Big Lie Politics

House Republicans passed a bill to repeal healthcare reform because they said it was job-killing and budget-busting.

FactCheck.org found their claims were false.  The site has details, but here is a quick summary.

Job-Killing

Republicans used two sources to project between 650K and 1.6M lost jobs.

The first was a quote in an August CBO report.   “The legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount—roughly half a percent—primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply.”  The problem is this wasn’t about lost jobs.  It was about workers choosing to either retire or switch to part-time because under the bill they were no longer dependent on their employer for affordable healthcare coverage.

A January 2009 report from the National Federation of Independent Businesses contained the 1.6M projection.  The NFIB is the nation’s largest small business association and a fierce opponent of healthcare reform.  Their report assumed that all employers would have to provide health insurance.  The final bill excluded businesses with less than 50 employees from regulation.  The NFIB has not revised their report even though these “smallest” businesses accounted for the largest portion of projected job losses.

Factcheck.org also found that Republicans ignored the 890K new jobs that the same report said the bill would create.  FactCheck.org summarized, “The 1.6 million figure is a gross exaggeration of the likely effect of the law, even using the NFIB’s study as a guide.”

Budget-Busting

FactCheck.org found Republicans used “mostly bogus” data to come up with the projected $700B deficit increase.

First is a claim that Medicare savings were being double counted which FactCheck debunked.

Next, $200B of the $700B came from the cost of upcoming Medicare reimbursement adjustments.  Both parties agree that it’s necessary, but the adjustment wasn’t part of the healthcare bill.  Suggesting that repealing the healthcare bill will somehow avoid this expense is serious misinformation.

Finally Republicans claim that the bill will cost $115B to administer.  The same CBO which they quote in their “job killing” claim listed administration costs between $10B and $20B.

Republican couldn’t kill the healthcare bill with ideology and name-calling.  Now they are trying to kill it with “Big Lie” politics about jobs and deficits.  Fortunately, the American people are starting to see through this too with polls showing support for repeal dwindling to 26%.

Hopefully sites like Factcheck.org will help force the honest debates we desperately need on how best to control the rising cost of healthcare.

20 Responses to “Big Lie Politics”

  1. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Hey Keith,

    Please use unbiased sources.

    Here’s what politifact says.

  2. keith says:

    And yours? NPR?????? Do you want me to go back and list yours?

    http://newsbusters.org/forums/topic-discussion/bias-politifact

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/02/10/selection-bias-at-politifact/

    http://www.redstate.com/barrypopik/2010/05/13/politifacts-liberal-bias-yet-again-arizona-law-climategate/

    Jeff, your reaction above is what I often get from you. Disregard the statement and slander the messager. You yell bias so often it isn’t funny. Again, you need to take off those colored glasses and understand BOTH sides are bias and stop raising the flag when I provided something you think is bias. Both sides are and you all control way more media then conservitives.

    So you believe bias has everything to do with content?

  3. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    I hope you are watching coverage of the thing in Wisc. Might be good for you to watch MSNBC too. Ed is right down there with them protesting, speech making, rallying the troops, encourging the “brave legislators” who ran away to another state so a quorm isnt possible. (maybe the brave republicans should have done that with health care huh?) Im not directing attention to the issue but merely the support of the progressive media for this as a comparison to Fox and the tea party….there simply is no comparision. You want to find unbias media? good luck…simply acknowledge this and I’ll be happy.

    Further try this link.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/17/AR2011021705494.html

  4. Keith says:

    In light of your complaints of last year when some folks visited dems homes on healthcare, i believe, please comment on the following. Please be consistant Jeff.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/2011/02/group-targets-speaker-boehner-s-small-h-house#

  5. Keith says:

    Jeff,
    In light of the Tea Party and conservitive comments last year, what do you think this means?

    http://nhjournal.com/2011/02/23/dem-rep-to-unions-time-to-get-‘bloody’/

  6. Keith says:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50081.html

    This is interesting…………

    Ed last night was so over the top in his break down of the poser call to gvt walker……he msnbc cheerleading at its best….(or worst)

    he supports the 14 dems who have shut down the govt by refusing to vote and running off to a faraway land….couragous… maybe everytime the opposition of any party disagree they so follow this lead. Come on Jeff, voice your agreement with me on this.

    He also supports the guy who mislewad the govt claiming to be one of the koch’s. i wonder if thta koch should file charges?

    Your thoughts.

  7. Jeff Beamsley says:

    I don’t support any rabble rousers liberal or conservative. Don’t have any problem with people who want to cover protests, but leading them or encouraging them removes the person from the role of journalist or reporter to participant.

    At that point I don’t think that the person can casually step back over the line to legit journalism. That applies to Rush and Glen during the tea party rallies and now apparently Ed during these union protests.

    Jeff

  8. Jeff Beamsley says:

    As far as dems walking out, this isn’t that far removed from Republicans threatening to fillabuster virtually every law that came through the senate last term and grinding the wheels of government to a halt. No problem with it.

    If you want to go down the track of irresponsible legilators, how much different is it from Republicans threatening to close down the government if they don’t get their way on spending concessions.

    Again it is all politics. Fillibustering is not in the constitution. it is just a rule that the Senate has adopted to prevent these sorts of walk-outs.

    It is the minority exercising power to force the majority to compromise.

    If you don’t like it, don’t vote for these guys the next time they come up for re-election.

    Jeff

  9. Jeff Beamsley says:

    finally yes I do agree that threatening elected representatives at their homes is inappropriate.

  10. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Oh yeah, the “bloody” comment.

    In my reading it was a reference to civil rights protesters who got bloodied rather than encouraging the crowd to draw the blood of others. That said, it was an inappropriate comment because it could also be interpretted as preparing people to start a fight.

    Jeff

  11. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Keith,

    You are really going to take a blog post from some person named GiausBalter that starts with the line “I think everyone here knwos how biased PolitiFact has become” from a news site whose tag line is “Exposing Liberal Media Bias” and suggest that this somehow exposes Politifact.com?

    Excuse my French, but read the damn Polifact article that the post references. Right after the reference to MSNBC that the blogger objected to, there is a long quote from the conservative American Enterprise Institute supporting the MSNBC position. The article then goes on to quote the people who actually did the survey that Dick Armey was quoting who also said that he was mis-stating the survey’s conclusions. I think that any fair minded person is going to say that this was a good unbiased piece of journalism. This blogger knew that too, but was able to post a biased hack job on newbusters.org because newbusters is NOT and unbiased site.

    Then you’ve got hot air. Here’s how they describe themselves on their about page. “Hot Air was launched on April 24, 2006, with Michelle Malkin as founder/CEO. Since then, the site has become one of the largest right-of-center blogs on the Internet. ”

    Remember what I said in the previous paragraph. Well guess what, it works on this one too. Rather than read what hot airs tells you that Smart Politics said, go read the smart politics article. I thought it was a pretty good piece of analysis, including, “For those current or former political officeholders, PolitiFact has generally devoted an equal amount of time analyzing Republicans (191 statements, 50.4 percent) as they have Democrats (179 stories, 47.2 percent), with a handful of stories tracking statements by independents (9 stories, 2.4 percent).” That fairly important statistic wasn’t in the Hot Air post. I wonder why?

    The Smart Politics article was very nuanced and essentially just asked the question of why more Republican statements were rated as big lies than Democratic statements. The article didn’t question that any individual rating was inaccurate. It only posed the interesting question of whether or not the fact that there seem to be more Republican big lies than Democratic big lies reflected some bias on the part of Politifact.

    I think the first comment to that article hit the nail on the head. Politifact.com just selects statements that have had some sort of high profile in the news. Republicans happen to be making a lot more news lately by making controversial statements (remember big lie politics). To prove bias, which Smart Politics didn’t claim, you have to look for instances where Democrats made newsworthy statements that were big lies and Politifact either ignored them or gave them more favorable ratings than they deserved.

    If you can find evidence of that in Politifact.com please let me know. I haven’t seen any.

    The final is just another blog post on a right wing site were the blogger is crabby about some of Politifact’s ratings for issues that were important to him. He does say, “In PolitiFact’s defense, it has rated some statements from Democrats as “false.” These things happen.”

    So his beef isn’t that Politifact just picks on Republicans. His beef is that he just doesn’t agree with Politifact’s “barely true” rating, though he fails to build a compelling argument to suggest that the rating should have been something else. So at the bottom line, this post was little more than a rant.

    An example of Barely True on the site today is Obama claiming that a government shutdown could affect the distribution of SS checks. The bulk of the checks likely would go out, but there are some cases where some small number of checks wouldn’t.

    I suggest you go spend some time at Politifact or Factcheck. I think you would find them interesting sources and agree that the only reason conservative sites are claiming they are biased is because they don’t like being fact checked.

    The bottom line is that you can always find another idiot on the internet who will agree with you on whatever loony theory you want to propose, that doesn’t make it true or factual.

    There are very few sites that actually make an effort to be unbiased on non political.

    Here are the ones that I think meet that criteria.

    Facthcheck.org
    Politifact.com
    csmonitor.com
    snopes.com
    and maybe my new discovery, Smart Politics.

    From my perspective, you have to have a common set of facts before you can have a productive discussion. In the absence of facts, all we are left with is belief and opinion. Those, like religion, can’t be debated.

    Jeff

  12. Jeff Beamsley says:

    What the CBO director said is exactly what I quoted in my post. The issue with the weekly standard blog is that they didn’t go into the detail. These are 800K people who are going to retire or switch from full time to part time as a result of this law. That’s because, as a result of the healthcare law, they can get affordable health insurance without having to work a full time job. It is not, as the quotes imply, 800K people who are going to get fired.

    What is also interesting about this is that Republicans are saying on one hand that the CBO estimate of a $230B reduction in the deficit as a result of the healthcare law is unreliable, but on the other hand the CBO estimate regarding jobs is right on the money.

    Clearly it is hypocritical to use only those parts of the CBO projection that you like and reject the rest.

    But that’s why Republicans don’t like to be fact checked.

  13. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Did you actually read the Bloomberg article that you posted?

    Here’s what it said.

    “No details were immediately available, but the move would cut current spending in hundreds of federal programs by about $60 billion, resulting in levels in effect in 2008.

    By Republican reckoning, the new measure would reduce spending by $100 billion below Obama’s request for the current fiscal year, a number they had promised to meet in the “Pledge to America,” their manifesto in the 2010 campaign. The actual cuts from current rates are less because the $100 billion promise assumes Obama budget increases that were never enacted.”

    So the bottom line is that the Republicans claimed they were going to cut $100B in spending, but they have only actually proposed cutting $60B in real spending.

    So how did they get from $60B to $100B? They are also counting $40B in proposed spending that never got authorized. In other words, they are also counting as “cuts” money that was never going to be spent. I don’t think that this was what those who voted for the Republicans in November had in mind when they heard about the promise to reduce spending by $100B, but that’s how this “Big Lie” politics works.

  14. Keith says:

    to the last post……i was defending nothing….go listen to how many dems are siting cuts in the manner you just rightly ripped to shreads/ they are claiming cuts to a budget that, again you rightly pointed out, was never enacted!!!!!!

    My ony point is that the rebubs ARE cutting spending, havent hit the 100 billion yet but give them time. This might be chalked up to “compromise?”

  15. Keith says:

    jEFF, WE HAVE A LOT OF AGREEMENT ABOVE. SO WHY DON’T YOU MAKE THE SAME “BIG DEAL” OUT OF IT WHEN THE LEFT DOES IT AS WHEN THE RIGHT? i’M STILL AT YOUR TITLE, WHICH YOU’VE EXPLAINED MANY TIMES, SPRITUAL WICKEDNESS IN HIGH PLACES.” IT HAS NO PARTY OF AFFILIATION. TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY USING THAT TITLE YOU BETTER CALL IT BOTH WAYS OR YOU SHOULD CHANGE THE TITLE.

  16. Jeff Beamsley says:

    My specific point is simple. The Republicans made a commitment to cut the budget by a particular amount in a particular time. They didn’t do it, but are claiming that they did. I am happy that they could only come up with $60B in cuts as it was, but the larger issue is that rather than apologize to the american people, they have misled them.

    You have pointed out that the Democrats did the same thing in 2006 and you’re right.

    That doesn’t make it any more right in 2011.

  17. Jeff Beamsley says:

    Not sure what you mean by “Big Deal”.

    I write about what interest me at the time.

    That is generally driven by what I read and the sorts of interactions I have online and face to face.

    I don’t promise to be unbiased. I have a point of view. I believe in progressive politics and have on a number of occassions defended that point of view.

    I advocate unbiased DATA from which I am going to argue a progressive liberal approach to problem solving.

    I also advocate a Christian point of view which I feel is perfectly aligned with my progressive politics. Since this is religion, it can’t really be debated, but I can at least share reasons why I feel the way that I do.

    As I’ve written in the “about” section of this blog, I don’t expect anyone to change their point of view, but you darn well better be prepared to defend it because I enjoy challenging others to lively discussions.

    Finally I do appreciate your willingness to engage.

    Jeff

  18. Jeff Beamsley says:

    How different is the guy who pretended to be one of the Koch brothers and that group of young conservatives who punked ACORN and Planned Parenthood?

    What makes that funny is that it confirmed an article in the NYTimes which suggests that the Koch brothers are the money behind the effort to break public employee unions around the country.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22koch.html

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