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Today the Obama Administration drastically lowered its already dismal estimate of first quarter GDP. At the end of April, the Commerce Department claimed the GDP fell at a 1.0 percent pace. The agency has now revised that to a 2.9 percent annual rate, which is the economy’s worst performance in five years.
In the heady days of -1.0% growth, Democrats blamed the bad numbers on an unusually cold winter, but maintained there was one bright spot. The only reason the number wasn’t worse, they claimed, was because healthcare spending had drastically increased. Ignoring that Obama promised his health care reform would “bend the cost curve down,” the left praised the jump in spending — Obamacare saved the economy!
Today’s revision shows that healthcare spending actually dropped along with everything else. In a bad economy, no one wants to spend money on anything. But to our non-partisan press, yesterday’s spin is ancient history; what’s important is protecting the president today.
In April, Sarah Kliff of Vox celebrated the increase in healthcare spending with a puff piece parroting the White House line. (According to the HTML link, Vox’s original title was “The Upside of Faster Health Care Growth.”) But with today’s bleak news, she dismissed those with the temerity to praise higher healthcare costs.
That time when health care spending went down and people got sad about it. #bizarrowonkery
— Sarah Kliff (@sarahkliff) June 25, 2014
Like clockwork, her website went from praising increased health care spending to praising reduced health care spending. Of course, Kliff wasn’t the only reporter to change her tune:
Health care spending is on the rise, and that’s a good thing http://t.co/qld4G99MKT
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) April 30, 2014
Without an Obamacare-driven boost to health care spending, economic growth would have stalled out completely. http://t.co/WpXYBntWz5
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) April 30, 2014
— HuffPostBiz (@HuffPostBiz) April 30, 2014
To Huffington Post’s credit, they’re the only outfit so far to offer any kind of walkback.
Maybe Obamacare didn’t save the U.S. economy after all http://t.co/bKRlfjUsL2
— HuffPostBiz (@HuffPostBiz) June 25, 2014
It is bizarre that so many reporters and flacks focus on winning today’s news cycle without considering future news cycles. Don’t they realize that, with the exception of the IRS, the Internet is forever?