In this morning’s Washington Examiner, a George Allen spokesperson is quoted as saying:
“It’s no surprise that Tim Kaine is being rewarded by Vice President Biden for his loyal defense of the Obama/Kaine agenda of higher taxes, bigger government and fewer jobs.”
For those of you out there counting, that’s three – count’em, THREE! – big lies for the price of one! I’ll tell you, these Republicans are good at what they do (the Big Lie, that is).
Debunking Big Lie #1: Taxes are actually LOWER under President Obama than they were under George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, or even the Great Ronald Reagan.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – the so-called “stimulus act” passed in 2009 – contained $237 billion in tax cuts for individuals and $51 billion for businesses. This included a payroll tax credit of $116 billion for those earning less than $75,000.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that the cuts saved 97 percent of U.S. households an average of $1,179 in 2009, and the program was extended in 2010.
Not only that, but “The average income tax rate under Reagan in 1983 was 11.06 percent.” That compares to 9.18 percent “[u]nder Clinton in 1992,” and just 4.68 percent “under Obama in 2010.” No wonder why federal revenues are the lowest they’ve been as a share of economic output since…wait for it…1950! That’s right, not only has Barack Obama NOT raised taxes, he’s lowered them and kept them low to such an extent that we’ve got a major revenues problem. As a progressive, I can’t say I’m happy about this, but should’t supposed “conservatives” like George Allen be ecstatic at the Obama record on taxes? I’m totally serious about this; based on the factual evidence, they should be jumping up and down for joy. Why aren’t they? Shameless, fact-free politics, end of story.
Debunking Big Lie #2. Bigger government? Is that supposed to be a joke? Once again, the factual reality completely disagrees with George Allen’s Big Lies.
The government sector of the economy shrank during the first three years of the Obama administration, but the private sector grew more rapidly than it did during the first three years of either of George W. Bush’s terms in office.
For more on this subject, see here (“The last time the government actually got smaller over the first three years of a presidential term was when Richard M. Nixon was president.”). Finally, there’s the fact that, under President Obama, we’ve seen the slowest growth rate of federal spending in decades. So what’s George Allen’s spokesperson blabbering about? Who the heck knows, but it bears no relationship to the world you and I live in.
Debunking Big Lie #3: Fewer jobs under Obama? Wow, that’s a whopper. A few facts. First, the unemployment rate rose from 5.0% in January 2008 to 7.8% in January 2009, as the economy collapsed in the last year of the Bush administration. After President Obama assumed office, the unemployment rate kept rising for a few months, but since October 2009, as the economic “stimulus” (including all those tax cuts noted above, none of which Republicans voted for) started to fully kick in, the unemployment rate started falling…and falling…and falling some more, now at 8.1%, nearly 2 percentage points lower than the peak in October 2009. Meanwhile, we’ve now seen 26 months of private sector job growth in the U.S. economy, “for a total of 4.25 million payroll jobs over that period.” In other words, as soon as the Democrats managed to turn around the economic free fall they inherited from the Bush administration (with ZERO help from Republicans, I’d remind everyone), employment started growing and hasn’t stopped since. Once again, who knows what George Allen and Company are blathering about, other than that he desperately wants to get back to being a Senator (which he said he hated, but who knows with this guy?) and will say anything in his effort to do so.