Monday, October 25, 2010

There's a link going around among liberal Facebook friends and family , that clams to be about false things that voters know, by some Dem campaign guy named Dave Johnson. It's apparently been crossposted around, inlcluding to HuffPo and the guy's organization. Nothing I say here should be taken as an argument in favor of Republicans - I am merely arguing that Johnson has partisan blinders on, such that his attempt to defend the Democrats' record requires him to ignore real problems, and his contempt for the American voter leads him to misrepresent things.

Here's what it leaves out:

Obama did vote for TARP, but so did McCain. It WAS Paulsen's project (hence sometimes-centrist Bushie David Frum'sb"non-ideological" fanboys crowing about its making a profit). The bank bailouts had wide support in 2008 among BOTH Republicans and Democrats. The fact that it was only opposed by a small minority of principled progressives and conservatives, and passed with majority support from both parties - overwhelmingly so in the Senate. 

Medicare IS going broke, and the healthcare "reform" bill (which was watered down to the point of irrelevance by pandering to people in Congress who opposed it anyway) did little to change this. And this: " people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to." is simply wrong. And if it isn't wrong, then all the money spent on Medicare to keep people over 65 healthy is being wasted. 

Also, as I will not be retiring in the next 25 years, the fact that Social Security may not be solvent at that point is still an issue. It's just not an immediate one, and really it can be fixed by making the payroll tax less regressive by applying it to incomes over $90k per year. Obama actually proposed this as a candidate, but it went nowhere.

Lastly, its a basic principle of macroeconomics that government spending (and especially government debt) does generally crowd out private investment either by driving up taxes or interest rates. Instead of denying this with some non-sequiter about infrastructure spending (which, I agree, should have been a larger portion of the ARRA stimulus), he ought to argue the actual logic behind the Democratic stimulus policies - that there are times when private investment dries up for other reasons, such as in a recession, and the government needs to step in then to take up the slack. 

You won't convince Tea Party Republicans this way, sure, but denying the facts to make your argument won't help you convince anyone else.