Paul Krugman has an excellent column in today’s New York Times, making some of the same points I made last week about how education and other social services (food stamps, anyone?) are just as deserving as “stimulus” spending as, say, highway construction. Krugman says it better than me, of course, being a Nobel Prize winner in Op-Ed Column Writing and all:
As a nation, we don’t believe that our fellow citizens should go without essential health care. Why, then, does a large share of funding for Medicaid come from state governments, which are forced to cut the program precisely when it’s needed most?
An educated population is a national resource. Why, then, is basic education mainly paid for by local governments, which are forced to neglect the next generation every time the economy hits a rough patch?
Krugman also notes that Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is calling for any federal stimulus plan to include increased funding for education, food stamps, and Medicaid along with infrastructure spending. Maybe Strickland can be the Fiorello LaGuardia of the Obama era.