Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

HEALTH: Is Dr. Krugman mathematically challenged?

Letter by Orme Dockins, Puyallup on July 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm | 4 Comments »
July 3, 2012 11:01 am

My bachelor’s in economics pales when compared to the Nobel Prize in economics awarded Paul Krugman, Ph.D., however I am able to add 2 plus 2 and arrive at 4.

Krugman’s assertion (TNT, 7-1) that “The Affordable Care Act is fully paid for with an “explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts” is the sort of economics regularly espoused by this ultra-liberal, income-redistributing, world government flim-flam artist.

President Obama’s political need to keep the 10-year program costs under $1 trillion was met by double-counting Medicare/Medicaid spending cuts ($500 billion), taxing for 10 years but only providing six years of actual coverage ($460 billion) and hiding at least $50 billion in discretionary spending required for program implementation.

Additionally, $227 billion in doctor reimbursement cost was shifted to an entirely separate piece of legislation.

I suppose if I were a Ph.D., such financial manipulation would meet the definition of “explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts.” Many of us less educated economists would consider such financial legerdemain nothing more than a political shell game.

The Congressional Budget Office did rule the ACA’s $940 billion 10-year price tag to be covered by proposed spending cuts and increased tax revenues, but it has revised its estimate and now calculates the 10-year program costs at more than $1.7 trillion – nearly doubling Obama’s target figure.

What is next? I am certain that Dr. Krugman will suggest another “explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts” to cover the shortage.

The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.