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Congressman Paul Ryan after being introduced by Mitt Romney as vice presidential choice, 11 August 2012
What are Republicans for these days, other than making sure of full employment for fact checkers? There's going to be a good nine months worth of employment out of this week's CBO report debacle. However Republicans spin the CBO report, you know it's going to be misleading. Enter fact checker for the Washington Post, Glenn Kessler, who tries to deal with two attacks.

The first is the ad I wrote about Thursday. Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-NC) challenger, Rep. Thom Tillis hopped on the 2 million lost jobs bandwagon, and earns three Pinocchios from Kessler.

The Tillis ad gets in trouble by using language such as “Congressional Budget Office estimates 2 million lost jobs due to Obamacare.” First of all, it’s not jobs, but workers. Second, it is lacking context, since that is off a base of more than 160 million workers (i.e, less than 2 percent.)
Clearly a lie. Clearly. The one that right-wing media just isn't going to let go of (hell, they're still talking about death panels). Then there's the trickier move by some more establishment Republicans, like Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) who basically acknowledge the truth, but attack Obamacare as an economic catastrophe anyway. That's what the NRSC did in a news release about the report, and where our fact checker gets all waffle-y.
The headline actually tries hard to be restrained and relatively accurate. It says that the law will “reduce employment” and then carefully notes this is the “equivalent” of a number of jobs. The release further says “fewer people will be employed and fewer hours worked because of the unpopular law.” That’s phrased correctly.
That gets them off the hook from being fact checked by Kessler, but it's still pretty far from what the CBO actually said. Phrasing the CBO's findings as the law will "reduce employment" and "fewer people will be employed" clearly implies "jobs will be lost," which is not what the report says. Kessler's letting the NRSC skate on a technicality, but they're still saying that Obamacare is a job killer. Now they just have the cover provided by the so-called liberal media.

Expect them to milk that for all it's worth, and to keep up this lie.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:06 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (21+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 10:06:18 AM PST

  •  "Reduced employment" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mister T

    Well, what would you call it when the total number of hours worked is less? It's perfectly true that the report predicts that fewer people will be employed. How else do you say it, presuming that you just want to say things in a neutral way that conveys the information?

    •  I'd add the word "voluntary." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, Tronsix2, 1Nic Ven

      Without that word, the entire context changes, and voila - instant lie.

    •  More people will be starting new businesses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1Nic Ven

      because they won't be tied to dead end jobs for health insurance.

      “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

      by FishOutofWater on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:53:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I seriously doubt that (0+ / 0-)

        that many people at the bottom rung of the pay scale are young to decide to start new businesses. I see no evidence of that "spin" speculation. That isn't what the report said.

        •  Look, the report is a steaming pile of BS (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sweatyb, wsexson

          The CBO idiots have devised a very special curve to fit the pre-recession high in employment as a % of the population. The ridiculous curve just happens to peak just before the crash. Then it "naturally" goes down independent of the recession. That's utter crap. The CBO's curve is a classic in cherry picking. So I honestly don't give a damn what the report said. It's garbage.

          “Industry does everything they can and gets away with it almost all the time, whether it’s the coal industry, not the subject of this hearing, or water or whatever. They will cut corners, and they will get away with it. " Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D, WVa

          by FishOutofWater on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:10:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  People who are starting new businesses (0+ / 0-)

        don't count as leaving the labor force. They have changed jobs; they haven't retired or cut down their working hours.

    •  it does not say 2 million fewer workers will be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Akronborn, Skyye

      employed, but that workers will work an equivalent 2 million less jobs when added together.

      That means 4.16  billion less hours worked by the already employed.  It also suggests that employers won't hire others to make up this difference of less hours worked by hiring workers to replace the "lost hours".

      What really could be asked is if the employed can work 4.16 billion less hours and no additional workers are needed to replace the hours, then are the lost hours really needed in the first place?

      •  You have hit on something I don't understand (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Just Bob, chuck utzman

        Normally, if a worker chooses to stop working, the job does not just disappear; someone else does the job, because presumably that worker was doing something of value.  So if 2 million people stop working, that should create 2 million openings, more or less.

        I guess I will try to find an explanation out there.

        See you in Heaven if you make the list. R.E.M.

        by Akronborn on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:33:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  that's quite the presumption (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean
      presuming that you just want to say things in a neutral way
      Considering that the quote is from a Republican press release, I doubt that they're particularly interested either in conveying information or saying things in a neutral way.

      But I guess if you wanted, you could say what the CBO said which is that some workers will voluntarily work less because of the law.

    •  False, False, False (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuck utzman

      The CBO has SOOOO badly mangled this and the right wing Media has added to the confusion so greatly, that poor souls like you have NO CHANCE of figuring it out.
      I would be greatly surprised if any work hours are actually destroyed, lost, or missed. If there is work out there that pays a decent wage, there will be someone who will do it. The only thing that would change that would be full employment, which we are FAR from attaining.
      What the report is attempting to tell us (and utterly failing to convey) is that people who are now working just to maintain their employer based health care will no longer do so. Other people, who are looking for work as an income stream, will take their place.

  •  Liars lie. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annominous, JeffW

    It's in their DNA.

    The trouble with normal is it always gets worse. -- Bruce Cockburn

    by clarknyc on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 05:50:55 PM PST

  •  Kessler has been following me on Twitter, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, annominous, JeffW

    ...has yet to acknowledge or respond to either my Medicaid analysis or my deconstruction of Avalere Health's own hole-filled Medicaid analysis which caught some buzz the other day.

    Actually, I've been a bit surprised that neither piece has generated much response at all. Not sure if my 15 minutes is up already or if it's just that few people seem to really care enough about the Medicaid/CHIP side to bother responding.

  •  Actually the report and Elmendorf say: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, JeffW
    "Although CBO projects that total employment (and compensation) will increase over the coming decade, that increase will be smaller than it would have been in the absence of the ACA,"
    CBO estimates that the ACA will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024, almost entirely because workers will choose to supply less labor—given the new taxes and other incentives they will face and the financial benefits some will receive.
    … the (Affordable Care) Act creates a disincentive for people to work, relative to what would have been the case in the absence of that Act,"
    The people who leave work may be better off, but it is clear the ACA is a disincentive to work for those at the lower end of the pay scale.
    •  In the US, (4+ / 0-)

      …which has the lowest number of self-employed of ALL developed nations because of our Plantation-Style health insurance system, there is no break out "workers" who have gone on to become "self-employed.

      There is just a "net" worker/slave loss.


      “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

      by Pluto on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:13:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did I say that? (0+ / 0-)

        No. I did not. I reply that there is no evidence to think that millions of low wage earners are going to start businesses tomorrow. Certainly there is nothing in the CBO report to support such a notion. Maybe you have some statistical evidence to support that?

    •  If only there were some way to incentivize work (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1Nic Ven, NCTim

      I can't help feel like there must be something employers could do to make their workers want to work. Some way to entice individuals... it'll come to me...

      Oh! I know! Take away their health insurance. Of course!

      •  The carrot and the stick (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sweatyb

        Our system, with the over riding authoritarian ideology, uses punitive measures, the stick, to motivate people. Things like loss of healthcare.

        The lost hours, full time work equivalent, comes from workers choosing to limit their work.  The primary demographic are older workers, retired or near retirement.  Perhaps these workers feel that the carrots are insufficient.  Things like a living wage, flexible work schedules and paid sick time, would be incentives.

        Most of the work force recognizes they are being exploited, the deck is stacked to the corporations and the real takers are the people who exploit the work force.

        John Shatner said providing healthcare would raise the price of his pizzas by 14 cents!  There is an obvious followup question to that kind of rhetoric.

        This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway. ~ Bob Dylan ~

        by NCTim on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:41:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Apparently, the ACA is a disincentive for the (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Skyye, 1Nic Ven, NCTim, Icicle68

      House Republicans to work; their guaranteed ACA

      healthcare and salaries are subsidized by the taxpayers,

      so they have chosen to work only 113 days in 2014.

      They are "takers" and they do nothing but watch (with

      glee)as the nation suffers.

      "The devil can quote Scripture to serve his own purposes."

      by SpringHopeCarolina on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:40:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps the Best Fact Check ... (4+ / 0-)

    ... of all the false claims about Obamacare killing jobs in the private sector is the actual record of job creation in the private sector under Obamacare.

    Obamacare Charts: More Jobs, Lower Deficits, Stronger Medicare

  •  I liked Mark Steyn's analysis (7+ / 0-)

    …revealed to Hugh Hewitt, today:

    "Those two million lost jobs means that there will be two million more heroin addicts; just like Philip Seymour Hoffman."

    It's fun to see just how depraved they can get.

    A lot of these "workers" will become self-employed -- a dream they could never follow as long as health insurance was tied to employers. So many I have interviewed -- like the 63 year old woman wasting her life at a dead end bum-job for the insurance -- but with plenty of money to retire, save for a pre-exiting condition preventing her from getting insurance at any price. These people will finally be free to get on with their lives. A sane society would celebrate this.


    “The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.” ― Eric Schmidt

    by Pluto on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:08:20 PM PST

  •  "Still talking about 'Death Panels'" (5+ / 0-)

    Hell, a big-enough percentage of them are "still talking" about a 6,000 year-old planet and dinosaur-saddles.

    Some of them are accomplished liars, militantly staying on message - and some are just mind-numbingly stupid.
    --
    Do you think Paul Ryan thinks his uclenched-jaw frown is a look of steely determination worthy of a great leader?

    It looks to me as if he has to poop. Really bad.

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 06:30:43 PM PST

  •  Paul Krugman's NYT piece covered this well today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Just Bob, Skyye

    Health, Work, Lies
    Highly recommended reading.

    Warren is neither a Clintonesque triangulator nor an Obamaesque conciliator. She is a throwback to a more combative progressive tradition, and her candidacy is a test of whether that approach can still appeal to voters.-J. Toobin "New Yorker"

    by chuck utzman on Fri Feb 07, 2014 at 07:23:12 PM PST

  •  Any truth to the report that (0+ / 0-)

    Ryan is being treated by a plastic surgeon to remove the permanent 'smug' on his face?

  •  Health Care is expanding in New Mexico (0+ / 0-)

    A recent report in New Mexico showed that health care was one of three expanding sectors of the economy here. This makes sense because the number of insured has gone up significantly. The newly insured require services that only health care professionals can provide. So, yes, I can see that there is movement in the health care sector and it's important to specify whether we're talking about jobs, workers or hours when making claims about expansion or shrinkage.

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