Paul Krugman: 'Obama Has Done More to Rein in Deficits Than Any Previous President'

On Monday, New York Times columnist and Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman ironically asked his readers, "How can voters be so ill informed [sic]?"

Either dishonestly or ignorantly adding to the problem he's supposedly concerned with, the so-called "economist" Friday said President Obama "has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president":

What would a serious approach to our fiscal problems involve? I can summarize it in seven words: health care, health care, health care, revenue.[...]

So anyone who is really serious about the budget should be focusing mainly on health care. And by focusing, I don’t mean writing down a number and expecting someone else to make that number happen — a dodge known in the trade as a “magic asterisk.” I mean getting behind specific actions to rein in costs.

Here's where it got hysterical:

What would real action on health look like? Well, it might include things like giving an independent commission the power to ensure that Medicare only pays for procedures with real medical value; rewarding health care providers for delivering quality care rather than simply paying a fixed sum for every procedure; limiting the tax deductibility of private insurance plans; and so on.

And what do these things have in common? They’re all in last year’s health reform bill.

That’s why I say that Mr. Obama gets too little credit. He has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president.

Really? As ABC's Jake Tapper noted Monday, the President's recent budget forecasts $7.2 trillion in added debt over the next ten years, and this assumes economic growth far greater than anyone is predicting including the Congressional Budget Office.

Equally shameful, Krugman was advancing the myth that ObamaCare will reduce the deficit.

As Townhall's Kevin Glass reported last March in the middle of the healthcare debate, ObamaCare has multiple gimmicks in it that give the illusion of cost savings:

1. Double-counting Medicare cuts as both saving Medicare and spending on new programs

2. Counting revenue that must be used for future spending as deficit-reducing savings

3. Starting revenue provisions immediately while delaying spending provisions until 2014

4. Carefully writing the language so that the CBO can't count the individual mandate in the cost of the bill (which they had done in the past)

5. Claiming that additional tax money raised will go to pay for spending in the bill when it must be used for other programs

The Heritage Foundation just last month did a detailed analysis of the games ObamaCare plays to come up with bogus claims of cost savings:

The federal government’s finances were dismal even before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted. That is why lawmakers who pushed for its passage felt compelled to try to calm worried Americans by claiming that the law would cut projected federal budget deficits in addition to covering the uninsured.[1]

And, in fact, the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) official estimate shows that PPACA’s health care provisions[2] would cut projected deficits by $124 billion over the period from 2010 to 2019.[3] But that cost estimate is not the whole story—not by a long shot. A close examination of what CBO said, as well as other evidence, makes it clear that the deficit reduction associated with PPACA is based on budget gimmicks, sleights of hand, accounting tricks, and completely implausible assumptions. A more honest accounting reveals the new law as a trillion-dollar budget buster.

Yet Krugman says Obama "has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president." I guess this is another example of his "disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers."

And he wonders why voters are so ill-informed!

New York Times ObamaCare
Noel Sheppard's picture

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