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Monday, September 25, 2017

Paul Krugman: Trapped by Their Own Lies

"health care isn’t the only issue on which lies are coming back to bite the liars":

Trapped by Their Own Lies, by Paul Krugman, NY Times: ...Republicans have spent years routinely lying for the sake of political advantage. And now — not just on health care, but across the board — they are trapped by their own lies, forced into trying to enact policies they know won’t work.
...“You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,” said Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa. “But,” he continued, “Republicans have campaigned on this,” meaning repeal-and-replace, and had to fulfill their promise.
But repealing the Affordable Care Act wasn’t the only thing Republicans promised; they also promised to replace it with something better and cheaper ... without creating any new problems. ...
Yet Republicans never had any idea how to fulfill that promise ... without taking insurance away from tens of millions..., they were lying about health care all along.
And the base, both the grass roots and the big money, believed the lies. Hence the trap in which Republicans find themselves.
The thing is, health care isn’t the only issue on which lies are coming back to bite the liars. ...
The next big item on the G.O.P. agenda is taxes. ... But Republicans ... have ... spent years posing as the party of fiscal responsibility, and they have no idea how to cut taxes without blowing up the deficit.
As with health care, the party has masked its lack of good ideas with lies... But as with health care, these lies will be revealed once actual legislation is unveiled. ...
So tax policy, like health care, will be hobbled by a legacy of lies.
Wait, there’s more.
Foreign policy ... lies have put the Trump administration in a box over things like the Iran nuclear deal: Canceling the deal would create huge problems, yet not canceling it would amount to an admission that the criticisms were dishonest.
And soon the G.O.P. may even start to pay a price for lying about climate change. As hurricanes get ever more severe — just as climate scientists predicted — climate denial is looking increasingly out of touch. Yet donors and the base would react with fury to any admission that the threat is real, after all.
The bottom line is that the bill for cynicism seems to be coming due. For years, flat-out lies about policy served Republicans well, helping them win back control of Congress and, eventually, the White House. But those same lies now leave them unable to govern.

    Posted by on Monday, September 25, 2017 at 10:28 AM in Economics, Health Care, Politics | Permalink  Comments (100)


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