Media Soft Sells CBO Report That Obamacare Will Cost 2.5 million Jobs

The Congressional Budget Office just put out a damning report that by some accounts finds that Obamacare will cost the country as many as two million jobs, but many in the mainstream media are looking to downplay the dire warnings.

According to the CBO report, the deficit will climb back up in 2016, hitting some $1 trillion by 2022. By 2024, the federal government will add $10 trillion to the national debt, putting the debt at over $27 trillion. The CBO also makes it clear that government spending on Obamacare is still an important driver of the debt.

The Washington Times said, "The CBO said the number of workers dropping out of the labor force will grow from 2 million in 2017 to 2.5 million by 2024."

Revenue in 2014 is to exceed its historic average of 17.4 percent of GDP, while interest on the debt will quadruple over the next ten years.

The report goes on to say that Obamacare "will reduce the total number of hours worked, on net, by about 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent during the period from 2017 to 2024.” The largest decline will occur among “lower-wage workers."

Obamacare will also cause workers to lose ground with pay scales. Obamacare "will cause a reduction of roughly 1 percent in aggregate labor compensation over the 2017–2024 period," the CBO said.

But not all in the mainstream media accept this reading of the CBO report. Time's Swampland blog, for instance, played up the claim that the federal budget deficit will "fall sharply through 2015" and also emphasized that some of this is because of an "aging population." The Washington Post Fact Checker, meanwhile, flat-out disputed the claim that Obamacare will cost the country two million jobs, saying, "this is not about jobs. It’s about workers--and the choices they make."

Business Insider claimed that the "buried lede" is that Obamacare will "raise wages" for workers, although another BI piece noted that Obamacare actually "discourages work," which also hurts the economy. With its headline, Market Watch chose to focus on the claim that the CBO "cuts the 2014 deficit by $46 billion."

In one of its short reports, the Associated Press also touted the deficit savings without noting that the debt and the cost of the debt will rise. For the Huffington Post, Sam Stein dismissed the controversy over the CBO report, saying it "wasn't as explosive as it seemed."

Finally, for its part, McClatchty rushed to note that the CBO's projected deficits are "in line with history."


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