In the discussion thread: Weekend Economists Celebrate September 13-15, 2013 [View all]
Response to Demeter (Original post)
Sat Sep 14, 2013, 01:26 PM
Demeter (77,950 posts)
22. Obamacare Doublethink PAUL KRUGMAN
I HAPPEN TO THINK DR. KRUGMAN IS ENGAGING IN DOUBLE-THINK, OR RATHER, NOT THINKING THINGS THROUGH TO THE LOGICAL CONCLUSION, BUT LET HIM SPEAK FIRST:
Iím sure someone else has pointed this out, but thereís a fundamental contradiction at the heart of the rightís anti-Obamacare strategy ó I mean, aside from the fact that it isnít going to work, and may do immense damage both to America and to the Republican brand.
On one side, as Jonathan Cohn points out, inside the right-wing bubble itís taken as gospel that Obamacare will be an utter, obvious disaster:
If you sincerely believe Obamacare will bankrupt the country, violate personal liberty, raise costs or ruin insurance for most Americans, and generally destroy American health care, then itís easy to believe that itís only a matter of time before the rest of the country demands repealóforcing both Senate Democrats and the president to go along. Itís particularly easy to believe this if you live in the right-wing media bubble, where all of the reports about Obamacare focus on the lawís shortcomings and failuresóinsurance premiums going up, people losing coverage, part-time workers losing hours, and so on.
But if the right really believed this, it should be happy to let Obamacare come into existence, then collapse. The last thing Republicans should want is to let Democrats snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by provoking confrontations over the budget and the debt ceiling before the American people get to experience the nightmare of expanded insurance coverage.
In fact, politically the right is acting as if it fears that Obamacare will, in reality, be highly popular ó that once the exchanges and the Medicare Medicaid expansion go into effect, people will decide that they like the new system, and strongly oppose efforts to reverse course. (This is almost surely the more realistic view.) So the law must be stopped at any cost before it goes into effect, and people learn first-hand that the anti-Obamacare propaganda was false.
So which is it? Are Republicans sure that disaster looms, or are they terrified because they suspect that things will be OK? My guess is, both: clear thinking is not exactly a hallmark of the modern GOP, and may indeed be a positive disqualification for career success.
Unfortunately, fear of Obamacare success is in the driving seat right now, and may well lead to government shutdown, debt default, or both.
NO, I DON'T THINK THE RIGHT FEARS THAT OBAMACARE WILL BE A SUCCESS. THEY MAY BE CRAZY, BUT THEY CAN COUNT $ BETTER THAN MOST PEOPLE, INCLUDING DR. KRUGMAN AND MOST OTHER ECONOMISTS. THEY FEAR THE GIGANTIC WASTE, SENSELESS DEATHS, AND COST TO THEIR POCKETBOOKS THAT WILL ENSUE BEFORE OBAMACARE CRASHES AND BURNS. I SHARE THIS FEAR. I CAN COUNT, TOO.
AND SECONDLY, THE HARD RIGHT FEARS THAT DEMANDS FOR UNIVERSAL SINGLE-PAYER WILL BE THE RESULT OF THE OBAMACARE CATASTROPHE....AND THEN, WHAT WOULD ALL THEIR HARD-EARNED SAVINGS BUY THEM, WHEN EVERYONE GETS EQUAL COVERAGE IN HEALTH CARE? PLUS, TAXES WILL GO UP. MAYBE. EVENTUALLY. PROFITS WILL DEFINITELY GO DOWN FOR MOST OF THE HEALTH CARE/INSURANCE INDUSTRY, FOR SURE.
I'M HOPING FOR THIS RESULT. FOR MY GOAL, DEFUNDING OBAMACARE IS QUICKER AND CHEAPER THAN THE CRASH-AND-BURN, WE TRIED IT YOUR WAY, TO GET TO THE ULTIMATE GOAL. BUT I AM AFRAID WE WILL BE LEARNING THE LESSON THE HARD WAY...
YOU HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT THE DRIVING FORCE OF CONSERVATISM IS INEQUALITY. AS LONG AS THEY ARE ON TOP, OR THINK THEY ARE, THE CONSERVATIVES ARE HAPPY. THE MORE THEY CAN LOOK DOWN OF THE "UNDESERVING", THE HAPPIER THEY ARE. CONSERVATISM AS A MINDSET IS DEEPLY ANTI-AMERICAN, ANTI-DEMOCRATIC, ANTI- LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY. THERE ALWAYS HAS TO BE TWO CAMPS, THEM AND US, WHEN YOU ARE A CONSERVATIVE. YOUR NEIGHBOR IS LESS THAN HUMAN, BY GOD'S WILL OR CHARACTER FLAW, AS EVIDENCED BY HOW MUCH POORER HE IS.
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Obamacare Doublethink PAUL KRUGMAN
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