Corporate ‘lamestream’ media fail on CBO reports


Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Tea-Publicans in Congress were tripping all over themselves to get to a microphone on Tuesday to trumpet a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that the conservative media entertainment complex, and its enablers in the corporate "lamestream" media either did not read or purposefully misrepresented with headlines like this in the Washington Post: CBO: Health law to mean 2 million fewer workers.

After initially blowing the story, the Washington Post at least did an admirable job of walking it back. It's media critic Eric Wemple wrote, The media’s massive revisions on CBO-Obamacare story:

The [Washington Post’s "Fact Checker"] Glenn Kessler today published a fact-checking post breaking some news: No, he wrote, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) never, ever reported that Obamacare would somehow or other kill more than 2 million U.S. jobs.

Okay, to say that Kessler broke this news is a rhetorical exaggeration to highlight the point that many-o-many media outlets misconstrued the CBO findings. For a while this morning, the Internet was hopping with job-killing hype, when in fact the truth was vastly different. Obamacare’s impact, the CBO concluded, would lessen the supply of labor by encouraging certain folks not to work: “The estimated reduction stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in businesses’ demand for labor, so it will appear almost entirely as a reduction in labor force participation and in hours worked. . . .”

For someone approaching retirement, notes Kessler, Obamacare could well mean that they needn’t hold onto a bad job just to keep health insurance. That’s a far different dynamic from job-killing.

To illustrate just how the media had handled the CBO study, Kessler’s post included a number of headlines harvested from the Internet this morning, amid a backlash highlighting the finer points of the CBO report. In some cases, headline changes ensued; in others, news outlets stuck to their original phrasing. Below, we chronicle some of the action:

Wall Street Journal earlier: Health-Care Law Expected to Take Greater Toll on Workforce

Wall Street Journal now: Health Law Seen Leading to Some Loss of Labor

Washington Times earlier: Obamacare will push 2 million workers out of labor market: CBO

Washington Times now: Obamacare will push 2 million workers out of labor market: CBO

UPI earlier: CBO: Obamacare to cost 2.3 million jobs over 10 years

UPI now: WH disputes media claims on CBO Obamacare study

Politico earlier: CBO: Lower enrollment, bigger job losses with Obamacare

Politico now: Report reignites debate over Obamacare and jobs

The Hill earlier: CBO: O-Care slowing growth, contributing to job losses

The Hill now: CBO: O-Care will cost 2.5M workers

National Review earlier: The CBO Just Nuked Obamacare

National Review now: The CBO Just Nuked Obamacare

Wall Street Journal Market Watch earlier: CBO says Obamacare will add to deficit, create reluctant work force

Wall Street Journal Market Watch now: Obamacare plans to top $1 trillion, create reluctant workers: CBO

Talk Radio News Service earlier: Obamacare Will Cost 2.5 Million Jobs: Report

Talk Radio News Service now: 2.5 Million Will Exit Work Force Because Of Obamacare

Forbes earlier: Congressional Budget Office: Obamacare A Tax On Workers

Forbes now: CBO: Obamacare Is A Tax On Work, May Cut Full-Time Workforce By 2.5 Million

Full disclosure: The Post earlier posted a headline saying that the CBO had concluded that the law “will result in 2 million fewer jobs.” Now it reads as follows: “CBO: Health-care law will mean 2 million fewer workers.” A correction explains the change.

The Washington Post's Stephen Stromberg wrote, CBO: No evidence of Obamacare death spiral, and Greg Sargent wrote What the CBO report on Obamacare really found.

UPDATE: Under questioning Wednesday before the House Budget Committee from Dem Rep. Chris Van Hollen, CBO director Douglas Elmendorf confirmed that in reality, his report suggests Obamacare will reduce unemployment. CBO director: Affordable Care Act will reduce unemployment.

While the corporate "lamestream" media was making fools of themselves for dutifully following the conservative media entertainment complex talking points on "ObamaCare," they all failed to report the one CBO report on Tuesday that was the real scandal. The Washington Post reports, CBO: Military pension payments to fall 9 percent due to cut:

A controversial new pension cut for younger military retirees will help reduce projected growth for the retirement payments by about 5 percent by 2023, according to congressional number crunchers.

Estimates from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, released Tuesday, show that federal spending on military retirement benefits will rise from $51.5 billion this year to $64.3 billion in 2023 under current policy.

Before the pension cut, spending on military retirement benefits was projected to rise from $50.4 billion this year to $67.5 billion in 2023, according to previous CBO estimates.

The reduced growth is at least partly due to a provision in the budget bill Congress and President Obama approved in December that reduces cost-of-living allowances for working-age military retirees by 1 percent starting next year. A higher rate will apply once those individuals reach age 62, and the plan does not affect disabled retirees.

Lawmakers from both parties have proposed repealing the pension cut with various bills, some of which would replace the savings with reductions in other areas such as spending on Egypt and Pakistan or Saturday mail delivery from the U.S. Postal Service.

Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.) has introduced an omnibus Veterans Affairs bill that would eliminate the pension cut and expand certain veterans benefits, such as dental and medical care, education and caretaker stipends. The legislation would cost $30 billion over 10 years, according to the lawmaker.

Sanders said last month that he is open to paying for the measure with savings from winding down overseas contingency operations, formerly known as the global war on terror.

The men and women serving in our Armed Forces were made a promise to receive benefits in exchange for their service. There are no "do-overs" later on to reduce their benefits after they have fulfilled their end of the bargain. They are entitled to what this country promised them. If it means raising taxes on the rich, almost none of whom serve in the Armed Forces, then so be it. It is a small price to pay for service rendered by someone else.


  1. With all due respect, this great depression has long since left Bush’s possession. It is now completely owned and explained by the policies of the current administration. As nationally ranked economists Richard Rogeson points out, if the government gives you something, you don’t have to work for it, and, people work less, much less.

  2. The ratio of employment to population is already more thsn 10 million below its peak. 2 million is just s fraction of the damage already done.

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