As I mentioned earlier today, the MSM is certainly doing all they can to paint the Dem’s situation in the most positive of lights. It should come as no surprise, then, that the various leftish organizations seeking to continue the Dem’s hold on Congress would be coming up with their own stuff. From a link I saw over on Facebook comes this article over at the “Campaign for America’s Future.” Continuing the left’s meme that people are just, frankly, too dumb to be able to vote correctly (a preemptive explanation for the butt-whuppin’ they’re about to get), they bring up this list of 8 things the public supposedly “knows” – and is incorrect about – that they should get educated on before voting. What it is, in reality, is a list of misdirections designed to make people think that things are hunky-dory and that they’d be fools to not sign the Dems up for another 2 years of running our economy into the ground. (To say nothing of taking over huge swathes of what has always been private sector enterprise.)
Hey, I’m no tax lawyer and whatnot, so feel free to take my commentary with a grain of salt. I happen to agree that people should be aware of the issues but you need to go a lot deeper than some editorial content from an admittedly partisan organization. Here we go, from their list:
1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.
The only reason anyone would be making this statement is because our media has constantly used the terms “deficit” and “debt” interchangeably. They are most certainly different things. The misdirection, here, is that the CFAM people are deliberately narrowing the issue to a single term instead of looking at the real problem. (Oh, and Bush’s only deficit that was anywhere near what Obama’s standard operating procedure is included TARP.) The deficit is the amount of money Congress budgets for the next fiscal year that isn’t covered by projected revenues. In other words, it’s the difference between the budget and the income. Debt is the accumulation of all of the deficits that have been run up and not repaid.
CFAM’s 1-liner response (which basically translates to: IT’S BUSH’S FAULT!!!!) again narrows the scope of the answer so they can paint Obama’s fiscal insanity in the best light. Obama may have reduced the 1st deficit he dealt with, but he’s managed to set consecutive record highs after that. His latest, reported in that right-wing nutjob of a publication, Huffington Post, is a record-setting $1.56 trillion. So while Obama hasn’t tripled the deficit, he has absolutely tripled the debt, to the tune of over $13 trillion. And he did that all on his watch under his policies. CFAM wants you to “know” about the 1st deficit Obama worked on, but they’d prefer you remain ignorant of the larger issue and Obama’s performance since then. Not a good start for people who are suggesting you don’t know the whole story.
2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.
Tax cuts do not create debt. How could allowing people to keep more of what they earn – it is their money, after all – create a debt? It only creates debt if, in your view, the money doesn’t belong to them. And what has hurt the economy the most is the uncertainty Obama’s policies, which include proposed higher taxes, thank you, have brought to business owners everywhere. I’d also point out that debt is incurred by spending, not by not receiving. Good try.
3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.
Note the “Bush’s fault” meme again. You’ll see that a lot these next 7 days. Obama didn’t bail out the banks, no. He bailed out the unions. The bank bailout – again, a.k.a. TARP – was done during the closing days of the Bush administration. The bailouts of the auto industry – specifically their unions – and the socialist grab of the healthcare industry as well as the attempted grab of the energy industry are where Obama bailed certain constituencies out. And, for the record, those that Obama has perpetrated are far, far more expensive than TARP and they’ve been far, far less effective.
4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.
“The stimulus worked, but not enough”? That’s like having a roofer tell you that having only half of the holes in your roof leaking rainwater into your living room shows that his repair job worked, but just not enough. The point of the stimulus was to get the economy growing and generating jobs enough that it would do better than had they not thrown somewhere between $787 billion and $900 billion at whatever interests the Dems and Obama needed to pay off. We were told – repeatedly – that without the stimulus unemployment might go as high as 10%. With it, they’d keep it under 8%. Unemployment in September, 2010? Just over 10%.
News flash: The. Stimulus. Did. Not. Work. Those jobs that were allegedly “saved or created” can’t be validated and the fact remains that in the 2 years this administration and their Congressional allies have shoved their agenda down the throats of the American public we’ve have 8 million jobs evaporate. And that wasn’t Bush’s fault, either.
5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.
Another half-truth. Businesses do want customers, yes, and they do hire employees to meet the demand, but only if hiring that employee to meet the demand will result in a profit. They don’t hire people when the tax burden of making that hire exceeds the profit that person can generate. They don’t hire that person when the government is telling them they’ll be forced to pay out bundles of expenses – taxes and otherwise – that make it a net loss to bring that person aboard. And when Congress sets onerous requirements on companies that, for example, exceed a certain number of employees or a certain number of locations there’s an incentive to not hire people and not open up new locations. Taken together those decisions mean jobs that would otherwise be available are never created at all. Besides, what are they suggesting is the alternative? That businesses would be OK having larger and larger chunks of their profitability taken away in taxes? At what point does it no longer make sense to put in extra effort? There’s where your tax cuts come in.
6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.
tant lie. Remember that CBO organization mentioned just 2 points ago as an unimpeachable source? Well, the $1 trillion figure mentioned here came from them. And, really, they’ve actually come out with a realistic assessment that says it’s closer to $2 trillion. This crap about reducing deficits is recycled talking points the Dems used before they crammed the bill through in the dead of night. Not even Obama believes this any more. That these CFAM people would resort this kind of completely discredited nonsense tells you a lot about their honesty and understanding of the facts. They are wrong, and everyone who knows anything about the matter knows they’re wrong.
7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.
Again, a complete falsehood. And again, the CBO is the source saying it’s false. A year ago the CBO predicted that Social Security would start running deficits this year, in 2010. And, lo and behold, they were right. There is no “trust fund” for Social Security and there never has been. From the beginning, the payouts for benefits have always been funded by people currently working. CFAM wants to perpetuate the myth that there’s this massive bank account that everyone’s social security payments go into from which they draw benefits when they retire. Doesn’t happen that way. The money that came in that exceeded the benefits being paid out might have been accounted for in some book or another but it most certainly went out to other government spending. It’s not sitting in Fort Knox collecting interest.
And what’s with this garbage about life expectancy? “Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die?” Life expectancy is a matter of how long you live, not how many of us do. And even if I were to concede that – which I clearly don’t – who cares? More benefits get drawn not only by living longer but by having more people make it to retirement than don’t. So having 1 guy live 20 years on social security or having 20 guys live 1 year on social security makes no difference in the amount paid. In fact, having the later situation actually impacts our current approach harder than the former.
It’s also nonsense that life expectancy hasn’t increased. In just the last 100 years, the average has gone from 45 to over 67 years. CFAM is suggesting that’s not an increase? Or that the increase has leveled out and we can’t get any older? That flies in the face of just the anecdotal information of my own eyes and they aren’t providing any documentation to prove that wrong. Likely because they can’t.
8) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.
Of course, like so many of these “things people know,” CFAM doesn’t provide any links to people who are actually saying these things. And they use the typical “many people think” construct that folks use when they have absolutely nothing to back up their claim. Government spending most certainly does not take money “out of” the economy. Again, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone make that claim. What they do claim – and I agree – is that government spending is far more often wasteful and is rarely (if ever) as efficient as private enterprise. The government also spends money on a lot of things and in a lot of ways that We, the People would never do or consent to, if we had the specific say. Or, indeed, even knew about it. Note, however, the backwards thinking that went into this claim by CFAM. Government spending, they’re saying, is what permits business to grow. As if business would wither and die without the kinds of massive government spending programs CFAM is defending, here? (Except the military, of course. That’s way different, ya know.) Another news flash: businesses grew and thrived without government intrusion for centuries. To suggest that it couldn’t now is just ridiculous.
This isn’t an all or nothing affair, CFAM’s suggestions to the contrary notwithstanding. And no conservative or even Tea Party member I know would ever suggest that it was. There are certainly matters where government involvement and regulation is right and proper and spending on those matters is something I generally support. The issue is that government spending – and, for that, taking – has gotten far too large and far outside the scope of what government is supposed to be doing. This is the issue real voters – as opposed to these phantom “people” CFAM is complaining about – have with the current administration and Congress. They tried to tell them over the summer last year and they got reviled in the press, yelled at by their supposed representatives, and ignored. That was a mistake by the Dems and all of the misdirections in the world won’t change that.
So, by all means, educate yourselves on these matters and on where your candidates stand regarding them. Then head to the polls in a week and make your best call. See you there.