Accuracy in Media

HuffPost is getting pretty desperate in its arguments in favor of abortion here. They’re saying that Dobbs, which overturned Roe, might increase the deficit, and isn’t that a disaster?

The piece, headlined, “GOP No Longer Cares About The Deficit If It Means Women Having More Babies,” argues that since some four in ten births are paid for by Medicaid, each one costing about $18,000, if the number of births rises as a result of fewer abortions, then Medicaid will pay more bills and the deficit rises.

It’s really reaching for a strange, strange, argument. One observation is since when did progressives themselves worry about the budget deficit? Another is that the claimed increase would be around $1.3 billion which is about 0.13% – yes, zero point one three percent – of the current deficit or, in government money terms, a rounding error.

But there’s a useful little trick to use with oddities like that – invert them, then see how they sound.

“Herod justifies first born policy by lower budget deficit,” the piece says.

That doesn’t really work, and if the inversion doesn’t then nor does the original we’re examining.

HuffPost actually ranks at number 26 in American media outlets. It gains some 60 million visits a month from that position. It was founded, and still is, as a determinedly progressive organization.

It’s probably true that the presence or absence of abortion from American life will have an effect on the budget deficit. But unless you’re really, really, stretching for an argument to use it’s really not the point now, is it? It might be about women’s rights, might be about children’s but it really isn’t about 0.13% on or not on the budget deficit.

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