10 Phony Scandals the GOP May Waste Your Tax Dollars Investigating
Continued from previous page
Time will tell.
8. Zombie Lies Never Die: How the Stimulus Failed the Right
Although many economists argued that the stimulus package was too small for the task at hand when it was passed (and have continued making the argument since), there is very little doubt that it saved jobs.
Specifically, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it:
- Raised real gross domestic product (GDP) by between 1.4 percent and 4.1percent
- Lowered the unemployment rate by between 0.8 percentage points and 2.0 percentage points
- Increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.6 million, and people
- Increased the number of “full-time-equivalent” jobs by 2.0 million to 5.2 million compared with what would have occurred otherwise
Perhaps more to the point, as the Washington Post reported, “The massive economic stimulus package President Obama pushed through Congress last year is coming in on time and under budget – and with strikingly few claims of fraud or abuse.” A White House report, backed by outside watchdogs, found that “stimulus contracts and grants have so far been relatively free of the fraud charges that plague more routine government spending.” “Certainly, the fraud and waste element has been smaller than I think anything anybody anticipated,” Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, told the Post.
But, it’s still the socialism, of course, so expect the House Oversight Committee to turn that reality on its head.
9. Muslims Working in the Capitol
With all the Tea Partiers entering Congress, we may see weirder stuff than these mundane scandals.
As you may already know, conservatives have come up with all sorts of bizarre tales about the all-powerful Muslim community bringing Real America to its knees.
They’ve seen evidence of creeping Sharia in Oklahoma courtrooms, their keen eyes have noticed Islamic crescents tucked away in a 9/11 memorial in Pennsylvania and hidden in a U.S. Missile Defense Agency logo, and many believe that Dunkin’ Donuts and Food Network star Rachael Ray are covert Jihadis.
But one Islamic conspiracy hit closer to home for the Fear-Mongers’ Caucus. Last October, The Hill reported:
Republican members of the Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus said the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) have tried to plant “spies” within key national-security committees in order to shape legislative policy.
Reps. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), citing the book Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that’s Conspiring to Islamize America , called for the House sergeant at arms to investigate whether CAIR had been successful in placing interns on key panels.
Greg Sargent called Myrick’s office and confirmed that “the group does not have a list of names of the infiltrators.” But now that they have subpoena power, maybe they’ll try to generate one.
10. Mexico’s Nonexistent War on America
The Reconquista, as it is known, is a popular meme on the Right. It holds that Mexico is looking to reclaim land it lost in the Mexican-American War, through mass migration and the infiltration of criminal gangs.
There are variations on the theme -- like Jan Brewer’s contention that heads are rolling all over Arizona. The most entertaining was a story dubbed “Laredo-gate,” which ignited the conservative blogosphere back in July. According to a host of right-wingers, two ranches in Laredo, Texas were taken over by marauding hordes of Los Zetas gansters. It was a Mexican invasion!!
The police were outgunned, and a tense stand-off ensued. But, as is often the case, it wasn’t the foreign invasion that really pissed off the Right-bloggers -- and a few conservative newspaper columnists -- it was the cover-up. Not only had an act of war been committed against the United States, but the dreaded EM-ESS-EM refused to report it!