When practical becomes politicized

After anoodle posted about the polls that show an overwhelming majority of Americans support the upcoming and crucial first undertakings of the Congress, I thought I should add to the information by showing some of the ways that information can be misleading or untrue regarding the initiatives that our government is about to set out on.

Media Matters has listed many of the upcoming Republican arguments we will be hearing during debate on the proposed bills, and while I recommend that everyone read the entire thing some are worth noting in particular:

Minimum wage hike will result in job losses and discourage job creation. Conservatives commonly argue that increasing the minimum wage will negatively affect the economy, resulting in stagnating job growth and higher unemployment. However, numerous studies have examined recent increases in the minimum wage at both the federal and state level and found that higher wages do not result in job loss. One recent example is Oregon, which increased its minimum wage to $7.50 in 2002. Four years later, “Oregon’s experience suggests the most strident doomsayers were wrong,” according to a November 3 Wall Street Journal article. Indeed, private, nonfarm payrolls have increased there at twice the national rate, industries that employ many minimum-wage workers have experienced considerable job growth, and unemployment has dropped to 5.4 percent from 7.6 percent in 2002.

Republicans claiming they care about small business owners and the middle class will constantly claim that a raised minimum wage is unhealthy for the economy…NOT TRUE.

Deficits under Bush are smaller — as a percentage of the economy — than under Clinton. Some conservatives, when faced with Democratic criticism of the Bush economic record, have claimed that the deficits under Bush — when measured as a percentage of the gross domestic product — are half the size of those experienced under Clinton. In fact, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the average federal budget deficit during Clinton’s two terms (FY 1994 to FY 2001) was 0.1 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, during Bush’s first term (FY 2002 to FY 2005), the average was 2.75 percent of GDP.

As the article states, PAYGO (the pay-as-you-go budgetary policy) led to the surplus in the 1990s. It is also worth noting that the middle-class is worse off today than they were five years ago, and that has nothing to do with 9/11. Watch economist Paul Krugman here explain how the middle class is worse off.

Hope when we hear these myths on television and in print, people will be able to respond with fact.


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