Paul Krugman: Government Tilting Towards 'Authoritarian Surveillance' State

ABC News

Below you can find some of the notable comments made Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos." Our powerhouse roundtable guests included ABC News' George Will; ABC News ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd; Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman; and Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren.

Krugman compares data collection to 'authoritarian' surveillance state

KRUGMAN: There was a really good article written five years ago by Jack Balkin at the Yale Law School. He said that technology means that we're going to be living in a surveillance state. That's just gonna happen. But there are different kinds of surveillance states. You can have a democratic surveillance state which collects as little data as possible and tells you as much as possible about what it's doing. Or you can have an authoritarian surveillance state which collects as much as possible and tells the public as little as possible. And we are kind of on the authoritarian side.

Ellison and others in Congress know 'almost nothing' about surveillance programs

STEPHANOPOULOS: You are a member of Congress. The president said on Friday that every member of Congress has access to information. Can you just first start out by explaining what a member of Congress who is not on the committee knows about this program or can know about this program?

ELLISON: I would say almost nothing. The reality is you can't bring your staff in there, so we are moving around Capitol Hill at lightning speed, nearly every member of Congress is. If you can't get any staff support, that means you've got to go into that room, you've got to sit there and pore through documents over the course of hours.

Van Susteren unimpressed by Sen. Feinstein's 'two-step' dance defense of Clapper

VAN SUSTEREN: [Feinstein] should have said, look, I can't defend it. Ask him, he said it. Instead, she says, well, sometimes the questions are misunderstood. And when she started backpedaling like that. You know, just stand up and have the courage to say - or like when President Obama changes his mind on things of a - when I was a candidate I thought this. I'm now sitting in the Oval Office, I now understand. I've changed my view. Have a little credibility and say the obvious. When you do that two-step we all simply roll our eyes.

Dowd thinks Power and Rice appointments are a 'stick in the eye' to Republicans

DOWD: To me, this is a perfect example of what's gone wrong in Washington. I think Samantha Power is very competent and very qualified. I think Ambassador Rice is very competent and very qualified. But just because you can appoint somebody doesn't mean you should appoint somebody. And to me, this is basically at a time when everybody says we need to lower the bitterness, and lower the vitriol and bring Washington and figure out a way to get all of this screaming and yelling, he basically sticks a stick in the eye of many Republicans and says, oh by the way, the people that you've been castigating, the people that you don't trust I'm going to put in these two key positions.

Krugman describes state of the economy as a 'sour equilibrium'

KRUGMAN: We are in this kind of sour equilibrium. I mean, the economy is growing, jobs are being created…

STEPHANOPOULOS: But only two straight months of job growth.

KRUGMAN: Yeah, but you know, it's a growing population, it's a growing workforce, the shares of adults who are employed has been flat for several years, way below normal levels. We are just creeping up.

Will discusses jobs report and what it means to Wall Street

WILL: Wall Street thought it was good, because it was so bad. It meant that the Federal Reserve would not stop printing money, the purpose of which is to pour into equities seeking high returns, run up the stock market, create a wealth effect, and - to use a magic word - trickle down to the American people.

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