Six Hundred and Fifty Thousand Lies

When making the case for repeal, GOP leaders insist that the reform law will cost the economy “650,000 jobs.” Republicans even published a report of sorts, claiming that the 650k number is the result of “independent analyses,” most notably from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

To its credit, the AP fact-checked the claim today, noting the CBO “never produced the number,” and the talking point itself is an example of how “statistics get used and abused in Washington.” …

The key here is understanding that the health care law may reduce the labor supply, not the number of jobs. The possible 0.5% shift in labor is not the result of employers cutting jobs, it’s the result of people working less. And why might people work less? Because some workers might decide to retire earlier, knowing that they won’t have to keep working in order to have health care benefits. (And when these older workers leave the workforce, it creates opportunities for younger workers.)

The 650,000 figure is a sham, pushed by professional con artists who assume the public and the media won’t aren’t pay close attention anyway. Some will believe the lie, and there won’t be any consequences of the dishonesty anyway.

The Washington Monthly

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