Banking On Obstruction

Tonight at midnight, with the expiration of the Export-Import Bank, Republicans will put their quest for the Kochs’ support ahead of American jobs. The bank’s renewal would usually go without a hitch, but the Kochs’ huge lobbying push through Americans for Prosperity has thrown a wrench in an already dysfunctional GOP-led Congress. The Kochs’ (highly hypocritical) opposition to the bank is, like everything else they do, purely profit-driven. Their crusade against the bank is not fueled by free market values but greed. By dismantling the 81-year-old bank, Republicans are putting American jobs and the economy at risk, all because their billionaire puppet masters want to boost their bottom line.

Read more about the Kochs and the Ex-Im in the Bridge Project report, “Banking On Obstruction.”

GOP Shutdown Sells Out Small Business

Members of Congress – both Democratic and Republican – have long touted the merits of America’s small businesses. The value of small businesses as job creators and pillars of the local community are one of the few views shared by both parties. However, Republicans are demonstrating that their affection for small businesses is not deep enough to warrant any action beyond hollow rhetoric.

With the deadline to raise the debt limit looming, Republicans have been holding the economy hostage and threatening to let the nation default unless President Obama and Democrats give in to right-wing demands. In 2011, the mere threat of default caused significant damage for small businesses and the economy; an actual default – attributable solely to Republican intransigence – would be catastrophic, rivaling the 2008 economic crisis. Yet many conservatives dismiss the potential consequences of their actions, and have convinced Speaker Boehner to follow them down this perilous path.

Although Republicans have justified their opposition to the Affordable Care Act by falsely claiming that it will hurt small businesses and kill jobs, their decision to shut down the government in a desperate attempt to stop the health care law has led to actual suffering for small businesses. The Republican shutdown has created crippling uncertainty in the form of cancelled ongoing work, delayed payments, collapsed consumer confidence, and Small Business Administration loans “in limbo.” But Republicans show no signs of concern for the small business owners they purport to defend.

Read more after the jump.

60 Plus Association: “Clear”

The 60 Plus criticizes Rep. Ron Barber (D-AZ) for supporting President Obama, blaming the president’s policies for the number of Americans who are still looking for work or receiving food stamps. The truth is that Obama inherited an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month and forcing millions of Americans to rely on government assistance, as Americans suffered through the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Today the economy is growing, the private sector has added almost 5 million new jobs in the last 32 straight months, and consumer confidence has climbed to its highest level since February 2008. The ad also blames the Obama for the rising debt, but the real culprits are Bush-era policies and the recession itself, and Republicans have repeatedly blocked Obama’s deficit-reduction proposals.

Read more after the jump.

Ending Spending: “Spending Our Future Away”

Ending Spending claims that Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is “spending our future away,” connecting his support for the health care law and the Recovery Act to the rising debt. However, the Affordable Care Act actually reduces the deficit, while the stimulus bill created jobs and helped rescue the economy from a deeper recession. In reality, Bush administration policies and the recession itself caused deficits to explode in recent years.

Read more after the jump.

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “PA Senate – Bob Casey”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce accuses Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) of “voting against western Pennsylvania” by supporting the health care law, a cap-and-trade bill, and EPA regulations designed to cut down on toxic air pollution. But the Affordable Care Act doesn’t, as the ad suggests, cut any money out of Medicare’s current budget. The estimate of job losses the ad cites for the cap-and-trade law comes from the right-wing Heritage Foundation, and the EPA’s air toxics regulations would prevent an estimated 11,000 premature deaths per year.

Read more after the jump.

Better Off: 2008 Vs. 2012

Ahead of the 2012 election, the conservative movement has made a concerted effort to undersell the economic recovery. Ads run by conservative outside groups regularly remark on lost jobs and paint a dismal economic picture. Mitt Romney brushed aside a report that over 170,000 new jobs were created in October to proclaim that the economy “is at a virtual standstill.” Yet there is widespread evidence against the idea that the economy has stalled or worsened during President Obama’s tenure. Where headlines in 2008 and early 2009 proclaimed job losses, a crashing housing market, and a contracting economy, the news in late 2012 is hopeful: 171,000 jobs were added in October, the 32nd straight month of private-sector growth; home prices are up while foreclosures are down; the economy is once again expanding; and consumer confidence is at its highest level since February 2008.

Jobs

2008

November 2008: “240,000 Jobs Disappeared” As “Unemployment Rate Jumped To The Highest Level In 14 Years.” According to the New York Times: “In a sign that American workers may face even more difficult times for many months to come, the nation’s unemployment rate last month jumped to the highest level in 14 years as job losses mounted. Gloomy enough was word from the government on Friday that a fresh 240,000 American jobs disappeared in October, the 10th consecutive month of retrenchment. It brought the toll of lost jobs to 1.2 million for the year — more than half in the last three months alone — while the unemployment rate climbed to 6.5 percent. Worse was the sense that little could be done near term to alter this now-accelerating trajectory.” [New York Times via Nexis, 11/8/08]

2012

November 2012: Better-Than-Expected 171,000 New Jobs In “Just About Every Industry.” According to the New York Times: “The nation’s employers added 171,000 positions in October, the Labor Department reported on Friday, and more jobs than initially estimated in both August and September. Hiring was broad-based, with just about every industry except state government adding jobs.” [New York Times, 11/2/12]

Read more after the jump.

Crossroads GPS: “No Clue”

An ad from Crossroads GPS nonsensically attacks New Mexico Senate candidate Rep. Martin Heinrich both for too much spending and for a vote that may result in spending cuts. In reality, it was the recession and policies like the Bush tax cuts – both rounds of which Heinrich’s opponent voted for – that drove up debt. The automatic spending cuts are looming thanks to Republicans’ refusal to compromise on deficit reduction; when Heinrich voted for the last-minute deal that imposed those cuts as an incentive for a super committee to find compromise on deficit reduction, his primary concern was raising the debt limit and avoiding the economic catastrophe that would have resulted from default.

Read more after the jump.

American Crossroads: “Consequences”

American Crossroads hits Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey (D) for opposing a balanced budget amendment and supporting health care reform and cap-and-trade. But current debt levels are due to the recession and Bush-era policies, not to the absence of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which would make it harder for the government to respond to economic downturns. Kerrey’s position on health care is that the law must be amended rather than fully repealed, which would have negative consequences that include kicking millions of people off insurance and forcing seniors to pay more for care. In context, the former senator’s remarks on cap-and-trade legislation make it clear that Kerrey views climate change as a moral issue without dismissing its impact on jobs and the economy.

Read more after the jump.

American Crossroads: “Debate”

American Crossroads wants to know what it is about President Obama’s first term indicates that “another four years would be better” if he wins the election. The answer is simple: Obama inherited an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month, as Americans suffered through the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Today the economy is growing – as evidenced by 4.97 million new private-sector jobs created in the last 32 months – and consumer confidence has climbed to its highest level since February 2008. The ad also blames the Obama’s spending for the rising debt, but the real culprits are Bush-era policies and the recession itself, and Republicans have repeatedly blocked Obama’s deficit-reduction proposals.

Read more after the jump.

American Crossroads: “Four Years”

American Crossroads accuses Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) of “voting for Barack Obama’s agenda,” pointing to the health care reform law and a 2009 budget vote. Contrary to the ad’s claims, however, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t “cut” Medicare, and while the budget Donnelly supported letting Bush tax cuts expire for top earners, few of those in the top brackets are actual small businesses.

Read more after the jump.