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Mon Jan 21, 2013, 10:38 PM

Paul Krugman - "The Big Deal" - Amazing How The Media Missed All This

The corporate media, which pushed a false equivalency that elevated climate change deniars, birthers, death panel propagandists into the mainstream news, surprisingly missed or minimized the accomplishments of President Obama. This same corporate media shielded Republicans from scrutiny for their threats to default on the Nation's debt by blaming both sides. Thus, it is refreshing when stories that put the President's accomplishments into context are published.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/21/opinion/krugman-the-big-deal.html?ref=opinion&_r=1&

On the day President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, an exuberant Vice President Biden famously pronounced the reform a “big something deal” — except that he didn’t use the word “something.” And he was right.

In fact, I’d suggest using this phrase to describe the Obama administration as a whole. F.D.R. had his New Deal; well, Mr. Obama has his Big Deal. He hasn’t delivered everything his supporters wanted, and at times the survival of his achievements seemed very much in doubt. But if progressives look at where we are as the second term begins, they’ll find grounds for a lot of (qualified) satisfaction.

* * *

Mr. Obama overcame the biggest threat to his legacy simply by winning re-election. But George W. Bush also won re-election, a victory widely heralded as signaling the coming of a permanent conservative majority. So will Mr. Obama’s moment of glory prove equally fleeting? I don’t think so.

For one thing, the Big Deal’s main policy initiatives are already law. This is a contrast with Mr. Bush, who didn’t try to privatize Social Security until his second term — and it turned out that a “khaki” election won by posing as the nation’s defender against terrorists didn’t give him a mandate to dismantle a highly popular program.

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Arrow 22 replies Author Time Post
Reply Paul Krugman - "The Big Deal" - Amazing How The Media Missed All This (Original post)
TomCADem Jan 2013 OP
freshwest Jan 2013 #1
zipplewrath Jan 2013 #4
freshwest Jan 2013 #5
CTyankee Jan 2013 #22
Cha Jan 2013 #2
Ishoutandscream2 Jan 2013 #3
grantcart Jan 2013 #6
wildflower Jan 2013 #7
evdebbs Jan 2013 #8
TomCADem Jan 2013 #10
pampango Jan 2013 #12
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #13
TomCADem Jan 2013 #14
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #15
TomCADem Jan 2013 #16
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #17
TomCADem Jan 2013 #18
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #19
TomCADem Jan 2013 #20
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #21
freedom fighter jh Jan 2013 #11
garthranzz Jan 2013 #9

Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:15 PM

1. I thought this part was significant as well:

...Finally, there’s financial reform. The Dodd-Frank reform bill is often disparaged as toothless, and it’s certainly not the kind of dramatic regime change one might have hoped for after runaway bankers brought the world economy to its knees.

Still, if plutocratic rage is any indication, the reform isn’t as toothless as all that. And Wall Street put its money where its mouth is. For example, hedge funds strongly favored Mr. Obama in 2008 — but in 2012 they gave three-quarters of their money to Republicans (and lost)...

And there’s another contrast: the Big Deal agenda is, in fact, fairly popular — and will become more popular once Obamacare goes into effect and people see both its real benefits and the fact that it won’t send Grandma to the death panels...

...The plutocrats may have lost a round, but their wealth and the influence it gives them in a money-driven political system remain. Meanwhile, the deficit scolds (largely financed by those same plutocrats) are still trying to bully Mr. Obama into slashing social programs...


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Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:52 AM

4. Careful

Krugman has been a lousy political prognosticator, and the vast majority of this is about what "will be". And it is one prediction dependent upon the previous. For health insurance alone, the cost is going up so fast, that we may be to the next "crisis" level that the vast majority of people will never notice the changes.

His defense of Dodd Frank is interesting from an economist, because it isn't based upon the economic principals, but upon is interpretation of the "plutocratic rage".

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:11 PM

5. None of the pundits are the last world. But we're known by both our friends and enemies.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:31 PM

22. Krugman has been correct on everything he has said since I have been reading him, which

was since before 2004. I have often wished he was wrong, but alas,he was not...

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 11:23 PM

2. VP Biden knew at the time.. it

was a BFD!

Very Well Said, Tom..

The corporate media, which pushed a false equivalency that elevated climate change deniars, birthers, death panel propagandists into the mainstream news, surprisingly missed or minimized the accomplishments of President Obama. This same corporate media shielded Republicans from scrutiny for their threats to default on the Nation's debt by blaming both sides. Thus, it is refreshing when stories that put the President's accomplishments into context are published.


So Glad Paul Krugman is pointing out what a Big Deal Obamacare is and the First Four Years..

But this was what was possible given the political reality — the power of the insurance industry, the general reluctance of voters with good insurance to accept change. And experience with Romneycare in Massachusetts — hey, this is a great age for irony — shows that such a system is indeed workable, and it can provide Americans with a huge improvement in medical and financial security.


"Still, if plutocratic rage is any indication, the reform isn’t as toothless as all that. And Wall Street put its money where its mouth is. For example, hedge funds strongly favored Mr. Obama in 2008 — but in 2012 they gave three-quarters of their money to Republicans (and lost)."

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 10:39 AM

3. "The Big Deal". I like that, Dr. Krugman

Maybe historians will view it that way, and call it such.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:41 PM

6. What many at DU will never agree to despite the evidence.

Mr. Obama has his Big Deal. He hasn’t delivered everything his supporters wanted, and at times the survival of his achievements seemed very much in doubt. But if progressives look at where we are as the second term begins, they’ll find grounds for a lot of (qualified) satisfaction.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 02:45 PM

7. We had the new deal, the fair deal, the square deal, now the "big deal"

It will be interesting to see if this catches on.

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 07:45 PM

8. Affordable health care is

 

FASCISM. Like some, I do not use this word loosely. Fascism, defined by Mussolini, was the melding of corporate and state powers. The Affordable Health Care Act was the result of collusion between the Federal gov't and BigPharma and the health insurance industry. The government in DC has become the marketing agent for the health insurance industry, accompanied with government intimidation..."YOU WILL DO BUSINESS WITH PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANIES OR WE WILL COME AFTER YOU". What we did not know during the 2008 campaign was that Obama's rhetoric about universal coverage apart from the private sector was not sincere. He was AT THAT VERY TIME negotiating with Billy Tauzin (remember that name?) for the deal that finally became law.

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Response to evdebbs (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:49 AM

10. Does that make President Obama and Paul Krugman Facists?

Also, under the definition you describe, Medicare would also constitute facism, rather than socialism, because Medical providers remain run by the private sector.

I would expect to see such right wing conspiracy attacks on a right wing blog, but on DU?

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:11 AM

12. Obama = Hitler? Isn't that a staple of the tea party?

Got to admit, it takes courage (or craziness) to post that on DU.

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Response to pampango (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:35 AM

13. I can't find anything evdebbs said about Obama = Hitler.

Evdebbs said the ACA is fascism. And one definition of fascism is corporations running the state. And the ACA is a giveaway to the health insurance companies, which are corporations. So maybe it's a stretch to say the ACA is fascism, but it's not totally without basis.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:18 AM

14. Under evdebbs Definition and Ron Paul's Definition, Medicare Is Also Facism...

...Because health care continues to be delivered to the private sector as well. I guess we could always talk about the freedom to die that Ron Paul advocates. I guess in Tea Party minds Medicare and ACA are facism according to their definition and being left to die constitutes freedom. Ron Paul elaborates on the point raised by evdebbs:

Congressman Ron Paul issued the following statement on the Supreme Court's decision to uphold most of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

"I strongly disagree with today’s decision by the Supreme Court, but I am not surprised. The Court has a dismal record when it comes to protecting liberty against unconstitutional excesses by Congress.

"Today we should remember that virtually everything government does is a 'mandate.' The issue is not whether Congress can compel commerce by forcing you to buy insurance, or simply compel you to pay a tax if you don’t. The issue is that this compulsion implies the use of government force against those who refuse. The fundamental hallmark of a free society should be the rejection of force. In a free society, therefore, individuals could opt out of “Obamacare” without paying a government tribute.

"Those of us in Congress who believe in individual liberty must work tirelessly to repeal this national health care law and reduce federal involvement in healthcare generally. Obamacare can only increase third party interference in the doctor-patient relationship, increase costs, and reduce the quality of care. Only free market medicine can restore the critical independence of doctors, reduce costs through real competition and price sensitivity, and eliminate enormous paperwork burdens. Americans will opt out of Obamacare with or without Congress, but we can seize the opportunity today by crafting the legal framework to allow them to do so."



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Response to TomCADem (Reply #14)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 04:13 PM

15. Maybe so, but in any case the point stands:

The ACA makes millions of Americans a captive audience for the big, profit-making companies that are the health insurance companies. This benefits those companies greatly, but it leaves Americans needing to pay exorbitant fees if they don't have great health insurance policies. And some of us have to pay exorbitant premiums too.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #15)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:14 PM

16. That Is False RW Talking Point Re "Exorbitant Fees"

Last edited Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:15 PM - Edit history (1)

There is even a link to calculator to the fee that you would pay if you choose to go without health insurance, which is far cry from the oppression, loss of freedoms and facism that Ron Paul is pushing.

http://www.healthbeatblog.com/2012/08/the-affordable-care-acts-penalty-if-you-dont-buy-health-insurance-in-2014how-much-will-you-pay/

Despite the hullabaloo about the Affordable Care Act’s mandate that nearly everyone puchase heath insurance in 2014–or pay a penalty–the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1.4 percent of Americans will wind up paying the tax.

That is because the vast majority of us either have health insurance, or are exempted from the mandate for any one of a number of reasons. For example, at the end of 2014 you will owe no tax if:
■your income is low enough that your share of premiums (after federal subsidies and employer contributions) would total more than 8 percent of your income;
■your income is below the income tax filing threshold, and so you’re not required to file taxes;
■you were uninsured for less than three months of the year (If over three, the penalty is pro-rated);

As a result the Urban Institute estimates that just 6 percent of the population (roughly 18 million Americans) will even have to consider the question: “Should I purchase health insurance, or pay a tax?” That’s right: a whopping 94 percent of the population will have no reason to worry about paying a penalty.

And 11 million of that 18 million will be low-income or middle-income Americans who are eligible for a government subsidy to help cover the cost of their premiums. Chances are, most of them will take the government up on its offer.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #16)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 10:45 PM

17. By "fee" I didn't mean the tax.

I meant the fees you pay for medical care. Sometimes you have to pay those fees even if you have insurance. That is a result of our system of privately run health care delivery. The ACA entrenches that system further by ensuring lots of business to those companies.

Oh, and how do *you* spell exorbitant?

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #17)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:26 PM

18. So, your complaint is that paying deductibles is facism?

If so, then even the Switzerland health care system would constitute facism:

http://prescriptions.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/health-care-abroad-switzerland/


Q. Do the Swiss have a choice among policies and insurance companies?
A. They do. The policies differ mainly on deductibles. The standard annual deductible is 300 Swiss francs, or about $200 for adults. There is no deductible for children under 18. Individuals can reduce their premiums by electing plans with higher deductibles — up to 2,500 Swiss francs, or about $2,000. Once the deductible has been met, you pay coinsurance of 10 percent of covered expenses, up to a maximum of 700 Swiss francs. For brand-name prescription drugs, you pay 20 percent of the price if there’s a generic equivalent.


So, you have private insurers along with the option of high deductible plans under the Swiss system and an individual mandate. Those facist Swiss!

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #18)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 08:21 AM

19. No, my complaint is that the ACA supports the corporations

at the expense of the people.

Insurance companies are delivered a captive audience: Buy the overpriced product or pay a penalty.

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Response to freedom fighter jh (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:12 AM

20. If that is the case, I would not base it on the Tea Party type...

...talking point that President Obama and Krugman are facists, that programs like Medicare, the ACA and Switzerland's health system all constitute facism, which in turn invite a rather emotionally charged comparison invocation of Nazi Germany. The references to Mussolini and facism are more likely to obscure your point, rather than make it.

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Response to TomCADem (Reply #20)

Wed Jan 30, 2013, 10:52 AM

21. Maybe so.

I was trying to defend another poster, who I believe was technically correct, even if I would not have put it that way in the first place.

The original point that that poster made is valid: One definition of fascism is a too-close relationship between government and industry. And that kind of relationship is promoted by the ACA, at the people's expense.

I would not have said it that way myself because that definition of fascism is not the dictionary definition and not what people usually think of.

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Response to evdebbs (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:45 AM

11. +1

In the two years since the ACA was passed, my premiums have gone up more than 30%, to the point where about 20% of my pre-tax income goes to insurance premiums. And that's for a policy with a high deductible. I hear similar horror stories from friends who are self-employed, like me. That's the ones who choose to pay the money, on the dubious theory that the insurance will be there to save your life if you ever really need it. Others just go without.

But I don't really see a difference between what Obama promised in 2008 and what he did. As I recall from his website and speeches, he always said he'd keep health insurance with insurance companies. Something about "historical reasons."

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Response to TomCADem (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 08:05 PM

9. Good article

Thanks for the post.

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