Have you been jonesing for me to review another batch of conservative emails? You have? Great then here you go.
This is a lot so…here we go.
1) First Debt Downgrade: True. And when it happened, S&P (the ratings agency in question) specifically said that the downgrade was the fault of Republicans in Congress. They feared that Congressional Republicans would hold the economy hostage over the debt limit and this — and only this — was the reason for the downgrade. Given the state of the Treasury Bond market, where U.S. “debt” is sold, S&P has probably jumped the gun though because the market indicates that the U.S. can go into tons more debt with no problem.
2) Federal Spending (Percentage) Highest Since WWII: Let’s go back to math class, shall we? Percentages are ratios. The percentage of my workday devoted to reading stupid conservative opinions (4 hours) out of the total (8 hours) constitutes 50%. If we’re trying to find “spending” as a percentage of “GDP” we divide spending by GDP. Higher spending will make a bigger percentage. But a lower GDP will also make a bigger percentage. For example, if I continued to read 4 hours of stupid conservative opinions and then knocked off for the day, it would mark 100% of my workday even though I haven’t increased any time reading. Likewise, the drop in GDP caused by the recession is the reason spending is up as a percentage of GDP. In fact, federal spending was increasing under Bush and has flattened under Obama – that’s still an increase, but it’s a better trend than we had.
3&4) Budget Deficit and Debt (Percentage) Highest Since WWII: See how they love that “percentage of GDP” caveat? Now that you’re on guard for that you’ll find a lot of shady GOP statistics evaporate into the ether.
5) Employment Lowest Since 1983: This statistic is from August 2011, so it’s a little outdated. That said, today’s number is around 58.6% but is dragged down by a definition that measures the workforce as those “16 and older,” thus including a host of teenagers who are disproportionately unemployed – around 25% unemployment – because businesses don’t hire kids for summer work in tough times because hiring kids is an extravagance.
6) Long-Term Unemployment Highest Since the Depression: I can’t even answer this because it’s a made up statistic. Long-term unemployment is an arbitrary statistic.
7) Job Growth Slowest Since WWII: Well it was also the most severe recession since WWII. So maybe that’s part of the problem. Well, that and the fact that Obama has suffered from the slashing of government jobs, while Bush got to sit on a huge expansion of government. Or for that matter, if the public sector grew just as it did under Reagan we’d have unemployment of about a percentage point less.
8) Home Ownership Rate Lowest Since 1965: This isn’t really true anymore. It’s more accurately the lowest since 1997. But it’s also true that the giant recession was created by an unnecessary expansion of home ownership. Even conservatives blame homeowners for the recession…even though it’s a false argument because those homeowners bought houses because horrid bankers told them they could. And then lied to them about their mortgages.
9) Percentage of Taxpayers Paying Income Tax Lowest In The Modern Era: Remember when conservatives actually argued that poor people should not only pay no tax, but should receive a negative tax. Those were good times. The only reason people aren’t paying taxes since 1975 is that they ARE POOR! We stopped trying to get blood from a stone (a Republican idea, mind you) and now they blame Obama for this? That’s gumption.
10) Government Dependency Highest In History: You know why? Because tons of Baby Boomers are now on Social Security. Literally that and the increase in Food Stamps, because we now have fewer people on welfare than ever, make up the whole increase.
So…there we go.