Please don’t believe in everything GOP says

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Tony Boswell

In response to Franklin Whittlesey’s guest column on Jan. 11,  Mr. Whittlesey is at it again. The truth has never gotten in the way of him making whatever arguments he chooses.
Once again, just a few minutes research is all it takes to debunk most of the claims he makes. The unfortunate thing is most people don’t have the time to do the follow up and, sadly, some will simply accept as true anything they read in print. I think this probably applies to Mr. Whittlesey as well, who probably does believe most of the inaccuracies he is spewing because he himself accepted them lock, stock and barrel from other Republican sources.
He blames the housing market collapse on Bill Clinton, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, but the Dodd-Frank bill was passed in July 2010, while the housing market and sub-prime mortgage collapse began in 2006, four years earlier.  
The real reason for the collapse of the housing market was the rampant speculation made possible by the repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act of 1933 (a Democrat-sponsored bill), which was done by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 (a Republican-sponsored bill). This removed the separation between banking, securities and insurance companies, allowing them to basically gamble with investors’ money.
He states that this administration has increased government jobs four times over, when, in fact, the Obama administration has reduced government employees. According to a Jan. 6 New York Times article, the Obama administration has reduced the size of government jobs by 2.6 percent, or roughly 70,000 employees. It should be noted that Obama, Clinton and Jimmy Carter all reduced the size of the federal government. Bill Clinton reduced it by 10 percent to numbers below where they were when Ronald Reagan took office in 1980, while Reagan and the second Bush president, George W. Bush, both increased the size of government and the national debt. The first Bush president, George H.W. Bush, reduced government employees by about 30,000 during his term.
Mr. Whittlesey says the Obama jobs bill didn’t pass because “a good percentage” of Democrats didn’t vote for it. In fact, only two Democrats didn’t vote for it – Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana. I’m not sure what Mr. Whittlesey’s criterion for a good percentage is, but 3 percent is as good as any other number, I guess.
Mr. Whittlesey claims that the Obama administration has instituted “hundreds, if not thousands, of government regulations.” In fact, as of October 2011, the Obama administration had approved fewer regulations than the second Bush had during the same time period. Thirty-three months into office, Obama had approved 613 federal rules, while Bush had approved 643 rules. Hardly thousands in either case.
And finally, he throws around that word the Republicans love to toss out – “socialist.” I feel like Inigo Montoya in the movie “The Princess Bride,” who tells his friend, Vizzini, “You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.” Obama is not a socialist. Even the Socialist Party denies he is a socialist. Obama may not even be a liberal. If he were a politician 50 years ago, his policies would be very much in line with the Republican mainstream. Obama is a moderate at most. Maybe a little more liberalism would help.
I would seriously encourage readers not to believe everything they see on television or read in the paper. Do a little research for yourself.
The Republicans are lying to you on a daily basis and counting on you to not check their facts or to simply forget. It is the Republicans who have repeatedly increased the size of government and debt over the last 30 years while, in Orwellian fashion, telling you they are reducing it. It is the Democrats who have repeatedly reduced it, only to see their gains squandered.  
Ask yourself why Republicans want to eliminate collective bargain rights for workers, why they are in favor of the wealthiest Americans paying a lower tax rate than the poorest, why they keep touting “trickle down” economics, even though it has been repeatedly demonstrated to be a myth.
Mr. Whittlesey is right about one thing. We do need a clean sweep. Vote these Republicans out before the top 1 percent control more than the 40 percent of the economy then they already do and let a day’s work be worth something again.