Tools to Change Society
The American Republican Party has taken “The Big Lie” as a political concept to new heights of mendacity. Adolph Hitler defined the political stratagem of “The Big Lie” in Mein Kampf:
“…in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses … more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”
Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, used the artifice of blaming his enemy, the British, for “The Big Lie” in order to hide his own. He said in “From Churchill’s Lie Factory,” dated January 12, 1941, “The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”
Certainly Conservatives have accused Liberals of big lies recently so in fairness the reader should know that I have no plans to vote for another Republican in my lifetime. You may therefore consider the source as you read my list of the 10 Big Lies Republicans are telling the American people.
Big Lie #1: Lower Taxes Create Jobs. Under President George W. Bush, businesses and wealthy Americans enjoyed the lowest taxes in a century, and yet only 1.1 million jobs were created in that 8-year period, as compared to 22.7 million created during President Bill Clinton’s term, before the tax reduction. Furthermore, President Bush was credited with the loss of 1.55 million jobs in his last 3 months in office, and that momentum carried over to the loss of 1.83 million jobs during the first 3 months of President Obama’s Administration. Republicans must admit that President Obama was handed a collapsing economy.
Big Lie #2: Republicans Reduce the Deficit and National Debt. Statistics clearly show that the last Republican President to reduce the National Debt as a percent of Gross Domestic Product (“GDP”) was Richard Nixon, not someone we usually associate with fiscal concerns. President George W. Bush increased the National Debt from 56.4% to 84.6% of the GDP, about $6.1 Trillion in round numbers. Even though saddled with President Bush’s vastly increased debt service, President Obama has only increased the debt by $1.7 Trillion, while faced with saving the American economy from total collapse. Every Democrat since Roosevelt has reduced the National Debt as a percent of GDP, while every Republican except Eisenhower and Nixon has increased the debt.
Big Lie #3: Lower Taxes Help New Businesses Create Jobs. This is Republican bologna of the first order. New businesses never have taxes, because in their startup period they are spending more money than they’re earning. Furthermore, since they usually suffer losses during a startup period of at least 2-3 years, they have “tax loss carry forward” in later tax years. Therefore, taxes rarely enter into any decisions relating to creating new businesses.
Big Lie #4: Social Security and Medicare Will Go Bankrupt. No they will not, because the solution is simple. Everyone earning under $106,800 pays Social Security tax on 100% of his or her income. If you earn more than $106,800, you pay nothing on the amount over that amount. This means that someone earning $1 Million per year pays less than 1% of their income for Social Security. How is it fair to have such regressive taxes? The wealthy take the most from
our society in the form of assets we all buy: they have roads for their trucks, armies to defend them, and education for their employees, among many other benefits that most of us pay for but use very sparingly. Secondly, our population has grown more than 50% since the end of the “Baby Boom”, so while that generation is larger, the population paying taxes to cover their benefits is also growing very fast. Republicans, who have already arranged for less than 1% of our population to control more than 50% of our national wealth, are just hoping to take even more, and create a society of slaves to debt. Some would say they have already succeeded!
Big Lie #5: Republicans Believe in “Family Values”. Well, perhaps they do, but the ones they use in politics are just diversions to keep Americans from talking about how the wealthy are ripping off the country and most of us. Here’s their list:
a) Abortion: Prohibiting abortion will save exactly zero babies. Before abortion became legal in the United States, about 16% of our medical community was regularly committing felonies by performing illegal abortions. Did criminalizing our medical community help the nation? How about those well meaning sorority sisters with their coat hangers? Was that better? How many places in the world can someone go to get an abortion today? If we criminalize abortions again, babies will not be saved, we’ll go back to the bad old days, and we’ll further brutalize our society once again.
b) Gay Rights: What business is it of ours to even think about what our neighbors do in the privacy of their bedrooms? Do you live in a glass house? Why are we even talking about this? Do we think we will stop the behavior by making it more difficult for our fellow countrymen to live their lives? What are Conservative Republicans thinking? I think they’re just using the usual smoke and mirrors to hide the fact that they are destroying our future.
c) Evolution: Conservative Republicans support fundamentalists who want us to believe that humans were developed by “intelligent design” 5,000 years ago. They need to stop supporting militant ignorance. We have remains of human ancestors dating back 4 million years, and we can see back to within 500,000 years of the “Big Bang” and down to particles smaller than atoms. Why are we militantly and ignorantly denying science? Is this the way to make the United States of America the envy of the world again? I recently heard a news story saying that a fundamentalist Christian was mad at a teacher for revealing to an 11-year-old girl that the “tooth fairy” does not exist. What are they thinking? How will children raised in those environments cope with our steadily more complex real world?
Big Lie #6: Barack Obama Is Responsible for the “Obama Economy”. George W. Bush handed President Obama a collapsing economy caused by the profligacy of his Wall Street supporters. As the #OccupyWallStreet movement is beginning to show, Americans aren’t buying the Republican game any more. Most of us remember President Bush and his cronies doling out nearly $1 Trillion in TARP (read “stimulus” or “bailout”) before they left office. The Republican Party needs to change its obstructionist behavior to something that makes sense for the average American, or it can forget the Presidency for the next generation.
Big Lie #7: “Obama Care” Is Bad? Well, it’s an interesting buzz word the Republicans are using to hide the fact that before the healthcare changes passed during the Obama Administration, there were over 40 million Americans without health insurance, and many children and people with pre-existing conditions could not obtain health insurance from the Republicans’ insurance company allies at any cost. Of course, the wealthy could care less about that. If you pay yourself a $100 million bonus, you don’t have to worry about health insurance. It’s just the rest of us, who do the work in their companies to make them wealthier, who do!
Big Lie #8: Democrats Are Soft on National Defense. So far, the Republicans are looking pretty ridiculous on this one. First they told “The Big Lie” to get us into a war in Iraq, thereby creating hundreds of millions of new enemies for us in the Middle East. Next they refused to follow the Geneva Convention, thereby proving to those new enemies that we are not the benevolent country we think and pretend we are. And now Republican candidates are implying that they want to get us into another war with Iran. Just great! Meanwhile, President Obama has shown a quiet and effective methodology for handling our foreign affairs. He’s actually following a dictum espoused by a Republican President of the early Twentieth Century, Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.” It is really not necessary to have everyone think we’re the policemen of the world.
Big Lie #9: Ronald Reagan’s Administration Was Good for the Economy. Ronald Reagan’s performance on our National Debt was the worst of any President in history. During the Reagan Administration the National Debt increased from $930 Billion to $2.68 Trillion, an increase of 2.89 times over the level it was when he took office. The National Debt increased by 23.6% on average every year of the Reagan Presidency.
Big Lie #10: Illegal Immigration Will Be Stopped by a Republican President. Mitt Romney ran an “amnesty state” during his time as Massachusetts Governor, while Rick Perry made coming to this country more attractive by allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities. As long as we have illegal immigration, we will have an artificial slave class in the United States, because illegal immigrants are not protected by minimum wage statutes. All of the evidence over the last 3-4 decades says that neither major party will push for sensible immigration reform.
So there you have it! Ten “Big Lies” the Republicans are telling to win the White House and control of Congress. Are we going to continue to stand for it?
Skip Conover is an international businessman, author and artist.