South Dakota Democratic Party Vice Chair Joe Lowe is tired of two things: Republican hogwash, and Democrats’ failure to respond to Republican hogwash. Lowe says South Dakota Democrats need to set the record straight if they want to win elections:
The campaign season has started as well as the GOP rhetoric. People are entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. Our Republican friends seem to drive the narrative with made-up facts. As Democrats we must stop letting Republicans drive the narrative. If we do not, these lies become truth to many Americans. If Republicans control the narrative, they will control Congress, the Senate and the Presidency, and we will be back to the failed policies of the 2008 Recession [Joe Lowe, essay, 2015.09.07].
To practice what he preaches, Lowe drags out some of the biggest whoppers of the national GOP narrative about the Obama Presidency. He begins with the budget deficit:
I want display a few graphs developed from the Budget of the United States Historical Tables Fiscal Year 2015. First let’s address who added substantially to the budget deficit and refute the first attempt to rewrite historical data.
Note: President Clinton’s last budget posted a $128 billion surplus [Lowe, 2015.09.07].
We can update the chart Lowe shows us with this chart from the Wall Street Journal showing our national deficit through the first nine months of this fiscal year:
According to the New York Times, the national deficit is on pace for an eight-year low.
Lowe turns his attention to how President Obama has driven down the deficit: keeping government spending in check!
Let’s look at the Republicans’ second attempt to rewrite history. The second graph speaks to spending.
This sure does not make Democrats look like the party that likes to spend money. I would think that the graph says it all [Lowe, 2015.09.07].
An updated chart based on Office and Management and Budget data shows this year’s budget still doesn’t outspend Bush’s parting shot:
Lowe then addresses the Republicans’ damaging and inconsistent approach to raising the debt ceiling during President Obama’s first term:
So if the above is not enough let’s take a look at the debt ceiling crisis of 2011. The Republican Party demanded that the President negotiate over deficit reduction (which Bush had a lot to do with) in exchange for an increase in the debt ceiling. The crisis sparked the most volatile week for financial markets since the 2008 market. The stock market trended significantly downward. Later that week Standard and Poor’s downgraded the credit rating of the United States Government for the first time in our country’s history. The Government Accounting Office estimated that the delay in raising the debt ceiling increased government borrowing costs by $1.3 billion in 2011. We also had a 16 day partial shutdown of government as a result of the crisis. The GOP previously did not have a problem raising the debt ceiling. See the diagram [Lowe, 2015.09.07].
The Congressional Research Service published an updated history and discussion of recent debt ceiling actions last month. Study that in anticipation of the next debt-ceiling drama looming this fall.
We’d be having a very different discussion about the debt ceiling and the federal budget if President Obaam hadn’t averted the Second Great Depression with the stimulus. Lowe reminds us what good that stimulus did:
Now for those GOP friends that say the stimulus did not work. See the next graphic.
We have had 56 months of private sector job growth under this administration. The graph speaks for itself.
In 2008 our country was on the brink of disaster as a result of the poor policy decisions made during the Bush Administration. The auto industry had to be rescued, Wall Street had to be bailed out, the Trickle Down did not work, and many working class Americans were out of a job. Republicans created those problems; Democrats had to solve them. The upper one percent continued to see increases in their wages and the rest of us saw little in the way of wage increases. In fact I saw a Times Magazine article that says since 1979 the one percent saw a 138% increase in their wages while the rest of us saw a 15% increase in our wages. Republicans give lip service to supporting the middle class [Lowe, 2015.09.07].
Notice that the Johnson graph on which Lowe relies shows job growth through May 2014. The latest jobs figures show continued growth:
Lowe urges his fellow Democrats to use these charts to build and defend the Democratic narrative…
I ask you, my fellow Democrats, to do the same thing I’m trying to do with these four charts: stop letting GOP drive the narrative and rewrite history. Stand up for our Democratic values because we are on the right side of the issues. When you hear Republican—friends, neighbors, whomever—spreading false information let them know that what they are saying is simply not true and give them the true facts [Lowe, 2015.09.07].
…and to fight for Democratic candidates:
Setting the record straight with the facts during this election cycle is so important for our country and the hard working folks like us. We need to ensure we get out and vote, work on the campaigns of our Democratic candidates, and raise donations so our candidates can get our message out. We cannot let the GOP’s falsehoods return us to the failed policies of the past. What’s at stake? The continued erosion of the middle class. So if you believe we deserve better, then fight for a better America. Don’t give this next election away [Lowe, 2015.09.07].
That’s Joe Lowe, data-driven Democrat, willing to challenge Republican malarkey with facts about President Obama’s positive impact on the deficit and the economy? Can you turn that strategy to your local legislative races and beat back the complacent Republican narrative with facts about the teacher shortage and economic stagnation that have happened on their watch?