Last week New York Times economics columnist and liberal hero Paul Krugman actually said “death panels,” the critique of Obama-care popularized by Sarah Palin and universally mocked by liberals, while discussing the necessity of cutting health care costs.
On January 30, Krugman spoke at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in D.C. (Krugman is out hawking the paperback edition of “End This Depression Now!,” his paean to more government spending on infrastructure and other forms of stimulus.) During the Q&A, Breitbart’s Joel Griffith noted, Krugman was asked about the rising national debt. A truncated version of his remarks follows:
We’re going to need more revenue, we’re going to need, and probably in the end, surely in the end it will require some sort of middle class taxes as well. So again, we won’t be able to pay for the kind of government the society we want without some increase in taxes, not a huge one, but some increase on taxes on the middle class, maybe a value-added tax…. And we’re also going to do, really, we’re going to have to make decisions about health care, not pay for health care that has no demonstrated medical benefits. So you know the snarky version I use, which is, I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble, is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”
This opens Krugman up to charges of hypocrisy, since he called the “death panel” accusation a “smear” in a March 22, 2010 column and an example of the “dishonesty” of Obama-care opponents in a June 29, 2012 column. Does this mean Krugman accepts Sarah Palin’s argument that Obama-care’s cost containment strategy will require health-care rationing?
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