Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
#1 Mar 13, 2013
Remember in "Seinfeld" when George Costanza got a new job and his employer thought he had a physical disability? He loved the benefits and attention, so he fully committed himself to the lie -- and intended to keep it up indefinitely.
The episode reminds me a bit of how Republicans treat their 2012 welfare reform lie.
As you'll recall, a bipartisan group of governors asked the Obama administration for some flexibility on the existing welfare law, transitioning beneficiaries from welfare to work. The White House agreed to give the states some leeway, so long as the work requirement wasn't weakened.
"But does the memo do what the Romney campaign charges -- that it guts welfare reform, gets rid of work requirements entirely, and would “just send you your welfare check”?
Not exactly. The memo states, for instance, that HHS “will only consider approving waivers relating to the work participation requirements that make changes intended to lead to more effective means of meeting the work goals of TANF."
In other words, a state would have to offer an alternative program similar to the work requirements first put into place by the 1990s welfare reform law in order to receive the waiver."
It inspired Mitt Romney and GOP leaders to make up a shameless lie, accusing President Obama of weakening welfare work requirements.
The blatant falsehood didn't make much of a difference, and I assumed the issue would disappear once the election ended. But like George Costanza, Republicans have become so invested in the lie, they're afraid to let it go.
Prominent House Republicans are relaunching efforts to stop the Obama administration from giving states waivers under welfare reform.
GOP leaders of several committees reintroduced a bill Thursday that would block the policy, which Republicans say "guts" welfare's work requirement.
"This legislation makes it clear -- the Obama administration cannot undermine the work requirement that has resulted in higher earnings and employment for low-income individuals," said Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) in a statement.
That the Obama administration never undermined the work requirement -- and has no intention of doing so in the future -- apparently doesn't matter. What's necessary, apparently, is to keep the lie alive, even after it's been exposed as untrue.
Yesterday, the White House criticized the House GOP bill, which has 23 cosponsors, as standing in the way "innovative" state-based programs that could help more welfare recipients into new jobs. The administration called the bill "unnecessary."
Which it is, though that doesn't seem to matter.
Baseless lies and BS is all they have period!
#2 Mar 19, 2013
Committed LIARS and VERY forgetful!
The congressman talked to Bloomberg TV this morning, and reporter Peter Cook raised the prospect of some kind of compromise with Democrats, in light of Sen. Patty Murray's (D-Wash.) Senate Democratic budget. Take a look at Ryan's response:
"Well, I would say to the Patty Murray school of thought to the President Obama school of thought, they've got their tax increases. They got $1.6 trillion in tax increases that are just now starting to hit the economy. But we have yet to get the spending cuts."
Now, right off the bat, it's important to note that Democrats didn't get $1.6 trillion in tax increases. Earlier this year, they got about $600 billion in new revenue -- Ryan is only off by $1,000,000,000,000 -- which Republicans on the House Budget Committee found so offensive, they included the money in their own budget plan. Maybe Ryan forgot about this?
But even if we put that aside, there's the matter of Ryan's assertion that Republicans haven't already successfully received spending cuts. The problem, of course, is that Ryan seems to have forgotten 2011, when Democrats accepted nearly $1.5 trillion in spending cuts, with no accompanying revenue, as part of the GOP's debt-ceiling hostage strategy.
At the time, Ryan boasted about all the spending cuts he and his party had won by threatening to hurt Americans on purpose. Less than two years later, the far-right Wisconsinite appears to have forgotten about the policy altogether. How is that possible?
It's not just today, either. Ryan keeps reinforcing suspicions that his memory is alarmingly bad.
Ryan doesn't remember that he used to refer to his own plan to end Medicare as "vouchers."
Ryan doesn't remember taking credit for the sequestration policy he later condemned.
Ryan doesn't remember learning about Democratic alternatives to the sequester.
Ryan doesn't remember what happened with the 2011 "super committee."
Ryan doesn't remember Bill Clinton's tax increases.
Ryan doesn't remember the times he condemned social-insurance programs as "taker" programs.
Ryan doesn't remember all of the times he appealed to the Obama administration for stimulus funds for his congressional district.
Ryan doesn't remember his marathon times.
Ryan doesn't remember how much he was inspired by Ayn Rand.
Ryan doesn't remember his own speeches.
Everyone can be forgetful once in a while, but the Republican Budget Committee chairman seems to forget rather important details and developments so often, it's rather unsettling.
The alternative, of course, is that Ryan's memory is fine and he shamelessly lies when it suits his purposes, but why be uncharitable? Let's instead just assume that the poor congressman suffers from a terrible memory.
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