We’ve got a great lineup of links for today. First, Bruce Bartlett on dailybeast.com talks about GOP denial. It’s a great piece by one of the original supply-side economists (Bartlett now classifies himself as an independent):
“Until conservatives once again hold Republicans to the same standard they hold Democrats, they will have no credibility and deserve no respect.”
“In January, the Congressional Budget Office projected a deficit this year of $1.2 trillion before Obama took office, with no estimate for actions he might take. To a large extent, the CBO’s estimate simply represented the $482 billion deficit projected by the Bush administration in last summer’s budget review, plus the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, which George W. Bush rammed through Congress in September over strenuous conservative objections. Thus the vast bulk of this year’s currently estimated $1.8 trillion deficit was determined by Bush’s policies, not Obama’s.”
“I think conservative anger is misplaced. To a large extent, Obama is only cleaning up messes created by Bush. This is not to say Obama hasn’t made mistakes himself, but even they can be blamed on Bush insofar as Bush’s incompetence led to the election of a Democrat. If he had done half as good a job as most Republicans have talked themselves into believing he did, McCain would have won easily.”
“Conservative protesters should remember that the recession, which led to so many of the policies they oppose, is almost entirely the result of Bush’s policies. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession began in December 2007—long before Obama was even nominated. And the previous recession ended in November 2001, so the current recession cannot be blamed on cyclical forces that Bush inherited.”
Read the whole thing by clicking here.
Next, a great New York Times editorial about healthcare reform and small business:
“The impact on small businesses has become a flashpoint in the increasingly raucous debate over health care reform. Trade associations are charging that the pending bills — which would require all businesses to provide coverage to their employees or pay a penalty — would place a huge financial burden on their members. Republican leaders are doing their best to inflame the fears and opposition of small business owners.”
“These proprietors would be wise to ignore the rhetoric and take a closer look. A vast majority of small businesses and their workers are likely to benefit greatly. They should be supporting, not opposing, reform.”
“It is a little recognized fact that some 70 percent of uninsured Americans come from families with one or two full-time workers. Most of those workers are employed by small businesses that don’t offer them health benefits or offer coverage that they can’t afford.”
“What’s been most lost in the furor is how much most small businesses would benefit from provisions that should make insurance more affordable — for businesses that already provide coverage and for those that have been deterred from providing coverage by cost.”
“Small businesses that currently offer coverage often pay significantly more per worker than larger employers do for the same coverage. Under all of the current bills, the smallest employers would gain quick access to new insurance exchanges — where plans would compete for their business with rates comparable to those enjoyed by large employers. (In subsequent years, slightly bigger firms and possibly even medium-size firms would likely gain access to the exchanges as well.)”
“And many small businesses with low-wage workers would be eligible for substantial tax credits to subsidize their coverage.”
Sign me up. Read the rest of the piece by clicking here.
Also from the New York Times, Paul Krugman talks about the “Republican Death Trip”:
“Sure enough, President Obama is now facing the same kind of opposition that President Bill Clinton had to deal with: an enraged right that denies the legitimacy of his presidency, that eagerly seizes on every wild rumor manufactured by the right-wing media complex.”
“And not long ago, some of the most enthusiastic peddlers of the euthanasia smear, including Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and Mrs. Palin herself, were all for ‘advance directives’ for medical care in the event that you are incapacitated or comatose. That’s exactly what was being proposed — and has now, in the face of all the hysteria, been dropped from the bill.”
“Yet the smear continues to spread. And as the example of Mr. Gingrich shows, it’s not a fringe phenomenon: Senior G.O.P. figures, including so-called moderates, have endorsed the lie.”
“Senator Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, is one of these supposed moderates. I’m not sure where his centrist reputation comes from — he did, after all, compare critics of the Bush tax cuts to Hitler. But in any case, his role in the health care debate has been flat-out despicable.”
“Last week, Mr. Grassley claimed that his colleague Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor wouldn’t have been treated properly in other countries because they prefer to ‘spend money on people who can contribute more to the economy.’ This week, he told an audience that ‘you have every right to fear,’ that we ‘should not have a government-run plan to decide when to pull the plug on grandma.’”
Read the whole thing by clicking here.
Read further about GOP the flip flop on end-of-life-counseling on this Time.com blog post:
“Remember the 2003 Medicare prescription drug bill, the one that passed with the votes of 204 GOP House members and 42 GOP Senators? Anyone want to guess what it provided funding for? Did you say counseling for end-of-life issues and care? Ding ding ding!!”
Read the whole post by clicking here.
And Mr. Grassley voted “Yea” on that 2003 bill. So he’s a flip flopping liar, clearly.
Not all GOPers are evil though. In the recent hubbub where conservative entertainers have paralleled Obama to Hitler and the Nazis, there are those who decry such ratings grabbing hogwash.
For example, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers offered this:
“‘I think the purpose of the town halls is for people to be able to express their views in an orderly and respectful manner, and that needs to take place on both sides,’ said McMorris Rodgers, the fifth-ranking Republican in the House.”
However, our lovely southern congresspeople are carrying on a fine tradition of partisan horseshit:
“In other words: When mama falls and breaks her hip, she’lljust lie in her bed in pain until she dies with pneumonia because her needed surgery is not cost efficient.”
That beautiful scare tactic gem is from a letter from Georgia Congressman Paul Broun (he’s an M.D.!).
Via: Talking Points Memo
I’m sure Mr. Limbaugh and Mr. Beck are enjoying their ratings. Except Beck’s misinformed (and stupid) comments are costing him advertisers.
Meanwhile, President Obama kicked ASS today in Montana at the town hall meeting there. Even if you disagree with his policies, you have to hand it to him for taking questions from people who disagree with him. The President did a fantastic job explaining the ideas behind healthcare reform. The President needs to do more of these and do them in places where the loudest opposition seems to come.