I don't want to subscribe to a news magazine that isn't interested in facts.
This is why I emailed Newsweek today: "Please cancel our subscription. We don't want a refund. We just don't want to see your magazine in our mailbox anymore."
Ever since Newsweek became a weird combination of what it was before, and Tina Brown's "Daily Beast" online site, I've been enjoying the magazine less and less.
I can get bizarre stories and opinionated rants for free on the Internet. What I wanted from Newsweek is what I get from TIME: thoughtful analysis and intelligent commentary.
But this week Newsweek featured an anti-Obama opinion piece by Niall Ferguson as its cover story. Worse, Paul Krugman caught Ferguson in a blatant lie.
There are multiple errors and misrepresentations in Niall Ferguson’s cover story in Newsweek — I guess they don’t do fact-checking — but this is the one that jumped out at me. Ferguson says:
The president pledged that health-care reform would not add a cent to the deficit. But the CBO and the Joint Committee on Taxation now estimate that the insurance-coverage provisions of the ACA will have a net cost of close to $1.2 trillion over the 2012–22 period.
Readers are no doubt meant to interpret this as saying that CBO found that the Act will increase the deficit. But anyone who actually read, or even skimmed, the CBO report (pdf) knows that it found that the ACA would reduce, not increase, the deficit — because the insurance subsidies were fully paid for.
Now, people on the right like to argue that the CBO was wrong. But that’s not the argument Ferguson is making — he is deliberately misleading readers, conveying the impression that the CBO had actually rejected Obama’s claim that health reform is deficit-neutral, when in fact the opposite is true.
Ferguson is trying to equivocate his way out of being caught in a falsehood. Unconvincingly. The insurance provisions of the Affordable Care Act can't be separated from the entire Act, as he's attempting to argue.
That's like saying our household budget is running a huge net cost because we spend so much money. Well, yeah. We also have income sources which equal or exceed our spending.
Likewise, the Affordable Care Act spends money to help thirty million people or so to get health insurance. The Affordable Care Act also has income sources which result in a net surplus of revenues over expenses, thereby reducing the federal deficit.
You've lost a subscriber for a very good reason: you're no longer a reliable source of factual news. I hope other Newsweek subscribers also cancel their subscriptions. That's the only way to send Tina Brown a message:
Turn Newsweek around; make it a solid news magazine again, not a frothy, frilly assemblage of unfactual opinion pieces.