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Last night's GOP-CNN primary debate in Vegas was a tad more exciting than the previous debates I've watched.
Debate transcript here.
Texas Governor Rick Perry, in my opinion, ended his chances last night with his petulant behavior towards Mitt Romney. If looks could do damage, Perry's looks in Romney's direction after several Romney backhands, would have knocked out Cassius Clay. (Extra credit if you know who that is)
Several times Perry's comments directed towards Romney were booed by the audience. Keep in mind, however, that the biggest, and longest, applause was for Herman Cain's insistence that if Americans are not wealthy or don't have a job...it's their own fault.
Compassionate conservatives.....they were not.
After spending the entire first round of questions and answers on bashing Herman Cain's plan to send $9.99 pizzas to all Americans...or something....I listened intently for the non-9-9-9'er candidates to explain how they would, you know, create new jobs for Americans.....15 million of whom are currently out of work.
I listened....I listened....and all I heard was this:
Repeal ObamaCare. Strip government regulations from big businesses. Lower taxes on the so-called "job creators"..translation: rich people.
First rebuttal. The Congressional Budget Office sent a letter to Speaker Boehner about the cost of repealing ObamaCare. The CBO concluded that repealing Obamacare would add $145 billion to the national deficit over ten years. In addition, "32 million fewer nonelderly people would have health insurance by 2019", if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Additionally....if ObamaCare, as the CBO determined, would add 32 million currently uninsured Americans to health insurance rolls....how could it be that that much new medical-care demand would not require millions of new jobs in the medical industry? Repealing Obamacare, then....would eliminate all those new jobs.
Second rebuttal. Cutting regulations on big business will not create jobs. It may make those big businesses a little bit more profitable so that they can send out bigger dividend checks to a handful of very wealthy shareholders.....but as we've witnessed over the last three decades....any savings to big business would wind up going upline rather than downline to hire new workers or give current employees raises.
“The effects on jobs are negligible. They’re (government regulations) not job-creating or job-destroying on average,” said Richard Morgenstern, who served in the EPA from the Reagan to Clinton years and is now at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank.
I would add to this section the fact that the deregulation of the financial industry in 1999-2000 was the catalyst for our deep recession beginning in 2007. Government deregulation of the financial industry, basically giving banks and money shufflers the power to "self-regulate"......resulted in that industry virtually destroying the national economy.
For GOP presidential candidates to be calling for further deregulation after what we've been through the last 4 years, particularly their calls to repeal Dodd-Frank, can only be understood by realizing that the modern Republican Party is simply an extension of Wall Street, the government enforcer for the wildly rich and powerful.
Third rebuttal. If it were true that lowering taxes on corporations and very rich people resulted in big new job creation.....then we would have witnessed a huge glut of new jobs during the Bush administration. Instead, what actually happened during our lowest federal tax rate period since Truman's presidency....was 8 years of the lowest job creation numbers in America's modern history.
If lowering tax rates on our nation's richest actually resulted in a windfall of new jobs being created....then it would be understandable right now for Republican presidential hopefuls to be calling for lowering taxes on our nation's richest. But, alas....we have 8 years of objective historical numbers to evaluate, and lowering taxes on the rich in the 00's resulted in the most anemic jobs creation in my lifetime....and I'm old.
What was absent from all this supply side, faith based, bullsh*t during last night's Vegas debate was ANY talk of stimulating the economy right now through government spending. To today's Republicans, new government spending, even in a terrible recession complete with 9% unemployment, is our nation's biggest enemy. Next to raising taxes a few percentage points on millionaires and billionaires, that is.
The CBO said that the original (2011) Obama stimulus bill would involve $447 billion in tax cuts and new spending—the same estimate given by the administration. It said the bill would raise $450 billion over ten years. The result is a $3 billion decrease in deficits over ten years.
CBO also said that the bill “could have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years.”
Finally....I would just add that, unfortunately, ALL of the GOP presidential candidates in Vegas last night are simply operating under false, faith-based assumptions....which any student with The Google can disprove in less than 10 minutes. Supply side economics.....or put more simply....top-down economics, where the wealthy and powerful are given unimaginable giveaways and breaks under the assumption that all of those giveaways and breaks will "trickle down" to the unwashed masses.....has proven to be a pitiful, miserable and total failure.
Realizing that truth....that supply-side economics has been tried for three decades and proven to be a bitter and unjust failure....why would any GOP presidential candidate in 2011 be calling for more of the same?