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Cavuto to Krugman: ‘You Are Lying To People’

By Judd Legum

"Cavuto to Krugman: ‘You Are Lying To People’"

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Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman went on Fox News this afternoon to talk about his new article in Rolling Stone Magazine, “How the Super-Rich Are Screwing America.”

Krugman’s article is about how income inequality is getting worse and, as a result, even though some aggregate economic indicators are positive, most people aren’t benefiting. Cavuto told Krugman, “Here’s what I’m saying that you’re doing: You are lying to people.” Cavuto claims that income inequality isn’t “dramatically worse now than 10 years ago, 20 years ago.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2006/12/cavuto_krugman.320.240.flv]

Actually, Krugman is completely right: things are dramatically worse now than 10 or 20 years ago. Here’s a chart from the Economic Policy Institute that tracks the ratio of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans to median income in the United States, a standard measure of income inequality:

Income inequality chart

Full transcript:

CAVUTO: Here’s what I’m saying that you’re doing: You are lying to people. That’s what I think that you’re doing.

KRUGMAN: I haven’t heard a lie yet. But, look, if that’s the way you want to do it, I mean, fair and balanced, go all the way. Look, c’mon, the fact of the matter is–

CAVUTO: No, no, you don’t have to be snide. You have to be factual.

KRUGMAN: You’re being snide.

CAVUTO: No, no, you’re mentioning good data. You’re saying there’s a growing divide between the haves and have nots. Others have argued that very effectively and very eloquently, just like you. All I’m saying is that the math that applied now, can’t you apply it in other periods, when there have been Democratic presidents who’ve had the same dislocations? You’re saying that it’s somehow dramatically worse now than it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago?

KRUGMAN: Yeah, actually, it is dramatically worse now than it was 10 years, 20 years ago. All of the measures of inequalities have just gone off the charts. It didn’t start with Bush — and I actually say that if anybody, you know, buy Rolling Stone, read the article — it actually starts even before Reagan, so this is not just Bush. The point of the matter is that, when, in these last five years, as it’s becomes clear that this is a really growing problem, that most people are not sharing in the economy’s growth, the policies of Bush have been at every point to push that inequality further.

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