There goes the New York Times’ Paul Krugman again, trying to confuse the Republican faithful with facts. He kindly avoids referring to  the resistance to facts in favor of political faith the “wonk gap,” rather than dishonesty, ignorance or something else harsh. He does note that the “dumbing down” of policy debate extends beyond health care .

But as to health care:


There has been a striking slowdown in overall health costs since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, with many experts giving the law at least partial credit. And we now have a good idea what insurance premiums will be once the law goes fully into effect; a comprehensive survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that on average premiums will be significantly lower than those predicted by the Congressional Budget Office when the law was passed.



All those claims about sticker shock, for example, come from obviously misleading comparisons. For example, supposed experts compare average insurance rates under the new system, which will cover everyone, with the rates currently paid by a handful of young, healthy people for bare-bones insurance. And they conveniently ignore the subsidies many Americans will receive.


Just after Kaiser released a poll showing a strong majority — 57 percent — opposed to the idea of defunding health reform, the Heritage Foundation put out a poster claiming that 57 percent of Americans want reform defunded. Did the experts at Heritage simply read the numbers upside down? No, they claimed, they were referring to some other poll. Whatever really happened, the practical effect was to delude the right-wing faithful.

Facts don’t matter. All of the above and more will be repeated mindlessly — with frequent images of President Obama interspersed — in Arkansas elections next year from U.S. Senator to constable.

You’ll be told, as Rand Paul insists, that the size of the federal government is growing. It isn’t. That global warming is a hoax. That the lack of inflation is a statistical fraud because conservatives were sure  liberal government policies would produce it.

Krugman reminds, again, that it was conservatives and the Heritage Foundation who came up with the health care insurance model now sneered at as Obamacare.

But that was then. Modern conservatism has become a sort of cult, very much given to conspiracy theorizing when confronted with inconvenient facts.   Unfortunately, however, this runaway cult controls the House, which gives it immense destructive power — the power, for example, to wreak havoc on the economy by refusing to raise the debt ceiling. And it’s disturbing to realize that this power rests in the hands of men who, thanks to the wonk gap, quite literally have no idea what they’re doing.