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McConnell's Misguided Monetary Mendacity

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 03:23 PM
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McConnell's Misguided Monetary Mendacity
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/20...

MCCONNELL'S MISGUIDED MONETARY MENDACITY.... Occasionally, I try to wrap my head around what it is, exactly, what makes Republicans so angry with President Obama. I'm afraid, in most instances, the rage just doesn't seem to make much sense to me.

Here's a great example from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), trying to explain why he's vehemently opposed to allowing top tax rates for the wealthy to expire on schedule, based on the policy that McConnell himself helped create.

"Democrats spent the last two years putting government in charge of health care, the financial sector, car companies, insurance companies, student loans -- you name it," Mr. McConnell said in his speech, as the Senate resumed work after a five-week recess. "Now they want the tax hike to pay for it all."


Note, right off the bat, the evolving explanation to justify the tax-policy opposition. First it was about small businesses. When that talking point was exposed as misleading, Republicans said Clinton-era top rates for the wealthy would undermine economic growth. When that was debunked, too, they moved on to saying the higher rates are a scheme to pay for "big government."

When rationales bounce from weak talking point to weak talking point, it's evidence of an underlying argument with very little credibility.

More importantly, McConnell's two sentences are effectively gibberish. As he sees it, the Democratic agenda has been expensive, so Democrats necessarily want to let top rates expire on time "to pay for it all."

But that doesn't make any sense, not only because the expiration was Republicans' idea several years ago, but because the Democratic agenda McConnell is whining about doesn't need a tax hike for financing.


I had the same reaction to this as Jon Chait, who goes point by point through McConnell's litany of complaints. Why, for example, would Democrats need to raise the top income tax rate to pay for health care reform, when the Affordable Care Act pays for itself (and lowers the deficit over the next 20 years by more than a trillion dollars)? The same goes for Wall Street reform, which doesn't add to the deficit at all. Rescuing the automotive industry, I'll concede, wasn't cheap, but manufacturers are paying back the money, and the Obama policy has been an unqualified success, Republican apoplexy notwithstanding.

I'm not sure what McConnell meant by "insurance companies," but if he's complaining about health care again, that's just repetitious whining in the same sentence. As for student loans, I realize Republicans loved the idea of needlessly giving money to banks that could instead go to students, but once again, making the system more streamlined and efficient doesn't increase the deficit -- it does the opposite.

In other words, given a chance to take his best shot at Democratic fiscal mismanagement, Mitch McConnell's best examples are utterly wrong. Indeed, his case is evidence that proves the opposite point -- it makes the Democratic agenda appear fiscally sound and sensible.

Does McConnell not understand the words coming out of his mouth, or does he just assume his audience is made up of fools?


Steve Benen
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 03:33 PM
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1. I vote "both"..
"Does McConnell not understand the words coming out of his mouth, or does he just assume his audience is made up of fools?"

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 03:38 PM
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2. He understands. You can tell McConnell's lying; his lips are moving.
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Andy823 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 03:38 PM
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3. Well...
I don't know about his audience, but his base is sure made up of "FOOLS" who never seem to actually listen, they just spew hate and anger on a daily basis! I don't think McConnell or any of the other republican leaders in congress have a clue about what they are doing. They have no plan even if they did take over congress, and with if the majority of teabagger candidates win, then what will they do? "IF" they won back on or both houses, how will the explain the extreme far right insanity that is sure to come out if the teabaggers win their elections? With no plan and an insane bunch of teabaggers, evenif they did by some chance win power, who long could they keep it if all they do is fight among themselves, bring the government to a stand still, and try and impeach president Obama?

The more they open their mouths the more damage they do to themselves, and that could be very good for democrats!
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 03:57 PM
Response to Original message
4. It's simply propaganda...
Throw something out there and if it seems to work stick with it.
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