Friday, May 22, 2015

Chris Christie: No, I Really Don't Know Anything About Jimmy Carter At All

A little late to this, but I did feel the need to comment on it. Last week, New Jersey governor, and former Sopranos extra, Chris Christie, was campaigning in New Hampshire, and gave a speech criticizing President Obama's supposed failed economic policies. Factcheck.org has a nice little round up of all the fun ways Christie mangled the economic data to reach his conclusions, but I wanted to focus on one specific line he said in his speech:

This weak growth is no coincidence. It is the direct result of the policies of this president, the worst economic president since Jimmy Carter.
I know Republicans have been nurtured since birth to despise and mock Jimmy Carter, but would  it really be too much trouble to have a modicum of knowledge about what actually happened under his administration?

Say what you will about Carter, but contrary to conservative legend, his economic record wasn't particularly terrible. Here are the total net jobs created under every president since Carter:


Carter: ~10 million
Reagan: ~16 million
Bush I: ~2.6 million
Clinton: ~ 23 million
Bush II: ~1.3 million
Obama: ~ 7.3 million


Well, aren't these some interesting numbers?

From 1977 to 1980, Carter presided over the creation of roughly 10 million jobs. Not too shabby! His successor, the greatest President since the founding of our country, Ronald Reagan, presided over roughly 16 million jobs. Of course, unlike Carter, Reagan's numbers were over the course of eight years as opposed to four. Yes, the rate of job growth was actually higher under the wretched Jimmy Carter than under Ronaldus Magnus!

But notice which president appeared to do the worst job at creating jobs in the past 40 years? Why that would be our most recent Republican president, whose brilliant supply-side powered economy created a pathetic 1.3 million jobs over the course of eight years. President Obama's numbers may not be the most impressive, historically speaking, but they absolutely obliterate ole' Dubya's performance.

If Christie needed to reference a president with a terrible economic track record to compare Obama to, he didn't have to go back too far in time to do so.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Welfare Recipient, Ben Carson, Says He Would Raise Taxes On Poor Because They Have Pride

This past Sunday, Fox News' Chris Wallace interviewed self proclaimed serious Presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson. Wallace asked the good doctor about the tax plan he would enact if he ever became leader of the free world:

Well, I like the idea of a proportional tax. That way you pay according to your ability. And I got that idea, quite frankly, from the Bible, tithing. You make $10 billion a year, you pay $1 billion. You make $10 a year, you pay $1. You get the same rights. That's pretty darn fair, if you ask me.

Now, some people say it's not fair because, you know, the poor people can't afford to pay that dollar. That's very condescending. You know, I grew up very poor. I experienced every economic level. And I can tell you poor people have pride, too. And they don't want to be just taken care of.

 Okay, there's two big problems I have with Carson's comments. The first is something I wrote about almost a year ago regarding Carson from a McClatchy report. Many people may not know that the esteemed former neurosurgeon himself grew up receiving much help from the government:

No doubt, Mother Carson deserves tremendous credit, but – in the words of a political sound bite from the last presidential election – she didn’t do it alone. Carson, in his book, tells how his grades improved tremendously when a government program provided him with free eyeglasses because he could barely see. Not only that, in “Gifted Hands” we read this nugget: “By the time I reached ninth grade, mother had made such strides that she received nothing but food stamps. She couldn’t have provided for us and kept up the house without that subsidy.”
 No doubt Carson thinks his own mother was severely lacking in pride for allowing the government to offer her assistance. Or maybe not.

It’s hard not to see Carson’s own upbringing coming into view here. He grew up in meager surroundings in Detroit and Boston, in a family that made use of public assistance programs like food stamps. The culture was different then, Carson insists. “I think there was a time when people were not proud of taking handouts,” he said. “There were more people who did have that drive and determination. You do what you have to do."
As always, it's okay to receive government help if you're a Republican. If not, then you should have enough pride and self-respect to go hungry for a little while until your next paycheck arrives.

The second issue I have is, as Wallace explained later on,  that Carson's plan would provide a massive tax cut for the wealthy.

WALLACE: But, Doctor, here is a problem with flat tax in the real world -- according to the Tax Policy Center, to raise the same amount of revenue we do now, the tax rate would have to be in the low to mid 20 percent range.

...

WALLACE: Low and middle income families would get a big tax hike, while wealthy families would actually get a tax cut.

In Carson's world, we should think that poor people should be insulted for wanting the government to go easy on them, but for some reason, rich people don't seem to have that same level of dignity. Later on, Carson went to argue that his solution to poor people paying higher tax rates would be to increase offshore drilling. How that would said poor people with the tax hike Carson wants to impose on them is a bit of a mystery.

This is gonna be a fun election.

I know, I know..

I'm sure all of you have noticed that the posts on here have been rather infrequent to say the least. I've been preoccupied with a combination of real world distractions as well as sickness for the past few weeks. I know I say this all the time, but I will "try" to be a bit more diligent about blogging. I apologize to my adoring public in advance.

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