The process of watching Current TV is, we imagine, rather similar to the process of talking a mental patient through his delusions. You find yourself in a world that is perfectly logically consistent, but whose factual premises bear absolutely no resemblance to the reality you know and love. It is a curious and rather disturbing experience. Fortunately, therapy is available from this site, as well as from other, similar outlets.
Today's strange argument of the day comes from Former Clinton-era Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich, who appeared on Current TV as a sort of pseudo-fact checker regarding Mitt Romney's recent statements that Obamacare raises taxes by $500 billion, and cuts Medicare by $500 billion. Reich claimed both weren't the case, citing no evidence except to say that Romney's plans are worse. Well, alright, then. Watch the segment below:
Why are Reich's claims so delusional? Well, because he says, firstly, that he doesn't know of a single credible study that says that Obamacare will raise taxes by $500 billion. Funny, because we're pretty sure the Congressional Budget Office is a credible source. ABC News reports:
The Romney campaign’s explanation for why Obamacare is rife with taxes is testimony from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that the ACA will raise approximately $500 billion in taxes over its first 10 years.
According to the CBO, this claim is right.
According to the CBO’s latest, revised estimates released in March 2012, the reform law raises “$510 billion in receipts and other budgetary effects (primarily revenues from penalties and other sources)”—including the “individual mandate” tax penalty and penalties on employers.
And what about the Medicare claim? Well, according to the Chief Actuary for Medicare andd Medicaid, that's also true, albeit with soem caveats. Again, from ABC News' fact check:
So does it “cut” Medicare by $500 billion?
Medicare spending will continue to grow, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), but ACA will slow that growth. According to a report from the Kaiser Family Health Foundation over the next 10 years, the federal government will devote about $500 billion less to Medicare than it would have without ACA.
CMS and the Kaiser Family Foundation tell ABC News that there will be no benefit cuts to Medicare. They say instead of Medicare’s being cut, there will be much more spending at the end of a 10-year window, but it does slow the rate of that growth. This is all unless Congress makes drastic changes to Medicare, for example passing House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan.
So Reich is two for two on that front. You would think a former Labor Secretary would know how to read government data, but alas, that is apparently not to be.