[Illustration by RUSS WHITE]
POLITICO: In an interesting policy-political joust Sunday with CNN “State of the Union” host Candy Crowley, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell stuck by his assertion that stopping federal funding to stave off local police, teacher and firefighter layoffs is the right thing to do – and that federal regulations are the country’ top economic problem. Last week, McConnell and fellow Republicans, along with a few Democrats scuttled a measure supported by President Barack Obama that would have pumped $35 billion to cash-starved localities. “I’m sure Americans do — I certainly do — approve of firefighters and police,” the Kentucky senator told Crowley — leaving out teachers. “The question is whether the federal government ought to be raising taxes on 300,000 small businesses in order to send money down to bail out states for whom firefighters and police work — they are local and state employees.” Crowley hit the minority leader, who famously declared his goal to make Obama a one-term president, with recent polling data (75 percent of the public backs Obama’s plan to aid localities) and a survey of businesspeople by the Labor Department, who who blamed lagging economy on “poor demand” vs. onerous regulation by a 25-to-1 margin. “Federal regulators are crawling all over the private sector keeping us from coming out of this recession,” McConnell said. “Are you focusing on the wrong problem?” she asked. MORE
PHAWKER: Yes, and he’s doing it on purpose. Message: Fuck the firemen, fuck the cops, fuck the teachers and the hundreds of millions of Americans who depend on them. Their needs take a back seat to making sure that Obama is a one-term president. That is why he is an awful, awful man.
WASHINGTON MONTHLY: The New York Times, the AP, the Economic Policy Institute, the Wall Street Journal, and McClatchy newspapers all did their own research and reporting on this in recent weeks, and all came to the exact same conclusion. At this point, it’s safe to say anyone insisting that regulations are the driving factor behind the weak economy is a fool or a hack. What is holding back the economy? In every instances, all of the reporting pointed to a lack of demand. Republicans may not care for the rules of supply and demand, but they’re not subject to GOP filibusters. And yet, Republicans simply do not believe the evidence. In fact, GOP officials consistently argue that reality is backwards — we don’t need to boost demand; we need to deal with the real problems like regulations, taxes, and some amorphous sense of uncertainty. The problem, of course, is that the GOP agenda desperately hopes to make demand worse by taking capital out of the economy, laying off more public-sector workers, imposing austerity measures, and scaling back economic activity by cutting off unemployment benefits and food stamps. MORE
PHAWKER: Beware Senator McConnell, it’s later than you think for reality-defying tyrants.