The Great Thing about the Party of Personal Responsibility…

The Great Thing about the Party of Personal Responsibility… May 25, 2015

is that when its prophecies are shown to be dead wrong, it never has to take any.

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  • Joseph

    Yep. But, as a side note, I did find this quote rich coming from the New York Times, LOL:
    ‘You might admit that you were wrong, and try to figure out why. But almost nobody does that; we live in an age of unacknowledged error.’

    • Dave G.

      I noticed that, too.

  • Yep, don’t anybody pay any attention to the $2600B in excess reserves:

    For those not familiar, every $1 in excess reserves allows the bank system to loan out about $9 in funds for a $23400B inflation overhang built in due to previous monetary policy. Our economy is about $17700B.

    But I’m suddenly a “truther” because banks aren’t lending to those who can’t pay back and those who couldn’t pay back aren’t being insanely irresponsible in seeking loans (thus the excess reserves).

    That being said, conservatives are nervous nellies and regularly predict long term consequences as if they’re going to happen next monday. The king of them that I’ve found is Winston Churchill’s 1946 observation that you can’t have socialism without a gulag. It wasn’t until the 1970s that socialism’s consequences created serious proposals for the establishment of exit visas for the UK. Then they elected Margaret Thatcher who knocked socialism back a generation.

    • Dave G.

      The article does a good job ignoring some of the bad that has happened. My mom, through my late dad’s pension, received excellent healthcare coverage has, as a result of the act, watched her expenses increase and her coverage diminish. And it’s been, according to the documents received, as a result of the act.

      Of course the biggest problem with Obamacare is that it didn’t fix the problem. The basic problem with healthcare coverage is that those who can’t afford the best policies are stuck with policies that bring with them out of pocket expenses that they can’t afford, since they don’t have the money to afford the best policies in the first place. All Obamacare did was set up the same structure, but through the government.

      This isn’t counting the moral victory regarding the HHS mandate. Now a majority of Americans believe that religious rights should take a back seat where my libido is concerned.

      But yeah, doom and gloom predictions never help, though are far from unique to conservatives. Usually it’s whoever isn’t in control making he claims. I remember in 1981 when liberals told us youngsters we better go out and get lucky fast, because warmonger Reagan would be nuking the world and destroying mankind any day now. And all without the benefit of talk radio, the internet and cable news. As far as I remember, he didn’t.

  • elizacoop

    The ACA was not the best possible solution, just the only possible outcome of our current system. I’m still for single-payer. Why should all these insurance companies profit at the expense of the sick, one wonders.

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      I feel like some of the root problem–the rising cost of health care, doctor’s appointments, medications, etc–hasn’t been addressed.

    • W. Randolph Steele

      So do I. The other side doesn’t have any idea what to and does care, either. Their base is is already covered and figures that if you aren’t, no matter WHAT your circumstances are, well, gee that’s just too bad,but that’s the way the market works.

    • MT

      The whole insurance concept for healthcare is just messed up. The relationship between the insurance company and the person is too far apart. On the people’s side, we better have insurance because one will be in bad shape if they gets sick or an accident. And then for some reason it’s tied to employment, where you can lose coverage if you get too injured or sick to work for a long enough time. The insurance companies meanwhile just want to make profit, and are incentivized when unregulated to only have the young and healthy enrolled because that means more profit. We saw this by the way people with pre-existing conditions were priced out.

    • Na

      uhmmm….really…you actually think that health care costs are driven by insurance companies….most insurance policies are sold as administration costs only…they are self funded by purchasing company. administration fees barely count as a tip.

      did you happen to notice that the healthcare companies actually helped write obamacare?

      • MT

        That’s why ACA isn’t good enough…

  • samton909

    You cannot be serious – quoting a Paul Krugman column about something? The man who has been so wrong so often that it he is a standing joke?

    • Allen

      Its quite ironic for Krugman, who has been wrong more often than most, to lecture others on coming clean. Remember, this is the guy who said deficits don’t matter for Greece in 2012, there is no such thing as a housing bubble in 2007 and the stimulus would create 2 million jobs in 2009.. all wrong. He actually called for the Fed to blow a housing bubble around 2003.

      He’s a known partisan hack whose neo-keynesian economics is being used to justify faith in the state to solve all problems. Actually quoting Krugman is an appropriate followup for this blog, after quoting an 11th century monk to justify throwing the 7th Commandment out the window. An unbending faith in the state to provide the common good is becoming common in this blog.

      • MT

        You guys might not like Krugman’s view, but be fair. I don’t see where he denied there was a bubble. I’m also pretty sure he says that Greece’s deficit would not be such a big problem if they weren’t chained to the Euro.

        • Pete the Greek

          ” I don’t see where he denied there was a bubble.”
          – I see someone doesn’t know how to use YouTube. He also said it would be a good idea to inflate a real estate bubble. Great place, the internet: all the dumb things people say live on forever.

          • MT

            Krugman says that housing bubble comment was not something he said was a good idea.
            And even if he said something stupid once, that doesn’t mean he can’t say anything right anymore.

            • Pete the Greek

              He didn’t say something stupid once. He does it all the time. Yet people still lap up his platitudes and nonsense. I shouldn’t be surprised, though. Even Robert Sugenis has lots of fans.

    • Pete the Greek

      Most of the time, I think the only criteria Mark checks on linking to things like this is if the writer’s prejudice matches his.

      • Mike Petrik

        Yep, but not unique to Mark of course. I have family members who do the same thing via sending nonsense emails, though at least they don’t run blogs people read. I have no doubt that Mark at least means well. It is hard to find forums for fair-minded discourse on the Internet, and regrettably that includes most Catholic blogs.

        • Pete the Greek

          I think perhaps I was being a bit unfair to Mark. He may genuinely have no idea who Krugman is, or approximately how many metric tons of bu****it the man has spewed. Can’t fault him for that.

  • Sue Korlan

    I think that when large numbers of people received cancellations of their policies because those policies didn’t conform to the requirements of Obamacare, the government relented and allowed pre – existing policies to remain in force even if they didn’t meet all the requirements of the law. Recently I’ve read that the government is going to start forcing all insurance companies to comply with the law on all of its policies, which will make the conservative predictions correct again.

    • Allen

      Krugman fails to address most current and independent research coming out about Obamacare, cherry picking the few bits that sound good. Premiums are growing, though lower than expected, true. But what about the tripling of deductibles, which prevent most from even using their insurance? He conveniently fails to mention that ALL healthcare cost increases, all over the world are slowing down. The decline in inflation is a 10 year old phenomenon, obviously having nothing to do with Obamacare.

      My personal experience has been a large increase in rates, combined with a large deductible that leaves my family with practically only catastrophic coverage. This increased also was used to justify a couple years of zero salary increases.

      Even the much lauded CBO is no longer predicting cost reductions due to Obamacare:

      Most importantly, why not come clean and disclose the unseemly bits: no employer mandate, hundreds of billions in subsidies to the insurance cartels, insurance for insurance companies (risk corridors), failed Accountable Care Organizations, failed small business marketplace, no cost reduction mechanisms (name one), demise of Union ‘Cadillac plans’, etc. This law is all about about a tax penalty and expansion of medicaid, nothing else was accomplished.

      • Pete the Greek

        Sorry, Paul Krugman said none of that is true. And Mark Shea linked to him. So you must just be a Republican hack who hates the poor.

      • Tweck

        Hmmm. My premium this year doubled. Biggest rate increase I’ve ever seen. I blame the insurance company, but if I opt out I will be a criminal, forced to buy cobra at an even more insane rate or face the Stasi. Fwiw’ I dumbly supported the aca, even after they removed its only potential real saving grace, the public option. Anyway, the rate increases are real, even if they aren’t a direct result of the legislation itself.

        • Joseph

          The only reason I had to criticise ACA was the potential for assault on religious exemption on certain issues… but, I was in favour of the public option. Once that was removed, it simply became a dragnet for big insurance to grab that weasley 18-35 demographic that refused to pay for private insurance that they weren’t going to use. I simply cannot believe how Obamabots and party loyalists do not see how *unjust* ACA became once they pulled the public option. To me, that was the whole point… and I would have been for it!

  • Pete the Greek

    Yes, if there is one person that is fit to lecture us about owning up to bulls**t we say when it turns out to be exactly that, it would be Paul “there is no housing bubble, our economy is sound, the future of financials looks good” Krugman.

    Next up, I think our host will give us a link to a well-researched article by SSPX Bishop Williamson about how obedience to the Holy Father is so important, and then maybe a great, chin stroking article by Bill Clinton telling us how we have not lived up to our roles as fathers and husbands.

    I wait with bated breath.

    • MT

      Krugman has a solid point though. People have been screeming that the Fed is causing runaway inflation when the opposite has happened and we are close to experiencing deflation.

      • Pete the Greek

        I’m not sure who has been saying that. I’ve been following the issue a bit, and people I’ve been reading list runaway inflation as a very real, eventual possibility, which it is.

        To make a comparison: other people, including me, back when the whole Iraq war was kicking off, were talking about how it wasn’t going to work, would destabilize the Middle East and we wouldn’t accomplish anything really good there and that it was unjust. Of course, when Baghdad fell and there was that big “Mission Accomplished” sign on the aircraft carrier, people sneered at us that we were just doomsayers.

        People also sneered at Paul VI when he made his predictions in Humane Vitae, because at the exact moment, and for a bit after, everything seemed fine.

        The simple truth is that our monetary policy is not sustainable. There WILL be a reset at some point and it’s going to hurt. A lot. It won’t be the end of the world, but it will not in any way be pleasant. As for an exact date, I’m not sure we can give one, as there are many things that can be done to delay it (but not cancel it).

        • MT

          The thing about the Fed though is that it will stop Quantitative easing if inflation starts getting above the target they set.
          Really there is a lot more money expansion that can happen due to the size of America’s economy before it starts getting problematic.

          The main way I see inflation becoming an issue is from climate change wreaking the world’s food supplies.

          • Pete the Greek

            Hmmm… thought you were a serious commentator for a second. I apologize for my mistake.

            • MT

              Why wouldn’t I be serious?

              • Pete the Greek

                Because your last comment couldn’t come from someone who puts actual thought into issues. You did have me going for a second, though! 🙂

                • MT

                  I don’t see how it’s any less serious than some how comparing momentary policy with an evil war built on lies and Humane Vitae.

                  • Pete the Greek

                    And you aparantly can’t read either, as I did not compare “monetary” policy with war. What I was doing was pointing out that just because predictions of eventual consequences haven’t happened right away, doesn’t mean they won’t happen at all.

                    Now, if someone points out consequences with specific dates, like saying the polar ice caps will all be gone by 2010, or we’re all going to starve to death due to overpopulation by 1975, then yes, said person should be called on their statements. Saying that our reckless spending and “monetary” policy will cause eventual severe economic problems is simply stating a fact. Perhaps there have been some that said ‘It will be on such and such a date’. Could be, I guess, but I haven’t seen that. All the people I’ve read point out the obvious but also show there are many ways the government will try to delay the inevitable.

  • Willard

    I’d put Paul Krugman up against any of his right wing hack opponents like Kudlow, Peter Schiff, Stephen Moore, Art Laffer, etc. all of whom were predicting massive inflation due to quantitative easing and Obama refusing to keep the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    Having read Paul Krugman allowed me to understand the liquidity trap and so I knew there would be no massive inflation. Instead of selling stocks and buying gold like the right wing hacks advised, I got back into the market in late 2009 and have been riding the Obama stock market boom ever since.

    • Na

      yep…the party of the common man ….

      • Willard

        Much more so than the Schiffs and Laffers of the world.

        • Na

          doing great…the dems some how managed less than 1% growth with trillion dollar deficits and multi trillion dollar federal reserve balance sheet. They are miracle workers.

          • Willard

            The repubs somehow managed to turn a surplus into a deficit and for the first time in American history they managed to go an entire 2 term presidency without creating a single private sector job. In fact, by the end of Bush’s second term, we had a net of 462,000 private sector jobs lost. Way to go Bushie!

            • Na

              clearly you don’t understand the word “net”.

              • Willard

                Yes Einstein, net jobs can be negative.

                • Na

         claimed that republicans didn’t create a single private sector job which was confirmed by net job loss stat.

                  • Willard

                    Oh geez. I didn’t think I needed to be that literal. Yes, even when Bush was hemorrhaging jobs at a clip of 800k a month, there were still jobs being created. We judge the economic performance of a President though on the number of net jobs created or lost.

                    • Na

                      wow….you must be a big supporter of Governor Perry. For your sake, I hope he decides to run for President. QED.

  • Na

    wow… What exactly is the catholic tie in here? People are fallible?

    Lets see a bill that promised that if you liked your healthcare you could keep it..canceled millions of healthcare policies….and then subsidized millions more…and we are supposed to be shocked that the law didn’t go into a death spiral? Wow. Congratulations. If I had the ability to incarcerate people and anunlimited amount of money, I could make anything work for a couple of years too. The question is whether obamacare is good public policy, efficient, sustainable etc….

    btw…there were over 24 shooting in baltimore this weekend….I can’t wait to read your blog post eviscerating the perpetrators…

  • iamlucky13

    I don’t fit in any of his three categories, but I’m not even remotely convinced we have proven that printing money by the trillions is a consequence free activity, especially not with Europe’s financial problems and India and China’s slowing growth making the US dollar still look strong. Not only can a European recovery potentially make a huge change in the value of the dollar, but the interest rate turnaround is going to make it harder to fund our deficits.

    Also, there is a legitimate critique of the consumer price index for measuring real inflation because it is weighted based on the buying habits of consumers. But the buying habits of consumers are affected by pricing, so if the price of a product goes up, but its consumption goes down in response, the contribution to the CPI can be neutral or even negative. Likewise, stagnating income can appear to flatten out the CPI even though real prices are rising, because people can only spend what they have. This is probably only a partial factor in the currently low inflation, but it is happening.

    Following Krugman to his next topic anecdotally, in the first 3 years after the ACA passed, as its provisions were incrementally enacted (affecting large employer-sponsored plans like mine before the individual mandate took affect, for those confused about the timing of my claim), my insurance premiums rose an average of 20% per year, despite no changes in coverage.

    “One more thing: You sometimes hear complaints about the alleged poor quality of the policies offered to newly insured families.”

    Yes, I’ve looked at those plans out of curiosity. Maybe I’m not trying hard enough, but I couldn’t find a lower combined premium and deductible cost for 2 parents and a kid than $8,000 before you receive anything more than a basic checkup, a flu shot, and a pack of condoms. For the nation on average, supposedly the annual cost has passed $16,000 (according to Forbes, including employer-sponsored plans), even though the original promise was reduced costs. Calling that affordable is a joke.

    At the same time, the amount of care you receive for that $8000 or $16,000 has continued to decline as medical inflation continues to outpace general inflation. Even if it had declined, we were already in such a bad state that anything less than double digit declines would merely be a continuing of our multi-decade long healthcare cost disaster.

    However, to prop up his argument, Krugman links to a 2 year old news report trumpeting that “premiums are expected to be lower than expected.” That’s useful – outdated and nonsensical.

    And speaking of historical revision he claims is happening, I challenge Krugman to prove his claim that everyone of influence on the right previously universally claimed the number of insured would decline under the ACA. Loud as he may be, John Boehner’s statements do not qualify as “everything ever said by anyone in a position of influence on the American right.”