Eight False Things The Public “Knows” That Just Aint So

OurFuture.org has put together a list that should be in every American’s mailbox before election day. It’s a perfect manifestation of Mark Twain’s admonition that, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” So here is a short list of some things the GOTea Party “knows” for sure:

1) President Obama tripled the deficit.
Reality: Bush’s last budget had a $1.416 trillion deficit. Obama’s first budget reduced that to $1.29 trillion.

2) President Obama raised taxes, which hurt the economy.
Reality: Obama cut taxes. 40% of the “stimulus” was wasted on tax cuts which only create debt, which is why it was so much less effective than it could have been.

3) President Obama bailed out the banks.
Reality: While many people conflate the “stimulus” with the bank bailouts, the bank bailouts were requested by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, former Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson. (Paulson also wanted the bailouts to be “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”) The bailouts passed and began before the 2008 election of President Obama.

4) The stimulus didn’t work.
Reality: The stimulus worked, but was not enough. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the stimulus raised employment by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million jobs.

5) Businesses will hire if they get tax cuts.
Reality: A business hires the right number of employees to meet demand. Having extra cash does not cause a business to hire, but a business that has a demand for what it does will find the money to hire. Businesses want customers, not tax cuts.

6) Health care reform costs $1 trillion.
Reality: The health care reform reduces government deficits by $138 billion.

7) Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, is “going broke,” people live longer, fewer workers per retiree, etc.
Reality: Social Security has run a surplus since it began, has a trust fund in the trillions, is completely sound for at least 25 more years and cannot legally borrow so cannot contribute to the deficit (compare that to the military budget!) Life expectancy is only longer because fewer babies die; people who reach 65 live about the same number of years as they used to.

8‌) Government spending takes money out of the economy.
Reality: Government is We, the People and the money it spends is on We, the People. Many people do not know that it is government that builds the roads, airports, ports, courts, schools and other things that are the soil in which business thrives. Many people think that all government spending is on “welfare” and “foreign aid” when that is only a small part of the government’s budget.

The fact that there are so many people who believe things that are demonstrably untrue is a sad reflection on the media that ought to be informing the public. And worse, it’s evidence of how the corporations that control the press so blatantly misrepresent the truth. That’s why it’s so important for the rest of us to pass along the information above.


16 thoughts on “Eight False Things The Public “Knows” That Just Aint So

  1. 9) The Liberal Media slants the news.
    Reality: Reputably news sources go so far out of their way to provide both viewpoints that they have given legitimacy to some of the most wing-nut ideas out there. Slanted news reporting comes from the Right Wing.

  2. Sorry for the repeat.

    “Foreign Aid” is usually credits to buy American Products, often weapons.

  3. The explanation attached to number 2 is just the most insane thing I’ve ever read. Tax cuts are NEVER a waste unless you are under the dillusion that the government is more entitled to your money than you are. Deficits and debt are only created by spending more than you bring in and borrowing to make up the difference vs. cutting to meet the income (or slowing the government growth to match the growth in tax revenue – which did appear to happen in the mid 90s with a truly conservative congress – not the crew we had in the GW Bush years. The budget numbers I saw looked reasonable, and growth occured with a strong dollar vs. what we’re seeing today – a race to the bottom of all fiat currencies and crazy deficits. This path will result in way worse conditions than the depression we supposedly avoided – not sure what you call our current conditions, but it isn’t anything good. I’ll never defend GW Bush spending policies – he was terrible.

    If infrastructure is the area of most need – then cut other spending to pay for it vs. the false arguement presented here. I heard the same thing from our current president when addressing the Bush tax cuts – no one buys his idiocy that there will be a giant budget hole blown which can only be true if spending isn’t cut back to match the government income which unfortuanately is the norm in DC.

    • In what sense is the explanation non-nonsensical? The explanation is for a specific “truth” not an argument for or against taxes. “Did Obama cut or raise taxes”? not, “Are tax increases fair or good”?

      But then you give the argument that government growth and size should be decided by income, while arguing that taxes are merely the appropriation of your money by the government. Are you serious? I’ll make a deal with you, if you can name a single great country in history that survived without taxes I’ll agree with you. Furthermore, I’d like to know your argument that those who have most profited from a capitalist society don’t have the greater burden to support, through a taxes, the system that insures their success. I ask this because Obama is not nor has ever proposed a tax increase on the middle or working classes. He has supported a tax cut for them. All he has asked for was a return to the tax rate for the richest people that was in effect during those mid 90’s you like so much.

      • Item 1 – yes, I agree some taxes are required to support the governmnt we want and/or need. Since I like to have a military, we’ll need to support it with something and money is it. Not one penny more than is needed though.
        With respect to your next point – those who profit the most should pay more – they already do, but I dont’ think they should owe any more as percentage of their income than me – who falls into middle class. So if I understand where you stand on this, no I don’t agree with the progressive tax system we have. I think it should be more of a flat tax – the same rate across the board regardless of income.

        • Steve- you do realize just how much money these rich people have, don’t you? They own an absurd portion of our nation’s wealth- of the world’s wealth- and you think they don’t deserve to pay more in taxes?
          Making them pat more in taxes doesn’t “remove the incentive” for them to stay rich, nor for others to get rich. That is simply a falsehood. It just pisses them off because they have to support “those worthless poor people who should work for a living” because in their fantasy world they don’t realize that not everyone has it made.

          • Sorry, meant to say “pay”.
            Taxes are how the government paves our roads and pays our police. Taxes on the top 1%- in my opinion, even the top 10%- would only make life better for you, your family, the poor, and everyone else.
            The only people it would hurt are the super-rich, and they deserve it- especially since in financial terms it would mean practically nothing. Taking a little bit off the top of their colossal stack of money is not going to make them fire their workers or suddenly stop being competitive.
            The belief and trust in the unregulated free market that corporations teamed up with the GOP have managed to instill in their followers is so self-destructive. Corporations left unchecked are pure corruption.

  4. What spending cuts would you make? Americans won’t stand for entitlements to be cut. Nor should they.

    • The question is more like what cuts wouldn’t I make – to get spending under control everything would need cutting – the deficit is too big to focus on one thing. Entire government departments would probably need to be eliminated. You’re right though, once an entitlement is created, it’s hard to cut which is why they shouldn’t be created in teh first place. In the end, it won’t matter, we’ll be bankrupt and have no choice – so it’s only a matter of time. So we can save something now or nothing later, the choice is ours for the time beimg, but it won’t be for long. The Fed can print money only so long before it becomes worthless, so hard choices will be needed.

  5. It saddens me that the people who should be seeing this either won’t or will refuse to accept it. Cognitive bias is a bitch.

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