I tried to put a comment on your blog but have been repeatedly blocked. I´ve also noticed that at least one comment that suggested you were not being reasonable about this affair “sneaked through” but was later deleted (funny that the comment started with “I know you will not publish this”). So I´ll go public with this open letter.
First you link to my post:
A man for any season: Before it was about “expansionary austerity”. Now it´s convenient to call for “self-financing fiscal stimulus”: In a “Man for all seasons”, we get the story of Thomas More who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage. Now we have a duo – Larry Summers and Brad Delong – that “adapt” to the season at hand. In their just released paper – Fiscal Policy in a Depressed Economy – they say that in the “liquity trap” situation America is in today temporary stimulus “may actually be self-financing”. Interestingly, when he was number two to Rubin (and later top Treasury honcho) during the Clinton Presidency (1993 – 2000), Larry Summers peddled “stimulative austerity”, the idea that to cut deficits would lower interest rates by enough to produce stronger growth…
And then write:
Now this really isn’t fair to Larry.
So I wrote, asking whether Nunes had actually read the paper.
It certainly did not sound like it.
I asked if I(!) understood that we had explicitly argued in our paper that back in 1993 (when Alan Greenspan was very worried about long-term fiscal stability, and promised to make monetary policy easier in order to hold aggregate demand harmless if the Clinton administration undertook deficit reduction) the benefit-cost calculation was very different from what it is today (when Ben Bernanke is saying that he really would like some help from other branches from government).
What the benefit-cost calculation is depends on what the monetary-policy reaction function is, and different monetary-policy reaction functions lead to different appropriate fiscal policies.
Apparently the answer is no. Here’s what I got back, via email:
Given the quality of your comment I have to assume YOU are the bullshit artist impersonating someone else.
You have been excluded.
Brad, you know that´s not how it went down. You are misrepresenting what happened.
The fact is that I answered your comment in a normal and civil manner. Another commenter – Benjamin Cole – also discussed your comment. But then you came back “swinging the bat” with an answer to my comment, accusing me of implying that Larry Summers was a “bullshit artist” and that I “owed Larry an apology”.
I found the tone and content of the comment very strange and began to have doubts about the real identity of the “Brad DeLong” that was writing. This led me to write the e-mail you mention to the address every commenter is required to supply when posting a comment. I opened the e-mail with “Mr. Brad DeLong”, clearly implying that I didn´t believe the writer was the “real thing”.
As to the substance of your “complaint”, I don´t think I “misrepresented” Larry´s views.
Here´s the Economist of March 24th:
WHEN he was at the Treasury nearly 20 years ago Larry Summers would counsel President Bill Clinton on the merits of “stimulative austerity”: cut deficits, and interest rates will fall by enough to produce stronger economic growth. Now Mr Summers is making the opposite case: stimulate growth through a bigger deficit, and the long-term debt may shrink.
Scott Sumner did a post on your paper with Summers. Being an academic, he knows much better than me how to “roam around the room”, much as diplomats deal with one another. This is a good example of “diplomatic trashing”:
PS. Just to reiterate, this post is not a comment on the core of D&S. I´m not qualified to judge their model, but it looks fine to me. I just don´t buy the assumption that motivates the entire exercise.
Great way to make the other guy feel good – i.e. not get him to charge you with misrepresentation and demand an apology – while subtly implying that what he did was pretty useless.
Scott even did something rare, doing a post on comments. And starts off with: “My commenters are much tougher on Larry Summers than I am”. A couple of quotes from commenter Jim Glass:
If the Fed was and is unwilling to provide enough stimulus during this recession, the #1 largest identifiable reason is: Larry Summers.
Now he writes:” We presume the central bank is unwilling to provide additional stimulus”. Please. Shame on Larry Summers.
FN:  Except write a planning memo to Obama saying there was only $ 300 billion of quality fiscal stimulus available “we do not believe it is feasible to design proposals along these lines that go beyond this total size”, with necessary amounts beyond that amount “not as effective as stimulus”. Now he is writing that deficits as large as one may desire are self-financing?
Anyway, the crux of my argument on the post I wrote is captured in this short paragraph, which even contains a plea for “union”:
You may think Summers got it right by advocating “stimulative austerity”. But his indicator variable – interest rates – moved in the “wrong” direction. Yes, you guessed, monetary policy did it! And it´s monetary policy that can turn things around today. So that´s where the advocates of fiscal stimulus should band together and stop wasting precious time.
One question: Why do you often “swing the bat” on others in defense of “higher-ups”? You certainly do plenty of that in “defense” of Krugman. In any case I don´t think it´s up to you to say that I “owe Larry an apology”. He´s big enough to demand one himself.