Since the night of November 4, 2008, I’ve mentioned more times than I can count how the future of the Republican Party–and therefore America as, like it or not, the GOP is Her best chance for continued growth and prosperity–depends upon the satisfaction of two basic elements: First, the party must distill its message even further than just the basic tenets of fiscal and social conservatism, bringing it down to the issue of the intended role of a limited federal government. Second, the party must change the way it handles outreach so as to better disseminate that distilled message.
The “role of government” message is crucial, I’ve said, because advocating a Jeffersonian approach to governance allows for a certain bit of flexibility that could woo those people in the center and even on the left concerned about the expansion of governmental scope without eroding the values holding firm the tent above those on the true right. As I see it, the polarization now attributed by the press and others on the left to traditional conservative ideals is actually more of a symptom of a lack of flexibility; for example, whether they realize it or not, the vast majority of people on both sides of the political spectrum practice fiscal conservatism in their own lives — the inability of those of us on the right to foment such a realization is more the problem than the ideals themselves. Therefore, instead of trying to forcibly instill fiscal responsibility and the lower-taxes-foster-growth concept, if we ask people how involved they want the federal government to be in every aspect of their daily lives, they might just figure it out for themselves.
Even more crucial, however, is how the GOP plans to transmit whatever message they choose to carry the party banner into 2010 and beyond. I’ve lamented the advantage currently enjoyed by the Democratic Party with regard to outreach and such — after all, they are a party of community organizers who have historically done little else beyond organizing people. Recently, however, I have been absolutely delighted by efforts made by the House Republican Conference in particular to disseminate the conservative message as an alternative to actions currently being taken by this spendthrift administration and Congress.
One such example of that, over and beyond the conference calls and press releases, is the GOP.gov Web site. So much information. So much insight on what’s being done on the other side of the aisle, and what’s being done by those on the right side of the aisle to stop it.
One entry in particular from the GOP.gov “Policy News” section was brought to my attention and, after receiving permission, I wanted to reproduce it in its entirety here:
Obama’s Fuzzy Stimulus Math
June 1, 2009
“In these last few months, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has saved or created nearly 150,000 jobs.”
- President Barack Obama, May 27, 2009.
In an attempt to justify Democrats’ massive $1 trillion “stimulus,” the Administration “plays a little loose with the facts.” However, the reality is far different than the fiction the President is writing.
Fiction: When he signed the stimulus, President Obama said that the legislation “will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years.”
Reality: According to the Administration, $112 billion from the stimulus has been spent or obligated so far. Assuming that the President’s unsubstantiated claim that the legislation has saved 150,000 is correct, each job saved by the first $112 billion in stimulus spending cost $746,600. At that rate, the entire stimulus would “save” 1 million jobs—far less than the 1.6 million lost since the stimulus was signed. At a total cost of $787 billion, that is a net loss of at least 600,000 jobs.
Fiction: The stimulus has already created 150,000 jobs, as President Obama has stated repeatedly.
Reality: The country has lost 1.6 million jobs since the stimulus was passed into law, and unemployment has increased from 8.1 percent in February to 8.9 percent in April.
Fiction: $45.6 billion of the stimulus has been spent and is helping struggling Americans.
Reality: The Administration is exaggerating the amount of stimulus money that has actually been spent. For instance, the White House reported on May 5, 2009, that the Department of Labor had made $11.5 billion in payments to the unemployment trust fund. It was later revealed that the Department had only been given $1.1 billion. In reality, about $36 billion of the stimulus has been spent — less than five percent of the stimulus.
Fiction: As President Obama has proclaimed, the stimulus is “what we need to do to create jobs for Americans scrambling in the wake of layoffs, to provide relief for families worried they won’t be able to pay next month’s bills.”
Reality: According to analysis conducted by the Associated Press (AP), those Americans hardest hit by the economic downturn have received the least stimulus money. The AP stated that their study revealed that “states are planning to spend 50 percent more per person in areas with the lowest unemployment than in communities with the highest.”
Fiction: The stimulus funds are being spent on hundreds of important projects, which are closely tracked and specifically reported by the White House.
Reality: The Administration has reported misleading and false information about how the stimulus money is being spent. In Vice President Biden’s report, “100 Days, 100 Projects,” the White House falsely claims that the very first project highlighted in the report had received $27 million for a public housing development in Washington, D.C. However, it was later revealed that the Administration’s report was false and the project had only received $59,000.
Fiction: The President is committed to “transparency and accountability” and has created Recovery.org so the American people can “see how the money is being spent.”
Reality: According to a Washington Post report titled, “Tracking Stimulus Spending May Not Be as Easy as Promised,” it was revealed that Recovery.org offers “little beyond news releases, general breakdowns of spending, and acronym-laden spreadsheets and timelines.” Even House Education and Labor Committee Chairman, Brad Miller (D-CA), admitted the Administration “may not achieve the transparency they set out to.”
This is the type of thing we need to be able to effectively fight the left in the upcoming election. We face an uphill battle in rollerskates, as the Democrats will be expertly wielding their mainstream press like we’ve never seen before. They’re cocky, they’re arrogant, and they firmly believe that the control they have over the media can translate to control over the American public.
They will try, just as they’ve been trying most recently on the issues of Guantanamo Bay and the confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor, to shape the issue so as to best serve their agenda. We cannot fall for it, and the best way to fight it–and them–is with facts and truth. That’s why the outreach I’m seeing from the House GOP is so important. But that’s also why it cannot stop with sites like America’s Right. Talk to your neighbors, talk to your friends, get involved.