It’s the Mixed Economy, Stupid

Last night, GOP business owner and candidate for lieutenant governor of Delaware, Sher Valenzuela, addressed the convention as part of “We Built It” night.  She and her husband started an upholstery business.

The thing is, Valenzuela got $2 million in loans from the Small Business Administration and $15 million in government contracts.*  Without these, I don’t know if her business would exist or be as successful as it is.

I will stipulate that she worked hard and took on risk if she (and Mitt and the GOP) will stipulate that she’s gotten considerable help from the government.

This attack on President Obama about who built what is a really stupid meme.  Government builds infrastructure and offers both direct and indirect help to entrepreneurs.   We have a mixed economy.  We don’t have pure capitalism.  And contrary to the GOP, we won’t have socialism if Obama is reelected.

* Media Matters for America

So Where Are the High Interest Rates?

From “Money For Nothing,” Paul Krugman, NYT:

“For years, allegedly serious people have been issuing dire warnings about the consequences of large budget deficits — deficits that are overwhelmingly the result of our ongoing economic crisis.

“But a funny thing happened on the way to the predicted fiscal crisis:  instead of soaring, U. S. borrowing costs have fallen to their lowest level in the nation’s history.  And it’s not just America.  At this point, every advanced country that borrows in its own currency is able to borrow very cheaply.

“The failure of deficits to produce the predicted rise in  interest rates is telling us something important about the nature of our economic troubles (and the wisdom, or lack thereof, of the self-appointed guardians of our fiscal virtue).
“Oh, and pay no attention to the warnings any day now we’ll turn into Greece, Greece I tell you.  Countries like Greece, and for that matter Spain, are suffering from their ill-advised decision to give up their own currencies for the euro, which has left them vulnerable in a way that America just isn’t.

“So what is going on?  The main answer is that this is what happens when you have a ‘deleveraging shock,’ in which everyone is trying to pay down debt at the same time.

“But it’s simply crazy to be laying off schoolteachers and canceling infrastructure projects at a time when investors are offering zero- or negative-interest financing.

“You don’t even have to make a Keynesian argument about jobs to see that.  All you have to do is note that when money is cheap, that’s a good time to invest.

“That said, you should be a Keynesian, too.  The experience of the past few years — above all, the spectacular failure of austerity policies in Europe — has been dramatic demonstration of Keynes’s basic point:  slashing spending in a depressed economy depresses that economy further.”

A Little Bit of This, But a Whole Lot of “That”

Mittens is running hard with his lie that President Obama meant business owners didn’t build their businesses, when he said “You didn’t build that,” even though “that” clearly referred to the infrastructure businesses rely on, not the businesses themselves.

Today the campaign is running “We Did Build This” events in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Florida, Missouri, North Carolina, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Nevada, where small business owners will vent their rage on President Obama.

I wonder how carefully they’ve vetted these venting owners to make sure they didn’t receive government $.  Based on the Gilchrist fiasco in New Hampshire, I’m guessing not enough.

I hope this lie turns around and bites Mitt in the tush by showing voters what a truly despicable little creep he is.  It’s not just that he has no respect for President Obama, he has no respect for any of us in the 99% either.

Mittens Foiled Again

Ah, Mittens, you sell yourself as offering competence, yet your staff is so utterly incompetent.

As part of Mitt’s lying claim that President Obama said business owners didn’t build their businesses (when actually he said they didn’t build the infrastructure their businesses use), Mitt put forth Jack Gilchrist of Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in campaign ads.  Mr. Gilchrist is outraged, OUTRAGED, that Obama doesn’t think Gilchrist and his father and son built their business with their own two hands (or I guess six hands).  The ad in fact is called “These Hands.”

In the ad, Gilchrist says, “President Obama, you’re killing us out here.  Through hard work and a little bit of luck, we built this business.  Why are you demonizing us for it?”

Whoever found Gilchrist for the Romney campaign failed to find out that the company got $800,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds from the state of New Hampshire, federal Small Business Administration loans totaling almost $500,000, matching funds from the federally-funded New England Trade Adjustment Assistance Center, and assorted contracts from the U. S. Navy and Coast Guard.

So along with the hard work and the luck, there was some taxpayer money.  Mr. Gilchrist, why are you demonizing President Obama?

For more, see “John DiStaso’s Granite Status:  Romney-backer’s NH business received government-assisted loans,” John DiStaso, Union Leader.

No Distortion Too Blatantly False

Mitt and the GOP are showing that no lie is too contemptible for them to spread.

President Obama recently talked about how business owners benefit from infrastructure, like the roads that allow their customers to drive to them, or the Internet that allows their customers to shop online.

Obama said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”  It is clear the President isn’t saying you didn’t build your business, he’s saying you didn’t build the infrastructure that supports it.  Watched or read in context, “that” references our infrastructure, not your business.

But what’s context to his desperate opponents, who are coming to the sad, slow recognition that their own candidate is fatally flawed?  From Fox News to conservative bloggers and pundits to Mittens himself, GOP/conservative land is pouncing on Obama to express their gleeful outrage that he’s anti-business and anti-capitalist, that he made a completely nonsensical statement that business owners don’t build their businesses.

Obama isn’t the one spouting nonsense.  That would be Mittens, arguing that he shouldn’t release more tax returns because Teresa Heinz Kerry didn’t release hers, arguing that he had nothing to do with Bain after February 1999, even though he was president, CEO, and sole owner.

Quote of the Day


Obama: Election A Choice Between ‘Two Fundamentally Different Visions’ For Economy

“Gov. Romney and the Republicans who run Congress believe that if you simply take away regulations and cut taxes by trillions of dollars, the market will solve all of our problems on its own — If you agree with that, you should vote for them and I promise you they will take us in that direction. I believe we need a plan for better education and training and for energy independence, rebuilding our infrastructure, for a tax code that creates jobs in America and pays down our debt in a way that’s balanced. I have that plan, they don’t. And if you agree with me, if you believe this economy grows best when everybody gets a fair shot, and everybody does their fair share, and everybody plays by the same set of rules, then I ask you to stand with me for a second term as president.”  President Obama, speaking in Cleveland, Ohio