Daily Caller editor in chief Tucker Carlson slammed the White House’s spin on a new Congressional Budget Office report projecting that 2.3 million people will drop out of the workforce due to Obamacare, calling their claim that people can now spend time with their kids and pursue their favorite hobbies “appalling” and “the ultimate elitist argument.”
Carlson joined Weekly Standard columnist Steve Hayes and Associated Press reporter Julie Pace on a Fox News panel to discuss the CBO’s new report, which claims that 2.3 million Americans will leave the workforce due to the Affordable Care Act.
At the daily press briefing, White House economist Jason Furman tried to explain why all is still well.
Furman argued that the report merely indicates that people can now “choose” to drop jobs they do not enjoy — but are keeping because they require health-care coverage — leaving them free to pursue more fulfilling activities.
Pace broke it down.
“What you have is two different ways of characterizing this report,” she explained. “If you talk to Republicans, they say there are going to be nearly 2.5 million jobs that are going to be lost over a decade due to the Affordable Care Act. If you talk to the White House, there are going to be 2.5 million people who are gonna have a choice to leave full-time employment [to pursue other opportunities].”
“Those may be people who decide to stop working altogether, they may be people who decide to stop working altogether, they may be people who decide to go from full-time work to part-time work,” she continued. “What we couldn’t get an answer to today from the White House today is: What is the economic impact of having that many people go from full-time to part-time or unemployment?”
Fox host Shannon Bream further explained the White House’s argument before she punted to Carlson for comment.
“Jay Carney said today that this is an opportunity to spend more time with their kids, to have different work opportunities,” she said.
“I don’t know why I’m laughing, it’s so appalling,” Carlson responded. “Game of them to try, though. ‘You’re not going to be employed full-time and you oughta be excited about that, because there’s a whole world of opportunities out there.’”
He noted the “panoply” of public assistance options that people will have to rely on, not just Obamacare.
“So there is a public cost to people not having full-time work,” Carlson explained. “This is devastating to the Democrats’ prospects in 2014. It’s devastating to the country, I would say.”
Hayes explained that the White House has been “forced to spin these numbers. The problem is the spin just doesn’t work. Either we are going to have 2.5 million fewer people — full-time equivalent — in 10 years, or you are going to have people working the equivalent amount, fewer hours. That’s not good for the economy! It’s not good in any possible way!”
Carlson later added that the spin, even if forced, is insulting. “It’s the ultimate elitist argument,” he declared. “It really is! It’s the kind of argument that resonates in Marin County. You know? ‘I wish I had more — now that I’ve sold my company, the IPO’s been successful, I’m gonna take some more me time!’ That’s just not an argument that people that work for a living can relate to.”
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