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Krugman Smears 'Death Panel' Critics

Sunday, 14 Nov 2010 07:21 PM

After an explosive interview Sunday morning in which he referred to using “death panels” to rein in runaway deficits, economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman claimed he had said the same thing before.

In a blog post written after his contentious participation in a panel discussion on “This Week with Christiane Amanpour,” Krugman said that he had used such language before and linked to a single column that mentioned death panels in passing.

But Krugman failed to mention that he has devoted at least a half dozen columns to mock conservatives and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin over the use of the term “death panels.” Palin used the term in reference to language in the Obama healthcare plan that urged seniors to plan their deaths. That, coupled with Medicare cutbacks in the plan, resulted in the "death panel" coinage.

In a review of Krugman's columns over the last two years, Newsmax uncovered these scathing references to death panels in which the Nobel laureate frequently calls Republican leaders liars for using the term:
  • August 13, 2009 "Right now, the charge that’s gaining the most traction is the claim that health care reform will create “death panels” (in Sarah Palin’s words) that will shuffle the elderly and others off to an early grave. It’s a complete fabrication, of course."
  • August 20, 2009 “It seems as if there is nothing Republicans can do that will draw an administration rebuke: Senator Charles E. Grassley feeds the death panel smear, warning that reform will “pull the plug on grandma,” and two days later the White House declares that it’s still committed to working with him.”
  • February 25, 2010 “So what did we learn from the summit? What I took away was the arrogance that the success of things like the death-panel smear has obviously engendered in Republican politicians. At this point they obviously believe that they can blandly make utterly misleading assertions, saying things that can be easily refuted, and pay no price. And they may well be right.”
  • August 30, 2009“Moderate Republicans, the sort of people with whom one might have been able to negotiate a health care deal, have either been driven out of the party or intimidated into silence. Whom are Democrats supposed to reach out to, when Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who was supposed to be the linchpin of any deal, helped feed the “death panel” lies?”
  • October 4, 2009 “The Republican campaign against health care reform, by contrast, has shown no such consistency. For the main G.O.P. line of attack is the claim — based mainly on lies about death panels and so on — that reform will undermine Medicare. And this line of attack is utterly at odds both with the party’s traditions and with what conservatives claim to believe.”
  • March 21, 2010: “Politicians like Sarah Palin — who was, let us remember, the G.O.P.’s vice-presidential candidate — eagerly spread the death panel lie, and supposedly reasonable, moderate politicians like Senator Chuck Grassley refused to say that it was untrue. On the eve of the big vote, Republican members of Congress warned that “freedom dies a little bit today” and accused Democrats of “totalitarian tactics,” which I believe means the process known as “voting.”

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