Being politically active is great. Personally rewarding. Fun, even. It also leaves you subject to endless junk email, too, unfortunately. Your address could get bought and sold and traded, and you’ll wind up with a junk-mail folder filled with complete and utter bullsh*t – just like the crap that Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker circulated on May 15.
From an address of his “Our American Revival” PAC, which he formed in January, Walker emailed a quick summation of what his potential presidential campaign could be based on — if and when he makes up his mind.
The points in Walker’s summation, however, are false. Fabricated. Made up. Dishonest. Deceptive. Bogus. Complete and utter crap.
In fact, they only reveal how stupid Walker thinks you’d have to be in order to support him in an election, and because you’d have to be very stupid to believe any of it.
Just consider his opening sentence, which can be picked apart clause-by-clause:
“Under the Obama administration, we’ve seen the federal government grow in size and scope…”
Only an idiot would fall for this latest “big gubbamint” claim, especially when it’s been disproven time after time.
In a December 2013 column for Forbes, for example, analyst Mike Patton listed the number of federal employees under all presidents going back to Reagan, using the same month for each year for comparison. For additional analysis, Patton compared the number of government workers to the population at those times, too. And the results?
Obama reduced the number of federal employees, and while the population grew, thus reducing the government employees-to-population ratio to only 6.9 percent. And that’s the lowest it’s been in almost a quarter of a century. Check the chart:
Another historic analysis on this subject goes back to 1962, and also includes military personnel. According to the “Face The Facts USA” program at George Washington Univ., under Obama federal employment reached a 50-year low.
Walker’s mention of “scope” is garbage, too. That’s a very broad and generalized term that Walker and other RWNJs use to mean an expansion of government oversight into new areas. The examples they give, though, have no relevance to Obama.
For example, the Heritage Foundation lists the educational Head Start program as a type of scope expansion from Obama, and conservative media blame him for the pre-Kindergarten program they despise. But both Head Start and Pre-K were created in 1965 (and when Obama was only four years old).
When House Republicans make the “scope” argument, they list federal funding for clean energy programs as the example. But House GOP apparently hopes you’re too stupid to recognize that this same project was created by Republicans in 2005 – under a Republican president, and when both the House and Senate had Republican majorities.
As for Solyndra, a company that received funding for the program only to file bankruptcy shortly after, and which the GOP uses as an example of Obama’s failure? Solyndra was approved for the Dept. of Energy grant in 2008 under the Bush Administration. The company tried to get more money in 2011, but the Obama Administration rejected the request.
“…while the American people have fallen further behind under mounting taxes…”
Huh? “Mounting taxes”? Walker’s scraping the sewer tanks to come up with this crap. The only taxes that went up during the Obama Administration were on the highest income bracket. And they weren’t any increase, either; temporary tax deductions that were introduced under the Bush Administration expired and weren’t renewed.
Same thing for capital gains and dividend taxes – temporary lower rates returned to their normal rates. And not only is this simply a return to old rates and not newer, higher taxes, and not only was this intended to be temporary in the first place, and not only did it originate from the previous administration – it also only affects people making over $400,000 a year (less than one percent of the population), and who already pay a very low tax rate (if not lowest on the planet).
Rightwingers also have the audacity to claim Obama raised payroll taxes from 4.2 percent to 6.2. They’re again hoping that the public is ignorant enough to have forgotten that the 6.2 percent rate has been in effect since the Reagan Administration. In 2009, Obama temporarily reduced those rates to allow folks to take home more money to spend during the horrific recession our country had just entered under Bush; that part is true. That temporary reduction expired in 2013.
Have new regulations been enacted during the Obama administration? Damn right – about 21,000 so far, conservative groups truthfully say. What those same groups don’t want you to know, however, is that these new regulations are comparatively low in number.
Over the past 20 years, the lowest number of new annual federal regulations has been about 3,500, and usually exceeds 4,000. Under Obama, new regulations are averaging that lower number (only 3,541 last year, for example).
And are these new regulations “burdensome”? Well, that depends on who you ask. If you’re a company that engages in fracking, or that deals in body organs without testing them for HIV, or that discriminates against disabled veterans, or wants to use its own definition of the Privacy Act so it can get away with selling your personal data, or sells airplanes that are found to be unsafe for flying, or a publicly-owned farm bank that doesn’t want to tell investors how much the CEO gets in benefits … well, go cry on Scott Walker’s shoulder, jackass. Those regulations only remove burdens from the public.
“…and rising healthcare costs.”
Since Obamacare went into full effect, have healthcare costs actually increased? They sure did, fella – and by 3.6 percent in the last reported year. But that’s the lowest rate of increase since that figure was first calculated over 50 years ago.
And that’s not just for costs of health insurance, even though the number who are insured are what’s helping to keep that increase so low (only 2.8 percent). Out-of-pocket spending for medical care had lowest recent cost increase, as did costs of doctor’s visits, and even spending on hospital bills, too.
And, incidentally, how much did average household income increase for that same period? According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, it grew 3.9 percent. That’s right – income grew at a higher rate than the cost of healthcare did. And that means for the first time in a quite a long time we are now keeping more money instead of blowing it away on high medical costs.
For a potential candidate to spread bullsh*t this thick, it can only mean one thing: Walker can’t find support from anyone with a working sense of smell, let alone half a brain.
Featured image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and Our American Revival (modified)