In 1984, one of the minor characters early on disappears because he was just too enthusiastic in his zeal for Big Brother. I always think of this guy when Paul Krugman unfurls his refreshing candor and explains the full implications of his brand of political economy. The below clip is from a talk Krugman gave in DC back in February, but it confirms the “paranoid” warnings of those claiming that death panels and middle class tax hikes are on the way. Krugman literally says this. (HT2 Lennie Jarratt)
The smoking gun analysis starts at the 1:00 mark when Krugman explains:
Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising…there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs. The year 2025, the year 2030, something is going to have to give….We’re going to need more revenue….We won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society will want without some increase in taxes…on the middle class, maybe a value added tax….And we’re also going to have to make decisions about health care, doc pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits. So the snarky version…which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble, is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.
I encourage you to click the video (you can just start at the 1:00 mark) to see Krugman’s nonchalance and the audience laughter. Ha ha ha, the government deciding who lives and dies because it’s taken over health care, and right-wingers are routinely mocked for making the exact same claim. How droll.