7 “Facts” Conservatives & Republicans Repeat that Are Not True, Do Not Work, and Do Not Make Sense

There is a lot of nonsense bouncing around the conservative echo chamber. Below I present “facts” that conservatives love to repeat over and over even though they have no grounding in reality. And while this is clearly far from a complete list, it offers a glimpse into the fact-starved void that is the conservative bubble.

7 “Facts” Conservatives & Republicans Repeat that Are Not True, Do Not Work, and Do Not Make Sense

  1. Lower Taxes Leads to Higher Revenue – Do I even need to critique this one? It’s patently absurd. Less taxes means less reveneue, well, because, revenue = taxes. I know, conservatives will say that the economy will take off when we lower taxes and that will lead to more employment and a larger tax base, but since the stimulative effect of a tax break is not equal to the size of the tax break, it’s impossible to increase revenue, let alone make up the difference.
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  3. Government Is The Problem – This one comes from their hero Ronald Reagan who said in his first inauguration speech, “Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” The reason this is false is fairly obvious. Without an organized society (i.e. government) we would have chaos and anarchy. That’s the 10,000 foot view. To bring it a little closer and make it more tangible, we have government programs in the United States that have kept tens of millions of people from falling into poverty. Programs like Social Security and Medicare. These are not free handouts, everyone pays into these programs. Social Security has been around for over 70 years and it will be around for another 70 years if we believe in it and help continue it’s success. If we let conservative voices rule the day, then these programs are doomed to fail.
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  5. We Can’t Spend Our Way Out Of This Bad Economy – Wanna bet? If we are ever going to get back to a robust economy that is capable of creating 200,000 or 300,000 jobs a month sustainably then we need government to stimulate the economy. If the economy is bad, that is not the time to start talking austerity. When the economy is bad families and companies spend less. Government is the only entity that can spend more. This is especially true of the United States, a sovereign nation that can print its own money, and because the dollar is the global standard. Yes, this can lead to high inflation (eventually). Yes, this can lead to a devalued dollar. But a stagnant economy (or worse) is what we face if we don’t do what’s necessary. And when I say government needs to spend, I’m not talking about tax cuts, which is a really inefficient way to stimulate the economy. I’m talking about big infrastructure projects that improve the country’s roads, bridges, mass transit, internet, and more. These things create jobs now, and they create jobs in the future. There is no better time for government to deficit spend on projects that improve the country for the future when the rate to borrow money is near zero.
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  7. You Are Poor Because You Choose To Be Poor – OK, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a conservative say this exact phrase, but the policies they support scream it. This is the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” mentality. Or to put it another way, it’s tough love. Back in reality we understand that there is NOT a good paying job for everyone who works hard. We understand that there are millions of hard-working people who do the low paying jobs that we expect to be done for society to work. And those of us who recognize this also recognize that we need social programs that help people when they are in need. To look at it another way, if we are to believe this “bootstrap” rhetoric from conservatives then that means every conservative that is poor or middle class is a failure because if they had only worked harder and pulled on those bootstraps they would be wealthy and living the good life.
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  9. Raising Taxes On The Rich Is Class Warfare And It’s Socialist – This one constantly amazes me because Republicans and conservatives get away with saying this and the mainstream media just repeats it without challenging it. Well, that’s because the mainstream media is broken, but that’s a topic for another day. I think before we start charging “class warfare” when someone proposes raising the top tax rate by 4 or 5 points we might want to consider things that really are class warfare, like cuts to programs for the poor. I mean, it might make sense to make a stand against poverty and in support of the disenfranchised before you stand on your soapbox to protect the rich. If class warfare exists, it’s being waged against the poor, not the rich. As for calling a tax increase “socialist,” I don’t even want to waste your time or my time with this ridiculous charge. If it were true, then that means George H. W. Bush and Ronald Reagan are socialists. It would also mean Americans were living in a socialist cesspool decades ago when all tax rates were higher, including the top tax rate that was much higher. You know, back when the economy was on fire. Just sayin’.
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  11. The Free Market Is The Solution To Everything – No, it’s not. The “free market” doesn’t possess a conscience. It doesn’t care if people are disenfranchised. It doesn’t care about equal access to public services. It will show no remorse when someone goes bankrupt due to health care costs. And most importantly, there is no such thing as a free market in the first place. The very people who advocate free market solutions also have no problem lobbying government with the explicit purpose of favoring one business or industry over another. That’s not a “free market.” And one more thing, the “free” in “free market” has nothing to do with your personal freedom. Remember this the next time you see a Republican politician trying to evoke an emotional response by pitting personal freedom and liberty against government regulations on an industry.
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  13. There’s A War On Religion – Bullshit. Religion, specifically religions that fall under the umbrella of Christianity have a stranglehold on politics in the United States. When government ensures equal and fair access for all citizens of all faiths (or no faith) this is not an attack on Christianity and it’s not my problem, or anyone else’s problem, if you think it is. It’s your problem, and your problem alone. You will have to reconcile that with yourself. The First Amendment is not a protection OF religion, it is a protection FROM religion. It is a protection from religious persecution. It is this protection FROM religion that then leads to protection OF religion. It doesn’t work in reverse. Protection FROM religion offers a minority religion the same rights and the same access to the public square that the majority religion enjoys. Protecting this equal access is not a war on religion.

/ image by betancourt

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