While most Americans have holiday traditions of opening presents on a certain day or eating a special meal, a favorite holiday tradition of the Democrats is to publish a “guide to talking politics with your Republican uncle.”
This year, just like last year, the so-called “guide” is full of inaccuracies. Let’s look closer:
Myth Truth #1. Obamacare is a job-killer and should be repealed.
The guide claims that this is a myth because “we’ve added nearly 13.5 million new jobs since the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land.” But more detailed analysis reveals that this is a slower recovery than experienced after previous recessions, and that most of the jobs created were in low-wage industries.
Additionally, Obamacare’s dreaded “Cadillac tax” hasn’t even hit yet. Starting in 2018, companies will have to pay a 4o percent tax on health coverage that exceeds a specific threshold – $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families. But here’s the worst part. Though a survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans finds 60 percent of companies are projected to face the tax, only 5 percent are planning on actually paying it. That’s because most will take drastic actions soon to avoid the tax – among them “shifting costs to employees” and “reducing benefits.”
Even though proponents of the law first claimed that more people would get health insurance through work as a result of Obamacare, the CBO now projects that 10 million people will lose their employer-based coverage by 2021.
Myth Truth #2. The United States can’t stay economically competitive if we address climate change.
The “guide” claims climate change is “taking a toll on our economy” because weather-related disasters cost $100 billion in 2012. But for all their talk about being pro-science, the Democrats are severely misstating the facts. “We’re seeing ever-larger losses simply because we have more to lose — when an earthquake or flood occurs, more stuff gets damaged,” writes Roger Pielke Jr. at FiveThirtyEight. Despite what you constantly hear from President Obama, a major UN climate report concluded that “there’s little evidence of a spike in the frequency or intensity of floods, droughts, hurricanes and tornadoes,” according to Pielke Jr.
Ironically, despite this talk about increased costs, the United States is now leading a charge to give $100 billion per year in climate aid to poor countries, but there’s not much agreement on what this money should actually do. The New York Times says it best: “Reaching $100 billion is essential more for its diplomatic significance than for its actual impact on climate change.” If we want to stay economically competitive, we shouldn’t use billions of taxpayer dollars for symbolism.
Myth Truth #3. Democrats just don’t understand the economy like Republicans do.
The Democrats try to rebut this claim in their “guide” by saying that the economy grows more under Democratic presidents. But the data isn’t near as conclusive as they’d like to think. The authors of the Princeton study Democrats usually cite are very clear – most of the partisan differences in economic growth are due to luck, not one party’s policies.
“Democrats would no doubt like to attribute the large D-R growth gap to macroeconomic policy choices, but the data do not support such a claim,” the authors write.
A recent Wall Street Journal op-ed headline sums it up best while recapping the last debate: “Democrats say the economy stinks: The candidates agree the middle class is suffering after seven Obama years.”
Myth Truth #4. President Obama’s executive action on immigration is going to lead to amnesty and anarchy.
While it may be extreme to say Obama’s executive action will lead to anarchy, it is true that he has far exceeded his presidential authority. Regardless of what you think about immigration, a president should not have the power to make such sweeping changes on his own without congressional approval.
That’s why several courts have stopped Obama’s actions on immigration, claiming they are unconstitutional. It’s not that these judges hate immigrants – they just believe expanding presidential power ignores the rule of law and sets a dangerous precedent for the future.
Myth Truth #5. The Republican candidates will bring new, effective leadership to the country.
The “guide” is full of attacks against Republican presidential candidates as well, but they don’t really stick. The Democrats attack Rubio for missing votes in the Senate while ignoring the fact that then-senator Obama missed almost 65 percent of his votes while campaigning for president in 2008.
They attack Jeb Bush for supporting a 20-week abortion ban, despite a Wash Post/ABC News poll that a majority of Americans and women support limiting abortion at 20 weeks (instead of the 24 weeks currently mandated by the Supreme Court).
The Democrats repeatedly claim Republicans have no new ideas. But the Democratic candidates focus their talking points on attacking the rich, attacking businesses, and attacking Republicans without acknowledging the hard decisions that will have to be made in the future in foreign policy and entitlements.