In recent Tokyo visits, two Nobel laureates pleaded with Shinzo Abe: Please don't be crazy enough to raise taxes on your deflation-plagued nation.

What Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz really did was explain why the prime minister's economics program has flopped so spectacularly, and how Abe's team is doubling down on failure by clinging to dogma that has no place in Japan's present or future.

It's testament to Abe's salesmanship that some media still speak of Abenomics as a going concern — just one solid stimulus from restoring Japan's 1980s greatness. But a con is a con. The first real crack in Abe's ruse came in April 2014, when his government raised the consumption tax to 8 percent from 5 percent. Sure, getting a handle on the nation's gargantuan public debt is plenty important, but that such a modest step killed growth prospects should've been signal enough that Abe needed to think bigger and recalibrate policies.