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Debunking the Koch-funded economist's "new math"

The big news today is that conservative economist Charles Blahous is alleging that the Affordable Care Act will increase the deficit—but, as Think Progress notes, Blahous is blatantly revising the way the deficit is calculated in order to fulfill his false conclusion.

Blahous works for the Mercatus Center, a think tank launched and bankrolled by billionaire conservative Charles Koch. (The Koch brothers and their allies have publicly pledged as much as $200 million to defeat President Obama.) Mercatus founder Richard Fink has headed the Koch lobbying operation in Washington, while Charles Koch himself still sits on the Mercatus board of directors and has funded it heavily.

Nonpartisan scoring reaches a dramatically different conclusion. The Congressional Budget Office confirms that the health reform law is fully paid for and will actually reduce the deficit. The CBO estimates that Obamacare will reduce deficits by $127 billion over the 2012–2021 period. And just last month, the CBO updated its estimates to say the law would cost $50 billion less than expected—which will likely mean an extra $50 billion in deficit reduction.

What is certain to increase the deficit, however, is repealing Obamacare, which Republicans like Mitt Romney are campaigning hard to do. The CBO estimates that repeal would add $147 billion to the deficit.

With the general election heating up and right-wingers vowing to spend whatever it takes to defeat President Obama, it won't be the last time we see these well-funded distortions of the truth.