Republicans Claim Obama's Budget Proposal Is A 'Roadmap To Greece'

Any time you hear a Republican use the word "Greece" to defend not raising taxes on the rich and to push the austerity measures, it's a safe bet--before you even hear anything else they had to say--that they're lying. They may claim that they are willing do anything to make the situation better in the United States in regard to jobs and the economy, but the truth is those measures will kill us.
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Any time you hear a Republican use the word "Greece" to defend not raising taxes on the rich and to push the austerity measures, it's a safe bet--before you even hear anything else they had to say--that they're lying. They may claim that they are willing do anything to make the situation better in the United States in regard to jobs and the economy, but the truth is those measures will kill us.

I've been following the Republicans' response to President Obama's Weekly Address almost since he's been elected and if there's one thing you can say for them, it's that they've got their messaging down pat. No matter who gives the response, they are going to repeat that messaging week after week, usually jam-packed full of lies.

Case in point is this week's latest, with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R - WA) doing the duties and a repeat we saw from her fellow House member Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) last month. I'll just quote a bit of what I already wrote about Hayworth here:

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-NY) delivered this week's Republican address and lo and behold, they're still pretending like they care about job creation and pushing their House Republican Plan for America's Job Creators that Jon Perr wrote about here last October:

So there's one of the lies in Rodger's statement: that they actually have some "plan" for jobs that isn't just more of their standard fare of dismantling all government regulations and lowering taxes for the rich.

As to her statement that we're going to become "Greece", I'd just refer readers back to Paul Krugman who debunked that back in May of 2010 -- We’re Not Greece. Sadly, they've refused to quit using that lie at every single opportunity no matter how many times it's been debunked or for how long.

Here's another one from Rodgers' statement in the video above; the Democrats have not passed a budget in the last 1000 days. I'll leave that one to TPM's Brian Beutler to break down here -- The Truth Behind The GOP’s ‘1000 Days Without A Budget’ Canard:

In the narrowest technical sense, Republicans are right — Senate Democrats haven’t passed a “budget resolution” since 2009. And it’s true that a big part of the reason for the delay is that vulnerable Democrats don’t want to associate themselves with a tax-and-spending plan that will, by necessity, envisage high deficits, some tax increases, and unpopular spending cuts, for years to come. Republicans marched fearlessly into a similar buzz saw last year, and look where it got ‘em.

But here are two things Republicans don’t mention about this 1000 days teapot tempest: First, Budget resolutions don’t have the force of law, and they aren’t the legislative tool that mandates what the government can and can not spend. That’s what appropriations bills are for, and for the last 1000 days Democrats and Republicans have worked together, however acrimoniously, to devise spending plans for the government.

Here’s how House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer explained it at a briefing with reporters last week.

“I have a bias. I served for 23 years on the Appropriations Committee. What does the budget do? The budget does one thing and really only one thing. It sets the parameters of spending and discretionary caps. Other than that, the Appropriations Committee is not bound by the Budget Committee’s priorities…. The fact is that you don’t need a budget. We can adopt appropriation bills and we can adopt authorization policies without a budget.”

But the much more important fact Republicans have left out is that the Senate passed a budget on an overwhelmingly bipartisan basis last summer — one that unlike an annual “budget resolution” has the force of law behind it. The Budget Control Act — the law that resolved the debt limit fight — set binding appropriations caps for this fiscal year and the next and instituted a mechanism to contain spending on domestic discretionary programs — education, research, community health programs and the like — through the next decade.

As Hoyer explained, “We already have an agreed-upon cap on spending. So that this 1,000 days they haven’t passed a budget, the Republicans went for equal lengths of time without passing a budget. I think ‘05 and ‘06 — I don’t know whether it was a 1,000 days. But in any event, that is an argument to dissemble and distract the attention on the lack of productive accomplishment in the House of Representatives.”

And then we have the matter of who she wanted to blame the debt and the deficit on that our own Jon Perr wrote about here -- 10 Inconvenient Truths About the Debt Ceiling.

Then we have that promise that President Obama did not manage to cut the deficit in half, which Perr again explained here -- Why Bush and Obama Couldn't Keep Their Deficit Promises.

Next up, we have the lie that the stimulus didn't work to improve the economy which Karoli discussed here -- Dear Democrats: The Stimulus Worked, Start Acting Like It.

Republicans have something amounting to two ideas for "job creation" in the United States and those are Randian free market dismantling of all regulations and tax cuts for those that don't pay their fair share in taxes already. That's pretty much what we got from this week's edition of "I'm a Republican and I'm going to speak to you as though you were a third grader" if you happened to be unfortunate enough to hear this nonsense.

Here are the full remarks from Rep. Rodgers:

Hello, I’m Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and I have the honor of representing the hardworking taxpayers of Eastern Washington. I’m also a mother of two young kids, Cole and Grace, and like millions of other moms across America, I’m concerned about our children’s future, and the economy they’ll inherit.

On February 23, 2009, during a fiscal responsibility summit at the White House, President Obama made a promise to the American people. ‘I’m pledging,’ he said, ‘to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.’

Well, in the budget he submitted this week to Congress, the president admitted he won’t keep his promise. He won’t even come close. Because of the president’s failure to control spending, the government will run trillion-dollar deficits in each of his four years in office.

President Obama’s broken promises have left our country broke. On his watch, the size of our debt has surpassed the size of our entire economy — making it harder for small businesses to create jobs and pushing us closer to a fiscal crisis.

I’m afraid his budget is even worse than it looks. More than half of the proposed ‘savings’ in the president’s budget for the next year — about $2 trillion — are already law. These savings come from the Budget Control Act — the bill congressional Republicans insisted that the president sign last year in response to his demand for an increase in the nation’s debt limit.

The president spent nearly six months last year resisting those spending reductions, until he finally listened to the people. Another almost $1 trillion in ‘savings’ comes from what we call the ‘war gimmick’ — money that was never requested and will never be spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those aren’t real savings. Do the math and you’ll discover that the president’s budget only achieves, at most, about a tenth of the savings it promises. This kind of accounting would sink any business or household.

It isn’t all that surprising, however, when you consider that a lot of what President Obama promised about the economy has turned out to be untrue.

Friday marked the three-year anniversary of the infamous ‘stimulus’ spending bill. The president’s team said the unemployment rate would stay below eight percent if taxpayers gave his party a blank check to spend on government programs, but that promise didn’t pan out either.

In fact, unemployment has been above eight percent for three years running. Gas prices have nearly doubled since the president took office. And the new health care law is making it harder for small businesses to hire new workers and provide insurance for their employees.

You see, the president and his party have it all wrong. They believe they can grow the economy and create jobs by increasing government spending and raising taxes, including taxes on small businesses. But the American people know that the way to grow the economy and create jobs is by cutting government spending and keeping taxes low for all taxpayers.

Unfortunately, the president’s budget continues on this wrong path. Instead of leading the effort to bring down our debt and make tough choices, the president is proposing that we spend more and more. All his wasteful spending puts us deeper in debt to China. All his tax hikes would destroy jobs and make it tougher to compete with China.

If we keep on going like this, the consequences will be devastating. As we’ve learned from Greece and the European Union, no country can escape the costs of big government policies forever. The president’s budget isn’t a blueprint for America — it’s a roadmap to Greece.

It didn’t have to be this way. The president and his party have been given numerous opportunities to rein in spending and help create a better environment for job creation, and they’ve punted almost every time.

The president’s Democratic colleagues in the Senate haven’t produced a budget in nearly three years. That’s like writing checks all year long without balancing your checkbook. They wouldn’t even accept spending cuts to go along with the payroll tax holiday extension agreed to by Republicans and Democrats this week — spending cuts that came mostly from the president’s own proposals.

And now, after breaking his promise to cut the deficit in half, the president can’t even offer a credible budget. That just isn’t leadership.

The American people deserve better. My children and yours — who will inherit this debt — deserve much better. This spring, Republicans will again offer a pro-growth budget that lifts the crushing burden of debt and secures a future of opportunity and prosperity.

This budget is part of Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators, which removes government barriers to private-sector job creation — a stark contrast to the president’s failed ‘stimulus’ approach. Learn more about the Republican jobs plan by visiting jobs.GOP.gov

Thank you for listening, and God bless America.

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