The Romney/Ryan ticket has, rather than offering the intelligent, issue-oriented debate promised upon Paul Ryan's selection, decided to embrace dishonesty and evasion as their primary tactics. Ryan has fallen right in line with Romney's lies (and they're backed up by the party as a whole). For example, on Thursday Ryan blamed President Obama for the looming defense cuts that are coming from the failure of the Congressional "super committee) to achieve deficit reductions, as demanded by the agreement to raise the debt ceiling.
There are a lot of issues built into this, such as the fact that one of my home-state Senators, Jon Kyl, is almost single-handedly responsible for ensuring that the super committee would fail. But more importantly is the fact that raising the debt ceiling has always been a bipartisan decision, until the radical right wing controlling the House of Representatives decided it would be a good idea to hold the nation hostage for political purposes. That reckless act cast doubts on our willingness to pay our debts, lowered our national credit rating, and killed jobs. As part of the super committee deal, Republicans wanted automatic cuts in domestic spending. Democrats wanted automatic tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. But Republicans refused to go along with that, and instead opted for defense cuts. So the defense cuts that Mr. Ryan blames on the president were put into the deal by his party (as was the situation that made the super committee necessary). Blaming the president for any of that is a blatant lie.
Another lie that Ryan has got on board with is an old Romney chestnut. He's been saying it since the beginning of the campaign, and now Ryan is saying it too, in every speech: “Without a doubt President Obama inherited a difficult situation. Here’s the problem. He made it worse.” (Romney's version is: "President Obama did not cause the recession, but he most certainly failed to lead the recovery.")
Yeah, no. There is no possible interpretation of the facts that supports that nonsense. A couple of charts from Robert McElvaine of the New York Times illustrate the truth better than a lot of words would. The first shows the jobs situation under Presidents Bush and Obama. How can anyone interpret the post-2009 situation as "worse" than the pre?
And the second one provides some historical context, showing just how bad things were before Obama's policies were enacted and started turning things around.
In addition, note the historical pattern: job growth is always better during Democratic administrations than Republican ones. Now, the president does not create jobs all by himself (or lose jobs). But it's undeniable that the conditions under which jobs are created are more favorable when Democrats are in the White House. As a corollary to that, there is no empirical evidence that Supply-side economics creates jobs. That, unfortunately, is all Romney/Ryan are offering as their jobs programs. Cut taxes for the rich and slash regulations for businesses, and jobs will magically grow. That has been proven not to work, and it has not been proven to work. Period.
Which brings us to Romney's lie of the week.
Romney's telling us that the reason we should vote for him is that he's a businessman, and therefore he understands our economic problems and knows how to create jobs. He's been running away from his Massachussets record (which is not a bad idea, as it's a pretty terrible record, and when he left the governor's mansion (leaving his successor with a deficit) there he was terribly unpopular), and focusing on his business record. In discussing his business career, he said this: "Over the next 25 years, my business career had many ups and downs,
great successes, definite failures, but each step of the way I learned
more about the transforming power of our great free enterprise system."
But his plans for the economy would do a fragile recovery a great deal of damage. They would cut taxes for the rich. That's the bulk of the plan. Cut taxes for the rich, and the rest of it falls into line. Romney doesn't believe in stimulus spending, according to his campaign's white paper, which says, "The negative effect of the administration’s ‘stimulus’ policies has been documented in a number of empirical studies." The truth is that most economists agree that the stimulus did work (and the charts above demonstrate that, too). Although they claim a "number of empirical studies" support their theses, the white paper chose to cite only two specific studies. One of those was by one of the white paper's authors, so someone connected to the campaign. The other turns out to be a study that focuses only on the "Cash for Clunkers" program, by two authors who, in fact, believe the stimulus helped a great deal.
And so it goes, throughout the white paper. The Romney plan achieves its goals by quoting from economists who believe the opposite of what it claims they believe.
Romney says his economic plan can't be scored, because he refuses to provide enough detail for the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to score it. So an independent organization did the best study they could using what is known about the plan, and making assumptions that favor the Romney viewpoint, and they determined that in order to pay for his tax cuts for the rich, Romney would have to slash government programs AND raise taxes on the lower 95% of Americans. And even with those in place, it would balloon the deficit. So we'd all be paying more to the government, seeing less in services (especially if you're poor), and none of that would go to reducing the deficit, it would all be moving directly into the pockets of the rich.
Tax cuts for the rich, unpaid for wars, and an economy devastated by the actions of deregulated Wall Street players have already devastated the middle class in this country. The main thrust of Romney's campaign, that he can take care of the economy better than Obama can, is a lie. He would go right back to the policies that caused such havoc.
We simply can't afford a Romney presidency, and the entire purpose for it is one big lie.