proud libertarian Richard Epstein has a rebuttal over at forbes.
http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/08/paul-k ... stein.html
most of it is basic ad hominem stuff. He posits that the Nobel Prize winning collumnist at the New York Times, is envious and resentful of people richer than him, for example.
his reasoning for abolishing the estate tax on the last 0.25% of the population left paying it is unintentionally hilarious. He explains that the reason so few people fall under the estate tax is because rich people make all kind of dirty maneuvers to get under it, and if they weren't forced to lie about their worth, they would have in fact created more tax revenues through normal market activity.
So a libertarian is just looking out for big government by showing it how to get more in tax revenues? mighty nice of him, but I think that line of logic is disengenuous, and considering the root definition of libertarianism is to reduce government tax revenues, I question his motive.
He also explains that "One reason the unemployment levels remain so stubbornly high is that our constant political meddling in labor markets makes it hard for individual firms to figure out the risk of hiring new employees." but leaves the specifics of what "political meddling" in labor markets he means, that's because to come right out and list these widely popular reforms so many people rely on and enjoy would make him out to be a giant d-bag. Yeah, that family medical leave act, fuck that! those free loaders!
Then goes on to explain why we should cut unemployment insurance: "No one knows how much money will go in that direction: Some recipients of unemployment benefits will use their checks to pay off past bills or save for future major expenses."
This is true! but it's like a 1% of the bottom line true, like how tort reform will help reduce healthcare costs. Or regularly checking your air pressure on your tires will help our dependancy on foreign oil. This little truth is proposed like some damning rebuttal of Krugman's criticism on republican nonsense that unemployment wages are a disinsentive to working (I'd love to hear if square seems particularly disincentivised when his first unemployment check comes!), but it doesn't even scratch the issue.
Not only is extending unemployment assistance during the greated recession of a generation a good thing because it reduces suffering of Americans
, it's also a good idea because it's still dollar for dollar the most efficient direct stimulous of the economy - despite that faxt that maybe a few % of that ends up getting saved or to pay off crippling credit card debts.