Both his [Trump’s] pick as budget director and his choice to head Health and Human Services want to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and privatize Medicare. His choice as labor secretary is a fast-food tycoon who has been a vociferous opponent both of Obamacare and of minimum wage hikes. And House Republicans have already submitted plans for drastic cuts in Social Security, including a sharp rise in the retirement age. …

This is an excerpt from Paul Krugman, “Populism, Real and Phony,” New York Times. It’s quoted in Mark Thoma’s post.

This reminds me of the old joke that David Frum tells in his book Dead Right. I’ll tell it as best I can. Two Jews are talking about what they read. One castigates the other for reading vile, anti-semitic newspapers. The one who is castigated defends himself: “Why read what you read? In your pro-Jewish newspapers, we learn that we are always under attack. People hate us.The world looks grim. In the newspapers I read, I learn that we control everything. We control the banks. Politicians cater to our every whim. We run Hollywood. I like good news.”

I have no idea whether Krugman is predicting accurately. My guess is that, unfortunately, he’s not. Even the win on the minimum wage, though, would be a big win.