To all the Republican Uncles

IMG_5628The Democratic National Committee decided to celebrate Christmas by publishing a “Guide to Talking Politics with Your Republican Uncle.” The guide features several “Republican” statements that are supposedly myths, then dispels them with so-called facts.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the myths hold a remarkable degree of truth, suggesting that maybe your “Republican uncle” is right about some things after all. Let’s take a look:

Myth Truth #1. Voters rejected Democratic policies in November.

The guide claims that this is a myth primarily because several red states voted to raise the minimum wage. What the guide doesn’t note is that the Republican senators elected in Arkansas and Alaska supported their state’s minimum-wage increase, hardly making the issue a victory for Democratic policy – especially when those Republican senators went on to beat two incumbent Democratic senators.

Also, in a CNN/ORC poll after the elections, 74 percent of Americans said they viewed the election as a “rejection of Democratic policies.”

Myth Truth #2. Women don’t really make less money than men in the workplace; they just make different choices.

The Democrats go on to claim that women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, but this statistic has been debunked over and over (even by an organization that issues a report pushing the statistic). Many economists have concluded that after controlling for choices in occupation, education, and lifestyle, the pay gap is closer to 4 or 5 cents.

Myth Truth #3. Raising the minimum wage would only help teenagers.

The Democrats claim just 12% of “those who would benefit” from a minimum wage increase are teenagers. However, this also assumes many older people benefit from a “ripple effect” of raising the wage.

Pew Research Center found that only “4.3% of the nation’s 75.9 million hourly-paid workers and 2.6% of all wage and salary workers” earn the minimum wage. Of this small percentage of workers (which is 3 times smaller than in 1979), 50.4% are ages 16 to 24 and 24% are teenagers (ages 16 to 19). So, the Democrats are correct in one way – the minimum wage increase wouldn’t only help teenagers, just twice as much as they’re letting on.

 Myth Truth #4. Raising the minimum wage hurts small businesses.

The Democrats cite a poll that 61% of small business owners support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. There’s just one problem – this poll was commissioned by an organization called “Business for a Fair Minimum Wage” and conducted by a polling organization that says it is committed to “advance progressive ideals.” Just last year, Gallup (a much more objective source) did a poll that showed half of small business owners opposing a minimum wage increase to $9.50.

Myth Truth #5. All of President Obama’s new taxes make life impossible for small businesses.

The Democrats claim President Obama cut taxes for small business 18 times. But American Enterprise Institute expert Stan Veuger has a different perspective: “Of the 18, only 10 of them are still in place. Half of these 10 are extensions of programs first enacted by President George W. Bush or even before his time in office.”

Those remaining 5 cuts reduced taxes for small business by about $3 billion, far from outweighing the small business tax increases the president has pursued amounting to $49 billion.

Myth Truth #6. Obamacare only adds to the deficit, and it’s going to bankrupt this country.

Though “bankrupt this country” might be a little exaggeration from your Republican uncle, he’s right on one thing – Obamacare will add to the deficit. For some inexplicable reason, the Democrats cite the Congressional Budget Office’s old estimate that the law would reduce the deficit. A disappointing enrollment season and executive actions to delay major parts of the bill have changed that estimate.

Avik Roy, a healthcare expert at Forbes, says it best. “In short, even using the overly optimistic CBO baseline scenario, we now know that Obamacare will increase the deficit over the next decade by $131 billion rather than reduce it by $109 billion. In just over two years, that’s a $311 billion swing in the law’s fiscal impact!”

Myth Truth #7. Obamacare isn’t working.

The law has given insurance to only 10 million of the expected 30 million uninsured (and many of those are only new enrollees on Medicaid, an existing government program). It reduces work hours, employment, and GDP. It adds to the deficit. And the evidence doesn’t support the statement that it reduced healthcare costs. If that’s what the Democrats call “working,” I’m scared to find out what “not working” would be.

Myth #8. Humans can’t do anything to combat rising CO2 levels.

The Democrats are actually right on one thing here – in 2012, the United States recorded the lowest levels of carbon emissions in 20 years. But the deception comes under the “why.” Because of fracking, said experts. The guide conveniently doesn’t mention this, as many Democrats still oppose fracking.

Published on Opportunity Lives

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4 responses to “To all the Republican Uncles

  1. These are the facts I have drawn from your opinion piece:
    1. Several red states voted to raise the minimum wage. These states must support at least one Democrat policy although rejecting most others.
    2. All else being equal, women are paid 4-5% less then men.
    3. The minimum wage increase wouldn’t only help teenagers.
    4. I don’t know if a minimum wage increase helps or hurts small business, but about half of small business owners oppose an increase.
    5. I do know Obama has increased taxation of small business but do not know if they have hurt small business or not.
    6. A conservative source says Obama care will create a $300+ billion dollar negative fiscal impact. I don’t know if increasing medical costs in the absence of Obama Care would have similar, lesser, or greater negative fiscal impact, or if medical care costs would likely decrease in the absence of Obama Care.
    7. Obama Care reduces work hours and adds to the deficit. What I don’t know is if providing insurance for 10 million previously uninsured is worth the fiscal cost, but I gather Mr. Huizinga does not.
    8. Humans have significantly lowered CO2 emissions but some of that has been through fracking.
    9. The Democratic National Committee is guilty of significant exaggeration and sleight of hand in the rhetoric within the recent ‘Guide’ they published. Using progressive sources should be questioned, but using conservative sources maybe not so much.

    • 1. It’s hardly a “Democratic policy” if the Republican candidates supported it, and won. Also ridiculous to make a nationwide assumption about voters’ views of Democratic policies that blatantly contradicts poll data just because 6 states raised the minimum wage.
      2. According to the study they cite. (Which raises the question – WHY NOT use the accurate number?) Some studies say women even get paid more.
      3. Right – but why use flawed information in the justification?
      4. Right – so why claim that it’s much more than half?
      5. Right – so why claim that he hasn’t raised taxes?
      6. They use the CBO’s numbers. Read the “conservative source” more closely.
      7. That’s not the question here. The question is, “is it working?” An objective observer could say that enrolling ⅓ of what was promised is an indicator that perhaps something is wrong.
      8. Most. Read the sources.
      9. I’m very confused. Which were “conservative” sources? (besides the AEI report which cited CBO numbers)

      All this focus on value judgments and secondary questions is irrelevant to the point – that the “facts” in this guide were intentionally misleading.

      • Did I not grant that the ‘guide’ was intentionally misleading?

        I must have failed miserably at trying to merely state the facts in #1-8, apart from Democrat or conservative rhetoric. (Except for #9 and perhaps the second half of #7) I guess what you consider secondary questions I consider more primary. What I identify as what I don’t know is important for me to know if I am to form a worthy opinion.

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