Business

Policy and Character

krugman.blogs.nytimes.comDavid Brooks writes a pro-Marco-Rubio column, and in passing says this:

At this stage it’s probably not sensible to get too worked up about the details of any candidate’s plans. They are all wildly unaffordable. What matters is how a candidate signals priorities.

It won’t surprise you to learn that I disagree deeply. My experience is that the best way to figure out a candidate’s true priorities — and his or her character — is to look hard at policy proposals.

My view here is strongly influenced by the story of George W. Bush. Younger readers may not know or remember how it was back in 2000, but back then the universal view of the commentariat was that W was a moderate, amiable, bluff and honest guy. I was pretty much alone taking his economic proposals — on taxes and Social Security — seriously. And what I saw was a level of dishonesty and irresponsibility, plus radicalism, that was unprecedented in a major-party presidential candidate. So I was out there warning that Bush was a bad, dangerous guy no matter how amiable he seemed.

krugman.blogs.nytimes.com

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