Checking the truth-o-meter

The latest partisan cannonades over the Affordable Care Act and its impact on workers have begun. We can expect the firing to continue throughout this campaign year, especially in campaigns for control of the House and the Senate in Washington.
There was some musket fire in the Missouri Senate on the issue last week.
The Congressional Budget Office has provided the ammunition. Critics of the program that even the President has started calling Obamacare have quickly gotten off several blasts saying the report proves their point that the law kills jobs. Supporters of the program that even the President has started calling Obamacare say the report proves the value of the law.
Remember this about political cannon fire: It produces a lot of smoke and a lot of explosions. Quite often, neither side is especially careful about accuracy. But in politics, smoke and explosions are good enough.
It’s time to renew our suggestion that people who want to see through the smoke and explosions have some straighter-shooting sources to go to. One we’ve quickly checked is a widely-respected truth checker called Politifact, which uses a Truth-o-Meter to gauge accuracy.
House Speaker John Boehner wasted no time saying the CBO report proves the Obama healthcare law is “expected to destroy 2.3 million jobs.”
Truth-o-Meter says: “Mostly False.”
Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson told viewers, “The CBO now says the president’s health care law will cut the number of full-time jobs in the United States by 2.3 million by 2021.”
Truth-0-Meter says: “Mostly False.”
In both cases, the Truth-0-Meter offers more details behind its ratings of such statements.
Politifact’s Jon Greenberg and Louis Jacobson say the Obamacare opponents are talking apples while the CBO report is about oranges. Opponents talk about jobs. The report talks about workers, say Greenberg and Jacobson. They’ve read the report and say it refers to workers who will no longer need fulltime jobs because they do not have to rely on employers to provide them with health insurance.
If you are one of those who want more than smoke and explosions and prefer to make up your own mind, we suggest you go to:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/documents/obamcare-cbo-budget-economic-outlook-february-2014/
That’s where you will find the full CBO report. It’s pretty long and it will never outsell Fifty Shades of Gray. But self-education in a quiet place away from those quick to generate self-serving smoke and explosions is the sign of a responsible citizen and voter.
We’ll talk more later in this campaign cycle about other places where people can go to get something more dangerous to politicians than smoke and explosions.

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One thought on “Checking the truth-o-meter

  1. He says apples, they say oranges but in either case the labor participation rate is trended downwards. While pendants quibble about who has the most smoke and who has the most mirrors, this does not look like a good direction for the country to be headed. Seems like THAT dismal data point is the more relevant story.

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