Times website that will run in tomorrow’s paper. In general, it’s a well-thought out piece that basically says we are eventually going to need to cut entitlement spending and raise taxes on everyone in order to pay down our deficit.
But the last line of the piece made my jaw drop, given that Mankiw was one of Romney’s top advisers:
But fiscal negotiations might become a bit easier if everyone started by agreeing that the policies we choose must be constrained by the laws of arithmetic.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Now Mankiw wants policies to be “constrained by the laws of arithmetic?” He just spent months promoting economic policies that were mathematically impossible! And now he’s imploring everyone else to follow the laws of arithmetic. I haven’t read anything this hypocritical in quite a while.
BTW, I know the Tax Policy Center took a lot of heat on the right for the assumptions it made in determining that Romney’s tax plan was impossible, even though most of those assumptions were incredibly favorable to Romney. However, Mankiw and the Romney campaign could easily have cleared up the controversy by outlining the specifics of the plan. They refused to do so. Thus, the blame still lies with Mankiw and the campaign.