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Intro: "Quick quiz: What's a good five-letter description of Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, that ends in 'y'?"

Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)
Portrait, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, 06/15/09. (photo: Fred R. Conrad/NYT)


Big Fiscal Phonies

By Paul Krugman, The New York Times

28 May 12

 

uick quiz: What's a good five-letter description of Chris Christie, the Republican governor of New Jersey, that ends in "y"?

The obvious choice is, of course, "bully."But as a recent debate over the state's budget reveals, "phony"is an equally valid answer. And as Mr. Christie goes, so goes his party.

Until now the attack of the fiscal phonies has been mainly a national rather than a state issue, with Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, as the prime example. As regular readers of this column know, Mr. Ryan has somehow acquired a reputation as a stern fiscal hawk despite offering budget proposals that, far from being focused on deficit reduction, are mainly about cutting taxes for the rich while slashing aid to the poor and unlucky. In fact, once you strip out Mr. Ryan's "magic asterisks"- claims that he will somehow increase revenues and cut spending in ways that he refuses to specify - what you're left with are plans that would increase, not reduce, federal debt.

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