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Death Wish

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The usual collection of Republicans Who Truly Don't Like Americans are assembled once again, this time to do as much damage as they can to Obama's plan to rescue the economy from George W. Bush's eight years of violence and neglect.  Republicans -- as the Pigman so aptly put it on his radio program -- really do want to see Barack Obama (and the nation) fail.

Leading the assault on recovery from the House side is the execrable John Boehner who represents a district in a state -- Ohio -- that is rapidly sinking under an ever-increasing tide of foreclosures, bankruptcies, disappearing jobs, and rising desperation. All of that seems to slide right by this ignorant bastard and you have to wonder why his constituents insist on his kind of representation. But, of course, if that's what they want, by god Boehner is the man to give it to them.

The Republican Bullshit Machine is running 24/7, spewing lies and cheap shots like so many Oxycontins dribbling from Rush Limbaugh's drug-addled, porcine mouth. In addition to the Pigman, the so-called Mainstream Media is having great fun once again insisting there is equivalence in the plans put forth by Obama and the sick gibbering coming from Republicans. (Didn't MSNBC and CNN, et al, do enough of that during Bush's utterly failed presidency?  Equating Bush's incoherent babbling with Democratic attempts to resist policies designed to fail. Shouldn't they stop?)

Last week the Center for American Progress Action Fund issued a report titled "Right-Wing Myths About The Stimulus."  (My only complaint is the use of the term "right-wing."  The Republican Party has no "right-wing." It is "right-wing" in its entirety.)  Among the report's conclusion:

Republican Lie #1: SPENDING IS NOT STIMULATIVE:   In response to the stimulus plan, conservatives on the House Budget Committee released a report stating that the proposal "pours taxpayers' money" into projects, "many of which may be worthy in themselves, but have little to do with 'stimulating' the economy." Harvard professor Robert Barro derided the plan as "voodoo economics," while right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin claimed that it will "at most be useless." However, an analysis by Moody's found that government spending results in more significant "bang for the buck."  For every dollar invested in specific types of spending, the boost in real GDP is more than $1.30. The most benefit comes from extending unemployment benefits ($1.64) and increasing food stamps ($1.73), but strong returns result from infrastructure investment ($1.59) and aid to state and local governments ($1.36), as well. Furthermore, Moody's also noted, "A well-timed, targeted, and temporary stimulus could in fact cost the Treasury less in the long run, since a debilitating recession would severely undermine tax revenues and prompt more government spending for longer."  Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's and former adviser to Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) presidential campaign, released his analysis of the House plan on Wednesday, and concluded that it would "provide a vital boost to the flagging economy," without which full employment would not return until 2014.

Republican Lie #2: The STIMULUS WON'T CREATE JOBS:   Last week, Boehner claimed, "When it comes to slow-moving government spending programs, it's clear that it doesn't create the jobs or preserve the jobs that need to happen."  Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said that "even if consumption were to bump up, it would not lead businesses to expand and to add jobs."  However, as former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explained, "The stimulus plan will create jobs repairing and upgrading the nation's roads, bridges, ports, levees, water and sewage system, public-transit systems, electricity grid, and schools." It stands to reason that investing in infrastructure is going to lead to job creation, as someone needs to be hired to actually complete the various projects. By investing $100 billion in clean energy infrastructure alone, the Center for American Progress (CAP) has estimated that 2 million jobs can be created in the next two years. Aid to states through bolstering Medicaid also "generates business and gets people into jobs," as a recent report by Families USA showed: "The new dollars pass from one person to another in successive rounds of spending, generating additional business activity, jobs, and wages that would not otherwise be produced." Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Christina Romer and Vice President Biden aide Jared Bernstein, meanwhile -- by using the "1% of GDP equals 1 million jobs rule of thumb" -- estimated that a stimulus plan will create or save three million jobs. According to their calculations, "30% of the jobs created will be in construction and manufacturing," while "the other two significant sectors that are disproportionately represented in job creation are retail trade and leisure and hospitality."

And, saving the biggest pile of steaming Republican bullshit for last...

Republican Lie #3:    PERMANENT TAX CUTS ARE THE BEST STIMULUS: The only stimulus idea that conservatives are wholeheartedly supporting is permanent tax cuts. At a hearing before the RSC, Romney, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist all claimed that the stimulus should include permanent corporate tax cuts, while Barro claimed that fully "eliminating the federal corporate income tax would be brilliant."  But CAP's Will Straw explained, "The track record for such steps is poor in general, but they are particularly ill-suited for a recessionary period. After all, the reason that businesses and individuals are not investing at the moment has little to do with the taxes they may pay in the future and everything to do with a fear of losing money because there is no demand in the economy." The Heritage Foundation, meanwhile, proposed an "alternative" to the House stimulus: "permanent tax reductions such as the ones Congress passed in 2003." "Tax cuts like those have a proven track record of encouraging economic growth," wrote Heritage. But this is simply the same supply-side approach adopted by the Bush administration, and the evidence that it helps economic growth is "weak at best." An analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund shows that every $10 billion spent on this kind of cut would create or save just 10,000 jobs, "versus nearly 60,000 jobs which could be created or saved by extending unemployment benefits and food stamps or investing directly in energy, transportation and education infrastructure." Furthermore, permanent measures will exacerbate the long-term debt much more than temporary measures will.

Once again -- always -- the biggest threat to this nation's future, its families, its security, its progress, its attempt to establish an ethical center, its morality and its decency is the Republican Party and its deeply entrenched media propaganda machine.

Surely to god we've finally figured that out, right?
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Mike Malloy is a former writer and producer for CNN (1984-87) and CNN-International (2000). His professional experience includes newspaper columnist and editor, writer, rock concert producer and actor. He is the only radio talk show host in America to have received the A.I.R (Achievement in Radio) Award in both (more...)
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