It’s been 20 months since America embraced a progressive path after decades of conservative failure. How have conservative leaders reacted since then? By reassessing what went wrong on their watch and offering fresh ideas? Or by completely losing their minds?
For the next several weeks, OurFuture.org will seek to answer that question, with the weekly feature “Top 10 Crazy Things Conservatives Say.”
And we’re not going to cheat by finding the craziest crackpots on talk radio and the intertubes. We’re sticking to folks currently holding elective office or seeking office.
As you can see, those folks get plenty crazy.
This week: the economy. Hold on to your brains, as we count them down…
“The unemployment compensation benefits have gotten — first of all, it’s not constitutionally authorized.”
— Alaska Senate nominee Joe Miller (ABC News)
“My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed.”
— South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, criticizing government assistance to the poor. (CBS News)
“We could have gone back to the days of FDR, who also had a recession that he turned into a Great Depression because he used a wrong economic theory.”
— Rep. Todd Akin (Politicalcorrection.org)
“Is the government now creating hobos?”
— Rep. Dean Heller (Las Vegas Sun)
“I believe that [estate] taxes should be zero, I believe that corporate taxes should be zero [and] that dividend taxes should be zero.”
— Rep. Paul Broun (Salon)
“The last stimulus bill didn’t create one new job”
— Sen. Scott Brown, a comment deemed “Pants On Fire” by fact-check site Politifact.com
“There’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue.”
— Sen. Mitch McConnell (Talking Points Memo)
“Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work.”
— Senator Jon Kyl (The Huffington Post) (Video)
“We have spoiled our citizenry, and said you don’t want the jobs that are available.”
— Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (Chicago Now) (Video)
… and Number 1!
“Well, I don’t need to see GDP numbers or to listen to economists.”
— House Minority Leader John Boehner (Think Progress) (Video)
For some non-crazy information about the economy, check out:
- The Congressional Budget Office analyses of the Recovery Act, the latest of which concludes that the Recovery Act “increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million.”
- Economist Mark Zandi’s congressional testimony in support of unemployment insurance, in which he saysd, “No form of the fiscal stimulus has proved more effective during the past two years than emergency UI benefits.”
- United For A Fair Economy’s fact sheets on the estate tax, which show in 2009 less than 1 percent of estates was affected by the estate tax.
- Ruth Marcus’s post on Washingtonpost.com refuting the assertion that the Bush tax cuts did not reduce revenue.
- History professor Eric Rauchway’s article in Salon that shows that no, FDR did not cause the Great Depression.
Terrance Heath assisted with the research for this post.