Our Congressman Misrepresents the Facts and Misrepresents Us

It would be paying him a compliment to say that Republican Representative Francisco Canseco didn’t personally write the February column “Job report not clear indicator of reality,” though he put his name to it.  It consisted entirely of talking points and misinformation Koch Industries/tea party propaganda thunk tanks are pushing in similar columns and letters to the editor.

Wouldn’t we prefer to hear from our Congressman what he is doing for us, how he is representing us?  Shouldn’t he be informing us of happenings in our district?  Instead, we got another false partisan attack on the Administration.

The article claimed Democratic efforts to recover from the Great Recession are not working.  But this month’s job report is an even better indicator than last month’s report that those efforts ARE working.  We added 192,000 more jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 8.9%.  This must be very disturbing to Republicans who wanted to keep doing all the things that caused the recession in the first place – tax cuts for the rich, cuts in government services, outsourcing, deregulation and privatization.

The article called the policies of the last two years “intrusive and burdensome” without a shred of evidence that they’ve been either one.  It continues, “Washington’s answer to our economic woes has been to spend more of your tax dollars and grow government.” Government has not grown significantly; no evidence was presented that it had.

Then there’s a real whopper: “This approach has halted job creation, leading to 2.45 million lost jobs….”  The 2.45 million jobs were lost BEFORE any of the recovery programs could be implemented, and Republican policies have lost us 8 million jobs since 2007!  Now we’re back to gaining jobs due to stimulus spending the article falsely claims has failed.

Hello folks!, government spending is the ONLY way to recover from a recession this deep.  Some spending is even automatic.  And, you betcha, we want OUR tax dollars spent; we want them spent to improve OUR wellbeing!  We want our taxes to come back to us, to the citizens and small businesses that paid them!

Consumer and business spending is about 70% of our economy.  If it drops off severely, either because jobs were lost or incomes have dropped, a downward spiral develops that feeds on itself.  Businesses are selling less and earning less, they cut business spending and layoff employees who, in turn, cut further back on spending.  Businesses also reduce investment because they don’t see future demand for their products.  This is recession and the only way to recover is for the government to boost spending to build back lost jobs and public infrastructure.

The claim is made that if government just gets out of the way and cuts their taxes private entrepreneurs will create jobs.  How’s that been working for us for the last decade or two?  Not so well, because entrepreneurs will not create jobs unless there is demand for their products and they won’t invest in their businesses unless they have incentives to do so.  They are NOT the job creators; demand is.

Government spending needs to be up, not down, until recovery is complete and employment rebounds, even if that spending adds to our debt.  As the economy recovers, more workers become taxpayers who pay down debt.  So our present problem is economic recovery and jobs, not the debt, which is a long-term problem.

This information is lost on Republicans.  Or maybe it isn’t lost on them and they purposely want to kill recovery by cutting government spending.  Do they actually believe that if they do that and harm our entire country, the voters will reward them by booting the Democrats out of office?

Their budget cuts are not just bad economics; they are morally indefensible.  Budgets are moral documents.  They express who in our society receives the benefits of our society.  Republicans already got their temporary tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires in exchange for Democrats getting recovery spending for Main Street America.  Not content with that, elected state and national Republicans are attempting to slash and burn government spending, most particularly spending which helps those in greatest need.

As Speaker Boehner said, if jobs were lost, “So be it.”  Really, Mr. Boehner?  “So be it” to 700,000 jobs the Republican-proposed budget cuts? “So be it” for the teaching and public service jobs Republican-run states like Texas are cutting? No! Their moral compass is spinning backward!  Those aren’t just jobs, they’re HUMAN BEINGS working at jobs, teaching our kids, building our future!

They say over and over that we’re broke, but we’re not.  TRILLIONS of dollars sit in the hands of billionaires, millionaires, corporations and banks.  Republicans have given them still more and are trying to make middle America pay for it.  There is a term for this extremism:  Disaster capitalism.  It has been used elsewhere in the world to take nations to their knees and turn them over to corporate control.  Read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein.

Speaking of shock, I was shocked, I say, shocked and awed to hear our banker Congressman calling the financial reform legislation “over burdensome.”  What passed in financial reform won’t faze Wall Street and the banksters much less burden the rest of us.  It really was quite mild after Republicans watered it down and it didn’t address systemic problems with the financial system like the “too-big-to-fail” banks and toxic investments.

The rest of the article was stock blather – “free market” – “private sector solutions” – “government out of the way” – “out-of control spending” – “lower national debt” – “ simplify the tax code” – “end burdensome Washington policies that stifle job-creation”  – etc.  Representative Canseco should save that nonsense for fundraising like that which got him in the news before he was even sworn in (read “Incoming GOP freshmen rapidly embracing big-money fundraisers,” Washington Post, December 6, 2010).

No matter how many times these corporatist talking points are repeated it won’t make them true.  And the disaster capitalism Republicans are pushing on us has not only failed the USA, there is not a country on the face of the planet where it HAS worked.

(Note: I see in a more recent paper another deceptive column on cutting government spending from Rep. Canseco.  More on that nonsense later.)

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