Monday, August 13, 2012

Obama Policies Cause 60,000 Deaths

Bill Burton, the former White House Deputy Press Secretary and advisor to Priorities USA, the pro-Barack Obama Super PAC responsible for a much-reviled ad that links Mitt Romney to the death of a steelworker’s wife, today told The Huffington Post that he is proud of his ad. He called it “wildly successful” due to the attention and free air time that it has received. However, unlike your average Real Housewives star, not all press is good press in politics.

“The truth is, there are a lot of sad stories that came as a result of what happened when Mitt Romney was in business,” Burton said to The Huffington Post. “I don’t think those stories should be off limits because they’re particularly heartbreaking.”

“Our spots have been factual and well within the bounds of what we think is appropriate,” Burton continued.
So, while the link to Romney at Bain is tenuous in the extreme, he claims the story is valid becuase the woman did in fact get cancer and die.

Romney left at least 2 years prior to steel plant closing.
Steel company in trouble, hence Bain involvement.
Obama bundler Lavine was in charge.
Prop Soptic turned down buyout.
She still had health insurance through her employer.
Septic turned down health insurance due to her already having same.
The Romney Cancer diagnosed 8 years after he left Bain.
Well then, this story is clearly within those bounds...

The Deadly Impact of President Obama’s Economic Policies: 59,757 Needless Deaths…and Counting
Here’s a simple chain of reasoning.

1. There’s a well-established relationship between a nation’s prosperity and the lifespan of its people (see Figures 1 and 2 in my 1992 article in the Journal of Regulation and Social Cost).

2. Obama’s policies have dampened growth in the United States (according to data from the Congressional Budget Office and the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, actual GDP (in today’s dollars) is $836.6 billion below potential GDP).

3. Based on these two simple facts, we can conclude that the foregone growth is causing needless premature deaths.

But how many deaths are being caused? Do we have to make a wild guess?

It turns out that there’s a considerable amount of academic research on this topic. It doesn’t make for exciting reading, unless you like learning about concepts such as “usable income” and “value of a statistical life.” Or how about “valuation of statistical mortality risk” and “implicit income gains.”

But the academics find ways of measuring the relationship between economic performance and mortality.

To make sure we’re being fair, we’ll first look at the research compiled by Cass Sunstein, who served as President Obama’s Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Writing back in 1997, he compiled 11 studies from the late 1980s and early 1990s that estimated that a premature death was caused when income fell by some amount between $1.8 million and $12.4 million (roughly between $3.3 million and $22.9 million in today’s dollars).

There’s also a very thorough study by Ralph Keeney of the University of Southern California. He found that an additional fatality was linked to income losses (adjusted to today’s dollars) of between $8.42 million and $23.59 million.

“This is more fun than a death panel!”

Looking over much of this research, it appears that $14 million is a reasonable middle-ground estimate of how much foregone income is associated with a needless death.

Now let’s do some simple math to get an estimate of the total number of preventable deaths caused by the economy’s sub-par performance during Obama’s reign. Going by the lofty standards of Priorities USA super PAC, we’ll call this number the “Obamanomics Death Toll.”

So let’s divide $836.6 billion (our earlier estimate of foregone growth) by $14 million and we get an estimate that Obama’s policies have caused 59,757 deaths.
This is similar to the kind of economic and statistical models that scientists use to predict excess deaths due to pollution, such as air borne particulates from power plants or diesel exhaust, or arsenic in water supplies.  Just because such deaths are entirely statistical, doesn't make them any less dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment