Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 4:27 pm by Darryl
The AP does some serious fact checking on the House Republican’s claim that the health care law will “kill jobs”. The bottom line is that the claim is utter bullshit.
A recent report by House GOP leaders says “independent analyses have determined that the health care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy.”
It cites the 650,000 lost jobs as Exhibit A, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as the source of the original analysis behind that estimate. But the budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced the number.
What follows is a story of how statistics get used and abused in Washington.
Here is what the CBO said:
“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.”
And here is the Wingnut mis-translation of the CBO report:
CBO “has determined that the law will reduce the ‘amount of labor used in the economy by roughly half a percent,’ an estimate that adds up to roughly 650,000 jobs lost.”
Besides a seemingly fabricated estimate of 650,000 “jobs” lost, here is the big difference:
For example, CBO said some people might decide to retire earlier because it would be easier to get health care, instead of waiting until they become eligible for Medicare at age 65.
The law “reduces the amount of labor supplied, but it’s not reducing the ability of people to find jobs, which is what the job-killing slogan is intended to convey,” said economist Paul Van de Water of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
So…if the Democrats allowed themselves the luxury of stretching the truth a wee bit, they could argue that the CBO report clearly CREATES some number of jobs (say, 650,000) because, under the new law, more people would have the option to voluntarily remove themselves from the workforce, thereby creating employment opportunities for others. It isn’t quite what the CBO report says. But what the House Wingnuts are claiming is the opposite of what the CBO report is stating!
The House Republicans are not stretching the truth. Rather, they are declaring a perpetual opposite day and shamelessly lying in our faces.