This Is Not My Point
Greg Mankiw is at it again passing along questionable information that can easily be debunked. This time he focuses his sights on the medicare has lower administrative costs argument that many public option supporters love to throw around by linking to a white paper written by the Heritage Foundation.
Now, I do not have any personal vendetta against the good people at the Heritage Foundation, but Paul Krugman sure does. Dr. Krugman links to a pretty compelling argument from a Berkely Fellow, but he attempts to discredit Dr. Mankiw's source by stating (emphasis mine), "Everything [they] say is automatically suspect," and then concludes with the following:
You should always remember:
1. Don’t believe anything Heritage says.
2. If you find what Heritage is saying plausible, remember rule 1.
The back and forth between these two got me thinking about who would fall into the "automatically suspect" category for me*. For Dr. Krugman it is the Heritage Foundation, but I have no doubt that for many others it is Paul Krugman. What is unfortunate about all of this is that there is most likely at least a grain of truth to both sides that is largely overlooked as we are usually unwilling to look past the perceived motives of the messenger. In this case a former economic advisor to the Bush administration vs. a nobel prize winning liberal (aka "elite") economist who blogs for the NYTimes.
My guess is that the last sentence in the previous paragraph is all anyone would need to make up their mind about the merits of either's argument.
Who do you consider to be automatically suspect?
* Sean Hannity