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.