Charlie Rose featured a deficit debate on his PBS show Monday night between MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. The debate got testy at times, as the two traded accusations of ad hominem attacks.
Neither could be said to have decisively “won” the debate—Scarborough came out looking like a politician while Krugman struggled to keep up with the bombardment. When Scarborough charged Krugman with making incorrect predictions in the past about the future of the economy, the noted economist was unable to defend himself, instead voicing his disappointment that the attacks were taking away from the discussion at hand.
While they disagreed over who has the best approach to fixing the economy, they managed to find some common ground. Both agreed that we should not be overly concerned with short-term spending and wanted to spend billions of dollars on infrastructure projects—two major points of contention for Republicans.
However, there was no consensus on how to go about fixing the economy. Scarborough, in line with Republican leaders, insisted that we should focus on bringing down national debt through spending cuts, while Krugman maintained that this approach would only further harm the economy. What we need instead, he advised, is increased government investment to keep the economy growing and to disregard national debt as a serious issue.