Pants On Fire!

Ken AshfordEconomy & Jobs & Deficit, Election 2012Leave a Comment

I didn't see the GOP debate last night, but apparently it was a lie-fest.  They lied about each other; they lied about Obama.  But this has to take the prize:

Rick Perry says the 2009 stimulus 'created zero jobs'

Pants on Fire!

Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized President Barack Obama's new jobs plan during a Republican presidential debate Sept. 12, 2011, saying his previous effort "created zero jobs."

WOLF BLITZER: "Gov. Perry, the president in his new plan has a lot of tax cuts, payroll tax cuts, middle-class tax cuts, tax credits for hiring veterans, tax credits for hiring long-term unemployed people. Are those things you would support?"

RICK PERRY: "And he's going to pay for them all with raising your taxes. That is the issue. He had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs, $400-plus billion dollars in this package. And I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs."

PolitiFact has regularly checked job claims about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, so this one caught our ears.


Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts said in February 2010 that the stimulus bill "didn't create one new job." He earned a Pants on Fire.

Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott said in September 2010 during his successful campaign for governor that the stimulus bill had "not created one private sector job." We smelled smoke. (We even found Billy Weston, a Florida Republican who personally credited the stimulus for his new job with a private Riviera Beach pharmaceutical manufacturer.)

So, what's the evidence? 

The White House has posted on its stimulus website a listing of jobs funded by the stimulus, breaking it down by state and congressional district. Just for the quarter April 1 to June 20, 2011, the country had a reported 555,029 full-time equivalent jobs funded by the Recovery Act.

As our colleagues at PolitiFact Virginia have pointed out, in a report released March 18, 2011, the president’s Council of Economic Advisers estimated that between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs were created or saved by the stimulus through the fourth quarter of 2010.

Separately, the council’s report cited four independent analyses by the Congressional Budget Office and three private economic analysis companies. Here’s what the groups found:

• CBO: Between 1.3 million and 3.6 million jobs saved or created.

• IHS/Global Insight: 2.45 million jobs saved or created.

• Macroeconomic Advisers: 2.3 million jobs saved or created.

• Moody’s 2.5 million jobs saved or created.

Note the language "created or saved," which means not every one of those more than a million jobs count as "created," as Perry said.

But certainly more than zero. Ask Billy Weston. 

Perry said "the first round of stimulus … created zero jobs." We say Pants on Fire.

The problem with this stuff is, as Twain says, a lie can get half way around the world before the truth can get its boots on.  And when you are talking about the Tea Party followers, who close their eyes and ears to the truth, false statements like that of Rick Perry have a way of taking root.

They should have insta-factchecking on these debates.  And the candidates get an electric shock if they are lying.

Anyway, here's the debate in a nutshell:


Here's the famous "let the uninsured die" exchange:


Now it's true that it was the audience reaction that seemed to approve of letting the uninsured die.  (Remember when the Republicans threw a hissy fit when Alan Grayson said their health care plan was to die quickly? A-HEM!)

It should be noted that Ron Paul's response, however, was equally bizarre:

"No. I practiced medicine before we had Medicaid, in the early 1960s, when I got out of medical school. I practiced at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, and the churches took care of them. We never turned anybody away from the hospitals," said Paul to additional applause. "And we've given up on this whole concept that we might take care of ourselves and assume responsibility for ourselves. Our neighbors, our friends, our churches would do it. This whole idea, that's the reason the cost is so high. The cost is so high because they dump it on the government, it becomes a bureaucracy."

That's the GOP.  Remember before what their answer was to rising medical costs?  They advocated bartering chickens for healthcare. Now they advocate that churches cover the medical expenses for long-term coma patients.

Except that churches don't do that.  And why not?  Because health care is so expensive.

These guys don't have the answers.