for re-electing President Barack Obama rests on five arguments, the
most important of which is that Romney/Ryan represent sexism,
racism, homophobia and fascism.
1) Obama "inherited" the worst set of economic
conditions since World War II.
False. Based on unemployment, inflation and interest rates, the
recession of 1981-82 was worse. Unemployment during the early '80s
reached 10.8 percent, inflation 13.5 percent, and prime interest
rates reached 21.5 percent. During this so-called "Great
Recession," the numbers peaked at 10.2 unemployment, 5.6 percent
inflation and 7.25 percent for the prime interest rate.
2) Obama's economic policies "rescued the economy from
falling off a cliff."
False. Nearly 350 economists, including several Nobel laureates,
publicly urged Obama to follow the path President Reagan pursued --
cutting taxes, slowing the growth of domestic spending and
Most business economists think Obama's "stimulus" plan
accomplished little, if anything, with some academic economists,
like Stanford's John Taylor, believing that stimulus actually made
things worse: "I just don't think there's any evidence. When you
look at the numbers, when you see what happened, when people
reacted to the stimulus, it did very little good."
TARP, begun under President George W. Bush, supposedly prevented
financial institutions from collapsing. But Neil Barofsky, in his
new book called Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington
Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street, argues that
TARP completely failed in its mission: to increase liquidity to
The reason for intervention in the first place is that banks had
become "too big too fail." Not only did the banks park the money
and make risk-free profits off the spread, but banks became bigger
than ever after TARP.
ObamaCare promises to provide health insurance to nearly 30
million Americans currently uninsured. Obama said it would bend the
healthcare cost curve down, that it would decrease the deficit and
that if you like your doctor or your current health insurance plan,
you can keep it.
But Jonathan Gruber, the economist who designed both RomneyCare
and ObamaCare, now admits some are going to pay more -- and some a
lot more -- for their health insurance: "It is true that even after
tax credits some individuals are 'losers,' in that they pay more
than before (Obama's) reform." Rick Foster, the chief Medicare
actuary, testified that it is "false, more so than true" that
ObamaCare bends down the cost curve. He also said it is "not true
in all cases" that if you like your plan you can keep your
What about the "investments" in the green jobs of the future? At
$529 million of lost taxpayer money, Solyndra is one of many
money-hemorrhaging "clean energy" flops. Other belly-flops backed
by federal loans include Beacon Power and Abound Solar. A
Washington Post investigation traced $3.9 billion in
grants and financing to 21 companies that were backed by firms
connected to five Obama administration staffers and advisors.
3) Bush's irresponsible tax cuts and "unpaid-for wars"
of Afghanistan and Iraq caused the deficit.
False. Obama frequently bemoans the "cost" of $700 billion in
tax cuts for "millionaires and billionaires." CNN's Fareed Zakaria
blames the "Bush tax cuts" for the deficit. But the $700 billion
Obama speaks of is spread over 10 years. This comes to a
mere five percent of the deficit.
As to the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, a study by
Brown University estimates the costs at between $3.2 trillion and
$4 trillion. This, too, is over about ten years (the
approximate duration of the wars), or an average of $360 billion
per year. This comes out to about 25 percent of the estimated $1.5
4) We are better off now than four years
A new poll for the Washington paper The Hill found 52
percent of likely voters believe the country is now in "worse
condition" than four years ago, while 31 percent believe it's in
"better condition." After accounting for inflation, median
household income dropped 2.6 percent during the 18-month recession.
It fell another 4.8 percent from the start of the "recovery"
through June 2012. Unemployment stood at 7.8 percent when Obama
entered the White House. It is 8.3 percent right now. We've added
over $6 trillion in new debt in the last four years -- and the
deficit tripled since Bush's last full year in office.
5) The other guys -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan -- are worse: sexist, racist, homophobic
The chairman of the California Democratic Party, John Burton,
following the Republican convention, gave us this preview of coming
attractions: "(Republicans) lie, and they don't care if people
think they lie. As long as you lie, (Nazi propaganda minister)
Joseph Goebbels -- the big lie -- you keep repeating it."
Welcome to the 2012 Democratic National Convention: Republican
attendees are advised to keep their sheets and hoods at home.
COPYRIGHT 2012 LAURENCE A. ELDER
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
Elder is a syndicated radio talk-show host and best-selling
author. His latest book is "What's Race Got to Do with
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