NY Times' Jackie Calmes Confidently Claims GOP Repeal of Obama-Care Would Cost Money

The Times is quickly acting to squeeze out conservative enthusiasm resulting from the strong Republican gains on Tuesday night. Reporter Jackie Calmes made Friday's front page with the doubting "G.O.P. Lists Sweeping Goals, But Their Impact Is Uncertain."

But Calmes invites major skepticism herself when she claims that repealing Obama-care would actually cost the government money, a dubious opinion that ignores the history of government programs, and is based on incomplete government data.

Times reporter Calmes also examines the prospect of extending the Bush tax cuts for all through the liberal prism of what it will cost the government in revenue, not what it could do to help jolt economic growth.

Republican leaders in Congress are preparing to take power in two months with ambitious and sometimes contradictory goals for economic and fiscal policies, leaving little common ground with President Obama and much uncertainty about the potential impact on the nation's problems.

Republicans are standing by their campaign vows to slash spending for domestic programs immediately by at least one-fifth - $100 billion in a single year - even as many mainstream economists say such deep cuts could further strain the economy and should await its full recovery. Republicans also say they will try to deny money to put Mr. Obama's new health care law into effect, though they have not made clear what they would do to make up the cost savings that would be lost if they succeeded in repealing the law.

But at Reason.com, economist Veronique de Rugy rues the "fantasy at work in many official health care cost projections," including data from the Congressional Budget Office that the Times and Democrats have used to argue Obama-care as a cost-saver.

- Clay Waters is director of Times Watch. You can follow him on Twitter.