But first . . .


Dean Baker, author of The Conservative Nanny State: How The Wealthy Use The Government To Stay Rich And Get Richer, sees it this way:

. . . Tarred with the most dismal record of job creation and income growth of any president since the Great Depression, it would be reasonable to expect that Senator McCain would be defensive on the economy; but not in Swift boat America.

Instead Senator McCain is filling the airwaves with commercials telling the public that Obama’s tax increases will slow growth and cost the economy jobs. It’s pretty scary stuff to anyone who takes it seriously.

Of course, there’s no truth to Senator McCain’s Swift boat economics. During the eight years of the Clinton administration, when rich people paid the same tax rates proposed by Senator Obama, the private sector added 15.8 million jobs. By contrast, in the seven years and six months of the Bush administration, when rich people paid the Bush-McCain tax rates, the private sector has added just 3.5 million jobs. And, it is losing jobs at the rate of almost 100,000 a month as President Bush prepares for retirement. . . .

. . . The typical family’s income rose by 15.3 percent under Clinton, it fell by 1.6 percent under Bush. . . .

In short, it is easy to show McCain’s ad is utter nonsense. The economy had its most prosperous period in 30 years with the tax rates Obama is proposing. President Bush then cut taxes for the rich, and the economy turned in its worst performance since the Great Depression. While the tax rates are hardly the whole story behind the prosperity of the Clinton years or the economic deterioration of the Bush years, the record makes a mockery of the scare story in the McCain ad.

So why would Senator McCain make an ad that is so obviously false? In Swift boat country, there is no place for truth. McCain knows he can say anything he wants, regardless of how untrue it is, and his claim will be treated seriously by the media.

Reporters will now treat it as a debatable point whether the tax rates proposed by Obama will stifle growth and cost jobs. They will act as though Senator McCain has raised a serious point – perhaps Obama’s tax plan really will hurt the economy. Reporters would actually have to know something about the economy, or at least arithmetic, to know that McCain’s claims are utter nonsense.

The public will have to teach the media. This is not a he said, she said. The economy has performed very well taxing rich people at the rates proposed by Senator Obama. Any reporter who suggests it is plausible to claim these tax rates will stifle growth and job creation is simply too ill-informed to be covering economic issues. Reporters should be telling the public Senator McCain’s ads are contradicted by the facts, not pretending that they raise plausible concerns about the economy.


‘It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.’ – Murray Rothbard


So here’s what you do:

1. Copy this into your word processor (or anyplace):


2. Replace the red parts with your real first and last names . . . or your kid’s

3. Copy the result into your browser, follow the link, and be amazed.*

*If you are as hopelessly childish as I am, you will not stop there. Astonish your nieces and nephews (or whomever) by sending them an email with the URL you’ve created for THEM and let THEM be amazed. (To keep them from noticing their names in the URL, you might want to use snipurl.com to compress it first.) Is this a great century, or what? (THANK you, Alan!)


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