Paul Krugman’s Explaination Of The GOP Medicare “Plan” in 200 Words Or Less

As usual Paul Krugman has it right. This time he sums up Paul Ryan’s “Medicare” “Plan” in one paragraph:

Here’s an analogy: think of Medicare as a footbridge that is deteriorating and will eventually become unsafe. You could propose structural repairs to fix its faults; Ryan doesn’t do that. Instead, he proposes knocking the bridge down and replacing it with trampolines, in the hope that pedestrians can bounce across the stream. And the Post declares that he deserves credit for pointing out that the bridge is falling down, and proposing a solution. Um, we knew that the bridge was in bad shape — and his solution is a fraud.

Personally I think my Medicare/Medicaid plan, euthanize the old and the poor, is much better.

A. It’s a structural reform
B. It reduces the deficit quicker, sooner, and cheaper
C. It involves fire (At least if you want to do it the cool way)

I mean if you’re slowly going to kill of the old and poor through inadequate health care and spending cuts “on accident”, why wait? There’s a budget crisis right now damnit! And if you’re a Republican who cares exclusively for deficit reduction, no matter how much you fuck over the elderly and the poor, you might as well skip the gimmicks and support my plan. Added bonus: dead people pay no taxes!

After all, what’s the difference between my plan and Ryan’s plan? Subtlety and the ability to use fire.

Score one for my plan.


Investor’s Business Daily and Health Care: The Definition of EPIC FAIL

This is going around the internet but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out the blatant stupidty and  misfortunes of people I don’t like. Take it away Paul Krugman:

“And just as an illustration: a number of people have pointed this out, but here’s the latest in the “Obama’s health reform will kill people” news: Investor’s Business Daily — which poses as a reputable source of financial information — opines that:

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

That would be Stephen Hawking, British professor, who was born in the UK and has lived there for his whole life.”

I think this would be an appropriate time to use the term EPIC FAIL

Health Care Industry Jumping on Board With Health Care Reform?

Today, all the major players in the health care industry, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, Advamed, the California Hospital Association, the Greater New York Hospital Association, and SEIU, are releasing a letter promising to aid health care reform effort by cutting health care spending by 1.5 percentage points over the next 10 years. That’s $2 trillion!

Needless to say this is a very big deal for a two big reasons:

1. Remember 1994 when the medical-industrial complex teamed up to kill the Clinton universal health care initiative? Millions of dollars and vicious attack ads later, public and congressional support for eroded and health care reform is dead. This is the exact opposite of that. Now the weight of these big hitters are on the side of health care reform. That’s a lonely political island that opponents of health care, ie Republicans, are going to be left on.

2. Arguably more important than the health industry’s commitment to reducing spending is the way they’re going to cut costs:

In the letter the groups deliver to Obama on Monday, they will call for (among other things) creating electronic medical records, streamlining billing systems, linking payment to quality measurements, and encouraging the use of evidence-based guidelines. Taken together, the groups will say, these measures can reduce the annual rise in health care spending by 1.5 percentage points a year.

I think I just got hard…

These cost cutting measures not only save money, they drastically improve health care quality. As we know, electronic medical records save lives. Evidence based guidelines save lives, and linking payment to quality saves lives.

Krugman is excited, Jon Cohn is excited, and Ezra is skeptical. Still, this is major news.

Its the ZOMBIES STUPID: Obama vs Krugman Round 2

In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably seen Newsweek’s cover story “Obama is Wrong” featuring Nobel Prize winning economist and NYT columnist Paul Krugman.

While its worth a quick read, the article itself does little to explain the long held policy disputes between Obama and Krugman. In short, Krugman has been very skeptical of the Obama administration insistence in propping up our current economic system, which Krugman, believes is fundamentally flawed. How flawed? Krugman has begun calling these ideas “Zombie ideas” because of their role in keeping dead banks alive.

But this isn’t the first, or nastiest debate the President has had with Krugman. During the primary, Krugman and Obama traded several blows while debating the necessity of a mandate in achieving universal health care. Obama opposed it and Krugman, along with Clinton, Edwards, and most of the progressive community supported it.

It got so nasty, that the Obama campaign even sent out an opposition hit piece on Krugman. Of course, once he was elected Obama changed his mind and sided with Krugman. Oops

You can read about the debate HERE

This is Where I Say “I Told You So”

Paul Krugman

The word I hear ,by the way, is that Obama’s opposition to mandates was tactical politics, not conviction.

Also known as “He Lied”.

Yes all politicians “lie” by stretching the truth, but there’s spin and then there’s lying. If this were any other politician I’d be willing to cut them some slack. But its one thing to lie about a specific action and another matter completely when you’re lying about you’re entire message.

Case in point:There’s a big difference between lying to your wife about whether she looks good in her jeans and lying to your wife about whether you love her.

If you voted for Obama during the primary you either naieve and didn’t know he was lying or you did know and you’re a liar too.

Krugman: Reaganomics = Bushanomics = Obamanomics

Paul Krugman steps up to provide Barack Obama with a history lesson about the Reagan years:

I understand why conservatives want to rewrite history and pretend that these good things happened while a Republican was in office — or claim, implausibly, that the 1981 Reagan tax cut somehow deserves credit for positive economic developments that didn’t happen until 14 or more years had passed. (Does Richard Nixon get credit for “Morning in America”?)

But why would a self-proclaimed progressive say anything that lends credibility to this rewriting of history — particularly right now, when Reaganomics has just failed all over again?

Like Ronald Reagan, President Bush began his term in office with big tax cuts for the rich and promises that the benefits would trickle down to the middle class. Like Reagan, he also began his term with an economic slump, then claimed that the recovery from that slump proved the success of his policies.

And like Reaganomics — but more quickly — Bushonomics has ended in grief. The public mood today is as grim as it was in 1992. Wages are lagging behind inflation. Employment growth in the Bush years has been pathetic compared with job creation in the Clinton era. Even if we don’t have a formal recession — and the odds now are that we will — the optimism of the 1990s has evaporated.

This is, in short, a time when progressives ought to be driving home the idea that the right’s ideas don’t work, and never have.

Krugman nails the problem with Obama’s comments. As he says “historical narratives do matter’. Winning this election is important, but there’s a much bigger issue at stake here. Progressives need to change the narrative that people use to view the conservative movement for the last 20 years. Its important that we point out that the failures of the Bush administration are not isolated to President Bush but indicitive of the conservative movement as a whole. Conservatives, who began distancing themselves from Bush years ago, realized this when they first started saying “Bush failed because he wasn’t a true conservative”.

Obama’s comments feed into the “Bush was an exception” mantra republicans are putting out. This allows conservatives to pull the “I’m just like Reagan card” which people will now associate with “the party of ideas” and “dynamism” and “entrepreneurship”

The Anti-Change Candidate

Paul Krugman has an excellent article about how Barack Obama’s approach to faux change not only fails to produce progress but actually regress the ability for the country to move forward.

Over the last few days Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards have been conducting a long-range argument over health care that gets right to this issue. And I have to say that Mr. Obama comes off looking, well, naïve.

The argument began during the Democratic debate, when the moderator — Carolyn Washburn, the editor of The Des Moines Register — suggested that Mr. Edwards shouldn’t be so harsh on the wealthy and special interests, because “the same groups are often responsible for getting things done in Washington.”

Mr. Edwards replied, “Some people argue that we’re going to sit at a table with these people and they’re going to voluntarily give their power away. I think it is a complete fantasy; it will never happen.”

This was pretty clearly a swipe at Mr. Obama, who has repeatedly said that health reform should be negotiated at a “big table” that would include insurance companies and drug companies.

On Saturday Mr. Obama responded, this time criticizing Mr. Edwards by name. He declared that “We want to reduce the power of drug companies and insurance companies and so forth, but the notion that they will have no say-so at all in anything is just not realistic.”

It’s about time Edwards started fighting back. Obama’s been attacking him for a week now.

As a result, drug and insurance companies — backed by the conservative movement as a whole — will be implacably opposed to any significant reforms. And what would Mr. Obama do then? “I’ll get on television and say Harry and Louise are lying,” he says. I’m sure the lobbyists are terrified.

As health care goes, so goes the rest of the progressive agenda. Anyone who thinks that the next president can achieve real change without bitter confrontation is living in a fantasy world.

Which brings me to a big worry about Mr. Obama: in an important sense, he has in effect become the anti-change candidate.

When it comes to politics there are two methods you can take to passing your agenda in the landmine field that is Washington. One method involves taking the power away through direct confrontation, finding the landmines and taking them out. The second method involves using your experience and knowledge to navigate through the minefield, where you’ve spent time before. The method Obama is offering equates to being able to talk your way through the field of mines. Herein lies the obvious problem. You cant talk your away through a field of mines.