The GOP’s Singular Focus (on destroying) Jobs, Jobs, Jobs.

The Republicans Party has been sabotaging our economy.

They’ve been doing it since wining the house in 2010 but also in the Senate by filibustering hundreds of bills appointees and heads of agencies.  This is not hyperbole or an exaggeration of any kind and sabotage is not too strong of a word for what they’ve been doing.  It’s observable, and demonstrably provable.

Now, if you’re shrugging your shoulders and saying “Well, no duh!”, read on and get in touch with your inner outrage.  Ambivalence or resignation won’t turn a severely gerrymandered House of Representatives from red to blue.  If you’re incredulous about the claim, read on!  The call to action is not just for those who vote D, but to any and all Americans who value the greatness of our country present and future over their commitment to any political party.

The facts:

Our recovery from the Great Recession is weak by millions of jobs(2 to 4) because of the antics of the Republicans in the House of Representatives and the Senate.  Here’s why:

#1 GOP filibuster of the The American Jobs Act:

The American Jobs Act was a second stimulus bill that would have created or saved somewhere between 1.2 and 2 million jobs.  In it were a number of initiatives that have typically had bi-partisan support. Later on that one all-inclusive bill was split into smaller bills after it was filibustered to increase the likelihood that some elements of it would get debate and passage.  These bills were to be paid for by limiting itemized reductions on luxury items and by removing subsidies to gas and oil companies that have been making billions of dollars in profit quarterly (not revenue, profit!).  That’s right, companies making billions of dollars in quarterly profits were and still are adding our tax dollars to their coffers!  There is no current rationale for these subsidies to remain in place.

The effect of funding the American Jobs Act with the gas and oil subsidies (and some other “luxury taxes”, for example tax refunds for the purchase of private jets) meant the bills were revenue neutral. They wouldn’t add a dime to our deficit while putting on the low end it’s estimated a million Americans back to work making us more competitive(via infrastructure projects, research and development, jobs in education, etc…).  The GOP filibustered these bills(meaning that they wouldn’t let them come up for debate on the senate floor).  They KNEW it was a bad idea to be seen arguing against the merits of bills that created jobs while not adding to the deficit at a time when our recovery was so fragile.  So they aborted all but one of those bills and the veterans jobs bill passed easily.  We moved on.  The oil and gas subsidies continue to be extracted from our tax dollars and given to our most profitable companies and our recovery limps on.  Of course there was controversy about the bills, but those were not an excuse to not debate, that’s where the debate begins.  When millions of jobs hang in the balance YOU DEBATE THE BILL!

#2 Add to this the uncertainty created by the shutdowns/debt limit brinksmanship of the House of Representatives

Studies by independent analysts indicate that the GOP’s continuing threats to default on the debt limit twice, the resulting sequester deal and the government shutdown have resulted in a loss of about 900 K jobsThe Govt shutdown is estimated to have cost us 24 billion dollars over the two weeks and as much as 0.6% of our growth in GDP this quarter(from 3.0 to 2.4 percent).

That’s it.

The “moderate” republicans declined to allow a debate about a paid for jobs bill and the Tea Party republicans have created massive uncertainty to disrupt our economy to the tune of millions of missing jobs. This IS the difference between the vibrant and strong economic recovery we should be having and the sluggish one we have right now.  Economists across the spectrum might not agree on the numbers on the American Jobs Act, conservative ones would probably peg us at minus 1 million jobs and perhaps the Krugmans of the world might estimate the numbers closer to 2 million.  Similarly for the associated costs of the GOP crisis machine(the 900k figure came from a conservative group: the Peter G. Peterson Foundation) but that we’re down literally millions of jobs FOR these reasons is by no means a controversial conclusion.  The rogue actions of the GOP are clearly understood to have hurt/not helped our economic recovery.    There’s not a scenario where doing the opposite actions (not shutting down the government and passing vs killing the American Jobs Act(as one act or in pieces) isn’t better for America in every conceivable way.

QUESTION: So why did they do these things?  What did they hope to achieve for the good of the country?

Repeal of Obamacare?  

Elections pretty clearly decided this issue and the People of United States rejected the GOP’s vision across the board including the repeal of Obamacare. After it’s constitutionality was ratified by the supreme court and the elections happened what real chance did the GOP think they had of accomplishing this goal?  The repeal of the Affordable Care Act was not an achievable goal and they knew that before they shut the government down.  Besides  seriously what sitting President would be willing to scuttle his signature achievement especially one that fixes real problems in our healthcare system.  Killing American jobs for this goal actually ensures that more not less people will need the program.

Deficit Reduction?

This argument coming from GOP leadership about controlling our deficit is laughable. The way one goes about fixing big deficits is enshrined in our very recent history.  It was barely a decade ago that we had annual surpluses of 2 and then 87 billion dollars in successive years.(while that’s not all that impressive many more were project BEFORE Bush)  That can easily be done again with the correct people leading our country.  the Formula is simple:  we need sensible cuts in waste and abuse, we need to create the conditions for full gainful employment and we need tax revenue.  The GOP have actively worked to prevent these things(new revenue, employment and even Federal Govt. consolidation). The cuts that have been put in place aren’t sensible in that they allow vulnerable people to be hurt and don’t encourage infrastructure investments that increase our competitiveness and encourage job creation.

The GOP stand on soapboxes regarding the debt these days but most of them were front and center  voting to tear massive holes in our budget in the days when “deficits didn’t matter.”  Bush still “owns” the lion’s share of the debt that has accumulated with Obama as president.  All those programs operating at massive deficits (wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Tax Cuts, Medicare Part D, etc…) didn’t just stop accumulating debt the minute President Obama became the President.   They just became his problem to deal with.   Their strategy of killing American jobs would only add to the deficit because folk who aren’t working go from being revenue providers to the consumers of government assistance programs.  Each one of them that isn’t working and then in need of assistance is a double whammy to the system.

Smaller Government?

The GOP have blocked Obama from consolidating a number of ancillary programs/departments within the federal government.  So no, they’re not being sincere about this either and the massive military industrial complex is as untouchable as it has every been despite being a pit for dumping tax dollars that are never seen again.  Once again a strategy of killing jobs is bad for shrinking govt.  The more folk who aren’t working the more govt is needed by those folk.

This leaves only the deeply cynical politics of obstruction which has no value for the country.  Clearly they have taken their cues from Rush Limbaugh to heart and to work  towards his failure.  They’ve pursued the strategy they codified the day of his inauguration in a closed door meeting to make President Obama a one termer by literally voting against anything he and the democrats  propose regardless of what it’s actual value in making our country better.

The BIG Question:

Is their quest for political power more important to them than:

your family’s economic health or
your ability to get affordable healthcare or
your children’s education/future prospects
our nation’s infrastructure and our ability to compete in the future?

The maddening and then saddening answer to this question again and again in the 21st century is: Yes, their power is more important to them than any of the above concerns.

Clearly, the republican leadership value their political power above anything they could possible do for an average American.  For the GOP historically(at least since Reagan) doing  for the little guy has been a concession to having the opportunity to have political power.  But in the past they were still able to put that aside when compromise was needed.

Compare as Rachel Maddow has done in this piece Reagan the demagogue and Reagan the President.
  The deal on social security with Tip O’Neil, was a concession to getting his agenda, but in so doing he fixed a real problem established good will with the democrats (and they gave him virtually all that he wanted, all his Congresses were heavily democratic).  Reagan also raised taxes when he saw that tax cuts had gone too far and that it was hurting the nation.  He was not willing to let his ideology get in the way of governing.   Bush decisively failed this test when he refused to pay for anything even two wars by pulling back on the tax cuts he’d championed when we needed the revenue.  The Republican leadership post Bush are failing that same test spectacularly by balking at raising revenues while expecting to get everything they want with no mandate in site and by any means available.

The quality of life for the average American is a casualty to all their elephant in the china shop antics.  Our personal economic pain, our unemployment, our lack of quality schools, our overpriced health care, our decaying infrastructure, any of our needs even if (and especially if) we’re poor and need assistance, etc…, not one bit of any of that seems to matter to them.  They don’t even pretend to care anymore.  The House recently voted to cut food stamp programs while simultaneously providing ample assistance to big business farmers.  Their priorities aren’t the priorities of the average folk in this country and we average folk simply should not be voting for them regardless of whether or how we worship or the color of our skin.  We should be removing them from office everywhere until they show that they actually have their constituents and this country in their hearts and not only their personal ideology and political power.

For Further Consideration: THE BIG PICTURE

What if the babysitter you hired to look after your kids decided to take them hostage and starve them until he or she was given a ransom?  You wrangle and eventually pay to get your children back.  Now, what should happen to such a person after the situation has been “resolved”? Lets say for some crazy reason you decide not to press charges, CERTAINLY you wouldn’t re-hire them would you?  Any trust that they’d have the best interests of you and your children at heart would be irrevocably shattered.

The GOP as hostage taker meme does not just characterize them after this, the latest episode of manufactured malevolence.  It could be applied to them being in power in any capacity in the 21st century thus far.  The waring factions of the GOP “moderates” and the tea party are equally culpable.  We’ve been held hostage by both groups:  one ran up the irresponsible bill that the other has repeatedly threatened to default on.

How was the Iraq war of choice not a hostage situation?  It came out of nowhere,  the GOP leadership rushed into it, executed it ineptly while choosing to put it on a credit card.   It affects us every day as the debt from that war adds to our deficit and crowds out the priorities we have for our communities and the future of the country.

Now add in Afghanistan a war we also didn’t pay for but that was needed after 9/11, deep tax cuts that have never been paid for and that account for the largest share of our deficit,  Medicare Part D (aka the privatization of medicare,  a financial windfall for pharmaceutical companies and a waste of tax payer dollars(not a total waste, but a good program that could have been done much less expensively and that should have been paid for)).  The trillions of accumulated debt from these GOP misadventures is the ransom we’ll be paying for some time for putting them in charge of our country.

In Conclusion…

Keeping all the above in mind, we need to FIRE THE GOP!!  We get our next chance in 2014 by removing their majority in the House of Representatives.  They’ve lost it and we need to get them out of our politics until they remember that they’re supposed to be helping and not hurting the citizens and families of this country to whom they’re given the privilege of serving.

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Decision 2012: Not Impressed

At MSNBC the “We Said No!” commercial was extracted from this Rachel Maddow rant to promote her show shortly after the election.  As commercials go, it’s pretty nifty and set to the right music and in the immediate aftermath of a fairly decisive election away from the “conservatism” of the previous decades, it seemed almost iconic.

But in March of 2013, that commercial and the rant that inspired it only reminds me of why I was not impressed with the results of the election then nor the legislative achievements since. This election was not just a complete rejection of the most extreme conservative policies and tactics, but also a full on embrace of the alternatives. We didn’t just NOT want to be force fed feces spritzed with sugar, we wanted the steak and lobster dinner!

  • We wanted a move towards fair tax policy that gets corporations and the wealthy contributing more to the country’s infrastructure and the education/care of it’s citizen’s while shifting away from war and tax cuts that favor the wealthy.
  • We wanted to do our nation building here at home. To help our fellow struggling Americans and our economy grow, we wanted jobs bills to keep teacher teaching and cops policing our streets, first responders fresh, available and well- equipped and construction workers making our bridges safe and our buildings energy efficient.
  • We wanted living wages for our people and affordable education that’s accessible to as many as who want it so the real element that drives our economy’s job creation and wealth, the purchasing power of the average consumer can be unleashed.
Divided Government continues to be unimpressive and not what we voted for.

Divided Government continues to be unimpressive and not what we voted for.

  • We wanted a whole-hearted embrace of alternative energy sources as the next growth industry in America to make us energy independent, create jobs, and seriously combat the threat of global warming.
  • We wanted immigrants illegal(schemers and dreamers) or not treated fairly(this doesn’t mean the same!).
  • we wanted to be able to vote without being intimidated, misled or left waiting in line for hours on end.

We voted for these things for ourselves and our families across the political spectrum, but on Nov 6th, as I watched the election results come in and as Rachel Maddow waxed on about the rejection of the most extreme tenets of conservatism, I lamented the next two years as more of the same that we’ve had since 2010. The Obama Administration’s assessment that a resounding victory for him in 2012 would “break the fever” of the recalcitrant opposition to him in 2013 and beyond is laughable. Breaking that fever ALWAYS required that we make them irrelevant at the Federal level and with the House of Representatives legally stolen and Harry Reid’s calculated decision to give only lip-service to reform of the filibuster(he makes a different decision if the House is in Democratic hands, but at this point it’s hard to see him as anything more than just another Washington coward).

The Democrats ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to run the table including taking back the House of Representatives and it was clear that despite the almost one and one half million fewer votes(that’s right folk 1,400,000 fewer votes netted Republicans 18 more seats than Democrats somehow) Republicans leaders received there versus the Democrats across the country, they weren’t going to get it.

In Retrospect: The fix was ALWAYS in. The GOP hail mary southern strategy redux was just a ploy to distract from the years long well funded vote rigging procedure that was firmly in place: the Great Gerrymandering of Congressional Districts.

berko.jpg

And so instead of the massive progress(muted by the impact of the Great Recession, an Obama Administration that thought their good works were so brilliant that they were self-evident needing little explanation and no defense, and a stupidly protracted battle over healthcare) we got in Obama’s first two years we get the filibustering, do-nothingness shenanigans of the last two.  And of course we the people, the 99 percent are caught in the cross hairs of this divided dysfunctional government.

Instead of additional revenues and modest cuts we’re left with the Sequester that’s forecast to cause job losses and keep us out of a robust recovery. Most Republican leaders deny it up and down, but in a moment of sobriety(LoL!) House Leader John Boehner declared that in that deal he got 98 percent of what he wanted. NINETY EIGHT PERCENT, you have to be pretty happy to quip in such high, specific percentages. Since the sequester is such a huge part of that deal, you’d have to assume that it was a part of the 98 percent that made him so happy. The GOP members of the bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles Commission (specifically Paul Ryan) charged with crafting an alternative to the sequester, blew it up. A leader Nancy Pelosi in a Democratic House Majority would have solved this problem.

Instead of a move to make Federal Elections more fair across the states, there’s talk of striking down the voting rights act (which stopped most of the election-rigging voter ID tactics by the GOP run states in their tracks), we have Scalia characterizing it as an entitlement to be revoked and Republican led State Institutions trying to institute Congressional District Voting for the 2016 Presidential Election (only in battleground states). Had this method of apportioning the vote been used in the Presidential Election, we’d have President Romney to deal with for the next four years despite him receiving 5 million fewer votes nationwide. This puts in clear perspective how unfairly congressional district gerrymandering is thwarting the will of we the people. It’d take democrats in control of both chambers of the senate to present/consider legislation that would move us towards more uniform and fair federal laws governing federal elections.  Federal law trumps state law period and this is a case (the will of the electorate intentionally thwarted for the benefit of the wealthy few) where that is good news. The House GOP simply won’t take something like that up, EVER.

After the newtown murders and the nearly 3000 (2728 when I added this link) Americans who’ve been murdered by guns in three months since, a serious attitude with serious measures to match are being considered. Meanwhile the gun manufacturer’s front organization the National Rifle Association is taking a cartoonishly aggressive stance to oppose any type of intervention except those that equip yet more people with guns. Their stance on this would be a lot different if they didn’t have the bulwark of the GOP House to hide behind.

So for those of you who in and with the 99 percent who voted in your own interest and are as frustrated as me that the other guys still block everything, call your representatives and send in some post cards to let them know that their days will be numbered if they don’t act in the interest of you and your family’s health care, education, and overall quality of life.  If that doesn’t work(it won’t, but we have to try) start thinking about the mid-terms and overcoming the gerrymandered, stacked deck to get John Boehner and House Republicans out of power in 2014.

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Conservatives: for the love of God and Country vote against your party on Nov 6th! PART 3

It’s time (past time) for you to VOTE YOUR ECONOMIC INTEREST (for you and your family)
Ultimately it’s about your economics and on this front your choice couldn’t be clearer

  • As I’ve discussed in a previous post, trickle down economics has been discredited by a report that the Congressional Republicans wanted to keep from the public.  Those policies favor tax cuts for the wealthiest among us as a means of creating wealth for all of us.  That’s not how President Clinton Presided over the creation of 23 million jobs during his two terms but trickle down economics were in place and did little to boost up President Bush’s anemic 1 million jobs numbers.
  • There’s another clear indicator of why it’s in your interest as well as mine to vote not just for the democratic President but for the Democratic House and Senate as well,  there is a good deal of historical policy making that account for where our states are and it clearly indicates that Red States are more impoverished and use more of our safety net than Blue States. In the cases where red states are economically strong it’s because of their natural resources NOT their policies.

Policies espoused by Republican Leaders that decrease economic vitality of We The People(red and blue!).

  • De-emphasis on education.  College graduates make million of dollars more over their lifetimes than high school graduates and yet there is an anti-education bias in the Republican leadership.  Recently, Rick Santorum vanquished primary opponent of Mitt Romney  called Obama a snob for wanting people to go to college.
  • Hatred of Unions.  Unions in our country are responsible for things we take for granted and that don’t exist in places like China:  living wages, better work conditions, the 40 hour work week, vacation pay, and a variety of other improvements to the quality of life and are widely credited with the creation of the largest middle class in the history of the world.  Republican leaders have actively sought to destroy unions since their inception and most recently via big fights in Ohio and Wisconsin. Paul Krugman talks about this hereIt’s a real eye opener.
  • Republican leaders tend to invest a lot of their time enforcing a narrative that certain groups of people are lazy and are taking from you the responsible citizens via govt programs.  But (and this is a big but) it’s never been up to Govt to tell us how hard we should or shouldn’t work.  It is up to Govt to build a stable, fair society with ladders and opportunities for its businesses and people and to protect the vulnerable among us.
  • This lack of an understanding or the Government’s mission and a lack of commitment to the constituency and a belief that Government is incompetent (but it’s like anything else it’s the people who run or don’t run things who make those thing work incompetently: case in point Hurricane Katrina response versus Hurricane Sandy response) allow for the debacle we’ve seen play out in this Congress which is probably the least productive we’ve had in the history of our country.

The lowlights are stunning:

  • A meeting codifying Obstuction as Governance the day Obama is inaugurated(a month in which Americans lost 820,000 jobs)
  • A downgrade of US Credit because Tea party republicans threaten to default on US Credit in a high stakes game of Chicken on raising the debt ceiling (John Boehner House Majority leader gets a more favorable deal from the President than he was looking for takes it back to his caucus and they reject it).

These illustrate why the President needs people he can work with in Congress.

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Conservatives: for the love of God and Country vote against your party on Nov 6th! PART 2

The ideas and policies that the GOP Congressional Leadership push are not what most Americans(dems and republicans) want.

We have our kooks and you have yours.  But heaven help us all when they form the core of your party leadership as has been and is happening NOW with the Tea Party Republicans in Congress.

  • Most Americans(dems and republicans) think women should make their own health care and reproductive choices (but Republican elected officials at the state and federal level have passed a lot of controversial laws to repeal those rights in what amount to and have been collectively labelled as a “war on women“)

The above are outrageous in some ways and have captured our attention but the next two while less controversial impact us all.

  • We the people (dems and republicans) want taxes to go up on the wealthy as a matter of economic fairness combining cuts and spending in a balanced way to improve the economy through the hiring of first responders, cops, teachers for the education of our children and construction workers for infrastructure investments and to pay down our trillions of dollars in debt.
  • In The GOP Primary debates every candidate (including Romney) were opposed to raising tax revenue by ratios of $10 cuts to $1 revenue.
  • I’ts often said and now it’s been proven.  Trickle down economics = low taxes for the top income earners trickling down as an increase in jobs/opportunities for the rest of us, has been tried for decades and doesn’t work.  Republicans in Congress made respected, non-partisan Congressional Research Service take the report down, because they didn’t like the wording in it but could not object to it’s findings.
  • Most every republican has signed a pledge to some guy named Grover Norquist to not raise taxes under any circumstance and that seems to take precedence over their oath of office and any commitment to their average non-rich constituents.
  • Instead of tax hikes on high income individuals the Romney/Ryan tax plan proposes a 20% tax reduction across the board on top of the existing Bush Tax cuts which become permanent most of which benefits the high income individuals($250k a year).  He begins reducing our 16 trillion deficit by first adding 5 Trillion to it in tax cuts and 2 trillion more in military spending on top of the 1 trillion already built in by the Bush cuts and then proposes to somehow reduce it by closing tax loopholes(some of the biggest of which he refuses touch) The math doesn’t add up and it would necessarily result in a tax hike for average Americans and the gutting of infrastructure and domestic programs.)
  • We the people(dems and republicans) want to protect the social safety net that keeps millions out of poverty, a safety net the democrats have almost exclusively built and nurtured and that Obama has now extended via the Affordable Care Act.
  • Historically speaking, medicare and social security the main portions of that safety net are essentially insurance programs we pay into our whole working lives and that we collect benefits on in our later years.  While these programs are immensely popular with all Americans, the GOP Leadership have opposed the very existence of them ideologically since their inception.  The default position is that the democrats protect and defend these programs and the republicans attempted to privatize portions of them as a means of dissolving them(as has been done with the introduction of Medicare Advantage under Clinton and medicare part D under George W Bush.   Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s VP has chosen to go quite a bit further.

Stand against the party that opposes the things we all want on a bipartisan basis and you will almost always be standing with the democrats.

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Conservatives: for the love of God and Country vote against your party on Nov 6th! PART 1

To my fellow Americans and patriots in the red states and of a “conservative” persuasion, if you cannot bring yourself to vote for Obama and the Democrats do your family, your community and your country a favor and please stay home on election day.  The Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan ticket, our corporatized supreme court, and the GOP Leadership in Congress have shown by their action that they care more about power than doing what’s best for the vast majority of us.  They aren’t fit for the positions they currently have or to which they aspire.  Here’s why…

Mitt Romney is LYING TO US perpetually!  His success depends on our ignorance.

Mr Romney has not often looked presidential during this campaign season:

But the deal breaking lack of character for me has been Mitt’s casual (non-existent) relationship with the truth.  The national stage of presidential politics has never seen such brazen, unapologetic lying.  There have been oft-rebutted never retracted lies at every juncture:

  • He started his campaign by quoting Obama out of context attributing the statement “If we keep talking about the economy we’re going to lose” to him in 2012 instead of Obama saying that about McCain’s campaign in 2008.
  • He continued with an ad saying Obama was gutting welfare reform (an utter lie and a throwback to the shameful Southern Strategy)
  • He themed his convention (a wooden lack-luster affair missing policy positions, and most notable for an angry old man muttering at an empty chair) on the lie that the phrase “You didn’t build that” referred to the businesses folk start instead of the roads and bridges we all use and the government built with tax dollars.
  • His V.P. is nothing short of a con artist parading as a “serious fiscal conservative” but who literally voted for every budget busting move of the Bush Administration.
  • And now in his last desperate gasp he’s lied about the Jeep plant in Ohio saying that GM/Chrysler were shutting that down and sending it to China and attributing that to the President a lie so egregious that GM/Chrysler forcefully rebutted it.

The lies that weave throughout the Romney/Ryan platform (If you care, the sheer volume and scope of Mitt’s lies are chronicled at http://romneytheliar.blogspot.com/ and articles on his lying are found on blogs and news sites alike) is an affront to reasonableness, to the honor of the office they’re pursuing, an insult to our collective national intelligence and disqualifies Mitt as any type of ethical leader fit for the Presidency.

 

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We Built That Convention (on a lie)

At what point do lies become unacceptable?

If in the course of your typical interview, you get caught “red-handed” lying about anything, your chances of getting the job go to zero regardless of what you may or may not know. One of Mr. Romney’s campaign managers should probably inform him of this, if they themselves understand the concept.

These commercials, conventions, stump speeches and Presidential debates are part and parcel of an elaborate, multifaceted, and gruelling interview for the most powerful job in the world and Mr. Romney and crew have delivered whoppers for all to see in every phase thus far. Character and vision play a huge role in the job and the Romney/Ryan ticket’s lack of these is coming through loud and clear.

The Obama campaign and the media have called the blatant lies perpetuated by the Romney camp out so many times that an association is occurring. The lies are beginning to look like a characteristic of his campaign like red feathers on a robin or scales on a fish. Mr. Romney for his part seems unfazed by the criticism. He and his campaign managers obviously believe that there’s enough economic pain and that they have enough money, low information voters, and true believers on their side of the ledger to sweep him into the White House.

And so the lies continue. At the very center of an event that’s supposed to be about Mitt Romney’s vision and character, the words are of the loving father, devoted husband, devout Mormon, successful businessman but the event itself is themed upon a lie intentionally perpetuated for faux outrage and big-business donations. Mr McCain was a deer in the headlights on the economy, but he was no liar. Mr Romney is(a liar).

When you’re seen as an opportunistic liar, why take a phrase from President Obama out of context and make it the theme of your whole convention? EVERYBODY KNOWS what he was saying: you didn’t build the roads and bridges NOT you didn’t build the business. If this line of attack had never been pursued, nobody would now be telling Mitt it was any kind of missed opportunity because it’s weak and makes he and his team seem desperate! Isn’t there anything The President has actually said in context that they could use? The President has said very many things these last 3 and 1/2 years. Well, here’s Elizabeth Warren making the exact same point a bit more clearly! (by the way, I may find a way to work this clip into every post on my blog cause I like it so much!)

Two minutes and 5 seconds of pure truth there my friends. And when she said it, NO CRITICISM TOOK HOLD because 1. She spoke her message clearly and 2. it’s not particularly controversial.

The silliness in the “You didn’t build that” lie isn’t really worth recounting. The big guys are already handling that. Here CNN talks about it, Here The Washington Post does it, Here the NY Times does it, Here Aljazeera enumerates the trend of Romney as LIAR, and here even Fox News acknowledges the controversy while “leaving you to decide” if the statements was indeed taken out of context.

The point being drowned out by the focus on this contextual fib is that the conservative point of view is the true anti-business position being expressed in all this. The contrary view being elevated against Obama’s often expressed belief that government has the roll to support economic growth via infrastructure investment is that:

  1. it is somehow not important to business success,
  2. that these expenditures aren’t worthy of our tax dollars, esp. the tax dollars coming from the top earners, who never needed any “Big Government” infrastructure investment to succeed anyway.
  3. It’s the hard work/risk taken by the entrepreneur that trumps every other ingredient in the success mix.

Well, that position is (and has always been) nonsensical:  It’s NEVER been up to the government to tell people either how hard they should or should not work at their jobs/business or how much/which risk to take to grow a business. Those are personal decisions. However it IS within government’s purview and interests to promote opportunity and increase the potential for success of it’s citizens by investing in education and infrastructure and by establishing rules of fairness to maximize the opportunities for all. This very basic understanding is the essence of why democrats have been historically better for wide spread economic prosperity over the last 100 years than the republicans. Simply put: if you make it easier for more people to succeed, they do.

Until Mr. Obama got the job of President, support for strong infrastructure was not a partisan issue. It is PRECISELY this support that represents the US Government’s commitment TO strong small businesses and citizens alike.  This historic support also helps explain in part our great economic success.  Case in point: The government did build the internet.  Millions of companies and billions of people all over the world use it.  Our most esteemed, innovative, and iconic companies (Google and Apple come to mind) depend and thrive on that internet. The fact that my tax money paid for that to be built is something I’m proud of.  Good work Mr Gore!

Not surprisingly, this twisting of Obama’s words to paint him as anti-business too has been complicated by the fact that a good many participants in Romney’s ensuing ad campaign “You didn’t build that” took full advantage not only of the government-built infrastructure but government loans and services to grow their businesses, even promoting in videos to other business folk ways to get government assistance at the Small Business Administration and Romney himself depended heavily on the government for assistance to help him successfully turn around the 2002 Winter Olympics.

We could chalk it up to politics I suppose and dismiss all this, but I cannot excuse this lie or the many others that have been perpetuated by and exposed in Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s campaign.  They have been caught telling big lies which they have flatly refuse to correct when they’ve been pointed out, brazenly declaring that their campaign is not going to be dictated by fact checkers.  The idea that they feel perfectly fine with this is disturbing.  They’re trying to trick us and their success depends on our ignorance.

Even if Romney brings something to the table he could not work for me(as my President).  Ultimately, I simply wouldn’t trust him. I hope the majority of my fellow Americans feel the same way.

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