Checking facts on the deficit commission
We continue our fact-checking of statements on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, looking at remarks from economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
Krugman had harsh words for President Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, a group that is working toward releasing a formal report on ways to reduce the deficit. The commission's co-chairs released their ideas for the proposal last week.
The key to reducing the deficit, Krugman said, is reducing the future growth of health care costs, and the commission didn't do that.
"They completely wimped out on that," Krugman said. "They simply assumed they were going to reduce the rate of health care cost growth. And they said, how are we going to do that? By monitoring and taking additional measures as necessary. So the report was completely empty on the only thing that really matters and then had a whole bunch of things which involved large tax cuts for the top bracket. What on earth is that doing in there?"
We examined the report and found that Krugman wasn't accurate: The report did include more concrete ideas for reducing health care costs, particularly for an Independent Payment Advisory Board. We examined the proposal's ideas in some detail and rated Krugman's statement False.
We're still fact-checking Krugman's statement that the report included large tax cuts for the top bracket and will publish our findings soon.
We've also fact-checked a statement from Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., who chairs the Senate Budget Committee and serves on the deficit commission. Conrad said, "If you look at our spending, it's the highest it's been as a share of our economy in 60 years, revenue is the lowest it's been as a share of our economy in 60 years, so we're going to have to work both sides of the equation."
We found that Conrad was either correct or very close to correct on the numbers. So we rated his statement True.
See individual fact-checks for complete sources.
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact :
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag