Posts from Bill Scher

Bush vs. Obama on the Economy, In 3 Simple Charts [UPDATED]

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

The back-to-back Bush and Obama administrations allow us to easily compare the effectiveness of liberal and conservative economic policies. President George W. Bush’s record is highlighted by tax cuts largely aimed at giving the wealthiest Americans more money with which to invest, and a looser regulatory regime on businesses. President Obama implemented the Keynesian-style American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as “the stimulus”), repealed the heart of the Bush tax cuts, greatly expanded the federal government’s role in health care with the Affordable Care Act, and tightened regulations on several industry sectors including finance and energy.

How do their economic records compare?

Let’s start with the big one: jobs. And let’s make it fair to Republicans and only look at private sector job creation – no Democratic cheating by putting all the unemployed on the government payroll!

Bush vs. Obama: Private Sector Job Creation

 

Bush lost private sector jobs over the course of his eight years (the Wall Street Journal declared it the “Worst Track Record On Record” on jobs), while Obama has created a net of 11.6 million private sector jobs during his presidency, and nearly 15 million if you start counting after the Great Recession Bush handed Obama technically ended in mid-2009.

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Republicans, Here’s Your Way Out Of the Obamacare Vise

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

The Republicans are in a jam. For the last six years, they’ve pledged to repeal Obamacare, but haven’t figured out a plan for replacing it. They are ideologically opposed to government involvement, but they know that taking away the health insurance of 20 million people is politically disastrous. They rail against high premiums, but they know taking away the individual mandate — and taking out younger, healthier customers from the risk pool — would only make premiums go even higher.

But there is a way out. It requires Republicans to prioritize maintaining political power over sticking with ideological principles. But after swallowing Trump on trade, Russia and politically pressuring individual corporations, that should not be a problem.

The solution is three-fold. One, encourage holdout Republican governors to expand Medicaid. Two, increase Obamacare subsidies. Three, call it Trumpcare.

Why would Republicans ever swerve left to improve Obamacare? First and foremost, it would directly benefit Trump voters. Second, Obama, once out of office, can no longer politically benefit; there’s no reason to withhold health care out of spite. Three, Trump would accept it — deep down, he’s always been a single-payer guy.

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Why Another Round of Partisan Investigations Will Backfire on the GOP

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Republicans, resigned to losing the White House for the third time in a row, and for the fifth time in the last seven elections, are already planning to launch yet another round of partisan investigative witch hunts designed to hobble a Hillary Clinton presidency.

NBC News reported:

…dozens of House Republicans have demanded that a special prosecutor investigate the Clinton Foundation for possible conflicts of interest. Sen. Ted Cruz has called for a “serious criminal investigation” into a Democratic operative featured in a sting video by conservative activist James O’Keefe. And Speaker Paul Ryan promised “aggressive oversight work in the House” of an alleged “quid pro quo” deal between the FBI and the State Department over reclassifying an email on Clinton’s private server.

Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, who would likely serve as the chief antagonist of a second Clinton White House as chair the House Oversight Committee, told Fox News last week the “quid pro quo” claim alone was worth at least “four new hearings,” claiming it was a “flashing red light of potential criminality.”

Both the FBI and State Department say no quid pro quo took place, and that the incident was a misunderstanding.

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Bush vs. Obama on the Economy, In 3 Simple Charts (Updated)

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

The back-to-back Bush and Obama administrations allow us to easily compare the effectiveness of liberal and conservative economic policies. President George W. Bush’s record is highlighted by tax cuts largely aimed at giving the wealthiest Americans more money with which to invest, and a looser regulatory regime on businesses. President Obama implemented the Keynesian-style American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (also known as “the stimulus”), repealed the heart of the Bush tax cuts, greatly expanded the federal government’s role in health care with the Affordable Care Act, and tightened regulations on several industry sectors including finance and energy.

How do their economic records compare?

Let’s start with the big one: jobs. And let’s make it fair to Republicans and only look at private sector job creation – no Democratic cheating by putting all the unemployed on the government payroll!

Bush vs. Obama: Private Sector Job Creation

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Donald Trump’s Smear of Lyndon Johnson

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Donald Trump has been routinely accusing former President Lyndon Johnson of silencing the political speech of churches because he viewed churches as political enemies. This is false. Trump’s presidential campaign may be doomed to defeat, but this smear may live on if it is not vehemently corrected.

The trajectory of this smear is a case study of how conservative misinformation is often injected into the political bloodstream. It starts with a seed of truth then metastasizes into a grotesque lie.

In Trump’s nomination acceptance speech, he said:

I would like to thank the evangelical and religious community because I’ll tell you what, the support they have given me … has had such a big reason for me being here tonight … They have so much to contribute to our politics, yet our laws prevent you from speaking your minds from your own pulpits. An amendment, pushed by Lyndon Johnson, many years ago, threatens religious institutions with a loss of their tax-exempt status if they openly advocate their political views. Their voice has been taken away. I am going to work very hard to repeal that language and protect free speech for all Americans.

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Donald Trump Is Wrong. Crime Is Down. Way Down.

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Directly lifting from Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign, Donald Trump has declared himself the “law and order” candidate. At a Virginia rally Monday he said, “American police and law enforcement are all that separate civilization from total chaos and the destruction of our country as we know it.” On Tuesday he tweeted, “Crime is out of control, and rapidly getting worse.”

Painting a picture of an America drowning in crime-fueled anarchy serves to rationalize incidents of racial bias in policing. While Trump has not defended the actions of the police offers in the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, he has spent more time in their aftermath talking about the need to support police officers in an age of rampant crime, and no time on proposals for police reform.

But Trump’s picture is a false one. Crime is down. Way down. The rate of violent crime is at a 45-year low.

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61% “Uneasy” About Trump and International Trade

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

A new The Economist/YouGov poll, showing Hillary Clinton with a five-point lead over Donald Trump, also asked: “Are you confident or uneasy about the following presidential candidates’ ability to deal wisely with international trade?”

The numbers might surprise you:

                                 Confident       Uneasy

Hillary Clinton           40%                47%

Donald Trump           29%                61%

Clinton’s numbers are tepid, but Trump’s are a disaster.

These numbers can be interpreted in various ways. But considering that there have been several polls this year reflecting skepticism about the value on international trade generally, one should not assume that the public is rejecting Trump on pro-free trade grounds. Besides, Clinton joins Trump in opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, even if she has been less vocal about it, so there’s no difference there to explain why he polls worse.

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Nobody Cares About Paul Ryan’s Conservative Rehash

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Nobody Cares About Paul Ryan’s Conservative Rehash

Speaker Paul Ryan’s has been rolling out an ambitious legislative agenda, titled “A Better Way,” designed to show that the Republican Party – irrespective of Donald Trump – is brimming with exciting policy ideas and is ready to govern. But The Atlantic finds it akin to a tree falling in an empty forest:

…thus far, Ryan’s beloved agenda—the one his wonkish heart has been dreaming of and laboring over and counting on to define his speakership—has been something of a PR bust, yet another sad casualty of this election cycle’s Trumpsanity.

But chalking up the bust to Trump’s hogging of the media oxygen is too simple. Ryan could have swiped a piece of spotlight if he had anything interesting to offer.

Instead, Ryan served up cold conservative porridge. Nothing that showed any lessons learned from the failed conservatism of the past. Nothing that went beyond hack anti-Obama talking points.

I noted last week that Ryan’s environmental agenda was knee-jerk, anti-regulation rehash that systematically dismissed the threat of climate change.

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Trump Can’t Spin His Greed

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

Last week, CNN uncovered Donald Trump’s 2006 remarks about how he wanted to profit off of a housing bubble:

I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy. You know if you’re in a good cash position, which I’m in a good cash position today, then people like me would go in and buy like crazy. If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you could make a lot of money.

If you think “I sort of hope that happens” is too equivocal to suggest Trump wanted the housing market to collapse, he removed all doubt in a 2007 interview:

People have been talking about the end of the cycle for 12 years, and I’m excited if it is. I’ve always made more money in bad markets than in good markets.

Trump responded that he eagerness to profit off of other people’s misery is a feature, not a bug: “…this is the kind of thinking our country needs, understanding how to get a good result out of a very bad and sad situation,. Politicians have no idea how to do this – they don’t have a clue.”

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Nothing Populist About Trump’s Campaign of Character Assassination

Bill Scher Online Editor, Campaign for America's Future

You can say this for Donald Trump; he doesn’t delegate the job of attack dog. He likes to scorch his own earth.

In what has to be an unprecedented interview, Trump gleefully shared with the New York Times his innermost thoughts on how he plans to rhetorically fillet his opponent:

Donald J. Trump plans to throw Bill Clinton’s infidelities in Hillary Clinton’s face on live television during the presidential debates this fall, questioning whether she enabled his behavior and sought to discredit the women involved.

Mr. Trump will try to hold her accountable for security lapses at the American consulate in Benghazi … And he intends to portray Mrs. Clinton as fundamentally corrupt, invoking everything from her cattle futures trades in the late 1970s to the federal investigation into her email practices as secretary of state…

…In a telephone interview, he noted that women did not like seeing Mrs. Clinton insulted or bullied by men. He said he wanted to be more strategic, by calling into question Mrs. Clinton’s judgment…

…“Just getting nasty with Hillary won’t work,” Mr. Trump said. “You really have to get people to look hard at her character, and to get women to ask themselves if Hillary is truly sincere and authentic. Because she has been really ugly in trying to destroy Bill’s mistresses, and she is pandering to women so obviously when she is only interested in getting power.”

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