This Week we asked Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman to answer six questions about Rep. Paul Ryan, his always memorable verbal takedowns and where he keeps his Nobel medal. Read everything Krugman had to say below.
1) Rep. Paul Ryan presented the GOP budget blueprint this week. You have been a critic of his budget ideas for a long time, but did he put forward any ideas that you can see yourself supporting?
Paul Krugman: Um, no. He just gets flimflammier over time.
2) Is a so called "grand bargain" - a deal composed of spending cuts and new revenue between Democrats and Republicans - something you see happening this year?
Paul Krugman: No, and I hope not. We're not ready, and anyway the GOP would renege on the deal at the very first chance.
3) A fake story recently circulated on the web that you had declared personal bankruptcy. What was your reaction to the brouhaha?
Paul Krugman: I was delighted - in fact, I waited a bit until some fairly prominent groups had taken the bait before responding. For one thing, the fact that people feel this desperate need to take me down confirms that I must be having an impact! And hey, making your critics look like fools is always a good feeling.
4) Both your written and verbal takedowns - some that you launch on "This Week" - often get attention. Do they come to you naturally or are they something you put a good deal of thought into?
Paul Krugman: They're actually pretty spontaneous; when I work too hard at them, they don't come out nearly as well. I've often thought that if this economics thing doesn't work out, I could try my hand writing ad copy or maybe doing standup.
5) Where do you keep your Nobel medal?
Paul Krugman: It's in a plastic bin somewhere in the house. When visitors asked to see it, at first I couldn't remember where it was.
6) Where do you see the national unemployment numbers going this year?
Paul Krugman: Down a bit, I think - the economy is really trying to recover now, and may actually manage it despite Washington.
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