Daniel Henninger of the Wall Street Journal has a piece today using the botched ObamaCare roll-out as evidence that the Democratic Party is a defective commodity and is going out of style.
On ObamaCare, he says
As American voters watch ObamaCare continue its Godzilla-like rampage across the national health-care landscape, it’s worth considering the collateral damage this political monster may be doing to the Democratic brand itself. What if ObamaCare’s problems become a metaphor for the modern Democratic Party?
It is unclear how Henninger justifies comparing ObamaCare to a terrorizing monster. Is he, perhaps, referring to the botched roll-out? If so, that is old news and no longer really relevant: as Paul Krugman points out, the program has been recovering pretty well from the initial horror. In fact, the new CBO report predicts that healthcare sign ups will be over 6 million by the end of March. This is still short of the originally-projected 7 million sign ups, but it is not bad, and certainly not a situation comparable to a giant lizard stomping around your city.
Or perhaps he is referring to that other part of the CBO report that speaks of the reduction in the labor force predicted over the next decade. But this, too, is a heavily abused statistic. As many other bloggers have noted, people choosing to leave the labor force is very different than people losing their jobs. What is more, the over two million people leaving number is not quite what everyone thinks it is. As a matter of fact, it is not necessarily that 2 million people will leave the labor force: rather, people will choose to reduce the hours worked (perhaps down to 0, perhaps not) and when you add all of those hours up, it is equivalent to over 2 million people leaving the labor force. So those who cry that ObamaCare is destroying jobs don’t exactly have their facts straight.
So, the two recent concerns about ObamaCare are not really a big deal, but Henninger uses the ObamaCare debacle as evidence that the Democratic Party is going out of style, comparing the system to a defective commodity that the market will flush out. First of all, this is just wrong: the younger generation is much more left-leaning than right-leaning, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. What is more, once you consider the facts on the current state of ObamaCare, you realize that the effects of the law aren’t a good reason to see the Democratic Party as a broken commodity, anyway.