That's the sad truth about how the financial crash and the influence of the tea party did America in. Paul Krugman looks at the Fed's economic projections and is shocked by -- well, we knew we had to face this -- the awful, deliberate failures of politicians who dug us a hole, drove us into it and who have, since then, been banging our heads with their shovels.
Faced with an economic crisis where textbook macroeconomics told us exactly how to respond, people of influence chose instead to obsess over budget deficits and generally punt on employment; and the result has been a huge economic and human disaster. ...Paul Krugman, Economics and Politics
Oh, and here's another indignity we can expect from the right:
Raising the Medicare age sounds serious, even though it isn’t, and it’s something you can do, then congratulate yourself on your seriousness. When I look at this whole discussion I keep thinking of a line from “Yes, Minister”: “We must do something. This is something. Therefore we must do it.” And there’s a real possibility that this kind of logic will lead to huge suffering for hundreds of thousands of older Americans. ...Paul Krugman, Economics and Politics
And another smash on the head from those shovels:
Unsurprisingly, health-care costs have been rising. Pretty much all of that has been driven by the cost of each unit of health care, the price tag on an MRI, for example, or a trip to the doctor.
The actual amount of health care we get, the trips to the doctor or visits the the MRI, has held steady or even fallen. The number of outpatient visits, for example, dropped by 4.2 percent between 2010 and 2011.
When we talk about our health spending problem, these charts suggest that it’s less about the volume of health care delivered and more about the cost of each service. ...Sarah Kliff, WaPo