Friday, April 15, 2011

Most Ignorant Politican List (This Could Go On Forever)

Today over at the Daily Beast is a story about the “Most Ignorant Politicians”.  After reviewing the article, I would like to give a little feedback on what I read. As I have said before, I do love lists.

First of all, any ‘dumb politician’ list that does not have Al Franken on it should be dismissed immediately.

I also must take the Daily Beast to task as the list is a little unbalanced. The list of 10 politicians includes six Republicans and four democrats. Certainly they could have found at least one more democrat for the list among the 200 or so currently serving in Washington.  I already mentioned Al Franken.  What about Chuck Schumer, who wasn’t terribly bright to leave his phone line open while telling staffers and others how he was going to marginalize the GOP as “extreme”.

Another point I’ll make is the number of statements (from they used for their tabulations. Just taking the raw numbers, they measured an average of 21 Republican statements against an average of 18 democrat statements. Not terribly statistically significant but enough to make me go hmmm. But in their search for statements to measure, they hit the reload button SEVERAL times on two Republican politicians (Palin 45, Boehner 37). The level of exposure of both of these individuals gives the compilers much to work with, this I understand. But why not hit Pelosi up with the same effort. She was Speaker of the House for four years. Certainly she has made a gaffe or two. I did a search on Yahoo using Pelosi+gaffes and received 145,000 hits. Yes, there are multiple repeats, but the point is Pelosi has made several statements that were either completely false or barely true (here and here are a couple of examples).

Anyway, let’s take a look at some examples given by the Daily Beast.

Egregious Falsehood attributed to Michael Steele, former RNC Chairman; “You and I know that in the history of mankind and woman kind, government—federal, state, local, or otherwise—has never created on job.”  (Source; Daily Beast)

Technically speaking, The Daily Beast is correct but to give it a ‘Pants-on-fire’ rating might be a little extreme.  All levels of government have created jobs and the federal government is the largest employer in the nation at 1.8M employees. Heck, when you go to the DMV to get your license updated that job is done by a state worker.  But what he was talking about were jobs in the private sector. The problem with public sector jobs is that is takes several taxpayers to cover the salary costs of a government worker (actual number obviously depends on salary level and whether the job collects fees).  A private sector job does not burden the taxpayer in any fashion. A business owner takes on the responsibility to cover the cost of the employee entirely.

Egregious Falsehood attributed to Sarah Palin former VP Candidate; The disabled and seniors “will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panels’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worth of health care.” (Source: Daily Beast)

In the health care bill passed in 2009 there is no language that calls for ‘death panels’, but it is clear that end-of-life planning is part of Obama’s and the progressive’s game plan. According to Obama’s own advisors one way to reduce medical spending is to stop life sustaining treatment that prolongs life when a fix or cure is not going to save a life.  In other words, once a point is reached in a person treatment and there is no hope of saving the life, only sustaining it for a period, then treatment will stop and means to ease the pain will be enabled.  And who will make this decision?

“An independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers.” (Source: Red State)

That sure looks like a death panel to me. Plus, it is no secret that the Progressives and Obama like the British health care system and they do have end-of-life panels.

Egregious Statement attributed to Mitch McConnell (R-KY): Updated financial regulations “actually guarantees future bailouts of Wall Street banks.” (Source: Daily Beast)

If you read the language and the design behind the bill, this statement is really not that far off the mark. Here is a good summation of what the bill entails. This bill was written in the depth of the financial crises that was running through the banks and investment firms in 2007-2009.  Many people lost gobs of money, and not just the wealthy.  Small businesses and individuals lost much of their retirement accounts to less than above-the-board dealings on Wall Street (search ‘toxic assets’). This bill will encourage this kind of activity yet again by providing money to cover them if another financial crises hits.  You have to wonder why the Wall Street banks supported this legislation.

Although many of them believe otherwise, politicians are no different than you and I. Every once in a while they either say something they wish they could take back, our they throw something out there hoping it sticks to the wall.

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