Yesterday, McCain spokeswoman and pollution lobbyist Nancy Pfotenhauer was challenged by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) incoherent claim that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong.” Matthews wanted to know whose economy McCain was talking about:
MATTHEWS: But if you look at all the fundamentals in the employment rate, the debt, the deficit, the price of things, why do you say it’s fundamentally sound? Why is it? It looks to me like it’s getting worse.
PFOTENHAUER: First of all, the problems that you identify are real, and they’re challenges that Sen. McCain talks about every single day on the campaign trail, Chris.
In fact, neither McCain nor his party talks about the fundamentals of the economy with any regularity. A review of the over 38,000 words in the three days of prepared speeches at the Republican National Convention discovers near-complete silence about those economic fundamentals:
Sen. McCain, in a 3,976-word speech, mentioned high oil prices once. He did not mention the $9.7 trillion national debt, the $500 billion national trade deficit, the 6.1 percent unemployment rate, or the 5.37 percent inflation rate.
The only mention of “unemployment” comes from multimillionaire investment banker Mitt Romney, who claimed that “higher taxes, bigger government, and less trade” would lead to “moribund growth and double-digit unemployment,” supposedly “the same path Europe took.” The only mention of “inflation” also came from multimillionaire investment banker Mitt Romney: “Is government spending – excluding inflation – liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? — It’s liberal!”
Of course, it was primarily under the fifteen years of the conservative Reagan and Bush presidencies that government spending doubled. Under the progressive leadership of Bill Clinton, we reduced unemployment, increased trade, and constrained government spending while raising taxes on the rich. Under Bush, we’ve had “moribund growth” and increased unemployment. But conservatives want the American public to believe their lies instead of the liberal bias of reality.
Skyrocketing prices — the fault of eight years of Bushonomics embraced by McCain — were in fact commonly discussed at the Republican National Convention. Here are the Newt Gingrich-approved policies heralded in response:
Lifting drilling moratoria: 7
Increased nuclear power: 3
Lifting trade barriers: 2
Regulating speculators: 1
Windfall profits for Alaskans: 1
Increased conservation: 1
Investment in “clean coal”: 1
Cutting taxes: 1
Reducing regulation: 1
Standing up to “the Tyrannosaurus appetite of government unions”: 1