I watch the PBS News Hour every night.  I began watching when I was in grad school in Philly, when it was the McNeil/Lehrer News Hour, since it was the only channel that came in clearly in my West Philadelphia third floor apartment.  Plus, I like the News Hour because they don’t do “Breaking News Headlines” like every other “news” outlet in the country.  Judy Woodruff now helms The News Hour and I find her a prime example of what a television news journalist should be:  intelligent, direct, articulate,  honest and probing. 

Last night she interviewed one Mick Mulvaney, the Trump Administration’s Office of Management Budget Director.    Here’s the clip of the interview. 

Note beginning at  minute 5:20  when Judy references Ronald Reagan's Tax Cuts - she says he cut taxes in 1980 but had to raise them again the next year (the cuts were exploding the deficit) and Mulvaney says she's wrong.   But he is either is mistaken or out right lying (or doesn't know shit!)  and goes on the state that the Reagan tax cuts resulted in tremendous growth.  Yes, they did. Eventually.  But he's flat out wrong about Judy's comment. Reagan did cut taxes but he also raised them.   Here are the facts: 

 Soon after taking office in 1981, Reagan signed into law one of the largest tax cuts in the post World War II period. 

 "Reagan was certainly a tax cutter legislatively, emotionally and ideologically. But for a variety of political reasons, it was hard for him to ignore the cost of his tax cuts," said tax historian Joseph Thorndike.  

But Reagan's two bills that were passed in 1982 and 1984 together "constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime," Thorndike said.

These are the facts.  Not made up shit.  Not some misstatement.  Just facts. 

Thus the reality of the Regan Tax Cuts.  Judy was correct.  Mick was just wrong whether through ignorance or purpose.  And by the look on Woodruff's face, she knew the facts too. But she couldn't stop the interview, round up a couple of staff assistants to check the facts and then come back and show Mulvaney that he was just wrong.   But this is precisely the kind of bullshit stuff Republicans and conservatives pull all the time.   Put something - anything - out there as truth and who the hell is going to know?  And folks believe the crap.  

I doubt that only a minuscule portion of the News Hour's viewing audience knew that Mulvaney was mis-stating what Reagan actually did.  When I heard him, something clicked in the back of my mind.  Since I credit Ron "Grandaddy" Reagan as the originator of much of the economic mess we find ourselves trapped in today, I had a suspicion that it wasn't as simple as Mick had said.  I did know that even though Reagan is termed a big tax cutter, I knew too that he had to raise taxes as well during his administration.  (Actually he didn't "raise taxes" - at least tax rates and he did cut the top individual tax rate from 70% to 40% - but he did close a whole bunch of loopholes, broadened the tax base and tax revenue increased as a result.)

What particularly pissed me off about this exchange wasn't only the the act of publicly putting out "misleading" information but the fact that this guy is head of the OMB, the agency that is responsible for implementing Trump's budget and tax proposals.  What this really means is that the folks who work at OMB on 17th Street, just a block west of the White House, take Trump's one page "tax reform" proposal and translate it into legislative legalese that then goes to the House of Representatives for consideration and mark-up.  When I heard Mulvaney, two thoughts came to my mind:  1) this guy is just outright lying, not a terribly rare occurrence in the Trump Administration; or 2) if he doesn't know what Reagan actually did, what the hell is he doing as OMB Director?

But in researching Mulvaney's credentials, come to find out he served in the South Carolina state legislature from 2007 until 2011 and was elected to the House of Representatives in 2011.  Apparently Mick Mulvaney is not totally bereft of either legislative or economic experience.  He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he earned  a law degree.  Also, he attended Georgetown University here in D.C. where he majored in International Economics, Commerce and Finance and was an Honors Scholar, the highest level of academic achievement awarded to members of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and ultimately graduated with honors in 1989.

So I guess we can assume that Mick Mulvaney isn't just an ignorant, stupid or dumb Trump supporter.   This, of course, leaves open the question, then, of why a television news reporter - and a female one at that, for God's sake! (as Trump might proclaim!)  - knew more about Reaganomics than he did?  

Or was he just lying?

Oh, and by the way, Trump's so-called Tax Reform Plan benefits the middle class just about as much as the luxury tax on $500,000 foreign cars hurts them.  Another Mulvaney "misstatement."

This is the kind of insidious crap that Republicans excel in.   Take Trey Gowdy's Benghazi hearings for example.  Or take the Hillary Clinton E-Mail scandal hearings brought to you courtesy of Jason Chaffetz.  Or take the IRS hearings brought to you by none other than "insure n' burn" California Congressman, the ever truthful, Darrell Issa.  
If you think back to all the crap and bullshit that emerged from each and every one of these waste of time Congressional Hearings and all the misstatements, falsifications, fabrications and outright lies that were strewn over the television airwaves and in the press from those hundreds of hours of public testimony, plus consider that this kind of fact-less, data-less, science-less bullshit has been going on from Republicans and Conservatives since the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, is it any wonder why 54% of Americans believe that 9-11 was an inside government job?  That over 60% of Americans don't believe that JFK was assassinated by a lone gunman; that 33% of Americans believe that vaccinations cause autism; that 40% of Americans believe that the U.S. Government is hiding proof of extraterrestrial visitations?

Of course not.  

Based on numerous survey results, the person likeliest to have a conspiratorial mindset is a white, employed Republican with a lower income, who is affiliated with a Christian denomination but doesn't attend religious services too often.

Now do you understand how lying Trump got elected?  

Take Care.  There Are A Whole Passel of Folks Lying to Us Right Now. 


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