Friday, July 23, 2010

Combating Lies

Krugman had an op-ed yesterday that's great. Addicted to Bush "For a couple of years, it was the love that dared not speak his name. In 2008, Republican candidates hardly ever mentioned the president still sitting in the White House. After the election, the G.O.P. did its best to shout down all talk about how we got into the mess we’re in, insisting that we needed to look forward, not back...In recent weeks, G.O.P. leaders have come out for a complete return to the Bush agenda, including tax breaks for the rich and financial deregulation. They’ve even resurrected the plan to cut future Social Security benefits."

He gives several examples, but here's one: "On the economy: Last week Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, declared that “there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy.” So now the word is that the Bush-era economy was characterized by “vibrancy.” I guess it depends on the meaning of the word “vibrant.” The actual record of the Bush years was (i) two and half years of declining employment, followed by (ii) four and a half years of modest job growth, at a pace significantly below the eight-year average under Bill Clinton, followed by (iii) a year of economic catastrophe. In 2007, at the height of the “Bush boom,” such as it was, median household income, adjusted for inflation, was still lower than it had been in 2000."

So here's my question, why does this kind of stuff, you know fact-checking, only appear in an editorial by someone considered biased? Isn't this what journalists (you know the skilled kind with degrees and stuff) are supposed to be doing all the time in their stories? I couldn't find a story on McConnell's comments on the NY Times site (and why does filtering to just "articles" include reader's comments?). Here's the original TPM story, It's Unanimous! GOP Says No To Unemployment Benefits, Yes To Tax Cuts For The Rich and here's Ezra Klein commenting on it in the Washington Post, McConnell: 'No evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue'. Krugman commented at the time too. It really bothers me that the GOP can spread lies and the Constitutionally protected press does too little to stop it.

Krugman also commented today on Iraq, Again. "Were we lied into war? Yes." and he has to point to the WSJ and Financial Times for his evidence, Iraq intelligence fiasco could happen again. "As documents released by the inquiry make clear, the government was warned the invasion would increase the threat of terrorism to the UK. All this was disregarded, as Mr Blair embarked determinedly on his great adventure with George W. Bush into the mire of Mesopotamia, creating laboratory conditions for the urban warfare urged on jihadis by Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s strategist. It is now harder than ever to avoid the conclusion that the Bush and Blair governments cherry-picked morsels of intelligence. "


Anonymous said...

I was curious about the specific federal tax revenues (overall) from 2000 (the last full year year of the Clinton Administration) - through 2009 the last year that data is available.

Here goes:

2000 2.310 T (trillion $ - normalized to 2005)
2001 2.215 T
2002 2,028 T
2003 1,901 T
2004 1,948 T
2005 2,153 T
2006 2,324 T
2007 2,414 T
2008 2,288 T
2009 1,906 T

So, the supply side voodoo economics that predicts that tax cuts for the investor class will increase revenues, actually decreased cumulative revenues by 1.6 trillion dollars (2001 - 2009), using 2000 as the benchmark target (last pre-Bush tax cuts year).

Nice job W!

Every reporter covering congress, politics, the White House, etc... should be completely familiar with this data so that when someone, anyone, spouts off nonsense about the Bush Tax cuts actually increasing revenue, they can rake them over the coals and call them a liar or ignorant, cause there ain't any other choices.

It took me about 10 minutes to find this data and post it here.

It's simply a big lie that reducing taxes on the wealthy increases revenues at the Federal Level.

Facts are facts and most repubs don't care for facts because they generally don't support their positions. They have feasted electorally on the big lie for 30 years now.

They would rather be called hypocritical or ignorant than admit that their cherished bedrock ideas are simply bullshit, otherwise the whole house of cards may come crashing down.

The really scary thing is, about 40% of the country buys their nonsense hook, line, and sinker.


Howard said...

I agree completely.