Amity Shales

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  • Don't shoot the calculator

    Blog ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    Throughout the health care debate, the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that the legislation proposed by Congressional Democrats would extend insurance coverage to 30 million people without increasing the federal budget deficit. Their most recent estimate -- for the bill that President Obama signed and the package of fixes that has now passed both the Senate and House -- stated that the proposals as written would "produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period," and would "reduce federal budget deficits over the ensuing decade relative to those projected under current law" by around "one-half percent of GDP."

    Needless to say, this was unacceptable to Fox News, which openly opposed Democrats' reform efforts from the start. So when they weren't cluelessly rejecting the basic proposition that legislation could both spend $940 billion and reduce the deficit, they were portraying the CBO estimates as unreliable, suggesting that CBO was influenced by pressure from the White House, or ignoring CBO entirely.

    Fox's latest claim: CBO is incompetent.

  • Media cite Japan's "lost decade" to criticize Obama's economic stimulus plan, but economists disagree

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN & JOCELYN FONG

    Numerous media figures have cited Japanese fiscal policy during the "lost decade" of the 1990s to criticize President-elect Barack Obama's plan to undertake a large-scale stimulus program. These media figures ignore evidence that, according to prominent economists, economic conditions were improving in Japan before the Japanese government temporarily abandoned stimulus spending in an attempt to reduce the deficit.