The dismal scientist is Paul Krugman, who, besides being a New York Times columnist, is a respected economist that has written over twenty books on the subject and taught at some of the top universities in the country, including Yale, MIT and Stanford. Because Paul Krugman is such a genius at it, I'll let this speak for itself.
The crux of what he is saying is that the once much respected Alan Greenspan spent his political capital by pandering to the current administration. He keeps spinning their line, first about how tax cuts were a desireable thing for the economy and now how Social Security benefits must be sharply reduced to save that same economy from bankruptcy.
I've read some of what Greenspan has said lately in both the Washington Post and the New York Times. After reading each article, I came away with the same reaction. If our economy is in as much trouble because of the deficit, as he claims, why not end the tax breaks, or - heck I know this is the real third rail of Republican orthodoxy - why not even raise taxes?
It seems that before you start cutting benefits from poor or middle class people, you ought to squeeze a little out of the super rich. Oh but that would be - dare I say it - class warfare. And that would be wrong boys and girls.
Anyway, I'm not an economist with credentials up the wazoo like Krugman is, so I was willing to admit that maybe I had missed something in this discussion. But after reading Krugman, who has quite a bio as an economist, I'm happy to say he has the same questions for Greenspan that I do. And, like me, he thinks this is Greenspan's game of three card monte.