If you think you have been lied to before…you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. It’s an election year and therefore the amount and the degree of inaccuracy of Republican statements will increase, and already have increased, exponentially. Here are just a few examples.
Both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have blamed Barack Obama for the lack of response to the Bush Recession. Even though a number of jobs have been created, slowly and steadily, as the months have worn on, it is too slow, according to Gingrich and Romney. And they are right. It is far too slow.
But the idea that it is President Obama’s fault is a lie. Here is the dramatic job loss at the end of the Bush Administration and the total devastation that was dumped onto our 44th President the day he entered office.
In the fall of 2008, the Stock Market, which had already dropped from over 14,000 in late 2007, fell to its lowest point ever, 6,599, in March of 2009, 2 months after President Obama had been sworn in to office.
A recession had begun in December of 2007 and continued growing worse in 2008. The economy lost an average of 137,000 jobs from January through August—over a million jobs and the unemployment rate had climbed to 6.5%. But the worst was yet to come.
In the last four months of 2008, another 1.9 million jobs were lost. Then, in January of 2009, another 779,000 people lost their jobs. The first quarter of 2009 saw an average job loss of 753,000 jobs per month, the largest percentage of jobs lost in any quarter since 1945.
Before the cascade of job losses, month after month, could be slowed, 4.7 million jobs would be lost in 2009, even with a massive job stimulus program. By January 2010, the efforts of the Federal government and the President’s stimulus plan had stopped the massive job losses. In January 2010 the unemployment rate actually fell from 10.0% to 9.7%. The massive job losses were conclusively over and the economy was slowly, very, very slowly…on the mend.
In March of 2009, while jobs were still falling like leaves in autumn, President Obama brought out his successful $787 billion stimulus bill. It reined in the falling unemployment numbers over a period of months and eventually created positive job numbers. In October of 2011, the President again tried to stimulate more jobs with a $447 billion jobs bill that was dead on arrival in the Republican controlled Senate. The Congress had passed a small, roughly $15 billion jobs bill in February 2010, but the benefits came primarily in the form of tax credits to companies and small, direct payments to Social Security recipients and other basic transfer payments to small business for job creation.
In 2009, President Obama had already fought two major battles with the Republicans, and those battles made it clear which group each Party represented.
In the battle over the stimulus bill, the Republicans won a major victory by forcing the President to include about one third of the stimulus as tax incentives to corporations. The balance of the funds went to states for infrastructure development and directly to states in block grants to hold on to teachers, firemen, nurses and police who would otherwise have been laid off.
In the battle for health care reform…and remember by 2009, there were at least 44 million people, and perhaps as many as 50 million who had no health care insurance. The average cost for a family in 2009 was about $13,000, so it is no surprise that many people simply could not afford health insurance. By the beginning of 2009, health insurance prices had gone up a whopping 131% over the past ten years and in some places and for some people as much as 15% per year. The country was clamoring for some relief.
President Obama fought for an entire year for the cooperation of Republicans on health care reform. But, with $400 million in campaign bribes being put into their bank accounts from the health care industry, the Republicans were having a health-care-obstruction payoff bonanza.
Once the Affordable Care Act was passed, they could no longer so easily move dates for its inception back to 2013 or 2014 for any new provision. Furthermore, nearly 130 million Americans are now safe from being denied health care insurance based on “pre-existing conditions.” If the Affordable Care Act were repealed, then they would lose their insurance and only those with perfect health records could be accepted by the insurers.
The 50-percent tax breaks for small businesses on employee health insurance and the health insurance exchanges that will require that all persons be included and that as many qualified insurers as possible join the exchange…these provisions will not kick in until 2014. While premiums will go down under ACA and the exchanges and likely by a large amount, should the Republicans somehow win a repeal, health insurance costs will go up bay an estimated 166% over the next ten years.
There is no way that the Republicans can reform the ACA and gain any victories for their constituents, the Health Insurance companies, hospitals, physicians, the rich and big corporations. Even with reforms, unless the bill can be repealed, most of the major provisions….non-denial of service…unlimited premium increases…denial of claims and caps on coverage…cannot be removed. As soon as exchanges are put in place, the health insurance company premium profits will disappear. The $14 million average health insurance CEO salary will evaporate.
The Republicans talk about mandates. It is a phony argument, designed to divert attention away from the main issues…high costs and restricted health care services. The mandate simply means that everyone has to have health insurance, just as everyone has to have auto insurance and just as everyone has to file a tax return. But if you do not make enough money, you do not pay taxes. Similarly if you cannot afford to buy health insurance, you will be given a subsidy in an amount that will guarantee you can afford health insurance. Certain SCHIPS and MEDICAID programs will be extended to include more people at the low income level.
So these are two major points on which the Republican candidates would like you to believe their lies. They don’t like President Obama. Do you know why? It is not because he is Black, African American.
It is because he is so popular with the people he represents. He stands for, and stands up for, you. He is the representative for 54% of the People of the United States…over half of each and every American. He is also the representative of the other 46%, whether they voted for him or not.
So it is the Republicans blocking you. You voted for a man who said he would begin to fix the health care problem and he has. You voted for a man who said he would end the war in Iraq and he did. It is over and our fighting troops, our combat forces, are home. He said that he would try to fix the economy and he at least has created some jobs, and increases in employment on average every single month since he stopped the bleeding of jobs in the beginning of 2010.
He promised to relieve us of this awkward, overhanging legal prejudice against gays, which we all wanted to eliminate. A majority of Americans may not understand the gay lifestyle, but they now accept it as natural, if rare, and want to be fair. He did it. He followed up on President Clinton’s idea of don’t-ask-don’t-tell with a real, meaningful determination…let gays serve in the military. They’ve been there forever so now make it legal. No big deal.
So this President has done his best in a bad situation, in the worst economy…as you have seen…since 1945 in terms of unemployment. We, as President, are fighting a well organized, well-funded Right Wing cadre of billionaires and huge international corporations. He, as us, can beat them. We, he, have greater numbers and a stronger feeling of comradeship with our fellow Americans.
He will win, and therefore we will win, because he is not our local representative. He is our personal representative…when he speaks he represents us. So let him know who we are and what we want. That’s all he needs to beat the forces of oppression who would oppress us.