The art of using tricky, superficially plausible, and fallacious methods of reasoning is the preferred modus operandi politicians often use to garner support or opposition to a particular issue. Republicans spew more sophistry and outright lies in a short timespan than normal human beings do in an entire lifetime, and they are successful because the media is remiss to point out their deceptive rhetoric and the average American is too lazy and stupid to check the veracity of their statements. Nearly any Republican assertion is easily refuted, and yet they appear on political talk shows to criticize President Obama’s policies with impunity, and yesterday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined House Speaker John Boehner in arguing that addressing the nation’s deficit is the most important problem facing America.
McConnell, a typical Republican liar, said “At some point here, this president needs to become the adult, because the Speaker and I have been the adults in the room, arguing that we need to do something about the nation’s most serious long-term problem.” First and foremost, McConnell and Boehner are as far removed from being adults, or responsible legislators, as Earth is from Saturn. Remember, McConnell said three-and-a-half years ago that Republicans number one job was not governing, but making President Obama a one-term president and it sounded like a petulant little brat who didn’t get his way. Subsequently, Republicans obstructed every piece of legislation to improve the jobs picture, reduce the deficit, or grow the economy. What the childish Republicans have focused on is attacking women, the poor, elderly, gays, and safety nets that benefit millions of Americans and eliminates millions of jobs.
McConnell went on to repeat a favorite Willard Romney lie that fiscally, president Obama has made the economy worse today than when he came into office. Mitch said that “if the president’s going to ask us to raise the debt ceiling, we do need to have another serious discussion about trying to do something significant about the deficit and debt. A request from the president to raise the debt ceiling is a serious matter, because it underscores the way we have been engaged in deceit spending and borrowing particularly over the last three-and-a-half years.” He also said the President’s policies only worsened the nation’s fiscal health, and that the president was trying to push his policies onto other countries at the G8 summit this weekend. It is incredible, but McConnell, besides being an idiot liar, was describing Republican’s actions during the Bush Administration and not President Obama.
When convicted war criminal George W. Bush was president, raising the debt ceiling was not serious because Republicans voted to raise it 19 times to increase the debt limit by $4 trillion without regard to the deficit or debt and without offsets. Besides being a liar, McConnell, like all Republicans is a rank hypocrite. McConnell also said President Obama was engaged in deceit spending and borrowing, but he failed to remind Americans that Republicans never included spending on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in the budget to hide their malfeasance from the public. Now there’s that issue about spending and the deficit McConnell commented on.
The truth is that regardless what Boehner, Willard, or McConnell says, spending, the deficit, and taxes are all lower today than when the President took office. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, before President Obama took office, annual spending totaled 24.9% of gross domestic product, and total spending in fiscal year 2012 will top out a 23.4% of GDP. So much for McConnell’s “deceit spending” and the lie that President Obama made the economy worse than when he took office. The deficit that Republicans are so concerned about that they will hold a debt ceiling hostage for harsh cuts to social safety nets is at 7.6% for fiscal 2012, and on the day President Obama came into office, it was 8.3% of GDP. Another small item Republicans parrot about Democrats and the President are that they are addicted to taxing and spending, but besides spending being lower than when the President took office, federal tax revenue is also lower. In January 2009, the CBO reported that tax revenue was 16.5% and this year it is 15.8% making Republican claims absurd. In fact, taxes under President Obama are at their lowest rates in more than 60 years since Harry S. Truman was president. It is also why the long-term debt ratios are a big problem and precisely why eliminating the Bush-era tax cuts are crucial to a balanced approach to deficit reduction now and the long-term.
Last year, President Obama did attempt to work with Republicans to reduce the nation’s debt, and besides appointing a commission to address the deficit, he called for $4 trillion in reductions using a balanced approach of spending cuts and revenue increases. Democrats proposed a budget proposal at the same time that called for $1.2 trillion more than President Obama’s plan, but Republicans proposed $2.2 trillion in an effort to slow down economic growth. The prescient point is that when the President and Democrats seriously attempted to reduce the deficit, Republicans acted like children and deliberately obstructed serious debt reduction and one wonders if they are really concerned about the national debt or just looking for any reason to attack the President because it is painfully obvious deficit reduction is just a canard.
President Obama’s handling of the economy has been a Republican’s worst nightmare and a disaster for GOP attempts to portray him as fiscally incompetent. Spending is down, taxes are at a 60-year low, and the deficit is down. Conversely, when convicted war-criminal Bush took office, there was a $281 billion budget surplus that he obliterated with tax cuts, two wars, and an expensive Medicare prescription plan that were all unfunded and raised the deficit astronomically. Bill Clinton presided over the most robust economy in modern memory with higher tax rates on the wealthy, more stringent environmental regulations, and created millions upon millions of jobs that Bush-Republicans wiped out in eight years as they nearly sent the entire world economy over the cliff.
When the President came to the White House, he inherited a federal budget that was an absolute disaster that he had no part in creating. Republicans like McConnell, Boehner, and Willard Romney have spent no small amount of time assailing the President for making the economy worse today than when he was inaugurated, but like everything Republicans say, it is an abject lie. They complain about the deficit they are poised to send through the roof with $10.7 trillion in tax cuts under a Romney presidency while they make drastic, poverty-inducing and job-killing cuts to government programs and it should signal voters that instead of being adults like McConnell claims, Republicans are drunken teens with their daddies’ credit card and if left unimpeded will increase the deficit and finish off the job they started during the Bush administration of destroying the economy and the progress President Obama and Democrats have made creating jobs, reducing the debt, and reducing taxes for the middle class.