You probably think it is so obvious that Paul Krugman is the worst economics writer in America that the proposition is not even worth discussing. But over at National Review Online, Kevin Williamson thinks he has a competitor for the prize: Martin Crutsinger, Chief Economics Writer for the Associated Press.
To his credit, Williamson nails the fundamental problem with the economics reporting by Crutsinger (and for that matter, the rest of the AP staff):
You will be hard-pressed to find an Associated Press report acknowledging the fact that government spending is accounted for at cost when calculating GDP.
It's not like Crutsinger ever makes a principled argument for why Fake Keynesianism is a good view of the economy. It's just that he has so totally internalized the fallacy that it is everywhere in his reporting without his even seeing it. So you get things like this whopper from his report of February 28:
"the only impediment [to economic growth of around 2%] . . . may be the across-the-board government spending cuts that kick in Friday."
Back to Williamson:
The final product is an AP-distributed political worldview that government spending is always good for the economy, good for employment, good for construction, etc., with little or no contemplation of the possibility that government spending may be one of our more significant economic problems.
OK, that's bad. But could it really be worse than Krugman, who just takes everything about economics and turns it around a full 180 degrees? Consider his recent column from March 28, entitled "Cheating the Children." And how exactly are we cheating the children? You might guess, by taking on huge amounts of debt that they will never be able to repay? Wrong:
Yet there is, as I said, a lot of truth to the charge that we’re cheating our children. How? By neglecting public investment and failing to provide jobs.
So in Krugman's view, we are cheating the children by not having enough government spending and not taking on enough debt. Got that?
Sorry, Kevin, but Krugman has Crutsinger beat by a mile.