Dem Rep. Ellison Defends CBO Report: Americans Work Way More Than Other Countries

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JONATHAN KARL: Yes. Well, but the CBO report, which showed that the equivalent of 2 million-plus workers coming out of the economy was a gift to you guys.

But did you overplay it? I mean, this was --

REP. TOM COLE (R-OK): Oh, I don't think so. Look, ObamaCare has been an issue from day one that has hurt Democrats and helped Republicans, costing the House; I think it ate into the president's reelection totals. It's hurting them now. Not going to go away because it's fundamentally a flawed, bad policy. And anything that discourages work -- and that's essentially what the CBO found, that this discourages some people from working, not a good thing at a time when the economy's still struggling.

KARL: But the CBO report did not say that it was going to result in 2 million fewer jobs.

COLE: I didn't say that.

KARL: Right.

COLE: Either. But it does --

(CROSSTALK)

(LAUGHTER)

COLE: Yes, what the CBO report does say is that we're going to lose 1-2 percent of hours worked because of this. And you know, you can argue that's a good thing. I've heard that argument, give some people some choices and I have no doubt in some cases it is.

But you know, again, discouraging work is not something we need to be doing right now. Making our economy marginally less productive is not a good thing.

And again, there's a -- it's not like this is the only flaw in ObamaCare. We've got a raft of them to talk about.

REP. KEITH ELLISON (D-MN): What the Congressional Budget Office is saying is that we're going to discouraged kids having to have latchkeys. We're going to have parents being able to come home, working reasonable hours; people are going to be able to retire. People might be able to actually cook dinner rather than have to order out and get some takeout.

I mean, the fact is, is that if Americans can have more choices to open up a new business they've been wanting to start, this is a good thing. You know, if you look at international comparisons country by country, Americans work way more than an average of industrialized countries around the world.

And you know, we might want to look at our work -- our work-life balance and this is something that gives us a great opportunity --

COLE: One of the reasons why Americans live better than people around the world because they do on balance --

ELLISON: Well, what about Germany and what about Denmark, what about -- I mean, the fact of the matter is we need a better work-life balance. Ask a working mother, OK, if she could use a few more hours in a day to take care of her family.

That's what's really going on.

COLE: Great spin. I don't think it is going to work --

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