In a blog post titled “Why there is no budget deal,” and Greg Mankiw writes:
Keith Hennessey says that the reason Republicans are rejecting the President’s budget proposal is that it is distinctly to the left of the one recommended by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission.
How can Obama’s budget proposal be “to the left of the one recommended by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission” when the commission never made a recommendation? Joan McCarter has previously debunked this zombie lie. She explains:
[The] commission did not have recommendations, the chairs did. Because they could not come to agreement on a proposal, there was only a report from Simpson and Bowles, and no commission recommendations. They didn’t get the required votes for an actual set of recommendations. They didn’t meet their deadline for providing those recommendations. They simply did not succeed.
One has to wonder why Mankiw repeated this false statement. Was it an accident? Or was Mankiw trying to give more weight to the proposal crafted by Simpson and Bowles — a right-leaning plan that Mankiw has endorsed — by attaching it to the entire commission?
We do know that Mankiw has repeated this zombie lie on more than one occasion.