Good thing that no own will ever ask Republicans to explain the best job growth of the last two centuries
Cutting taxes for the rich and regulations for corporations are the foundations of conservative economics. But why does the American economy do best when the opposite happens?
America’s recovery isn’t great — unless you compare it to the rest of the world, or the Bush recovery. But the news is getting better.
The jobs report released on Friday showed that 321,000 jobs were created in November with a bit of promising wage growth, which is still the biggest problem in the economy. We are now in the middle of the best year of job creation since 1999 — better than any year in the Bush/Cheney era — and the best stretch of payroll growth in American history, surpassing a record set in the 1990s.
What do these two-record setting stretches of job creation have in common? Tax increases on the rich.
When Bill Clinton led the charge to raise the top tax rate, it triggered 49 months of job growth. The 50-month stretch we’re now in began after the Stimulus went into full effect and has heated up over the last two years, as the top tax rate was returned to where Clinton set it for income over $400,00 in 2013 and a new tax on high earners to help finance the Affordable Care Act began in 2014.
Along with these new taxes are flurry of new regulations of insurers, including a historic demand that insurers stop discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions.
The predictions that this law would destroy the economy from the right were certain and ubiquitous. And now that the opposite has happened, the silence is deafening.
Republicans still pretend the law is a failure despite 10.3 million Americans gaining coverage, despite lower than predicted premiums, despite the lowest growth of health care spending since 1960.
And no one is asking Republicans: How wrong were you about the ACA hurting the economy? Bush tax breaks wrong or Iraq War wrong?
This is so unsurprising that people don’t even bother to get outraged anymore. Even worse, they don’t even bother to counter the right’s narrative, which defines the policies that actually work as failures.
Of course, much more needs to be done to improve wage growth — but conservative economics will just make the situation for workers worse.
No one holds the GOP accountable for their rampant lies about the Stimulus, which nearly all economists believe lifted the economy. Republicans have managed to smear a law that kept millions from slipping into poverty, prevented a great depression and created our clean energy industry out of fumes as a failure.
Now they’ll tell the public to not believe their own lying eyeholes. Obamacare is ruining America, even though our economy is finally recovering from a decade of the actual policies that abetted the Great Recession. And they’ll be largely effective.
Here’s how it works:
1. Republicans have spent around half a billion dollars spreading lies about the law in ads, just as they did with the Stimulus.
2. The right teaches conservatives the way to frame the debate. Their tsunami of repeated talking points reinforces the frame that suggest a law giving millions more freedom from fear of illness, bankruptcy and being chained to a bad job does the exact opposite. The movement’s politicians all use the same framing as do local activists in their communities. This is accomplished through a vast infrastructure built over decades, which rewards and nurtures those who embrace right-wing politics as a vocation.
The left is just doing it wrong when it comes to defending this law, as George Lakoff explains.
Democrats have no concerted effort to teach people how to talk about the incredible success of the law. The debate is entirely obsessed with taking insurance away from people and not improving the law in the dozens of ways it could be improved, foremost among them a public option that will compete in areas where insurers refuse to.
President Romney would have declared a national Casual Friday to celebrate the kind of jobs report Obama got Friday. The left cannot let our frustration at lack of wage growth for the middle class get in the way of celebrating the validation of the politics of empathy demonstrated by the Affordable Care Act. We gave millions health security and it was good for the economy.
Now we need to talk about how it works and how to make it better while encouraging the president to do anything he can to encourage wage growth, starting with ending failed conservative policies that restrict overtime.