Paul Krugman: The GOP's savior is a "fringe crank" pandering to the party's "ignorant elite"

Marco Rubio may not be an intellectual heavyweight, but he's all the GOP establishment's got

By Scott Eric Kaufman
February 22, 2016 5:50PM (UTC)
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(Reuters/Tim Shaffer)

In his Monday New York Times column, economist Paul Krugman took a cudgel to the GOP establishment's last, best hope for a candidate -- Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

After a protracted joke about Trump, Krugman argued about just how devastating a Rubio administration with his stated economic policy would be. "Mr. Rubio's tax cuts would be almost twice as big as George W. Bush's," he noted, adding that his call for a balanced budget amendment at the same time would make his policy as "catastrophic" as the Great Depression.


Because, he wrote,

In short, Mr. Rubio is peddling crank economics. What’s interesting, however, is why. You see, he’s not pandering to ignorant voters; he’s pandering to an ignorant elite. Donald Trump’s rise has confirmed something polling data already suggested, namely, that most Republican voters don’t actually subscribe to much of the party’s official orthodoxy. Mr. Trump has said the unsayable on multiple issues, from declaring that we were deceived into war to calling for higher taxes on the wealthy (although his own plan does no such thing). Each time, party insiders have waited to see his campaign collapse as a result, and each time he has ended up paying no political price...

Read the rest at the New York Times...

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Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at

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2016 Gop Primary Aol_on Economics Elections 2016 Marco Rubio Paul Krugman