In the often times twisted blame game of the hyperpartisan, gridlocked politics we’ve all grown to bemoan and loath, the Republican Party has talked themselves into many a reality altering claim aimed at absolving themselves of any resposibility for this nations problems. From blaming President Obama and Democrats for the Great Recession to the debt ceiling debacle of 2011, the GOP are now attempting to lay the entire idea of the sequestration on the White House’s doorstep.
Both times in fairly recent years federal minimum wage was increased with the cooperation of Republican leadership. In 1996, the Republican-controlled House under Newt Gingrich, the minimum wage was raised from $4.25 to $5.15 over a 2 year period. The next wage increase took place a decade later, in 2006-2007, when Democrats won back control of the House. They found support for the increase in then President, George W. Bush. This instance raised the minimum rate to its current level of $7.25 per hour.
With each new bit of regulation proposed a screeching chorus rises from industry pronouncing the dire consequences set to befall the country if even the slightest utterance of such rules are dared spoken. How many times have these warnings of cataclysm been heard? And how many times have they come to pass?
Taxes are always a political hot potato but over the last few years they have been the searing topic of choice as the Bush Tax Cuts’ expiration was debated by many a political pundit, each and every one of them apparent “experts”. Screams and wails about how much individual or “job creator” taxes will rise or fall should one or the other candidate wins. Constant complaints emanate from the Republican Party and the likes of Grover Norquist that taxes are too high, how any increase will destroy the economy and only lower taxes will save us all despite the large temporary cuts which have been in effect for more than a decade.
Washington Post Factchecker:
We’ve noted this history before, but many people have forgotten it. Given that the dispute over whether to extend all of the Bush tax cuts has now led the nation to the edge of the “fiscal cliff,” let’s take a trip back in time to recall why the Bush tax cuts were enacted in the first place. (The Fact Checker covered passage of the Bush tax cuts as an economic policy reporter for The Washington Post.)
Oddly, a key reason the tax cut became reality was because of a fear the United States soon would have zero debt.
From the New York Times
WASHINGTON — The Congressional Research Service has withdrawn an economic report that found no correlation between top tax rates and economic growth, a central tenet of conservative economic theory, after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper’s findings and wording.
The decision, made in late September against the advice of the agency’s economic team leadership, drew almost no notice at the time. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, cited the study a week and a half after it was withdrawn in a speech on tax policy at the National Press Club.
But it could actually draw new attention to the report, which questions the premise that lowering the top marginal tax rate stimulates economic growth and job creation.
Mitt Romney has touted his job creation prowes throughout the 3 presidential debates even providing us with a number, 12 MILLION new jobs during his first term. That’s great… that’s astounding! That would best even Obama’s 5.4 million new jobs over the last 2 years. But how will he accomplish this? Well, the answer is… NOTHING. In order to create 12 million new jobs within his first term Mitt Romney, President Mitt Romney will have to do nothing whatsoever… for the simple reason that those 12 million new jobs are ALREADY slated to be created under current Obama policies. As with foreign policy, all Mr. Romney has to do is continue with what has already been done under the Obama presidency.
During the 2nd presidential debate Mitt Romeny threw a glancing, barely above the belt gut shot at the President attempting to link Obama’s investments to China and the Caymans. It was a to blunt the Obama campaign’s foreign investment attacks against the former governor who has significant sums invested in the Cayman Islands, China and other countries. The attacks were meant to call into question Romney’s loyalties to America. His sidelong blow against the President on this topic proves fairly weak when assessed in full.
The 2nd presidential debate last night was nothing if not exciting and tension filled. The Obama we knew from 2008 was back with fervor while Romney fought back hard to maintain his momentum and success from the first debate. There were several moments of clear disagreement or misunderstanding of the facts between the two candidates. Romney pressed the president on oil and gas permitting, the actual events surrounding the attack in Benghazi, budget deficits and immigration. The President, while much improved this time around, was unable to fully push back. So to play a bit of armchair debating and employ a healthy dose of 20/20 hindsight let’s revisit a few of these issues from last night.