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  • An Open Letter to Paul Krugman

    Over the past two weeks, you have relentlessly engaged in dishonest, deceptive and factually incorrect critiques of Heritage’s recent analysis of the Ryan budget plan, and they need to be addressed. With all of the work good people of every political stripe need to be doing in Washington today, the last thing we all have time for is correcting your typically contrived commentary. But when The New York Times gives you such a platform to spread distortions, they necessitate a response.

    You’ve laid out several claims about Heritage’s macroeconomic analysis which you’ve urged your readers to consider in rejecting our recent work on the House Budget Resolution, also known as Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan.

    First, you assert our work on the Ryan plan should not be believed because our macroeconomic forecasts of the 2001 tax relief legislation proved to be incorrect. Second, you claim we essentially made up our estimates of how the Ryan plan would affect economic performance by crafting our work to reach supply side conclusions. And third, you declare we are intellectually dishonest because we posted a set of results on the day that Ryan released his plan that drew immediate criticism, withdrew those results, and posted a second set of results that same day.

    Each one of these claims is false, as you most likely recognize.

    Claim #1 – The 2001 tax relief analysis: As you should know, the purpose of using economic models in the analysis of proposed policy change is to give policy makers advice on the likely effects of their policy moves. They need to know if proposed actions will produce more or less economic activity and how the pace and depth of economic activity will affect the key fiscal metrics under their control. In short, we’re forecasting changes from the historical trend of the economy.

    When we made the economic forecasts in March of 2001 of how the 2001 tax relief legislation would affect the next ten years of economic life, we did not know that the United States would be attacked on September 11, that we would begin fighting a ten-year, world-wide war against global terrorism, that the housing sector would collapse under the weight of 30 years of bad public policy, and so forth. Even so, we succeeded in our task of giving accurate economic advice: we got the trend effects right.

    • We argued that the 2001 tax act would raise the level of output above trend. We estimated a 2010 GDP of about $12.6 trillion. It actually came in around $13.2 trillion.
    • We argued that the 2001 tax cuts would stabilize and grow the labor market. Stability occurred: our unemployment estimates are within a few tenths of a percent of actuals prior to the onset of the great recession. What Heritage and others did not get right was the degree to which older labor would leave the labor force in the period 2001 through 2007 and the effects of increasing global competition. Along with the Congressional Budget Office and nearly every other forecasting group in the country, we overestimated the growth of the labor force in the ten-year period 2001 through 2011.
    • We argued that after-tax income would grow significantly higher than baseline as a result of the tax cuts. It did and a good deal more than we anticipated.
    • We laid out estimates that nearly every major economic indicator would grow above trend, and they did, especially the all important consumption expenditures of households and businesses.

    I’m very proud of our policy analysis from that tumultuous period in U.S. history. If anything, it shines even brighter today as a result of all that has transpired to dislodge the economy over the past ten years.

    Claim # 2 – We crafted the Ryan plan results with the end in mind: While I can see how you may have forgotten the limited purposes of economic policy modeling (though it’s still shocking that someone of your stature could be so unmindful), it is simply bizarre that you argue that we designed the economic modeling of the Ryan plan to reach specific conclusions. Either you are intentionally lying about our work, or you are totally ignorant of the complex, widely used model we employed for this work and also failed to read the detailed description of what we did that is posted on the House Budget Committee web site along with our results (which you apparently did see).

    We used the highly regarded U.S. Macroeconomic Model of IHS Global Insights, Inc. Perhaps this is a model you as a pundit “do not recognize,” but most economists do.  This model has been around in its various forms for nearly 50 years. It contains over a thousand equations and several thousand variables. The modeler’s ability to affect the mechanics of the model is very limited, and, given the fact that the Budget Committee gave us final inputs only a few days prior to publication of their budget, we only had time to make sure that this detailed model would solve with the enormous changes to public policy we had to introduce into it.

    Then, as I mentioned, we published a detailed description of how we did this work. Even today, it is there for anyone to read, and I especially encourage you to do so. I don’t expect everyone to agree with our modeling of this plan, but I do expect the debate over our work to start from an understanding that our modeling is fully described in the methodological appendix to our publicly available report.

    Claim #3 – We’re intellectually dishonest because we switched out our initial set of results for a second, less controversial one: You’ve made this claim several different ways over the past two weeks, and I just don’t have time to rebut each version.

    First, the suggestion that we switched out one set of results for a second one on April 5 is simply false. With the exception of the results for annual change in the unemployment rate, those currently posted on the House Budget Committee web site are the original estimates of April 5. I have described in great detail in many published interviews the steps we took to audit our unemployment estimates and why we posted new estimates the next day.  I can’t think of any way you have not seen these explanations, but I would gladly send you copies of these interviews if you haven’t seen them.

    I posted a new set of unemployment estimates on our web site later that day. I also want to point out that we made this change in full public view, as your many published exclamations clearly prove.

    So, Paul, I strongly urge you to engage me from this point on in serious policy debate. This is perhaps a tall request to make of someone whose recent column “Let’s Not Be Civil” is filled with hysterical demagoguery. You and I will likely never agree about the way the economy works, but an intellectually honest debate between us could encourage someone whose views really count to solve the big policy problems that you and I have frequently agreed are grave dangers to the future of this country.


    Bill Beach

    Director, Center for Data Analysis

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    149 Responses to An Open Letter to Paul Krugman

    1. Dave, Living in Lond says:

      Very well put Mr. Beach. Thank you for taking the time to set the record straight.


      Dave Wallace

    2. Roanoke, VA says:

      Great work – keep it up and we'll do our best to spread the word. Thanks!!

    3. Mary L Carey Clearwa says:

      Krugman is a ugly thinking, mean and spiteful man who has proven that he is not to be believed. I am glad that you have tried to set him straight even if I personally think that he does not care about the truth.Keep up the good work and keep us informed.

    4. Jim Musselman says:

      Fantastic Piece! But Paul will not read this he didn't read anything else. Global warming is real if the key data is left out.

    5. Tim Scanlan says:

      Are we supposed to be suprised at Krugmans statements or his lack of comment on Mr Beach ?

    6. Blain, Colorado says:

      Excellent letter to Krugman. I am more than ever impressed with the time and effort the Heritage Foundation takes to prepare before they publish something. These rag reporters like Krugman will ever agree with you but at least you called him out on his vile spuing and 'un-civil' behavior. Thank you for all you do to make and keep this country great! You are a true patriot!

    7. Dean Lawson, Merced, says:

      As ever Liberals are impervious to any/all facts regardless of how right and obvious the facts are, and how wrong the liberals are.

    8. Adam, Maryland says:

      It's really bothersome that there isn't a single link in this post – not to any of offending NYT columns, not to document the claims of success of the 2001 tax relief measures, not to augment the reputation of IHS Global Insights – heck, there isn't even a link to the original Heritage study or the Ryan budget plan.

      If you're going to get into this sort of back-and-forth with Krugman, you should arm your readers with everything they need to evaluate both sides' assertions. Trust but verify, and all that.

    9. Chris D'Angelo says:

      As a Heritage member, I take great pride in the intellectual depth and research in each and every position paper or commentary produced. I feel my annual donation is put to exceptionally fine use, but then again, I expect that to be so. I do not expect Paul Krugman to engage in any intellectual debate on any issue that doesn't result in a clear condemnation of George W. Bush. If "W" can't be condemned on an intellectual level, he will be condemned through demagoguery and outright lies. Talk about crafting the argument with the end in mind. At least he is consistent.

    10. Kyle, MD says:

      What would one expect from someone employed by "All the news that's unfit to print"! Like many of the other uselessly biased news organizations today, that rather spread BS than facts.

    11. Bob says:

      Get on line for that debate there's some Austrian Economists who have claimed first dibs on Krugman's intellectual whopping! Bob Murphy has been in training for a while now and has goal of raising $100K to go to a NYC food bank to feed the needy as an incentive. He has done some funny videos to goad Krugman into accepting as well. Ryan's plan is a start but doesn't touch the military. Why must we be the world's policeman. It is bankrupting us.

    12. Doug Staton says:

      Your research is predictable and your position on policies that affect the lives of Americans is cruel and dishonest.

    13. William J McKibbin, says:

      Bill, I am happy to consider your version of the facts, but not your ad hominem rantings — stay on message…

    14. Marybeth Cillo, Pitt says:

      Of course the real shame is that consumers of the NYT are highly unlikely to see this rebuttal.

    15. Bruce Haughey, Sunny says:

      Now if you could just get this published in the New York Times, so the people who read Krugman could see you rebuttal to his claims!

    16. Eric Tyson, USA says:

      Krugman is the same man who last year proclaimed that we were in a depression to urge more stimulus. See this:


    17. Octavio, Texas says:

      Dr. Paul Krugman has left the realm of reason and policy discussion to become an attack dog for left leaning policies. A few weeks back he was engaging with Dr. John Taylor on the effect of savings and unemployment in which Dr. Taylor made comments based on data and Dr. Krugman did not support his assertions.

    18. Joe Murray 760 Ironw says:

      I suppose it is necessary to take krugman seriously since he has a significant platform from which to spew his swill. But, anyone who burns photos of gw bush for laughs at his dinner parties should be treated like the juvenile he is. JEMurray

    19. Joel D says:

      Krugman has engaged in dishonest, deceptive, and factually incorrect statements for two decades. I appreciate Mr. Beach responding to Krigman's drivel. Although one risks validating stupidity by engaging with idiots, sometimes playing defense is necessary.

    20. James Erwin says:

      Claim #3: You published a table with a nonsensical unemployment number. Everyone in the blogosphere, including Krugman, jumped all over you. You changed the nonsensical unemployment number and republished the table without explanation. Krugman jumped all over you for changing the number without explanation. You "explained" the change in a blog published the next day.

      You want an apology from Krugman? I hope you aren't holding your breath.

    21. Jeff, Pennsylvania says:

      May as well try to reason with a rattlesnake.

    22. West says:

      Krugman is a great reverse indicator – he has not been correct in any of his prognostications for well over ten years. If Krugman says something is wrong and poorly derived, I can always safely assume the opposite.

      Pity you had to waste your time on him, but bravo for not taking his libel sitting down!

    23. Stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      The problem with Mr. Kugman is that the "Truth" while it may be understood, it will never accepted as fact in the liberal left ideology.

    24. Pingback: Conservative News from Conservative Bloggers » Blog Archive » Happy Hour: Obama’s Speech Not-So Reassuring

    25. Dana, Apopka, FL says:

      Thanks for your response. Krugman's hysterics are beyond the pale. I was looking forward to a Heritage rebuttal.

    26. allen says:

      What a piece, Krugman will never change his way of thinking he is not capable. Krugman should read about the Civil War as his rag had the same thinking against Lincoln. He won the Noble award just like the rest of the ilk,Gore (Liar),Obama(Liar),Krugman (Liar).

    27. Barbara says:

      Not sure Heritage Foundation acknowledges what Paul Krugman is supremely about – he is not interested in intellectual debate of any sort, rather he is a bottom feeder who supplies mental junk food to all his followers.

    28. DonM, Maywood CA says:

      One can not be reasoned out of a position into which one did not arrive by reason.

      I have no hope for Paul, but hopes that a great news organization will be able to fill the hole left in the market by the departure of the NY Times.

    29. W. C., Fort Worth,TX says:

      Very good rebuttal. It should be published as a full page ad in the New York Times (and if they won't publish it, publish their denial. W. C. Fort Worth, TX

    30. Mark Steven Zuelke F says:

      The evidence is crystal clear. BHO trash-talking Ryan, while Ryan sat in the front row, by invitation of the president. The NYT’s trash-talking your analysis. This laser-like focus on the Ryan budget PROVES it is the best thing conservatives/Republicans have going. My advice; even more support, continue to find improvement and widespread promotion of the Ryan budget, because it MUST be passed.

    31. Ed Johnson, TX says:

      I copied and pasted this response to Krugman in an email to the Houston Chronicle. They are a very liberal paper and it's doubtful they will print it but thought it worth the effort to try. They have never published any of my other emails.

      I think the reason why he got a Nobel Prize in Economics is because the committee is all Swedes, one of the most socialistic countries in Europe.

    32. Pingback: The American Dream Is In Jeopardy | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    33. Thomas in San Diego, says:

      Why does anyone still read the New York Times? They lost all credibility long ago. Krugman is typical of the bilge they offer. No thanks; don't want to waste my time reading fiction of this sort.

    34. L Larry Boothe - Pro says:

      Well done your comments"hit the nail on the head. I admire your work but doubt that Mr. Krugram will understand what you wrote. He is a man with a situational ethic and a flexible integrity. The Ryan budget proposal is sound and needed. Thank you for all you do to help our nation.

    35. Tom / Georgia says:

      Krugman is an apologist "swagman" who tries to justify the destructive policies of the kleptoparasites on the political left.

    36. L Larry Boothe - Pro says:

      Here is some moderation: The rebuttal by Mr.Beach is outstanding. I admire the courage and the work that went into his rebuttal and I am pleased that Mr.Beach calls Krugman out for what he has done. More conservatives need to stand up and use plain talk with the liberal opposition with regard to their actions. Straight talk is what is needed and Mr. Beach has provided it. That being said, there is nothing wrong will calling out people who demonstrates a character of situational ethics and flexible integrity.

    37. Bill M. Florida says:

      Who is "paul krugmice" and "the new york times?"

    38. Joan Frazier, Hender says:

      This should be run as a full page ad in the NY Times. Otherwise, their readers will never know about it.

    39. John Tyson says:

      I can only hope that elected officials with a conservative fiscal bent eventually take the offensive. I imagine whatever drugs Krugman is taking will leave him incapable of a rational response.

      Shame on the Times for not forcing a public apology

    40. Adam Hoover, Chino, says:

      Very well written response. Thank you for standing for truth.

    41. David, California says:

      The nice thing is that history will expose Mr. Krugman as a political economist with a socialist agenda and the hubris to sell it to a sycophant liberal audience.

    42. Jeff Rogers, Canyon, says:

      Thank you for eloquently destroying his credibility. Hopefully those who didn't know; now do–that he's not fit to comment on financial matters.

    43. Chance Gibson says:

      Outstanding! I wish more elected Republicans had the courage to call the left on their overtly inaccurate rhetoric with this level of confidence.

      Well done and keep up the good fight.

    44. Reginald Lovett, Nev says:

      Awesome response. Thank you for the clarification and tact.

    45. Terry Gossett, Moss says:

      Bill Beach, you are my HERO.

      Paul Krugman is a ZERO, and Dr Krugman is a shill for the policies of the NYT.

      The debt of the USA is breath-taking, and staggeringly unacceptable by any measure (% of GDP, interest burden of revenues, persistent deficits, and growing unfunded entitlement programs). One might hope on the issue of Unacceptable DEBT, we could all agree. Apparently not.

    46. Ray Hayhurst, Phoeni says:

      I have read Krugman's recent attacks on Heritage and appreciate your response. As you point out, NYT provides him with a large venue to make his claims and I am continually amazed that he has any credibility. I guess he has to attack that which he fears the most – the truth! Thank you for the work you do on America's behalf.

    47. Luis, Arizona says:

      Krugman is unlikely to answer directly because of his sniping style, but if he does, we would love to see his attempt to rebut.

    48. beenaroundyaknow, De says:

      Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, Paul Krugman. that about says it all for the wisdom of the Nobel committee. Krugman is a partisan ideologue.

    49. Amber Largent, KCMO says:

      Thank you for being civil, honest and clear.

    50. Don Booth, Chapman U says:


      Great response to Paul Krugman. It was about time.


    51. Bob Healy San Rafael says:

      Well said and I like your tone. Krugman is a weasel and he will never engage you. I wonder if any of the NYT's competitive journals will have the conviction and courage to take on Krugman's propaganda with your rebuttal. Would that not raise their stature. I won't hold my breath.

    52. Allen Cocks. Okinawa says:

      Although a waste of valuable time (since Krugman won't listen to anything except the beloved sound of his own voice), it's good to see Krugman's points refuted.

    53. JMF says:

      As opposed to the Nobel Peace Prize which I consider a joke as it was awarded to the most incompetent recipients, I always admired the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Economics until Krugman, a hack journalist and economist, received it!! As a mathematician, I suspect that Alfred Nobel is roiling in his grave as his most coveted prizes have become so politicized!!

      Mr. Beach, I understand the analytical modeling techniques and complex variables involved in attempting to forecast and predict consequences not yet known!!

      I applaud your effort in the analysis of the data used in the models to present a best-effort approach to provide a fair and balanced set of "what may or may not occur"!! Very well done!!

    54. Carl Girard, Richmon says:

      A great rebuttal to the Kr"ugh"man distortion of the facts. He wraps himself in the cloak of the NYT to deflect shots at him for his narrow-minded, myopic vision of what's happening in this country. I admire Mr. Ryan tremendously. I was very impressed with the observation he made during the scandalous hearings on the Obamacare hearings. He was cogent and heroic to say the least. He should run for president. His 73-page budget analysis was, for the most part, an eloquent discussion which we should take heed in its wisdom.

    55. Wayne Bugg, Henderso says:

      The guy that make the model you used doesn't understand how you got these results. How about responding to his criticisms and those of just about every other economist who has looked at this. It's not just Krugman who has been extremely critical, it's basically the whole economics profession. For example, this post at The Big Picture (http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/strawman-alert/) has many links to folks who can't believe your results.

    56. Geri/Indiana says:

      I would not put Krugman in charge of making change out of a twenty dollar bill. He has a lot of nerve claiming how Heritage gets in wrong. At least they substantiate what they write with convincing data and not some absurd and always failed Kensysian space theory! As cheerleader and pseudo- adviser for obama- voodoo-know -not- economics, when has he ever been right? I am always amazed how Krugs doubles down when he is incorrect. It's painful and embarrassing to even attempt to read his work after the first paragraph. I just do not have the stomach for it any more.

    57. Kevin Jackson, Kingm says:

      Mr. Beach:

      That was an excellent, clear, thorough and professional response to the vitriolic, always un-civil, always ignoring-any-mere-facts-that-contradict-his-world-view, PaleoKeynesian Economist Paul Krugman. The tone was just right with a perfectly appropriate amount of direct or thinly veiled personal criticism. Anyone who openly advocates incivility and constantly engages in ad hominem attacks deserves and has to expect a firm, if not brutal response every now and then.

    58. Daezy, Santa Cruz says:

      I'm excited to see you are not putting up with this slander, and charging him with facts, something Krugman is obviously not concerned with. This man is shameful, and should be called out at every instance.

      Keep up the fantastic work, Heritage. We support you!

    59. Mark, Albuquerque says:

      To Doug 4/18/11 @ 7:59PM: Even if I accept your premise that Mr. Beach's "position [...] is [...] cruel and dishonest", I'd still rather enact his realistic view of economics than the very real and unarguably-more-destructive policies of the current administration. After all, reality is what reality is: today, we have higher unemployment, higher fuel prices which lead to higher prices for everything, and a measurably weaker economy under this President as compared to when President Bush left office…yet the media just takes the stance that this is the 'new normal'. The media lie brew their kool-aid about a so-called 'recovery', and the left drinks like there's no tomrrow (and that the producers in society will keep paying for it ad infinitum). Amazing.

      To William a few minutes later: Ad hominem? Hardly. Mr. Beach's response contained a few slights against Mr. Krugman's logic and his thinking process, but not attacks on his person. Had Mr. Beach stooped to the level of the left in general, he would have had an article about how stupid Mr. Krugman is (ad hominem) or how bad he must have performed in school (ad hominem) or any of the other ways the left personalized their message. On the whole, the response was mostly a reiteration of the original works with some explanation thrown in.

      Mr. Beach, you just keep right on sayin' it like it is. Perhaps it isn't ever going to be read by Mr. Krugman or his readers…but maybe, just maybe, a little truth will worm its way into them. Not trying is like giving up, and if we can learn anything from the left (and, oddly, from the likes of Sir Winston Churchill), it is that we CANNOT give up. Keep trying!

    60. Gerald G. Street, MA says:

      Well done!

    61. Lyman Rust, Henderso says:

      I read Paul Krugman's attack this morning in the Las Vegas Sun, a very liberal paper that is included in the more center-conservative L V Review Journal. They cant make it on their own. I was disgusted, but not suprised, by his comments and analysis and lambasting of Heritage. What do you expect from a Nobel Prize winner?

    62. Bruce J. Kolinski says:

      Thank you Mr. Beach. Progressives I know cling tightly to every word uttered by Mr. Krugman. It's just a shame that we try to run our Republic with voters as uninformed, ill-informed and just plain propagandized as we are. Mr. Krugman is a selfish, narrow minded, political hack and if we can't see today that running the world's largest economy on the basis of political agenda as opposed to economic principles doesn't work; well then I guess we will never see it…but we will feel it…and we will soon live with it.

      My family is setting aside food and supplies for the coming time we will be living Mr. Krugman's Keynesian dream. It's not far away now, and I seriously doubt it can be stopped or fixed, short of economic collapse.

      Anyway, thanks again for taking the time to respond.

    63. Terry Easter Flag-Ma says:

      Thank You, for correcting Krugman and the New Your Times

    64. Joe Plankis Westfiel says:

      Bravo Bill Beach! It is a pleasure to be a member of The Heritage Foundation and to be able to have a clear, documented analysis of our current budgetary problems and a Paul Ryan GOP proposal that will change our headlong rush into bankruptcy for our country. Many of my fellow citizens in the American heartland, as well as elsewhere in our great country (read 2010 election results), are fedup with the elites that continue to push the unsustainable spending that risks the future for our children and grandchildren. Keep up the wonderful work that you do to keep all American citizens informed.

    65. Russell Andersen says:

      Bravo Bill thank you for calling out Paul on his lies and distortions. As is the case with Obama, the liberals have to resort to distortion of truth because they cannot win an honest debate. Their policies are failing and they are have now run out of other people's money.

    66. ted wight says:

      too many conservatives get mixed up. the people like krugman don't want to present facts on much of anything since they'd lose the intellectual argument. it is about power and popularity (and i assume money). so get off thinking they are rational beings. it is a second civil war of Left against Right.

      ted wight

    67. Andy, Mt. Pleasant, says:

      Keep up the good work Bill. Krugman needs to man up and meet on the street for a showdown.

    68. john heil says:

      the new york times. what is their financial condition. who says that whatever they print is gospel. looks like this person which I do not know is way off base with his facts. of course, how many newspapers in this country will print something that is factual about our current economy. they print what they want and 90% of the time form their own opinion without checking for correctness.

    69. Kris Chari says:

      very good response to set the record straight

    70. Richard Mariani, Vil says:

      Bravo! Your pointed and truthful respose should be circulated further if at all possible.

    71. Ben, Okla. City says:

      If only it was just Krugman. Please read this if you really care about objective economic analysis. I guess Barry Ritholtz, IHS, and the rest are a bunch of liberals with an agenda too, eh?


    72. Peter Craw, Barringt says:

      Well Done!! It's very reassuring to see Heritage standing up to Krugman and refuting every lie he tells.

    73. dustydog says:

      Paul Krugman provides meticulous citations and supporting data for every economic statement in his NYT articles; everything has a full data trail.

      No? Are you sure? Ok, maybe I'm wrong about that. I admit I don't actually read the NYT anymore, but like to be cool by pretending I do (like a certain president we all admire). Reading reading blog summaries and listening to late night talk shows when they work the articles into the jokes is really the same as reading the NYT, without the migraine.

    74. Grant Burnett, Irvin says:

      Well done. This is a perfect example of the valuable service provided by The Heritage Foundation. Sad to say, I have a number of friends who swear by The New York Times. They, like Krugman, are totally entrenched in liberal philosophy, to the extent that nothing will budge them, especially not the facts.

    75. Milam Johnson Brasse says:

      Your response, Mr. Beach, to Mr. Krugman's column was just awesome in its syntax! Thank you.

    76. Ben, Okla. City, OK says:

      Oh sure, I often take general equilibrium models, change the assumptions about unemployment rates…significantly, and it doesn't affect any of my outputs in a meaningful way.

      Hate on Paul Krugman all you want. But if you think he's the only one raising questions about this, you are mistaken.

    77. Justin Wilson, Newpo says:

      If there is anyone who "sees what he believes", it is most definitely Paul Krugman.

    78. Captain Troy Marcele says:

      Atta Boy Bill!!!

      Early in my professional civil engineering career, in fact it was during my first assignment right after graduation from Texas A&M, I was assigned as an Assistant Staff Engineer to a high level headquarters group in Washington, D.C. It was there that I came under the tutelege of a very savy attorney. When I met him in 1961, Ed Jenkins who as a Marine Captain had survived Guadacanal and several other Pacific theater campaigns, was already providing guidance and legal advice to those who were beginning to shape the government's environmental efforts.

      Knowing that someday I too would be operating at the highest echelons of the environmental field, he gave me this advice: If you're in Court and you see that the opposing side's attorney is directing most of his remarks to the Judge…understand that he has a good case of Law going for him; If he doesn't have a good case of Law, he will try and appeal to the Jury; If he has no case at all, he will simply harrass the other attorney.

      Similarly, In this particular case it appears to me that Paul Krugman hasn't a leg to stand on…and is simply harassing Bill Beach!!!

    79. Hank, Boston says:

      How does the unemployment number change when all other variables remain constant? Did you switch an equation for an inequality? Or did you just invent a more credible result? Math maters, Mr. Beach.

    80. Penny Bonadonna, Sho says:

      Bravo! Civil, to the point, and oh, so satisfying to see Krugman get some back. Thank you!

    81. Tom Lanners St. Paul says:

      Krugman is a fraud. He proves along with Al Gore, and our current President, what a joke the Nobel prizes are.

      Does anyone actually listen to what Krugman says?

      Sadly, since he writes in the New York Times { All the news that Fits}

      I suppose some do listen.

      Heritage keep up the great work!

    82. KGW, MA says:

      Looks like Heritage must really be making some headway if you've been put in the liberal "crosshairs" so frequently lately! Typical tactics toward anyone making an honest difference. Keep up the great work! Send this rebuttal off as a Letter to the Editor at NYT!

    83. Tom, Brighton, MI says:

      An absolute brilliant piece of work!!!

      One bit of advice to Bill though.Try not to use verifiable facts with liberals. Not only does it confuse them it could cause self implosion!!!

      Great work!

    84. Shelly, Commerce, MI says:

      Bravo, Mr. Beach. Bravo!

    85. Pingback: Strawman Alert | The Big Picture

    86. STP says:


      Outstanding article. I will moving from basic member to Patriot tomorrow

    87. George Glen, Porter says:

      Great response. But, He won't acknowledge it in public. This is what we need to do more often. Confront these liars..Keep up the good work. GRG

    88. R L Pruett, Jacksonv says:

      Thanks for taking the time to rebut Mr. Krugman. He will probably never read it but it is helpful for the rest of us who are trying to maintain an armory of our own defenses against the obscene claims that appear from seemingly everywhere. Keep up the good work.

    89. MICHAEL A. GABEL says:

      Well done Mr. Beach. Please continue your most important work to effectively analyze and communicate the matter of our economy.

      Michael A. Gabel, CPA

      New Jersey

    90. Robert.Okla.City. says:

      The science of economics, like all true science endeavors, can never reach a final fix. Reality, reason, and logic will eventually give the proper meaning to Mr. Krugman's words. In the interim, the U.S. is borrowiing money to pay interest on borrowed money.

    91. Wayne, Sunrise, FL says:

      Mr. Beach, you have forgotten one very important premise. It is permissible for liberals to lie to "non-believers." – I could give you many examples, but I'm sure that you and your readers are familiar with them.

    92. Bob Hope says:

      This is the guy you're trying to pick a fight with…
      Sorry, but his credentials crush yours. *laughs and walks away*

    93. Barry Scharaga says:

      Mr. William Beach:

      Thanks for answering the NY Times Paul Krugman. Its unfortunate that they give Nobel prizes to people of such narrow mind set. Distortion of the facts seems to be the agenda of the Times now days.

    94. Mike Mancuso says:

      Another pathetic day for the New York Times. I look forward to the day when you can't find the paper at Starbuck's any more. That would be a big hit.

    95. R.Robert Burdick Man says:

      I would not read the New YorkTimes if it was the last news on the shelf, period. Junk, exaggerations, lies. That's all the left knows how to do.

    96. Arno, Singapore says:

      Why take on only Krugman ? What about TBP, Brad Delong and all the other ?

      Why change your numbers after he critiziced them anyway ?

      If you are right, you shouldn't be that worried about an obvious partial critic of your work. Just saying

    97. Richard Russell, Ven says:

      I recently unsubscribed to my local paper (owned by NY Times Group) specifically because they regularly had Mr Krugman's column in the editorial section. He is, in my opinion, one of the most intellectually dishonest persons I have ever read. How, even the NY Times, can print him is beyond my comprehension.

      Thank you for taking him to task. If only the Times would print your comments.

    98. Albuquerque says:

      It is very interesting to read the “Approved” comments about your comment on Paul’s criticism of your budget analyses. You predicted a large upsurge in employment (a million or more) when Bush announced his tax cuts after declaring two wars and largest tax cuts in history. Guess what? The net gain in jobs in the U.S during the entire eight years of Bush regime was negative 60,000. That attests to the ignorance of your budget analysts and your personal arrogance and stupidity.

    99. Dr. Henry D. Sinopol says:

      Surely you jest, believing anyone from the regime would engage in a serious, intellectually honest debate. The far left is ideologically focused, and dogmatically alligned. They are not attuned to enter into any dialogue that may rob them of purposeful propaganda time.

      You're wasting your words.

    100. Frank, Union, MO. says:


    101. Jonothan Livingstone says:

      Hey Far left here, bring it on. The Heritage analysis is so full of holes it most closely resembles swiss cheese. Looking forward to reputable analysts and economists shredding it to further peices in an open forum, unless of course Heritage chooses to keep hiding behind clearly ideological assumptions with no bearing in reality.

    102. Alfred J. D'Ama says:

      Dear Mr. Beach,

      I agree with you and support everything you said in this letter. But, (there's always a "but".) if in your last paragraph wherein you said "someone whose views really count" you were refering to Barack Obama, you are laboring under a misconception. The President ( I hate to dignify him by calling him that) is doing exactly what he wants to do and, until he was reined in by the newly elected House of Representatives, was accomplishing his objective. that is, he wsant to and fully intends to destroy the United States as a world power by bankrupting us. He doesn't care about jobs, the economy, health care and unemployment benefits excep;t as funding them will help him bring us to ruin.

      Therefore, getting your views across to him is a waste of time. Hopefully, the Republican controlled House will be able to keep him in check until the voters can trounce him in 2012. Let's hope the country can survive till then.

    103. ade,Atlanta says:

      I feel it not necessary to dignify krugman but the truth needs to be told.

      Thanks for your analysis.

    104. rose anderson, Port says:

      The Obsolete Media will not stand against the rapid response now available to refute the lies and distortions which went unchallenged in the past.

      Thank you for a solid honest, reliable source of information in a murky sea of disinformation.

    105. Jonothan Livingstone says:

      This site is a sham, not a single dissenting opinion allowed to be posted. Anyone who wishes to engage in an open debate with Paul Krugman can go ahead and do so in any public forum that he engages in. The reason Bill Beach is taking on Krugman as opposed to the hundreds of other economists who think the Ryan plan is garbage is because he's a straw man for conservatives who will automatically dissmiss any credible argument he gives as being ""liberal propaganda." This "rebuttle"is an ad hominem attack on a well respected economists who makes a decent counterargument to a severly flawed plan that will nosedive this country back into recession.

    106. Thomas Morrietti says:

      Well, the thing of it is, several economists from across the political spectrum have questioned the credibility of the Heritage Foundation's analysis. Not just Krugman. See for example Mike "Mish" Shedlock's criticism of the analysis. And perhaps more telling though than even a right-leaning economist like Mish questioning the analysis, is the fact that the chief U.S. economist of IHS (you'll recall that it was an IHS model that was used in the Heritage analysis) has publicly questioned the credibility of the findings! So it begs the question why this response is only directed to Professor Krugman?

    107. Olivia Jenney, McLea says:

      I fervently hope, (wish for?) that the political virulent attack mode will be supplanted by civil debate – and I also fervently hope we don't have to wait until hell freezes over…

      Thank you for your powerful response.

    108. Richard A. Dickinson says:

      Well done, Bill….and timely. Journalistic honesty has, unfortunately for this country, become a rare ingredient in reporting factual data to the general public.

      We need to change that and The Heritage Foundation is to be congratulated and supported in their ongoing effort to do just that.

      Keep up the good work you do for us.

    109. Carol says:

      Way to go, Bill! Heritage continues to "set the record straight with Facts." I love it, and will continue to look to the info from Heritage with its demonstration constantly of the highest integrity.

    110. Betty, Oklahoma City says:

      Again, another intelligent response from Heritage without anger and false claims to an attack from the opposite side. Conservative approaches to solving problems in America are so much above the liberal thinking mindset that anger and hatred compose most of their response to truth. I appreciate Heritage and the commited people who research, write and publish truthful information for which to rebuild this great country. Keep up the great work. We will continue our financial support in honor and encourage those who serve our country with truth……which will set us free. May God bless you, Bill,

    111. ObjectiveAnalyst says:

      Albuquerque on April 20th, 2011 at 8:40am: Your attitude is showing; your comment was "approved". Your chronology as stated was inaccurate. The analysis was on tax cuts offered before the wars. Your comments, resorting to personal attacks ("personal arrogance and stupidity") are a prime example of the tactics used by one on the losing end of an argument. Just as Mr. Krugman, they say more of you, your criticism and your apparent lack of comprehension since you failed to appreciate the explanation regarding the unemployment numbers in the article. Ref: unforeseen attack on 911, wars, and the housing bubble collapse etc. (Claim#1, 2nd paragraph). This was an excellent rebuttal. We can be assured Mr. Krugman could not respond with any more honest debate, or civility than you. Birds of a feather…

    112. Nicholas Mycroft, St says:

      Precious little substantive content in your rebuttal, Mr. Beach, and none in supportive comments. Even the ad hominem is of disappointing quality.

      Quite a few people other than Dr. Krugman think you have cooked the models, and it is obvious to what purpose.

      From economic strategy consultant Macroeconomic Advisers:

      "We believe that the main result — that aggressive deficit reduction immediately raises GDP at unchanged interest rates — was generated by manipulating a model that would not otherwise produce this result, and that the basis for this manipulation is not supported either theoretically or empirically. Other features of the results — while perhaps unintended — seem highly problematic to us and seriously undermine the credibility of the overall conclusions."




    113. Richard Adams of Nor says:

      Your rebuttal is excellent as is so much of Heritage’s work. Do you think the Times would ever publish your response to Krugman’s distortions? I don’t think so.

    114. Observer, Nevada says:

      Liberalism defined: Innate ignorance formly supported through carefully thought out stupidity.

      Thank you, Heritage Foundation, for the excellent rebuttal to another of the New York Times misguided, misinformed, and generally far out on a limb idiots.

    115. John E Parry Pa says:

      Your retort of Mr. Klugman is right on. Once again a sane and true account of the facts just goes to show how dishonest the NYT and the left is. A truely brillant and understandable comeback.

    116. CP, Tampa says:

      I fail to see how a significant change in the unemployment would not affect the other reported results of your projections. Could you provide background as to how the economy operates independent of the unemployment rate? (This must be the case if you changed unemployment projections and nothing else)

    117. Don Burnett, Fairfax says:

      You have done an excellent job in setting the record straight, but to someone as

      ignorant of the truth as Paul Krugman it is sadly a waste of time. Is there any wonder that the NY Times (once the pride of news industry) is now on its death bed, thanks to those it holds tight such as Krugman. Keep up the good work, it is appreciated.


    118. Pingback: BizzyBlog

    119. Mike, Boise Idaho says:

      I know that it is exhausting and emotionally draining to have to respond to the lies and misrepresentations of the left, and sadly, our President. If we don't, however, we just abdicate our responsibilities as citizens. So, thank you, Mr. Beach, for firing a salvo over Krugman's bow. Even as a non-economist, when I read Mr. Krugman's column (not often!) I am skeptical of his conclusions and use of inflammatory narrative.

      As part of these times, I wonder when the critical mass will occur when citizens will rise up against those whose aims are to bring this wonderful country down?

    120. Don Ribo Nashville, says:

      Mr. Beach;

      You are just one of the many reasons why I am a proud member of the Heritage Foundation. Keep up the "good" fight for America….THANK YOU for standing tall!

    121. Pingback: Bill Beach’s Open Letter to Krugman

    122. Peter Durkin,Wayne , says:

      Dear Bill:

      Mr. Krugman has had all the credentials required for voicing his opinions in the once,(long past) great NY Times). Please dont let his rants annoy you,he is ,in the same way as the Manchurian Candidate unable to do anything other than respond with tired old ,sniping ,gotchas which do not aid the discussion.Sir: he could not change his aberration if he was put to the rack. Your response is accurate ,respectful and precise….all the reasons for which it will not be considered.



    123. Joel Freedman says:

      I hate to see you waste your valuable time on Krugman. As he is a typical liberal, you can't convince him of ANYTHING. Maybe it wlll arm other conservatives with the necessary facts so they can waste their time trying to convince other unconvincible liberals. You want change, convince every consertive to get out and vote!

    124. Brendon, Vancouver says:

      The most withering, and convincing, analysis of the Heritage projections was done by Macroeconomic Advisers, not Paul Krugman (though MA's analysis jives with PKs).

      link to MA's analysis: http://macroadvisers.blogspot.com/2011/04/economi

      Where is the open letter to them?

    125. Denny Converse says:

      What a superb rebuttal!

    126. Mexplosivo, TX says:

      Why isn't this getting enought attention? http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2011/04/strawman-ale

      "The Heritage analysis has been found wanting by Krugman, DeLong, Chinn, Shedlock, CR, Bonddad, Macroeconomic Advisers (among others), and seriously questioned by IHS Global Insight, whose model Heritage used."

      It isnt just Krugman thats calling shenanigans on the Heritage report. Sorry to break it to you boyos but Mr. beach is the LAST person to call people on intellectual dishonesty

    127. Linda, Florida says:

      Wow… thanks Bill.

    128. Ron Williams , Wayne says:

      BRAVO! It's about time someone put the N.Y. Times in their place!

    129. Lonestarconserv says:

      I am not an economist, nor have I had a formal economics education, but I can honestly say that, based on many other sources, my money being on Heritage is way better spent than if I were to invest the dollar or so on a rag like the Times. Klugman is not a respected economist by anybody except the progressive leftists who consume his intentionally erroneous drivel. And that especially includes the brainless Nobel committee.

    130. Donald M. Coder, She says:

      When I was in college, I subscribed to the New York Times. Today I teach my students here in China that the New York Times no longer utilizes investigative reporting, but instead teaches certain political ideas. Therefore, the New York Times is no longer a reliable source of news. This report by Heritage Foundation provides further support of my opinion.

    131. Matthew, Virginia says:

      In Claim #1 you compare your forecast real GDP in 1996 dollars with the actual real GDP in 2005 dollars. If you compared 1996 dollars to 1996 dollars, the GDP for 2010 would come it at about $10.9 trillion. That is not to say your GDP number was significantly worse than other GDP projections, but you have made a major error there.

      You point out your unemployment estimates were only a few tenths off for 2006 and 2007, but they were significantly under the average for the period and you also missed the 2001 recession completely.

      In Claim # 2 you discuss using a well-known model but the makers of the model have admitted they find your results puzzling and your report discusses using some in-house model of income tax effects along with the commercial model.

      In Claim #3 you discuss your changed unemployment estimates. He posted at 1:08PM on April 6, criticizing you for removing the unemployment estimate from your report without explanation. At 5:03PM on April 6, I see a blog post explaining the change in the unemployment estimates in the briefest manner. I don't see any explanation of the change that predates his criticism.

    132. Delene Darst, Georgi says:

      Finally, someone calling those who print lies on their errors. Thank you for such a detailed account of the work done by you and all those at Heritage.

    133. CJ Cox Tulsa, OK says:

      No matter how well Heritage analyses anything, it must be attacked and discredited in order to preserve the fantasy that is Liberalism.

      Deep in this faith system seems to be fear and cynicism so strong as to approach a pathological level.

      Making up things [lies] and distortions are therefore standard behavior.

      No one can convince these people to see things another way based upon analysis and sound procedures. It may be in the liberal's DNA such that they literally cannot reconize the reality that others see and live with every day.

    134. Andrea in East Tenne says:

      Way to go Mr.Beach!!! It's about time a conservative calls out a liberal on their lies. I'm waiting on someone to call out President Obama and EVERYONE in his administration…A Republican candidate who can do that will certainly win in 2012. We Americans are hungry for the truth as well as issuing a "SHAME-SHAME" to the LIARS!!

    135. Gary D. Gardner, Elv says:

      Mr. Beach,

      Thank you for standing tall. I would love to see that debate over economic models you both stand by. Krugman consistently always distorts the truth just to talk down anybody that does not believe in the Keynes way of doing things. I read is article, and was appalled. If things were so flagrantly designed, how did the Ryan plan get this far. Keep up the great work, and again, I look forward to the meeting if he so indulges. Please keep me informed.

      Thank you,

      Gary D. Gardner

    136. Alan, Syracuse, NY says:

      "We laid out estimates that nearly every major economic indicator would grow above trend, and they did, especially the all important consumption expenditures of households and businesses."

      The Dow finished lower at the end of W's presidency (and the tax cuts) than it did at the start of his term (and the passage of his tax cuts).

      Is it your position that the Dow is not a "major economic indicator?" If not, why?



    137. Rick Harris, Sr., Or says:

      As a Heritage member I am writing to applaus your response to Paul Krugman

      re: his attacks about Paul Ryans detailed proposal. Way to go Bill ! I'm still

      waiting for the White House to submit a detailed plan instead of "We're going to

      tax the "rich" and we're going to cut the military budget and we're going to

      reform Medicare." Really? Let's be specific Mr. President !

    138. Bruce Niehm, Ames / says:

      Mr. Beach,

      Very well done – A great article! For someone who the left just thinks has such a great economic mind, I am glad that you responded back to him on his foolish statements. We will see if he has the courage to debate you on these issues. Thank you.

      Bruce Niehm

    139. Zack says:

      Heritage, its really plain and simple. This is a conservative website so why offer factual data? You clearly don't and you except people to take this website for credible information because you say so? This is by all accounts of the most inaccurate websites in the history of the internet. Nothing you produce comes close to real information or fact. You and every other "blogger" on this website continue to lie everyday but no worries, it only works on people like the ones above. They read and accept without a thought of research or study. It's rather embarrasing to see the blogs and comments that follow. I have challenged heritage blogs for two years and most of the time they choose to not even post my comment. You are nothing close to credible Mr. Beach and it amazes me that anyone truly follows this website for accurate information and factual date. It's simple if you think about it, its a conservative website so you have to spin info. to get your point across. Now do your job and not post this comment.

    140. Dom Brunone, Austin says:

      Well written letter. It will be interesting to see if there is any reply. Keep up the fine work on our country's behalf.

      Dom Brunone

      Austin, TX

    141. Jack Florida says:

      I'm glad that Klugman writes for the New York Times. I don't buy the Times and I don't have to read Klugman's drivel…kind of like killing two birds (or roaches) with one stone.

    142. Bradford Maitland; A says:

      Professor Krugman has a great mind — but there is something seriously wrong with its output. For those familiar with his witty older work, every column is like a cry for help. I sometimes wonder whether he's being blackmailed. Read older Krugman material and you'll see what I mean.

      I say this as a formerly unabashed Krugman admirer who stilll holds his intellect in the highest respect and is genuinely puzzled with the result

    143. Scottsdale, AZ says:

      There is one comment that is exactly correct: America deserves a clear debate, not just on spending, but about the culture of governance. We have irreconcilable differences they need tending to.

      Traditional governance was built upon cultural pillars of liberty, hard work, decentralized government and our faith.

      Krugman's counter culture, Progressive warriors believe in much the opposite: equality or social justice, economic justice instead of work, centralized government and central planning, and reason to the exclusion of faith.

      For seventy years the counter culture has won the debate, the marketing and the vote.

      Let's debate and win by showing that our traditional cultural pillars worked and the counter culture's solutions have broken our economy, devastated our society and ruined our government.


    144. Bernice Malchow, Ore says:

      Thank you, Bill Beach. Krugman's writings definitely need to be challenged. He has been overtaken by the far left. The fact that mainstream newspapers continue to carry his articles at all indicates how terribly out of balance our news media has become.

      Bernice in Portland, OR.

    145. Dodi, Los Angeles, C says:

      Thank you for taking time to rebut Krugman. The NYT lost it's cred years ago. It is beyond comprehension that one can believe you can borrow and spend your way out of trouble. That's exactly what this Admin. is selling.

      Right now megalomaniac, Left-wing Billionaire George Soros and his Power/money crazed Progressives are meeting to detail the plan to collapse the USD,and "Change the Media to change the world".. The economic conference once described as "a grand bargain that rearranges the entire financial order". He brings together a group he has funded to "establish new International rules" and "reform the currency system". Prominent Lefties, globalists, economists on the Board he has throwing the event – more than 2/3rds have ties to Soros Via INET, he funded in 10/09 w/$50M. Reuters, FT, Wash Post, NPR, PBS, Salon .will cover the Media plans, but you won't see them reporting on the Conferences.. They want to bringi back the Fairness Doctrine and get Government control, dissatisfied that the Media isn't MORE Liberal. The meetings are taking place at Bretton Woods, NH, at the Mount Washington Resort. to recreate the event that helped design the Post WWII economy. However, Soros want to bring America DOWN. He has had some practice. Soros is our President's mentor.

      So, folks, don't count on any plan presented by Ryan/Congress will get thru the door. House Dem Ldr Pilosi, Sen Bernie Sanders & 4 Dems will be in attendance. Pilosi & Sanders were Directors affiliated w/Socialists International. Hillary Clinton & Soros established the "Shadow Govenment". Soros switched horses on her by supporting O. But some believe they have future plans. No one in or under this Admin will try to stop Soros. He is an economic terrorist who see's himself as God-like (he has said so).. Our country is in big trouble, they want to spend us to our knees, Make people come running to the Gov to help save them..

      Never thought I'd live this long to see all this unfold before my eyes.

      We need more voices to be heard, to stand up to the destruction of our country. Get involved, get out and vote.

      Thank you again Mr. Beach and The Heritage Foundation for all the great work you do.

    146. John A. Quayle, Wash says:

      Mr. Beach, asking Dr. Krugman for a debate is seriously laughable, since he's *GOT* to be aware that his Keynesian foolishness has been suspect for decades and now not only threatens the U.S. with bankruptcy, but the entire world. We are living through progressivism's last gasp. The progs are going to claw, scratch and bite, rather than save the country from its own reckless fiscal policies. The amount of government tax money being wasted is an awful crying shame.

    147. Gregory Farnsworrth says:

      People of Krugman's stripe need to be confronted every time they make false and misleading accusations, particularly when they have a political agenda (encouraged by the publication for which they write). Thank you for rebutting this and meeting this Marxist/socialist/fellow traveler head on. Many will not understand all of your rebuttal because of the complexity, but you have made it plain in 1, 2, 3, fashion.

    148. Peter Holzer, Red Ba says:

      Mr. Beach;

      aside from thoroughly enjoying the tone of your retort, as I consider Krugman to be far worse than you even him him to be, i note to omissions.

      one, while you mention 9/11 as a major impact that may have altered your best analyses, you forgot Katrina, which may have had no less an ecomomic impact. so your work deserved even greater praise.

      secondly, you resented that Krugman impuned your work as being written to justify, irrespective of truth or fact. in your response you should have accepted his words, as he clearly suffers from projection complexes, being one whose work does exactly that for which he accuses you.

      thanks for taking him on. I have forwaded your piece to all my fellow NY times haters.

    149. GoodMojo, TN says:

      Thank you Mr. Beach, and thank all of Heritage. Liberals, like Krugman, must lie to shore up their world view. Therefore, I doubt he is at all salvageable.

      People like me, however are much in your debt. I am interested in how economics really work

      Thanks again,


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