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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Dana Milbank, Budget Heroes and Real Heroes

Dana Milbank, Budget Heroes and Real Heroes

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Thursday, 20 September 2012 03:50

You can get paid lots of money in this town to try to convince people that the country's biggest problem is not the fact that we have 25 million people unemployed, underemployed or out of the workforce altogether due to lack of job opportunities. Dana Milbank illustrates this point by touting his new favorite video game, Budget Hero. Budget Hero was apparently put together with lots of money from folks who want to distract the country from its real problems.

As all budget experts know, the real source of the projected long-term deficit disaster is the country's broken health care system. We currently spend more than twice as much per person on health care as the average for people in other wealthy countries. We have little to show for this extra spending in terms of outcomes. The horror stories project that this ratio will rise to 3 or 4 to 1 in the decades ahead.

Real heroes try to expose this deception, calling attention to the fact that the underlying problem is a broken health care system. This is demonstrated at much lower cost in CEPR's Health Care Budget Deficit Calculator. If we manage to fix the health care system (hey, how about a little trade here?) then the budget issues will be relatively minor. On the other hand, if we can zero out public sector health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid, but if we don't fix our health care system, our Budget Heroes will still have left us with a disaster. 

But hey, there's no money in making this point.

Comments (3)Add Comment
New Video Game: Prisoners Dilemma for MSM Journalists
written by Last Mover, September 20, 2012 7:14
There's also a great new video game just out called Journalist Hero designed especially for bean counter MSM journalists like Milbank.

It works like prisoners dilemma. When two journalists are caught in the same lie, if one confesses that the other started the lie with false information, the confessor becomes a hero and the other is fired as a liar. If both confess both are fired. If neither confess then both keep their jobs.

So far no MSM journalist has become a hero in this game and confessed on another, in deference to maintaining a uniform front of solidarity among MSM journalists based in lies, not to mention how shy and humble they all are at showing off as heroes at bean counting.
the media
written by mel in oregon, September 20, 2012 6:39
well some of us have figured out where the peanut is under the shell. if the peanut is good news for working people & the poor & a better healthcare system, there isn't any peanut under any of the shells. one thing you can count on, deception from the media.
Problem 1: only a few mountain tops for heros to shout from. Problem 2: Krugman
written by Rachel, September 22, 2012 9:03
What are "political pundits"? They seem to be be people who can make themselves heard when issues are discussed. In general, they have access to a mountaintop owned by an interest group (a big news station, a big newspaper, a big talkshow). But that seems to make them inclined to serve the interest of said interest group.

How does this apply to Paul Krugman? Non-hero, in my opinion. He's a problem because more and more he seems to serve the interests of those who own his mountaintop, for whom medicine is a tool for allocating wealth. More and more he gets his health care backup from second-raters, with the similar biasses to his own. There was a time, for example, when he would admit that doctors are overpaid! But that was before he arrived at the NYT!

But then there's Uwe Reinhardt, immensely knowledgeable on the matter of health care, and very patiently, for decades now, he's been trying to educate people in the basics of what's been going on. This, despite his arrival at the NTY Now I can't say he's heroic. But he highly admirable. (And it goes almost without saying, Dean is admirable too.)

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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