Politics: Lies and Deception

The Congressional Budget Office released its economic outlook report that included two appendices that dealt specifically with the Affordable Health Care Act.click here

Because a number of people work full-time solely to maintain insurance coverage (either because the cost of obtaining individual insurance would be prohibitive or because they would be unable to obtain any insurance because of pre-existing conditions), the Affordable Care Act will give people some options. CBO estimates that a number of people will opt to stop working or reduce their hours because they will have access to health insurance that no longer requires them to work full-time. For some, they might opt to retire at age 62, three years before they are eligible for Medicare. For others, they might decide to leave the workplace and start their own business or go back to school  to launch a new career. For some, they will be able to drop down to a 32-hour workweek, to better meet the needs of their family.  No doubt there are many other reasons.

Krugman says this was always known and CBO puts the estimate at around 2 million in this report. He then reports the tweet by Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader:  “Under Obamacare, millions of hardworking Americans will lose their jobs and those who keep them will see their hours and wages reduced.”  See: Twitter account

From my perspective, outright lies do not serve the public interest. It is one thing to disagree about a public policy, but deception, distortion, spinning–whatever it is called–is still a lie.  And if a lie is the only thing you can say, then maybe it is time accept that you have no valid point and should just be quiet.

It is one thing to have your job ended, thrusting you into the unemployed. It is another thing to leave your job in search of something better in your life.  Similarly, it is one thing to have hours and wages reduced by your boss, something that is unwanted and outside your control.  It is another to look at your life and the many competing demands, and be able to make choices. It should not be surprising that some people will opt to take a slight cut in hours (and pay), in order to reduce the stress in their lives and have more time to take their kids to soccer practice.

The jobs, however, are not “lost.” They are now open and available to someone who is seeking work.  And in this economy, having more jobs available is a good thing.

Krugman takes a tough stance on this kind of deception used by those who oppose the Affordable Care Act:

“So was Mr. Cantor being dishonest? Or was he just ignorant of the policy basics and unwilling to actually read the report before trumpeting his misrepresentation of what it said? It doesn’t matter — because even if it was ignorance, it was willful ignorance. Remember, the campaign against health reform has, at every stage, grabbed hold of any and every argument it could find against insuring the uninsured, with truth and logic never entering into the matter.”

“Think about it. We had the nonexistent death panels. We had false claims that the Affordable Care Act will cause the deficit to balloon. We had supposed horror stories about ordinary Americans facing huge rate increases, stories that collapsed under scrutiny. And now we have a fairly innocuous technical estimate misrepresented as a tale of massive economic damage.”

See column:Click Here

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