Krugman: U.S. Headed for 'Jobless' Recovery

"Without getting into the weeds, you have got to assume it's going to cost money," Noonan argued. "At a certain point, you've got to realize, people are going to say, whoa, this is no good."

But Krugman argues "the weeds" are exactly where the health care reform debate should be.

Krugman Argues for Public Health Care Option

He's blasted "balking Democrats" determined to kill the public option and Republicans for spouting jingoism about "socialism" and "government-run health care."

"I think this whole thing is wishful thinking on the part of people who wish the administration wouldn't have such a broad agenda and so they keep on say ,'Well, there's too many things going on.' But there's no real sign that the American public is dismayed by the action on multiple fronts," he said of Noonan's argument.

"A win on environmental protection is actually helping to keep the momentum going on other things like health care."

Krugman Keeps His Distance from Washington

With his high-profile column and frequent appearances on "This Week" one might expect Krugman to frequent elite liberal parties in Washington, D.C., and New York.

But Krugman said he doesn't venture far from his home study in Princeton, New Jersey, and often walks to the university where he still teaches classes.

"Most of the columns you see are hashed out in my home study or in my office at the university -- sitting in my study and looking out at the deer munching on our garden," he said.

He'll take a break from his TV appearances and his column later this summer when he and his wife, Robin Wells, an economics researcher at Princeton University, spend 10 days biking around Scotland.

"That's a ritual, most years we do a bike trip some place," said Krugman, citing previous vacations in Italy and France biking with his wife.

Added the lauded economist, "The weak pound makes it a better deal."

Krugman said he sees his role as an outside-the-beltway agitator trying to change conventional wisdom in Washington, D.C.

Happy for the media bullhorn to make his case for public policy reform, Krugman admits to being somewhat perplexed by the recent attention that has come with the media spotlight.

"I've been kind of exposed especially after the prize," Krugman said, joking, "my life is over examined."

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