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Battle: George Will vs. Paul Krugman on Austerity and Tea Party Ads


"[T]here are some seriously strange people running thanks to the Tea Party."

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Washington Post columnist George Will were guests on ABC's "This Week" yesterday (along with Amy Walter and Tavis Smiley). NewsBusters brings us the best jab-for-jab between Krugman and Will, who take different views on government spending, austerity, and Tea Party political ads.

NB sets up the first clip this way:

Krugman, who is always interested in government laying out more dollars it doesn’t have, bashed Lagarde’s view saying, “I think she's got a fantasy, which is a popular European fantasy, which bears no relationship to what's actually happening.”

With the ball nicely teed up, Will smacked a monster drive down the middle of the fairway that would make Tiger Woods proud ...

That may be a little too generous, but the point is still that Will jumps all over Krugman's logic:

As for the second clip, NB points out some seemingly conflicting statements by Krugman. After Krugman accuses Tea Party candidates of being "irrational" in some of their campaign ads, Will disagrees, and points out something he sees as nonsensical in some Democrats' ads:

And by the way, while we're on the subject of ads, in the interest of being fair and balanced, let's notice five interesting Democratic ads. There's a group called -- what's it called -- FactCheck.org, that checks the truthfulness of these ads. There are five freshmen Democratic congressmen -- that is, the people who came to Congress in January 2009 -- who are running ads claiming that they voted against TARP, which was voted on months before they came to Congress.

The Krugman response? "That's not the same," and "there are some seriously strange people running thanks to the Tea Party."

That doesn't add up for NB:

He’s all worried about some of the so-called kooky things being said in campaign commercials by folks on the other side of the aisle from him, but sitting members of Congress lying about votes they took in Congress is no big deal.

So who won?

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