Guest appearance by Christine O’Donnell
September 7, 2012 episode critique
By Lady Rhiannon
On Real Time with Bill Maher this week (9-7-2012) Bill Had guest starring on his show the aesthetically lovely but mentally delusional Christine O’Donnell. I have decided to critique this particular episode, focusing on Christine’s guest appearance, because the lies Christine was trying to present to Bill in their debate are quintessential of the propaganda and distortions of reality that currently run rampant within the Republican Party. I have heard these fallacies from the radical right too many times and for too long now, and it is time to call attention to the truth.
The first lie that I need to address is the assertion she made that for every one new job that we make in America, we are losing four jobs, and that we are worse off than we have ever been. This is a morbid fallacy and I have no clue how anyone in her position can function on a day to day basis with her head shoved so far up her own ass. In truth there have been an estimated 4.3 million jobs created in the private sector since the worst dip in the recession. Our economy saw 96,000 new jobs just last month according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; which is a stark contrast to the over 70,000 jobs that were being lost per month when Bush left office. It is true that we have lost over 600,000 public sector jobs in the same time period, but that is mostly attributable to social spending cuts made at the local and state levels which cause millions of teachers, firefighters, police, and other public workers to lose their jobs and suffer debilitating pay cuts.
President Obama tried to enact the American Jobs Act, which would have invested in creating those very types of jobs. According to The Economic Policy Institute, 2.6 million public jobs could be created and 1.6 million more jobs could be saved and protected under the act, but the republicans in congress blocked all efforts made to vote on the bill. We recently celebrated the one year anniversary of when Republicans in office first blocked the Jobs Bill. Also, if Mitt Romney were elected he would further cut social spending and eliminate millions of public jobs nationwide, so the level of republican hypocrisy is limitless.
Despite Republican opposition from within, Obama has still managed to gain an average rate of +.84% job growth annually, while Bush’s first term ended with a +.51% average and his second term ended with a -.84% decrease annually. Obama also helped save General Motors and saved up to a million jobs. The House also passed the Education Jobs and Medicaid Assistance Act and President Obama signed it on August 10th. This bill is meant to save over 300,000 jobs, including 161,000 teaching jobs. This plan also saves millions of dollars because it closes tax loopholes that encourage corporations to ship American jobs overseas. This would bring the deficit down by 1.4 billion dollars over a decade. Our nation was facing an exponential downslide thanks to George Bush’s deregulation and tax cuts for millionaires, and Obama and his administration managed to stem the fatal hemorrhaging that afflicted our desperate economy.
O’Donnell also attempted to claim that Obama has added a mountain of debt to the deficit when he is actually one of the most fugal spenders in our lifetime. According to the National Treasury department, Obama has increased the debt by 16%. Bush increased the national debt by 115%, Bush Sr. increased it by 55%, and Reagan by 189%. Spending is also necessary in the restoration of any severe recession; a lesson we should have learned from everyone’s favorite Democratic president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As Katrina Vedan Henvel said on Bill Maher’s guest panel, “Jobs and joblessness” is a bigger threat in the long term than the national deficit. Need I remind our entire country that the end of FDR’s first term looked very bleak as well? Roosevelt also got three full terms to retrieve the security of our economy (he was elected to four terms, but died shortly after his fourth term began).
She also insulted Obama for not getting more accomplished in the meager two years he had with a democratic congress. It is absurd to argue that two years was long enough to cure an 8 year plague, yet what he accomplished saved the economy from the worse depression in our nation’s history. We need to fix the foundations of our economy, which is the well-being of the people and restoring a strong middle class by restoring opportunity. We need fewer people starving in the streets, and need to get as many people as possible healthy and educated so that we can enrich our society.
Christine O’Donnell tried to play the same old tune that Democrats raise taxes to the roof, and the republicans are the party of low taxes. It is true that the Republican Party like to lower taxes….for themselves…for the richest people in the country. The corporate and millionaire tax rates are at a 40 year low in this country. The marginal tax rate is supposed to be 35% but the wealthiest corporations in this country pay an average of only 16%. In 2011 Exon Mobile paid 2% of its revenue in taxes, JPMorgan paid 14%, and Google keeps their tax rate at about 4% annually.
Although the richest 1% is paying a larger dollar amount in taxes than before only means that they are, in fact, making more money than ever before. The rich are wealthier than they have ever been, and the richest 1% if Americans have more than all of the rest of us combined. In 2007, under Bush, the richest 1% in the country saw their average tax rate go down to a meager 16.6%, which is a drastic downturn from the 29.4% average in 1993, or the 29.9% average in 1995. In 2008, 30 of the top 400 biggest earners in the country paid 0-10% in taxes. Meanwhile, the average American still pays over a third of their income in taxes each year. Obama has not raised taxes for the average middle class American and has actually cut taxes for middle class Americans. The typical middle class have seen an average of $3,600 in tax cuts over the last four years, and Obama cut taxes for small businesses 18 times. The only people, on whom Obama wishes to raise tax rates, are those who can and should be paying their fair share in the first place.
Obama is also responsible for the Affordable care act, which, for the first time, requires insurance providers to give a set standard of care to patients (including preventative care), provides subsidies to small businesses and low income individuals to provide them with health insurance, extends Medicaid eligibility, allows young adults to stay on their parents plan, and prohibits the denial of benefits based on pre-existing conditions (among many other benefits). In spite of Republican obstruction, he has also managed to pass the Dream act, prevented the increase of student loan interest rates, signed the Lilly Ledbetter act into law, ended the war in Iraq, made the call that killed Osama Bin Laden, and repealed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. To deny that we are better off than we were four years ago is to be either greatly delusional, or a great liar.
Some argue that the two primary parties are too similar to be bothered with either of them, but this simply isn’t true. Being on the correct side of social issues most of the time is the benefit of supporting the Democratic Party. Democrats are not without flaw, but social issues are what truly set democrats apart from their right wing counterparts, as well as a greater fundamental sense of logic and rationale. Katrina Hendel, editor/ publisher for The Nation, spoke very well in saying that the greatness of the Democratic Party is shown when they are “moved by movements, to move beyond the limits of politics”. We need to take the Democratic Party, pull it back to the left, and stand up for our principles and values. We must not accept the barrage of lies and deception that the republicans use to indoctrinate the American people. We are fighting against a party that is essentially made up of the racist, sexist, apathetic, fanatical social elite and the millions of misinformed Americans that have been fooled into believing the rhetoric and voting against their own interests. The price of allowing these people to win control of our government is far too much to bear.
Join me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LadyRhiannon824
Follow me on Twitter @ladyrhiannon824
Tumblr at www.ladyrhianno824.tumblr.com
Google+ at Rhiannon Avaneen
Deviant Art profile at www.deviantart.ladyrhiannon824.com
Tax Policy Center. (2011, January 31).
The White House. (2011).
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2012, June 28). Affordable Care Act.
GPO Dot Gov (pdf)