Conservatives Cannot Handle The Economic Truth From Obama

If you look at conservative reaction, Barack Obama is sure a mean sob for telling the truth about about conservative economic policies. There has been a considerable amount of whining on conservative sites since Barack Obama said in private (with a live mic he was unaware of) the same thing he says in public. For example, here’s an account from an editorial in The Washington Examiner which isn’t entirely honest and places the episode in as bad a light as conservatives can. First they whined about his budget speech on Wednesday and then moved on to Thursday:

Obama then spent Thursday evening regaling an audience of Democratic donors with what he thought were off-the-record insider jabs about his recent budget negotiations with House Republicans, including this cheap shot at Ryan: “When Paul Ryan says his priority is to make sure he’s just being America’s accountant, that he’s being responsible, I mean this is the same guy that voted for two wars that were unpaid for, voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for, voted for the prescription drug bill that cost as much as my health care bill — but wasn’t paid for. So it’s not on the level.” The reality is that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars under President Bush were regularly funded by Congress, claiming tax cuts must be “paid for” is a hoary piece of Democratic class-warfare demagoguery, and the prescription drug plan Ryan supported cost half as much as the Democratic alternative then on the table. Such fact-free commentary is to be expected from blind partisans, but not the president of the United States.

Rather than engage in any form of honest discussion of the issues, conservative prefer to pretend they are victims. Of course the editorial cherry picks statements out of context and fails to report the full argument in order to falsely claim Obama was giving “fact-free commentary.” Obviously the wars were paid for. That is not the issue. The problem is that Bush paid for two wars without  raising money to offset the costs, and ran much of them off the books to make it appear he did not run up the deficit as much as he did.

Similarly George Bush passed a prescription drug bill without consideration of where the money would be taken from, and even threatened to fire the chief Medicare actuary if he testified before Congress about the true cost of the plan. On top of this, the plan was structured to primarily provide corporate welfare to the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, costing taxpayers far more than the actual benefits to Medicare beneficiaries would cost.

The concept here is simple. Democrats such as Obama practice real world economics where you can spend money on needed programs, but you must also account for where the money is coming from. Republicans practice Voodoo Economics based upon the borrow and spend principle. To them deficits do not matter when they are spending the money, but the deficit is suddenly the number one issue when a Democrat is in office and trying to fix the damage they caused.

Once you consider real world economics, you realize that saying tax cuts must be “paid for” is hardly an example of class  warfare. It is just common sense. You cannot simultaneously cut taxes and increase spending as the Republicans did.

There is nothing wrong with Obama saying all of this in private. He should be saying it even more often in public.


  1. 1
    Ken McCracken says:

    Tax cuts need to be ‘paid for’.
    Um, that money belongs to the taxpayers, not the government.
    I’ve got news for you – the Federal government is not the source of all the nation’s wealth.
    As a liberal, I bet that IS news to you.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, the federal government is not the source of the nation’s wealth, but as a business owner (and I bet someone who is paying more in taxes alone per year than you earn) I also understand (as conservatives do not) that government infrastructure is necessary for a successful market economy. And yes, tax cuts do need to be paid for unless you want to keep increasing the deficit. Those who are successful and understand the economy, unlike most conservatives, realize that taxes are now very low by historical standards. We don’t need to give tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy and harm the economy for those of us who run businesses are really are the source of the nation’s wealth.

  3. 3
    Ken McCracken says:

    Taxes are ‘very low by historical standards’?
    Ron, there was a time in US history when there was no income tax. There was also a time when the entire federal budget was paid for by tariffs, duties and excise taxes. Your version of ‘history’ seems to be very short indeed.
    And again you make the mistake of thinking that taxes have to be paid for. You claim to understand that wealth does not come from the government, yet you think that letting taxpayers keep more of their own money is actually some kind of payment from the government, as if all wealth belongs to the government in the first place.
    Nice strawman argument there too, conservatives aren’t arguing we don’t need some kind of infrastructure. Yeah, no conservative thinks we need roads. Right, Ron.
    Your claim that either taxes have to be raised or the deficit has to be raised is actually a false dilemma – there is a third option . . . it is called cutting spending.
    Yeah, I guess that makes me a crazy right wing extremist. That also makes most of America right wing extremists too because it is a rather popular idea these days.  The gross inefficiencies of a bloated federal government are obvious to everyone.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Do you have any concept of modern times? Needs for public spending now and in 1800 is hardly a meaningful comparison.

    It is hardly a strawman argument to claim that conservatives are neglecting needed infrastructure (which expands beyond the roads). It is fact.

    Yes, cutting spending is a possibility. The fact remains that Republicans increased spending while cutting taxes. While there are certainly inefficiencies in government, that’s a rather simplistic answer as opposed to facing the tough questions as to what we cut. Sorry, despite your fantasies, the public does not go along with the types of cuts the far right advocates.

  5. 5
    Brent says:

    Consider this an intervention. Don’t waste your time in a pissing match with someone this ignorant of economics and government. You do know how it will turn out. The more you hit him with facts and rational arguments to these ridiculous right wing talking points, the more irrational he will become.
    It’s only a matter of time until he descends into total lunacy…

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    It’s already happened 🙂

    And no, I don’t plan to waste much time on the same conservative talking points which have been repeatedly debunked. Besides, I’m about to start watching The Borgias and Game of Thrones now that I just finished getting the first quarter tax estimates ready. (When I am at the computer for things like that, it is more likely I’ll stop to reply to any nonsense.)

  7. 7
    Mikaela Skye says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservatives Cannot Handle The Economic Truth From Obama #p2 #p21 #topprog

  8. 8
    Ken McCracken says:

    Oh yeah, cutting federal spending.
    Really lunacy there, alright.
    Have fun doing your taxes, Ron? Of course you did!
    You enjoy being a serf, apparently.

  9. 9
    Ron Chusid says:

    No, the lunacy is not cutting spending but thinking that just saying cutting spending by itself means anything, lacking any sensible plan, and lacking any understanding of public policy.

    Do my taxes? Come now. I pay people to do tedious things like that. (If only conservatives were serious about tax simplification rather than using it as a cover to transfer more of the tax burden from the ultra-wealthy to those who actually create the nation’s wealth.)

    Serf? Wrong analogy. I have a life style beyond that of most kings of past eras. Taxes is just one cost of doing business, and necessary to have the infrastructure which makes business possible. Sure, I could whine like you do and wish that I could keep it all, but unlike conservatives I live in the real world and understand how the economy works.

    No, I’m not a serf, but you are a pawn–just reciting simplistic talking points designed to get people like you to do the bidding of the far right which seeks to destroy capitalism and replace it with plutocracy; using government to transfer increasing percentages of the nation’s wealth to a tiny minority while you have zero understanding of what you are doing. That’s the real problem, not our low tax rates.

  10. 10
    Mugwumpie says:

    RT @RonChusid: Conservatives Cannot Handle The Economic Truth From Obama #p2 #p21 #topprog

  11. 11
    TC Lynch says:

    “Serf? Wrong analogy. I have a life style beyond that of most kings of past eras.”
    And yet you spend your time defending yourself in this thread? I got $50K says you’re a two-bit troll. If I lose, I’ll jack it on a credit line my business runs… hell, I’ll shut down one of my operations to meet my debt. How about it, troll?

  12. 12
    Ron Chusid says:

    “And yet you spend your time defending yourself in this thread?”

    Spend my time? I’ve spent 15 minutes maximum. Just can’t win. Most of the time conservatives who repeat the same talking point start whining when I don’t waste my time with them, but every now and then it is worth responding when it helps expand upon points in a post. (In addition, as most of the blog discussion has been moved to my Facebook page, it helps to occasionally waste time with some comments here as blog comments is one thing Google uses to distinguish real from fake blogs, and I don’t want to risk losing all the traffic Google sends in).

    Troll? The word doesn’t apply to someone running a blog. As for the life style issue, I’m referring to the life style available to any affluent person in modern world. I wouldn’t trade my house for one of those drafty old castles, and if I needed $50K I’d write a check, not shut down any business operation. If you actually took the time to read the blog before butting in (using words you don’t even know the meaning of) you would see that I’m physician and run a practice (as opposed to being a serf on a hospital payroll). That easily provides the income to have a life style beyond that of kings of past eras.

    When can I expect the $50K from you?

  13. 13
    Brent says:

    I should have figured you had some angle for when you let these wingnut troll post thru. LC certainly qualifies as a Troll–especially if he doesn’t pay up. Bet he doesnt. How was Game of Thrones. Did it live up to the hype?

  14. 14
    Ron Chusid says:

    The first episode was good. I’m definitely sticking with it, but will need to see more to determine how good it really is.

    Actually the best show on last night was Part II of the remake of Upstairs Downstairs on PBS. Now my wife wants to watch the original. She never watched it, and it was so long ago that I’m sure I could watch again without remembering what happens. I see Netflix has the original.

  15. 15
    Ron Chusid says:

    Watching shows like The Borgias, Game of Thrones and Upstairs Downstairs on a big screen LED TV, and having a massive amount of old shows available on Netflix, Cable On Demand, and a large DVD & Blu-Ray collection. Another example of having a life style which old kings could not imagine.

    I’m waiting for TC Lynch to pay up on his debt.  🙂

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