Newsweek’s latest cover story is certainly provocative. In the piece, Harvard professor and former McCain advisor, Niall Ferguson argues that America needs to elect a new president because Barack Obama has failed to live up to his promises.

 Ferguson writes:

In his inaugural address, Obama promised “not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth.” He promised to “build the roads and bridges, the electric grids, and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.” He promised to “restore science to its rightful place and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost.” And he promised to “transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.” Unfortunately the president’s scorecard on every single one of those bold pledges is pitiful.

Ferguson goes onto take the president to task for the slowly recovering economy, asserts the Affordable Care Act will add to the deficit not lower it, and claims half of Americans are footing the bill for the other half.

Welcome to Obama’s America: nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return—almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit. We are becoming the 50–50 nation—half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

Ferguson’s article is a searing indictment of the Obama administration that sounds like it came straight from the GOP playbook, and apparently others are calling foul as well.

While many pundits–Conservatives, Liberals, and Moderates alike–have been very critical of Ferguson’s commentary, leading econonmist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman took it a step further, calling Ferguson’s article “unethical.”

Krugman writes:

We’re not talking about ideology or even economic analysis here — just a plain misrepresentation of the facts, with an august publication letting itself be used to misinform readers. The Times would require an abject correction if something like that slipped through. Will Newsweek?

While Krugman and Ferguson continue to trade barbs, an interesting development came to light. According to a media reporter at Politico, Newsweek doesn’t fact check its articles, so the numbers which Ferguson so handily relies on weren’t verified by anyone else; they took his word for it.

Although the debate surrounding whether or not President Obama should be reelected is a valid one and definitely should be had, entering the debate with faulty facts or skewed points of view does little to further intelligent conversation.

Tags: ,
Like Us On Facebook Follow Us On Twitter
  • Paul

    When will black america get it that both of the main political parties in the US serve only set of interests, one special interest group –

    Business Interests.

    The “beefs” between the Reps and the Dems is not over who can best serve the american people, the 99%, it’s about who can best serve business interests, the 1%.

    check it

    Obamacare makes it compulsory for EVERYONE to purchase healthcare, which means it delivers millions of new customers to health insurnance firms. The 40 odd millions who chose to forego health care (because they couldn’t afford it) are now compelled to get health coverage.

    I’d say the only interests being served there are business interests not PEOPLE INTERESTS.

    If Obama were serving PEOPLE INTERESTS he would have established A SINGLE PAYER health care system. Indeed poll after poll says this is what americans want.

    In all the Obama worship I see on black american sites I NEVER see a policy reason cited as reason the man still has so much support among black americans, other than “it would be worse under the other”</i< guy.


    Well if all you've got is a 'better of two evils' choice, seems to me you should withdraw your support for evil –


    • Laugh

      You have to remember President Obama got what he got fighting the Rethugs tooth & nail. No it’s not perfect but a potential 40 million people will now be able to see a physician and stop clogging up Emergency waiting rooms because they now have insurance. And if you can’t afford to pay you get a voucher that pays for you. College students can stay on their parents plan longer. CHIP is expanded. People aren’t denied services because of pre existing conditions. The list goes on and on! People are always complaining its just never good enough!

  • Paul


    you’re laughing, but i’m just sad that someone like you will fool people.

    You haven’t really challenged my point that Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act serves corporate interests not PEOPLE interests.

    Here’s why

    1) Private health insurers still get 40 million new customers that they didn’t have before. In those places where there is only one large insurer they will have a MONOPOLY – no competitors, and a market of consumers who HAVE to buy what they’re selling – which means they can charge WHAT THEY LIKE.

    2) The concessions, eg – providing coverage for pre-existing conditions, that you mention were made (by private insurers) on the condition that federal government would NOT offer a competing public option and that all americans would be compelled to buy private insurance. Those concession were a small price to that they intend to make YOU pay. Just watch.

    It’ll be a long time before a public option is back on the table.

    3) Those who don’t buy health coverage become criminals. I wonder who that criminalization is going to affect DISPROPORTIONATELY? (rhetorical coz we know who)

    So far i’m not seeing a PEOPLE interest being served here.

    4) You people make much of how much worse things would be under the Republicans, however after a quick google search I learned that Obama’s Health Bill was ripped whole from a Republican health care reform proposal by the Republican Heritage Foundation in the 1990s.

    The Heritage Foundation’s proposal was based on a state-level plan that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney passed as governor of Massachusetts.

    So much for “it would be worse under the other guy”.

    All of which makes the “tooth and nail” battle you claim Obama fought against the Reps to get his bill passed –

    pure theatre

    a show for public consumption.

    The american people aren’t even getting a ‘lesser of two evils’ choice,
    just a choice between two of the exact same EVIL thing. People interests are not being served.

    and just FYI – I’m not american, I live in country that has a National Health Service that is free at the point of delivery and paid for by EVERYONE out of the taxes WE pay.

    I think right thinking american people have EVERY RIGHT to be disatisfied with this sell out (in the most literal sense) of their interests.

    kiss teet

    • Laugh

      “and just FYI – I’m not american, I live in country that has a National Health Service that is free at the point of delivery and paid for by EVERYONE out of the taxes WE pay.”

      I wish you would have just said this upfront. No wonder you make no sense to me & don’t appreciate President Obama’s plan. It has nothing to do with you and will not affect you. You may never understand since you are fully taken care of.

      I see patients everyday who waited years to come in for their illness because they havn’t had insurance. This is their chance at life.

      Cheers or as we Americans sometimes say…. kick rocks.

  • Paul


    well who’s laughing now eh?

    not you

    you seem a lil bent outta shape.



    your response to the points I put for your consideration is basically

    “you’re not american so you don’t get it”.

    You have to admit that’s pretty weak, especially since everything I’ve said are arguments that have been made by AMERICAN (non-republican) critics of Obamacare.

    I recommend reading more widely before you attempt to trash someone’s argument (like how I trashed yours) :-)

    Read up on the “pros” and “CONS” of the issue in dispute. Read as many DIFFERENT perspectives as you can find, and then read the arguments against them –

    before you open your mouf and make yourself look

    kinda dumb.