Our nation was gripped by so many fallacies and delusions in 2012 that the whole Mayan calendar end-of-the-world thing didn't even make the list.
Even those apocalyptic prophecies were more plausible than the idea that cutting Social Security will help the deficit, that government spending cuts will jump-start the economy, there were no crimes on Wall Street, or that we live in a "divided nation" whose "center" wants more business as usual in Washington.
Here then, without further ado, are our Top 12 Political Fallacies for 2012.
1. Austerity works.
Last year we said austerity economics was dead. It is. Unfortunately nobody told the politicians. They're still trying to force it onto the people of Europe, even as its effects make the economies there progressively worse.
They're trying to force more of it on us, too. The Republicans want to decimate Social Security, Medicare, roads and highways, education, programs for the poor ... The Democrats offer a more modest form of austerity, but austerity's exactly what the President last proposed to Congress.
If austerity's so good for us, why are they trying to terrify us with the a "fiscal cliff"? Their Monster In the Closet is austerity. Apparently they don't see the irony in that. But there's something else they shouldn't overlook.
Obama will never run for office again, but most of Democrats on the Hill will. Hope they don't forget that -- because we won't.
2. We need less government spending.
The flip side of this delusion is the notion that government spending is our problem. It's not. In fact, right now it's the solution.
We need more jobs to stimulate the economy. Without them, large segments of the population will continue to live in a prolonged state of deprivation unless government does something about it.
We need more better education and more advancement opportunities for our children. And our roads, bridges and schools are crumbling all around us.
Spending cuts aren't even the solution to the Federal deficit -- not in the short term. Government spending falls as a percentage of GDP when the whole economy grows -- and the way to make it grow is by priming the economic pump and building for the future, not with short-sighted spending cuts.
Know who's a real job creator? Someone with a job.
3. Social Security is in "crisis" and we need to cut it.
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