While most conservatives are big on personal responsibility, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) apparently is not one of them. Thune recently set out to explain the problems with our economy and, not surprisingly, he lays all of the blame at the feet of Democrats and the president.
He starts off his attack by suggesting the Democrats shifted money from the student loan program, which has recently come up for debate, to pay for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to Thune this $9 billion shift shows that Democrats never took an “honest look at our financial situation.”
It should be noted that repealing the ACA, which Thune supports, would actually add more to the federal deficit than leaving the legislation alone. It should also be noted that when talking about the nearly $47 billion in additional revenue that the Buffet Rule would have captured, John Thune stated that this rule would only “raise about half of one day’s worth of federal spending.” If $47 billion is a waste of time then why would Thune make a mere $9 billion the centerpiece of his argument?
Of course this doesn’t end John Thune’s finger pointing. Next he asserts that Democrats are to blame for increases in the national deficit while failing to mention the affects of the Bush tax cuts, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Great Recession. All of which Thune had a hand in. Perhaps he would also like to blame Democrats and the president for the deficit increases in Europe as well, even though those countries have enacted the austerity measures that Republicans believe will save this country. Thune also never discusses that under President Obama we saw the first reduction in government outlays in nearly 50 years.
To further complicate things, the senator suggests that the president’s current 2013 budget will lead to a massive loss in jobs, yet he provides no evidence for such a claim. This could be based on some actual data but it could just as well be another politician with an errant opinion.
Next up in the blame game is the lack of jobs for college students. According the John Thune, Democrats and the president are at fault for students who are struggling to find jobs in their chosen field. Unfortunately the facts don’t back up his claim. The reality is there are millions of unfilled jobs in the U.S. and the main reason that these openings exist is because of a lack of qualified candidates to fill the positions, not because of some Democratic agenda.
Beyond the fact that his opinion is not supported by the available data, the cuts that Thune and his Republican brethren have demanded have put an additional 600,000 Americans out of work and further constricted the economy and job prospects.
Over the first three years of President Obama’s term, the only things that Republicans and John Thune have been willing to offer are excuses and blame. If Thune truly cared about anything other than election year politics, he would take an honest look at our financial situation and accept a little personal responsibility for the current state of the economy – because while blaming the other guy may be good for getting reelected, it does nothing to solve the real issues on which Americans desperately want our legislators to work together.