Proving my point

215

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank Frank Tuckwiller for his response to my commentary of July 23 regarding Joseph Goebbels’ “big lie” theory on how to con people into believing things that are absolutely false. Frank might be interested to know that I am not a Democrat or a Republican. He might also like to know that I did not vote for Barack Obama in the last election. I am an equal opportunity antagonist but nowadays conservatives are such easy targets that it is hard to pass up an opportunity. The alternate and ignorant universe that they exist in just provides way too much material.

Anyhow, moving on, let me respond to Frank’s specific “accusations.”

1. Jobs: Frank challenges my statement that there has been a “net” change of a million jobs a month from the end of the Bush presidency up to now. Facts are facts. We were losing 750 thousand jobs a month at the end of the Bush administration and now we are gaining 250 thousand a month. Simple math tells us that this is a swing of one million jobs each month. I’m not quite sure why Frank can’t figure this out. Maybe arithmetic works differently in his alternate universe.

If you are mathematically impaired all you need to do is look at a chart on jobs to see the downward spiral during the Bush years and the upward swing during the Obama administration which ultimately resulted in job “growth” instead of job “loss.” Maybe Frank could provide us with a little more information on what he is trying to say as he doesn’t really make much sense.

2. The Budget Deficit. Poor Frank. He must have been dozing during high school civics class when the teacher discussed the fact that our government’s finances run on a “fiscal” year and not a “calender” year. Fiscal year 2009 actually started in 2008 and was the last of the Bush budgets. Obama’s very first day as president didn’t occur until almost four months after that budget was in place and his (Obama’s) impact on that budget was minimal.

Even taking that into account, Frank uses the wrong numbers from the Congressional Budget Office Report. Besides taking data from the wrong year, his numbers use the standard Republican gimmick of adding in the Social Security Trust Fund’s surplus to make the numbers look better (for him). Nice try Frank, but it’s not going to fly.

The same applies to the “National Debt.” Frank takes a figure from the wrong year ($5.8 trillion in 2008) that excludes intergovernmental borrowing and compares it to the current figure ($19 trillion) that does include inter-governmental borrowing. I know that Frank was in the fruit business so he should know better than to compare apples to oranges. If he were to use the correct and customary figures for the correct years ($12 trillion in 2009 and $19 trillion in 2016) the increase in the debt would only be about half of what he implies.

3. Benghazi. Hindsight is, of course, 20/20. The eighth and most recent committee report (Republicans will probably never let this issue end), which took two years to complete and cost $7 million, provides a few new details, but nothing more on Clinton. Republicans, as I have said, are responsible for reducing the security budget for the area. Maybe they could spend the next few years (and a whole lot of our money) looking into that.

4. Foreign Policy. My guess is that Frank only watches Fox News.If he had bothered to check any other sources he would know that President Obama brought the troops home from Iraq on the schedule negotiated by President Bush. No one who actually knows anything about ISIS disputes the fact that disbanding the Iraq Army was a major impetus for ISIS and one of the most colossal foreign policy blunders this country has ever made. Frank would be better off doing some research before rather than after he writes about something. It is obvious and embarrassing that he does not have the slightest idea what he is talking about.

5. Coal. West Virginia is my home and I want good things for this state and all of its citizens. But, being dishonest about coal serves no useful purpose. The “out of context” quote from Hillary Clinton leaves out her statement that she fully intends to provide job training and other resources to those losing jobs as the coal industry inevitably declines. I don’t see Donald Trump offering that kind of help. His response would probably just be, “You’re Fired!” The decline of coal has been going on for decades. Blaming it on our current president or a presidential candidate is dishonest and reprehensible. Wyoming, another state heavily dependent on coal, has challenged itself to become the country’s leader in renewable energy. Good for them. If we don’t change our thinking and respond in the same or similar way we will end up in the dust bin of this country and it won’t be Obama’s or Clinton’s fault, it will be our own.

So thanks again, Frank. You added credence to my point that ignorance and lying are the backbone of modern day conservatism. Goebbels would have been proud.

• • •

No need to respond to James Livesay’s comments. Just one more example of people who haven’t returned from outer space yet.

Greg Zafros

Lewisburg