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Democrats Attacked Republicans for Saying What the CBO Says Today



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KABOOM:

A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office says that the Affordable Care Act will result in more than 2 million fewer full-time workers in the next several years, providing Republican opponents of the law a powerful political weapon leading up to this year’s midterm elections.

The law is also expected to have a significant effect on hours worked, the nonpartisan budget office said in a regular update to its budget projections released Tuesday. With the expansion of insurance coverage, more workers will choose not to work and others will choose to work fewer hours than they might have otherwise, it said. The decline in hours worked will translate into a loss of the equivalent of 2.5 million full-time positions by 2024, the budget office said.

You remember the sales pitch, right?

“It will create 4 million jobs, 400,000 jobs almost immediately,” Pelosi promised.

Also remember the pledge about how Obamacare would help the government save money? DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, last year:

The Affordable Care Act, according to the CBO analysis, the Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan entity, has said, has calculated it will bring the deficit down. . . . There’s a lot of garbage out there about what the Affordable Care Act does. . . . The Tea Party latched onto opposition to the Affordable Care Act with all their might, and the truth hasn’t really mattered that much, while people like me endeavor to go out, like I’m doing right now, and educate people on what it does and what it doesn’t do.

Yeah, not so much, according to that same CBO she cited:

It also creates a major issue for the president, who has repeatedly said the ACA will be revenue neutral. Instead, the CBO projects that subsidies will account for increasing chunks of deficit spending, starting at $20 billion this year and steadily increasing to $159 billion in 2024, for a collective deficit of just under $1.2 trillion. The cumulative deficit from the ACA for the next decade could reach $1.35 trillion.

UPDATE: A reader reminds me of Obama’s pledge that “health care reform will not add one dime to our deficit.”

FACT CHECK: True. Obamacare doesn’t add “one dime” to the deficit, it adds trillions and trillions of dimes.

Tags: Nancy Pelosi , Debbie Wasserman Schultz , CBO , Obamacare

In Other News, the CBO Projects Obama’s Defeat in 2012



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From the Thursday edition of Morning Jolt:

The Next CBO Report Will Be an Incoherent Collection of Shrieks and Giggles

Okay, not really. Just budgetary and financial doom, continuing apace: “The United States is facing profound budgetary and economic challenges. At 8.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the $1.3 trillion budget deficit that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects for 2011 will be the third-largest shortfall in the past 65 years (exceeded only by the deficits of the preceding two years). This year’s deficit stems in part from the long shadow cast on the U.S. economy by the financial crisis and the recent recession. Although economic output began to expand again two years ago, the pace of the recovery has been slow, and the economy remains in a severe slump. Recent turmoil in financial markets in the United States and overseas threatens to prolong the slump. The unemployment rate is projected to fall from 9.1 percent in the second quarter of 2011 to 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of the year and to 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012—and then to remain above 8 percent until 2014.”

Footnote: With 8.5 percent unemployment, President Obama does not get reelected. Okay, it’s theoretically possible that the GOP louses things up or Obama runs some sort of fantastic campaign persuading Americans that good times are just around the corner, but . . . in the end, he’s presided over what feels like a four-year recession. As Private Hudson so succinctly summarized, “game over, man, game over.”

In fact, Joseph Lawler observes at the American Spectator, “By the CBO’s projections, the employment situation would be a huge drag for him if he were running in 2016, never mind 2012.”

But J. D. Foster at the Heritage Foundation argues that the whole gloomy picture is, actually, way too cheery: “Yet even this forecast for 2011 seems extremely optimistic given that the current official estimates for annualized growth in the first and second quarters of this year were a negligible 0.4 and 1.3 percent, respectively. To achieve the projected level of growth for the year, either the Bureau of Economic Analysis will need to revise these slow earlier growth rates upwards significantly or the economy will need to grow at an annualized rate of nearly 3.8 percent in the latter half of the year.

“While such an acceleration in growth would be most welcome, it is hard to envision given the recent apparent slowdown in the U.S. economy, stock market jitters, and a slowing of the European economies and a slow-motion sovereign debt meltdown.”

At NRO, Andrew Stiles reports, “All told, the CBO report is bad news for an already struggling economy, and perhaps worse news for the flailing Obama presidency. Not surprisingly, Republicans were quick to pounce on the report. ‘A slight decrease in the projected deficit is nothing to celebrate, particularly when it is accompanied by the grim news that CBO expects the national unemployment rate to continue to exceed 8 percent well past next year,’ House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said in a statement. ‘The president’s policies were supposed to keep that from happening. Instead they’ve added trillions to our debt at the expense of our children and helped put our nation’s credit rating in jeopardy. Where are the jobs?’”

Tags: Barack Obama , CBO , John Boehner

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