Do Republicans Just Not Care About Facts?!

Kevin DrumIs it just me or do Republicans really not care at all about being anything close to correct about what they rant about? On Tuesday, Jeb Bush had an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal, How I’ll Slash the Regulation Tax. He wrote, “To understand what is wrong with the regulatory culture of the US under President Obama, consider this alarming statistic: today, according to the World Bank — not exactly a right-wing think tank — the US ranks 46th in the world in terms of ease of starting a business.”

As a long time micro-businessman, let me respond: what a crock! The regulatory problems with running a business are all about state and local laws. I’m particularly annoyed by inventory taxes here in California. They really should be set up so that, for example, computer refurbishers can keep a small amount of hardware around without having to keep track of it for tax purposes. For people like me, this isn’t about the money — which is negligible — but about the hassle of it. There are other things too, like the fact that you can hardly move a block without the sales tax rate changing. There is much else, but none of it has to do with the federal government — much less President Obama.

Jeb BushI’m not surprised that Bush doesn’t know about this kind of thing. The way business works at the bottom rungs of the economy really is hidden from the likes of Bush and Trump. There are millions of little businesses around the US and they don’t have much to do with the way that business is taught in school or practiced in the Fortune 500 companies. It’s a hell of a lot more like Bob’s Burgers. Maybe Bush should spend some time watching that show — he might learn a thing or two.

But it turns out that Jeb Bush was just being deceptive. If you look at the actual World Bank rankings, you will find the following table. You will have to click on it to read it. But what it shows is the top ten countries where it is easiest to do business. There are ten factors listed that go into this. The overall ranking of the US is 7th. All Bush did was find the subcategories where the US did the worst and talk about that. It’s just despicable behavior.

World Bank Economy Rankings

Kevin Drum did a bit of a deep dive into the subject and he noted a few things. For really large economies, the World Bank just looked at two cities. In the case of the US: New York City and Los Angeles. They aren’t exactly representative, but okay — that’s good to know. But then Drum compared the US versus New Zealand, which ranks first on “stating a business.” It turns out that in New Zealand you can start a business in a half of a day, but it takes four days in the US. This isn’t actually starting a business, of course, “It’s solely about registering a new business.” In other words, the most trivial part of starting a new business.

But I thought that Drum’s conclusion was particularly important, “As for the outrageous regulations he promises to repeal on Day One, this would mostly just benefit big campaign donors, not the yeoman entrepreneurs he claims to be sticking up for.” Of course! Because Jeb Bush isn’t interested in people starting new businesses; he’s interested in allowing profitable existing businesses to make even more money. There’s a name for what Bush promises: crony capitalism.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

11 thoughts on “Do Republicans Just Not Care About Facts?!

  1. Notice where the US scores worst: getting electricity. Last time I checked, the electric companies in LA and NYC were for-profit companies. So of course they’re a bureaucratic nightmare!

    • I also just hate the whole idea. It’s so focused on a particular idea of business. The US does very well on “access to credit.” For a lot of businesses, that doesn’t matter at all. And for the rest, it is a question of style. It is the reason that millionaire businessmen have so often gone bankrupt several times: they’re more gamblers than anything else. And who’s able to get credit after a long history of failure: the “right” kind of people. The main point is that it is not hard to start and run a business in the US. But Bush is doing the usual Republican thing, “America is the greatest country in the world. And it’s terrible!” I don’t know if you saw Jeb’s interview with John Harwood, but it was pathetic. Clinton was successful because of what Reagan had done; his brother wasn’t success because he had bad luck; and Obama has no excuse for the economy not being fully repaired by now. Apparently, things suck if a Democrat is in power and they rock if a Republican is in power — by definition.

  2. Republicans can ignore facts for a few reasons-this article explains it pretty well: http://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-long-con

    But the other reason is that the media has taken nearly four decades to start (barely) calling the Republicans on their just out right lying/ignoring facts. So they pay no price because the only people calling them out are Democrats and of course that can be dismissed as partisan bickering and safely ignored.

    • I just wrote an article about Ron Fournier. I can image him writing in the 1930s, “Certainly the Nazis are wrong to put the Jews in concentration camps. But it’s not like the Jews are innocent; they tried to block the remilitarization of the Rhineland.” The truth is that the media really depend upon political parties playing by the rules. And the Republicans haven’t for over two decades. Yet the media continue to treat them like they do. But I think that’s gotten a tiny bit better.

      • The fact that it appears the media establishment is calling Fiorina out on her lies although that may be a mistaken impression since I last watched TV news in 2013 at the airport so I get all my news by reading it.

        • It does seem that Fiorina is being called out. I’m glad, but it bothers me that the only two candidates who are getting close scrutiny are the two women running. I doubt that’s a coincidence.

          • Of course not. We ladies are both viewed as more honest and yet are considered to never tell the truth if you look at the polls and then the real life stories.

            I just read a horrific article on Buzzfeed about a woman who was ordered to come down to a police station to report her rape and then was charged with false reporting on the reporting she had no choice in doing! So when people tell the pollsters that women are more honest, it never seems to actually translate into real world situations. The actual woman is presumed to be a liar until proven otherwise.

            • I just wrote an article (probably not out yet) about how there’s this weird thing where the fact that the Clintons seem authentic is taken by a lot pundits as proof that they can’t be trusted. That’s the same thing here with women. Or at least it is that since we all believe women are more truthful, then female politicians must be held to a higher standard. Of course, Fiorina really is a vile person.

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