Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Confused Yet?   He Hopes So

At the time, it seemed quite clear.    Mitt Romney said President Obama

wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers.   He says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.    Did he not get the message of Wisconsin?   The American people did.   It's time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.

Let's break this down.    According to the former governor, the President says we need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers and thus "did not get the message of Wisconsin."

To most earthlings, that would mean that Mitt Romney believes "the message of Wisconsin" is that we do not "need more firemen, more policemen, more teachers."

Fellow earthlings, we were wrong.   On GOP News June 12, Romney was asked "(President Obama) says you want to cut firefighters and teachers, that you don’t understand what’s going on in these communities. What do you say to that, governor?"

Governor Flip-Flop maintained

That's a very strange accusation.  Of course, teachers and firemen and policemen are hired at the local level and also by states. The federal government doesn’t pay for teachers, firefighters or policemen. So obviously that's completely absurd. 

Well, no, because the gentleman said we should cut firefighters and teachers (and police officers).    And while the federal government doesn't hire teachers, firefighters, or police, it can pay their salaries (at least indirectly), as the ARRA demonstrated.    Romney himself said Obama "wants another stimulus, he wants to hire government workers...  more firemen, more policemen, more teachers."    Now, confronted with a damaging statement, Romney wants to play professor of American government, maintaining that Obama should cut back on the government he expanded by hiring workers it is possible for only state and local governments to hire.

But he didn't stop there.   He continued

He’s got a new idea, though, and that is to have another stimulus and to have the federal government send money to try and bail out cities and states. It didn’t work the first time. It certainly wouldn’t work the second time.

So Mitt charges Obama with wanting to use another stimulus "to have the federal government send money to try and bail out cities and states."     Immediately after asserting teachers, firefighters, and police officers are not hired, or paid for, by the federal government, he acknowledges that the stimulus would be sent to cities and states to do just that.      He then says the stimulus "didn't work the first time.   It certainly wouldn't work the second time."

Wrong on both counts.    In November, Politico reported that the Congressional Budget Office

figures released Tuesday estimate that the stimulus package raised the gross domestic product this past quarter by 0.3 percent-1.9 percent.

The CBO report provided a broad range of the estimated number of full-time jobs created because of the stimulus — from a low of 500,000 to a high of 3.3 million jobs...

The effects of the stimulus are fading after having peaked in the first half of 2010, the report noted.

However, the CBO estimates that the stimulus will raise GDP by 0.1 percent to 0.8 percent next year and employment by 200,000 to 1.1 million jobs.

Of course, the presumptive nominee of the Gas and Oil Party, who considers himself an expert on business and the economy, was lying when he said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act didn't work.    But lying is not Romney's forte.    Rather, he specializes in the tactic represented by the first four sentences of his statement on Tuesday morning, a marvel of misdirection meant to sow confusion.   It's a fascinating approach to political propaganda, one which the Obama campaign must (and probably will) find a way to counteract.

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