Saturday, January 08, 2011

"Job-killing?" or Rhetorical Subterfuge?

I am so tired of hearing the phrase, "job-killing!" Steven Pearlman has an excellent article taking Republicans to task for this rhetorical subterfuge.

Type "job killing" into Google and you'll get more than 1.2 million hits. On the Factiva news database, it comes up 11,115 times during 2009 and 2010, compared with 1,373 times during the previous two years. A Republican talking point, a Fox News broadcast or a Chamber of Commerce press release is now incomplete without it.

What's so curious is that it's hard to find almost any Republican concern about employment homicide during 2008, when George W. Bush was president and the economy was shedding 4.4 million jobs. Given the lag with which economic policy works, the biggest net job loss that could credibly be assigned to Obama during his two years in office would be less than a million....

...What's particularly noteworthy about this fixation with "job killing" is that it stands in such contrast to the complete lack of concern about policies that kill people rather than jobs....
I wonder how Republicans and their media posse would like it if Democrats started referring to "genocidal" deregulation or the "murderous" repeal of health-care reform. Or if Republican economic policies were likened to the infamous neutron bomb - they kill the workers but leave their jobs intact.

Unfair? No doubt. But no more so than portraying as "job-killing" every regulation, every tax and every dollar of government spending.

There is an unmistakable redbaiting quality to the "job-killing" rhetoric, a throwback to the McCarthy era. It reflects the sort of economic fundamentalism better suited to Afghan politics than American. Rather than contributing to the political dialogue, it is a substitute for serious discussion. And the fact that it continues unabated suggests that Republicans are not ready to compromise or to govern....

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