Monday, September 10, 2012

Sen. Paul, perhaps you should educate yourself before you get angry.

We live in a very interesting time in American politics. We live in a time when people who are the most outraged about an issue are also the people who know the least about it. As a case in point, watch this exchange between Sen. Rand Paul and Paul Krugman about the number of public employees in the US under Bush and Obama:

Sen. Paul is very concerned about the size of the government, but as Krugman notes in the video and at his blog, the size of the government has shrunk dramatically under Pres. Obama. In fact, as Krugman argues, this is one of the major reasons the recession has dragged on for so long. Now in fairness to Sen. Paul, employment at the federal level has increased slightly from about 2.77 million in 2008 to about 2.8 million now, but that certainly isn't an "enormous" growth of government as Sen. Paul suggests. Furthermore, given that state and local governments have been slashing jobs at an enormous rate, the total number of government employees (Federal, State and Local combined) is down about 600,000.

Yet, despite these facts, Sen. Paul seems outraged at the size of the government. What are we to do when people become outraged about topics they appear to know nothing about? Our post-truth election continues.

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