What’s the Biggest Piece of Disinformation Circulating Right Now? That the Republican Party is Still a Serious Party.Sunday, May 29th, 2011
Over at economist’s view, economics professor Mark Thoma has asked readers to identify the biggest disinformation circulating right now, and how best to debunk it.
Not a bad question to ask, but there’s so much disinformation circulating right now that selecting one particular item misses the really big piece of disinformation that allows all the other disinformation to exist: The Republican Party is a serious party. The current version of the GOP is not only NOT serious, it’s darn close to being stark raving mad. Consider just a few pieces of serious disinformation Republicans constantly cite.
- Tax cuts always pay for themselves. Clinton left Bush with a budget surplus and eight years later, after giving tax cuts primarily directed to millionaires, the national debt went from $5.6 trillion to more than $10 trillion by the time Obama was sworn in office. Totally not serious.
- The financial industry doesn’t need regulating and financial markets self correct anyway. Exhibit No. 1 here is the Great Recession. Some self correction that one. In addition to putting 11 million people on the unemployment line government revenues plunged while expenses on unemployment insurance and other safety net spending soared, increasing annual deficits by $1.5 trillion so that three years after the collapse, the debt stands at more than $14 trillion. Don’t regulate finance? Not serious.
- Firing people creates jobs. Huh? Republicans believe if a lot of people are fired, preferably public school teachers, then they will go into the private marketplace and drive down wages there, which will somehow create jobs. I’m not making this up. It’s right in the Republican Budget created by Rep. Paul Ryan. You know, the budget the House has already passed. Completely not serious.
- Reject any raise in the national debt ceiling. Default instead. This is more than not serious, this is stark raving mad.
- Ending Medicare and shifting health costs more on to family budgets, without recommending any way to curtail health care increases, is not serious. Ryan’s Medicare ‘fix’ provides the elderly with vouchers that are guaranteed not to keep pace with health care costs. He figures old people will shop so well costs won’t increase. If you believe in that concept, you are not serious.
- Obama doesn’t have any plan to slow the rise in health care costs. Yes he does. Health care reform passed last year over unanimous Republican opposition and, according to the non partisan Congressional Budget Office, if left alone the legislation will save as much as $200 billion the next ten years, and much more than that beyond the next decade. It’s 2000 pages long, which is too long, but calling this legislation ‘no plan’ is simply not serious.
- We must cut taxes more, particularly for the wealthy and the corporations they own, and keep billion dollar subsidies for immensely profitable oil companies. And in order to still be able to balance the budget we must decimate Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and just about all other government programs that don’t directly help the rich. In other words, let the public at large pay for the tax cuts enjoyed primarily by the rich. This advice falls into the stark raving made bin.
- We must keep $8 billion in subsidies to corn growers so we can use corn to make ethanol, a gasoline additive. This means we now tie the price of food directly to the price of petroleum. The only thing serious about this subsidy is that it’s seriously stupid.
- Facing rising short term deficits caused by tax cuts and not paying attention to what our financial industry was doing, Republicans want to ‘double down’ and cut taxes more while continuing to not regulate the financial industry. Stark raving mad. They don’t deserve our attention, much less our vote.