Thursday, February 11, 2010

They say its not true

I was just watching Greta Van Susteren interview Rep John Boehner.
He repeated the Republican lie that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (otherwise known as the Stimulus Bill) did not work.
I don't generally get into discussions about economic statistics since the numbers can be awfully slippery.

But the stimulus bill worked and everybody who has studied it knows that it worked

This is the article addressing the President's State of the Union claim that the Stimulus Bill had created or saved 2 million jobs. As the article points out, you can argue the statistics whether the Stimulus bill created 800,000 jobs or 2 million jobs. I personally would have been happier if he had chosen a more middle of the estimates number like 1.6 million but the President wanted to put as good a face on the Stimulus Bill as possible so he used the 2 million number.

But all the estimates agree.

The Stimulus Bill worked

It put people back to work.

It saved jobs

It kept the unemployment rate from going higher

It helped to stimulate the economy.


Did it work perfectly?? Certainly not. But there is no real argument that it worked.

Yet Republicans like Rep Boehner keep repeating the same lie. Some Republican Senator (I think it was Judd Gregg) claimed that the Stimulus Bill had not created even one job. Clearly either a lie or a statement by a US Senator who is completely uninformed.

I have been accused on this blog of whining.

I guess that is true.

Republicans uniformly opposed the Stimulus Bill, but many Republicans have been more than happy to pose for pictures trying to take credit for stimulus spending in their Districts or States.

Racheal Maddow did a great segment on Republicans who proposed or supported legislation (like a Bi-Partisan Debt Commission or Pay as you Go) but then turned against it when the President supported it.

Some Republicans continue to refer to President Obama as a Socialist without being able to point to anything that he has done or proposed the is even vaguely socialist.

Republicans complain that FBI agents read the Underwear Bomber his rights and that the Justice Department plans on trying him in US District Court without acknowledging the HUNDREDS of terrorists (including the Shoe Bomber) that were tried in US District Court under the Bush Administration. Somehow now that we have a Democratic President, trying terrorists in US District Court is a threat to our nation and proves that the President is not serious about fighting terrorism.

On almost every issue that we are facing, Republicans have chosen to simply lie in their opposition to what ever the President proposes.

They lie compulsively about the cost and deficit impact of the Health Care bills before Congress

They lie repeatedly about the potential costs to the American Public of the proposed Cap and Trade legislation.

They lie about his prosecution of the war on Terror/Al Queda.

I suspect that our President would welcome an honest debate on any of these issues. But Republicans aren't interested in honest debate.

The percentage of Americans who support the currently proposed Health Care Reform legislation continues to drop largely due to the incessant stream of lies told by Republicans. Despite that, most Americans, when asked about specific provisions of the Health Care Bill support the vast bulk of those provisions.

Barack Obama has not done as good a job as I would have liked in selling his programs, particularly Health Care and Cap and Trade. But he is largely constrained by the facts. Republicans don't seem to have that constraint.

I guess I am just whining. But I think that we, as a nation, are better served by honest debate. A consistent stream of lies isn't part of that honest debate.

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