How Mitch Daniels and the GOP got it all Wrong
Dear Gov. Mitch Daniels and your Republican Brethren,
Your response to President Obama’s State of the Union last night was deceitful, historically tenuous, and politically unsophisticated. George Orwell once said that “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
(Follow along here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7giygZFgHY )
M.D. "The percentage of Americans with a job is at the lowest in decades.”
TRUTH: Daniels speaks truth without context. Yes, the unemployment rate is indeed the highest it has been since 1983, but it has actually fallen by 1.5% since its peak in December, 2009. http://www.miseryindex.us/urbyyear.asp
M.D. “In three short years, an unprecedented explosion of spending, with borrowed money, has added trillions to an already unaffordable national debt. And yet, the President has put us on a course to make it radically worse in the years ahead.”
TRUTH: Over the course of President Obama’s first three years he and Congress increased the national debt by 41%. And in Ronald Reagan’s first three years? You guessed it. He increased the national debt by 55%. http://www.skymachines.com/US-National-Debt-Per-Capita-Percent-of-GDP-an...
M.D. “The federal government now spends one of every four dollars in the entire economy.”
TRUTH: Yes, but since 1980 federal spending as a percentage of GDP has changed very little. Since Reagan’s first term Republicans presidents have spent on average 21.53% of GDP on federal programs, Democrats, 21.6%.
M.D. "The President's grand experiment in trickle-down government has held back rather than sped economic recovery.”
TRUTH: Just two weeks ago President Obama detailed his plan to supplant six current federal agencies with one in order to create a “more efficient and lean” government. The move is projected to save taxpayers $3 billion over ten years. Republicans still refuse to support his proposal.
M.D. "Those punished most by the wrong turns of the last three years are those unemployed or underemployed tonight, and those so discouraged that they have abandoned the search for work altogether.”
TRUTH: Mitch, please. The National Bureau of Economic Research has indicated time and again that the U.S. has been in a recession since December, 2007. (Recessions are typically defined as two or more quarters of negative growth.) 2012-2007? That’s five years, Mitch, not three.
Moreover, in December, 2011 Republicans proposed legislation to “cut 40 weeks from the duration of federal unemployment compensation and allow states to require the unemployed to pass drug tests in order to receive benefits.”
M.D. “And no one has been more tragically harmed than the young people of this country, the first generation in memory to face a future less promising than their parents did.”
TRUTH: Real wages in the U.S. began falling in 1975 when Barack Obama was 14 years old.
M.D. "So 2012 is a year of true opportunity, maybe our last, to restore an America of hope and upward mobility, and greater equality. The challenges aren't matters of ideology, or party preference; the problems are simply mathematical, and the answers are purely practical.”
TRUTH: Problems and solutions are never “simply mathematical or purely practical.” If they were, then why would those living in states that receive the largest federal subsidies regularly vote “small government” republicans into office?
M.D. "The routes back to an America of promise, and to a solvent America that can pay its bills and protect its vulnerable, start in the same place. The only way up for those suffering tonight, and the only way out of the dead end of debt into which we have driven, is a private economy that begins to grow and create jobs, real jobs, at a much faster rate than today.”
TRUTH: Though Republicans have won 9 of these last 16 presidential elections, Republican administrations have averaged less annual growth (1.3%) than their Democratic counterparts (2.5%) since WWII.
M.D. "Contrary to the President's constant disparagement of people in business, it's one of the noblest of human pursuits.”
TRUTH: Really??!? Since Mitch Daniels is an avowed Christian it is only proper to consult the Bible on matters of virtue. If about 20% of U.S. GDP is a product of our financial sector, then I wonder what the “Good Book” has to say about interest and usury.
“If you lend money to any of my people who are poor among you, you shall not be like a moneylender to him; you shall not charge him interest.” (Exodus 22:25)
“You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.” (Leviticus 25:35-37)
“He who does not put out his money at usury, nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.” (Psalm 15:5)
“One who increases his possessions by usury and extortion Gathers it for him who will pity the poor.” (Proverbs 28:8)
M.D. “Out here in Indiana, when a businessperson asks me what he can do for our state, I say 'First, make money. Be successful. If you make a profit, you'll have something left to hire someone else, and some to donate to the good causes we love.”
TRUTH: According to the U.S. Federal Reserve, American businesses are currently sitting on at least $1.9 trillion in profits at a time when 25 million Americans are un- or underemployed.
M.D. "Decades ago, for instance, we could afford to send millionaires pension checks and pay medical bills for even the wealthiest among us. Now, we can't, so the dollars we have should be devoted to those who need them most.
TRUTH: We now send millionaires pension checks in the form of record low capital gain tax rates (15%) initiated by President George W. Bush in 2003.
M.D. "The mortal enemies of Social Security and Medicare are those who, in contempt of the plain arithmetic, continue to mislead Americans that we should change nothing.”
TRUTH: Social security is already solvent for the next 26 years. One strategy for ensuring its availability for our children is to raise the ceiling on income subject to it from $106,800 to at least $180,000.
M.D. “As a loyal opposition, who put patriotism and national success ahead of party or ideology or any self-interest, we say that anyone who will join us in the cause of growth and solvency is our ally, and our friend. We will speak the language of unity.”
TRUTH: The language of unity? In July, 2011 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) maintained that the Republicans’ number one goal remains the defeat of President Obama in 2012. Does Daniels doesn’t know the difference between comity and comedy?
M.D. “Republicans will speak for those who believe in the dignity and capacity of the individual citizen…”
TRUTH: As long as by “individual citizen” we don’t mean women, right? Remember last February when the GOP-controlled House voted to cut not only all of Planned Parenthood's $75 million in federal funding for family planning but also the entire $317 million Title X budget. Title X money subsidizes screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, breast and cervical cancer testing, prenatal care, sex education, and birth control? Got dignity?
M.D. “There is nothing wrong with the state of our Union that the American people, addressed as free-born, mature citizens, cannot set right.”
TRUTH: Born free? In December, 2010 Senate Republicans blocked the DREAM Act, an immigration measure that would have provided a conditional path to legal residency for hundreds of thousands of young immigrants first brought to the U.S. without documentation by their parents.