Harvard economics Professor Greg Mankiw thinks that Mr. Obama's growth forecasts are overly optimistic and that the federal deficit will be a lot larger than Mr. Obama thinks. He was chastised by Princeton's Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winner in economics, who on his New York Times blog claims that Mankiw can only make the predictions that he does because of "more than a bit of deliberate obtuseness." He titled his post on Mankiw, "Roots of Evil." Last Wednesday, Mankiw responded to Krugman's attacks by suggesting: "Well, Paul, if you are so confident in this forecast, would you like to place a wager on it and take advantage of my wickedness?" Krugman has still not responded. It seems even a Nobel Prize winner isn't willing to lay money on Mr. Obama's rosy projections.
I’m not sure why one would be waging a bet against the US economy in the first place but I don’t blame Professor Krugman for ignoring this silliness. Speaking of silliness, the Washington Times lead this pathetic op-ed with:
The Obama administration is basing its budget forecasts on the economy growing an eyebrow-raising 15.6 percent above inflation between 2008 and 2013 - a drop of 1.2 percent this year followed by an average of 4 percent growth over the following four years. That's very impressive growth for any period of time.
So for the first five years, the Obama administration is forecasting a growth rate less than 3 percent – which would mean that its forecast for a 9-year interval would have average annual growth that is less than 3.5 percent. Did the author of this op-ed not realize that the average annual growth rate for the last half of the 20th century was about 3.5 percent?