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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Dana Milbank Does What the Media Is Supposed to Do to Politicians Who Just Make Things Up

Dana Milbank Does What the Media Is Supposed to Do to Politicians Who Just Make Things Up

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Thursday, 06 October 2011 05:16

Dana Milbank had a solid column today. He ridiculed Republican claims that President Obama's health care plan is responsible for high unemployment. Milbank showed that the claims put forward by leading Republican politicians lacked any evidence and for the most part defied commonsense.

For example, one business owner with 50 employees claimed that he could not hire another worker because this would make him subject to provisions in the bill that apply to firms with 51 or more employees. However, these provisions do not take effect until 2014 giving the employer more than 2 full years to adjust his workforce to the desired level.

It is easy to show that the claims that regulation is impeding hiring are nonsense. If firms had need for more labor but were reluctant to hire because of regulations then we should be expecting to see that the length of the average workweek is increasing. It isn't. It is still below its pre-recession level.

In short, the Republicans are just making things up when they claim regulation is impeding job creation. The media have the time to research this issue and explain the situation to the public. Milbank's column is the sort of ridicule that politicians deserve for this sort of behavior.

Comments (18)Add Comment
Incremental vs Decremental Cost: One More Worker, One Less Worker
written by izzatzo, October 06, 2011 8:58
For example, one business owner with 50 employees claimed that he could not hire another worker because this would make him subject to provisions in the bill that apply to firms with 51 or more employees.


Likewise a second business owner with 51 workers plans to lay off the 51st worker just to prove that business decisions based on fear of regulation are made at the margin and consistent across all companies.

Stupid liberals.
...
written by ComradeAnon, October 06, 2011 9:46
"Likewise a second business owner with 51 workers plans to lay off the 51st worker just to prove that business decisions based on fear of regulation are made at the margin and consistent across all companies." Should be "based on republican lies and deception." There, fixed that for you.
Much Ado ABout Nothing
written by EMichael, October 06, 2011 11:08
Notwithstanding the lies involved in trying to make some point about "50" as a magic number, is the simple fact that the number of such potential occurrences(and their total cost) is insignificant and means nothing.

I mean, exactly how many companies are there in the US with total employees in the high 40s or low 50s? And if they did not pursue the obvious "solutions" to the magic number(more hours per employee, temps, etc), how mcuh money are we talking about?

Stupid izz as stupid does.
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written by PeonInChief, October 06, 2011 11:29
I'm always amazed at the stupid arguments that are reported seriously by the media. Many years ago, the head of local landlord group argued that tenants shouldn't get interest on their security deposits because it was too difficult and complicated for landlords to compute 5%. I thought, hmm, I could set up a class to teach landlords how to compute 5%--in several different ways.

The media actually reported the assertion without comment.
lol
written by david, October 06, 2011 2:36
izz, that was the funniest yet! There probably is some sap out there doing just that ...
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written by Kat, October 06, 2011 4:51
So, does WaPo have some sort of tenure thingy there because I know they allow incompetents to keep their jobs, but truth telling seems to be crossing the line.
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written by Bob, October 06, 2011 9:55
Spoken like true fools that have never run a business with 40-60 people - you have no idea the regulations that we face nor the decisions we have to make. Cash your payroll checks tomorrow you Liberal Apes.........
poppycock
written by poppycock, October 07, 2011 12:35
I recently met a cuban immigrant and optometrist who runs a small business in Los Angeles. She says all of her colleagues are terrified of Obamacare. She says there is no way she can afford to provide the healthcare or the fine Obamacare will require. Her plan now is to structure her business so she will never have 10 employees.

If Dana "kill him" Millbank would like her phone number so he can confirm that small busimess people across the country hate Obamacare, please contact me.
Political Poppycock
written by deanx, October 07, 2011 6:49
The supposed Health Care Act burden on employers would have been far less if we had selected Single Payer.

Unlike Cuba, we don't have cheap efficient universal care. Rather we have this perverted system that allows employers to have iron fisted control over all the benefits, and mega corporations entirely devoted to rationing care.
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written by Kat, October 07, 2011 9:45
Deanx,
While I most certainly agree that the previous posters make an excellent (if unintended) case for universal (and single-payer) health care, I sometimes despair of ever getting to the point of controlling health care costs (we first have to get over the obstacles of 1) conflating social security costs and medicare2)agreeing that health care costs, and not the availability of medicare is the problem) Once we get past that we have to look at how exactly do we keep costs down? There is going to have to be some rationing-- but I don't really think of it as rationing. Think of it as rationalization of care. We need high quality research by disinterested actors that examine cost/benefit ratios of things such as performing diagnostic tests,screening for conditions, and treatments.
...
written by Kat, October 07, 2011 2:54
Wow. As if to illustrate my point I see that there is a story about prostate cancer screening and new guidelines. I read through some of the comments and of course there was a "but it always good to screen for cancer!" sort.
...
written by liberal, October 07, 2011 10:07
Kat wrote,
I read through some of the comments and of course there was a "but it always good to screen for cancer!" sort.


Yeah, that stuff is depressing. (I read the same comments.)

Same goes for the people who think that the only agents involved in medical decisions should be the doctor and the patient, presumably regardless of what science and reasonable cost-benefit analysis would say.
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written by Kat, October 08, 2011 8:15
Honestly, I'm sure many of these people that are positivethat time spent undergoing all these screenings are the same people who cheer the "fat tax" advocated by the NYTimes Mark Bittman, our leading health policy wonk (yes, that is sarcastic).
To improve health outcomes, the one number I suggest focusing on is our gini coefficient.
When I turned 35 I started getting harangued to get a mammogram. Knowing something of the specificity of such a test, I refused and continued to refuse.
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written by Mcmike, October 08, 2011 9:13
By all means, let federal policy be dictated by the theoretical temper tantrums of mythical 50 employee business owners who'd rather avoid a nonexistent tax than build their business
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written by Bob, October 08, 2011 10:32
Mcmike - like I said, you have no clue about building a business nor about the "iron-fisted control" I supposedly have over benefits.

Keep listening to Dean rant about how bad Republicans are and how great Liberal Democrats are. Your hero Ted Kennedy was a murderer who killed Mary Jo when he drove drunk off a bridge. Period.
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written by Kat, October 08, 2011 10:38
Bob,
That is an airtight case for "conservative" economic policies.
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written by Bob, October 08, 2011 12:51
I use that as an example how how the left wing Liberal camp in this country can't handle the truth, and more importantly can't admit their mistakes. I dislike crusty right wing politicians as much, but you Liberals defend Pelosi (she had no business as Speaker and even less as a Congresswoman), John Kerry (Rich guy who registered his yacht out of state to save taxes) Instead of putting up a guy like Jim Webb that the entire country can get behind, you bring in Obama (who had NO experience running anything) and now you can't even admit it was a mistake. Obama can't even bring in the correct advisers.......
But Bob,
written by diesel, October 09, 2011 4:03
Why direct your ire towards liberals? Why not towards the people who really are responsible for the way things are? If in spite of what has occurred over the last three years, it is not obvious to you (or anyone) that (1) the banks and (2) large corporations run the show then there is no hope that you can be convinced by anything. Remember, tax laws have to please, first, Congress's corporate masters. Liberals have very little input. That's exactly what we're complaining about. We're powerless and we know it. I suppose that makes us easy to kick (for a certain type of person).

The larger issue is that America as it is currently constituted, cannot last. The present form of governance has no future. To paraphrase a great thinker, its internal contradictions will tear it apart. We will continue to lose ground to social democracies whose more egalitarian societies and transparent governance are more efficient than our corrupted, oligarchical, alleged free-market system. This is physics, not morals (although it's morals also).

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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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