Paul Krugman Calls Newsweek's 'Hit the Road, Barack' Cover Story 'Unethical'

NewsBusters reported Sunday that Newsweek is out with a truly shocking edition featuring a cover story entitled "Hit the Road, Barack: Why We Need a New President."

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman took to his blog Sunday excoriating the article in a piece he called "Unethical Commentary, Newsweek Edition":

There are multiple errors and misrepresentations in Niall Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek — I guess they don’t do fact-checking — but this is the one that jumped out at me. Ferguson says:

The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.

Readers are no doubt meant to interpret this as saying that CBO found that the Act will increase the deficit. But anyone who actually read, or even skimmed, the CBO report (pdf) knows that it found that the ACA would reduce, not increase, the deficit — because the insurance subsidies were fully paid for.

Please notice that the CBO report Krugman linked to is from March 30, 2011.

What he failed to inform his readers is the CBO revised these numbers in a March 13, 2012, report finding "the insurance coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of just under $1.1 trillion over the 2012–2021 period."

In addition, the March 2012 report estimates ObamaCare "will increase deficits by $1,083 billion."


Yet the Time columnist had the nerve to attack Ferguson:

Now, people on the right like to argue that the CBO was wrong. But that’s not the argument Ferguson is making — he is deliberately misleading readers, conveying the impression that the CBO had actually rejected Obama’s claim that health reform is deficit-neutral, when in fact the opposite is true.

Really, Paul? Who's "deliberately misleading readers?"

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.