DECONSTRUCTING THE LIES OF CONSERVATISM
Some truth behind conservative BS.
DECONSTRUCTING THE LIES OF CONSERVATISM
Senate Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell (R-KY) went on CNN today and was interviewed by Candy Crowley. As the most senior member of the Republican party … he has been the chief political tactician in the Senate to block as much of President Obama’s agenda as possible. And everything that Mitch McConnell says in this interview is in lock step with the conservative worldview. So – we’re doing some actual fact checking here.
The Republican solution as explained by Mitch McConnell:
- Eliminate Obamacare i.e. your guarantee to healthcare
- Extend tax cuts for the top 1% of highest income earners
- Reduce regulation on Wall Street and corporations
If you do those three things – God almighty himself will shower you in a rainbow of Skittles and puppy dogs and all of the world’s problems will just go away. </sarcasm>
Now – some critics of mine might say that I’m excessively partisan and biased. My response to that is simple. Neither party is completely honest … but to simply casually dismiss them both as being dishonest by labeling it a bi-partisan problem isn’t honest either. There seems to be a false equivalence of blame here … but the blame is not equally proportioned. It’s not even close.
We’re going go analyze an 8 minute interview between Mitch McConnell and Candy Crowley at CNN to deconstruct this box of inaccuracies and falsehoods. Let me be clear – it takes literally HOURS to highlight how many lies a Republican can spout off in 8 short minutes. And they do this every single day … every single day.
Mitch McConnell says:
“the principle reason that we’re having this economic trough is what the government is doing to the private sector. You know the president keeps talking about public sector employees. Unemployment in the public sector is 4.2% … we have got to get the private sector going. That’s the only way you have job growth which creates revenue for the government. Everything this administration has done Candy has taken us in the wrong direction.”
Now – there is no such thing as public sector unemployment and private sector unemployment as a %. The Bureau of Labor statistics doesn’t track this … and I’ve never heard anyone be so callous as to make this up. If you’re a public sector worker … and you go to work as a private sector worker … or vice versa – what are you now?
There is however such a thing as public sector hires and public sector layoffs … same for the private sector. And here is what we know about the public sector:
- Here is what the vast majority of civil servants ACTUALLY do … teachers, police, firefighters. You know – union thugs. (source)
- If government hiring had stayed at the same rate as either Reagan or George W. Bush … unemployment would be at 7% today. (source) and (source). Cuts in government jobs have cost 1.7 million jobs.
- As far as the private sector goes – there have been 4.2 million private sector jobs created since January of 2010. (source)
- As Paul Krugman writes – President Obama’s record on jobs “has been unambiguously better than Mr. Bush’s”. 70% of all public sector job losses come from states where Republicans have control. (source) and (source)
Mitch McConnell says:
“For two years – the administration was able to do everything they wanted to … they borrowed, they spent, they had the government takeover of American healthcare. That’s all in place … why don’t we try doing things doing things that get the private sector … going again.”
- During Obama’s term – the Republican minority abused a Senate rule called the filibuster that would require 60 votes in the Senate to beat. In fact – in Obama’s first year in office … Republicans in the Senate used it a record 112 times to block legislation from passing. That is 18% of all of the votes in the Senate according to McClatchy (source). Obama’s 2nd year in office was the 2nd highest number in history with 91 filibusters by the Republican party only exceeded by Obama’s first year in office. So – no … the administration wasn’t able to do everything it wanted … not even close.
- He says “they borrowed, they spent”. The insinuation of course is that President Obama is a “tax and spend” liberal with “big government” etc etc. Here’s a fact for you. Government spending under President Obama is less than any president in the past 60 years. That was rated “mostly true” by Politifact. (source)
- Senator McConnell says there has been a “government takeover of healthcare”. That claim was rated as Politifact’s LIE OF THE YEAR 2010. (source)
- Another point regarding President Obama “being able to do everything he wanted to” … as we’ve written in “The Republican Congress is Killing the Economic Recovery” – Republicans have been blocking jobs bills one after the other.
June 24th, 2010: GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill Once Again, Dems Giving Up (Open Congress)
July 29th, 2010: Republicans block small business plan in Senate (Reuters)
September 28th, 2010: GOP Blocks Bill to Punish Companies that Move Jobs Abroad (CBS News)
November 18th, 2010: House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits (USA TODAY)
November 18th, 2010: Republicans vote unanimously against equal pay for women bill (Raw Story)
December 9th, 2010: Senate Republicans block 9/11 health bill (Reuters)
October 11th, 2011: Senate Republicans block Obama’s jobs package (CBS News)
October 20th, 2011: Senate blocks money for teachers, firefighters (WaPost)
November 3rd, 2011: Republicans block $60bn infrastructure bill (Financial Times)
December 11th, 2011: Senate blocks payroll tax-cut extension (MSNBC)
March 29th, 2012: Republicans Block Repeal of Oil-Company Tax Breaks Obama Sought (Business Week)
April 17th, 2012: Senate GOP blocks Obama’s ‘Buffett rule’ for minimum tax rate on millionaires (Fox News)
May 8th, 2012: GOP blocks Senate debate on Dem student loan bill (Associated Press)
Even Mitt Romney’s former adviser admits the Republicans are “rooting against the economy”. (source)
Mitch McConnell says:
“Things like Obamacare, things like over-regulation are causing companies not to hire … What we ought to be doing is extend the current tax rates for another year with a hard requirement to get through to comprehensive tax reform one more time.”
- Regarding the Bush tax cuts – the Senate Minority Leader – Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing for an extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans again. President Obama has said that he will veto this. Both parties agree that the tax cuts for the middle class should be extended but the Republicans will not allow for those tax cuts to be extended for the bottom 98% of American household incomes unless Democrats sign on to tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.Now – McConnell and other Republicans have pushed for permanent tax cuts in the past … it is likely that he is doing this so he can get some Democrat support. Democrats are in a frenzy over losing their control of the Senate and a small minority are in support of extending ALL of the Bush tax cuts.If a one year extension were to be passed and the Republican party were to win either control of Congress and potentially the Presidency … they would easily just pass the Bush cuts with additional tax cuts for the wealthy under “reconciliation” which allows for tax only matters to be passed on a simple majority for a minimum of 10 years. Passing a vote under reconciliation requires only 51 votes as opposed to standard rules which require 60 votes to pass a filibuster which Democrats would likely engage in. The original Bush tax cuts were passed under reconciliation rules and with 51 votes.
- Regarding his point about why companies aren’t hiring … well – that’s completely bogus. The Federal Reserve actually surveyed businesses and they found … the #1 factor inhibiting hiring is DEMAND. (source).
There is uncertainty about the cost of health insurance for two major reasons. First – insurance companies spent over $100 million in advertising to confuse the public about the benefits of the law. Indeed – most people actually agree with the elements of Obamacare when they don’t know it’s Obamacare (source). A recent poll found 60% of Americans didn’t REALLY know what was even in the healthcare law (source).Secondly – there have been challenges in court and constant calls for repeal from the Republican party; quite literally – NO ONE can have certainty about the law as long as Republicans continue to base their policies around repealing past laws – not even proponents of the law. Now that the Supreme Court has settled the Constitutionality of it all … that leaves Election 2012 to decide whether Republicans will be in a position to repeal it.
- Taxes for individuals under President Obama are at their lowest point since the 1950′s. (source). President Obama has passed tax cut after tax cut. 1/3 of the stimulus plan he passed when he first came into office was tax cuts for the middle class. He has passed payroll tax cuts … he has extended the Bush tax cuts … he has given tax credits to small businesses 17 times …. Obamacare has a tremendous # of tax credits (and tax hikes on large corporations). He has cut taxes A LOT.
Mitch McConnell says:
“this is the most tepid recovery … if it is a recovery … from a deep recession in American history. The economy is just sputtering along. And the reason for that in my judgement is because of what the administration chose to do … spend, borrow, pass this new Obamacare law with it’s penalty tax … it’s mandate tax. All of this is slowing the economy down.”
- The Great Recession that Obama inherited started in December of 2007. He didn’t take office until 13 months later. By that time – it was on the same glide path as the Great Depression. No one gives you credit for stopping a train wreck but the prescriptions that the Republican party prescribed were right out of the mouth of Herbert Hoover and have been consistent with that of the heads of state in Europe who are now struggling through a double dip recession because of their austerity measures. If you compare the Great Depression with the Bush Economic Crisis (source) – you’ll see considering the severity of the drop off … it could have been much, much worse.
- If the recovery is tepid (and it is due to Republican obstruction) … why did an extension of the Bush tax cuts – that have existed for 11 years now – not fix the problem? Republicans have been promising that tax cuts for the rich will solve all the world’s woes … if only we would double down on the trickle-down economic theory that Republicans have been selling (and winning) the past 30 years … then they promise the world would be a bowl of peaches and everyone wins a pony.But – Obama passed the Bush tax cuts and more. Corporate profits are at an all time high (source). Government spending is at a 60 year low. Taxes for Americans are at their lowest since the 1950′s. Why hasn’t the economy fixed itself yet? But “tepid” needs to be clear … this administration has created 4.2 million private jobs since January of 2010. That’s the definition of “tepid” just so we’re clear. But that also highlights just how big the hole was that Obama inherited.
- The Obamacare “mandate tax” or “penalty tax” as McConnell refers to it as … is a duplicate of what Governor Romney passed in Massachusetts. Their state’s unemployment is lower than the national average … and they have 98% of their state’s citizens insured. Not one American has had to pay a mandate penalty just yet … and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 1.2% of Americans will have to pay a mandate penalty. Many Americans and small businesses are going to have tax credits …. thus lowering their tax burden but the Republican doesn’t want to talk about that. You can read more about how Obamacare actually impacts the economy and YOU HERE. Most of Obamacare doesn’t take effect until 2014 … but somehow THAT is what is dragging down the economy. Got it?
Lastly – if you really want to understand why we’re even in this mess to begin with … it’s simple. The economic crisis was brought on by an economic philosophy where privatization and smaller government are worshiped like a false god. Allowing banks to self-regulate and eliminating laws over the past 30 years that were put in place after the Great Depression to protect Americans from the financial sector is a failed ideology.
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