This morning on KGET 17 News Sunrise Cathy Abernathy and I discussed the Democratic National Convention. I had fun, as you can see by clicking here.
The segment was largely dominated by Cathy trying to paint a picture of doom and gloom (the GOP has nothing else) while I tried to set the record straight and focus on the positives (I am, by nature, a nice guy). 😉
Specifically, I explained why the Democratic National Convention was such a success for democrats. Cathy Abernathy, on the other hand, went straight for the "Donald's a businessman - so we need to elect him" argument. Then she went for the standard GOP line that there is no worth in public service, so Hillary Clinton is little more than a state bureaucrat, with no accomplishments. Nice.
Leaving the tired state bureaucrat argument alone, for the moment, I went after Donald Trump's businessman credentials. I pointed out that Trump's a silver-spooned trust fund kid who inherited $200 million and still had to declare bankruptcy, 4 times.
From there I explained - and borrowed from President Reagan - that we are better off today than we were 8 years ago under President Bush. Remember him? He's the one who left an economic disaster and trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye could see.
Sticking to her "the sky is falling" theme, Cathy then trotted out the hackneyed argument that there are a record number of people on food stamps, while millions more could be in the labor force but are no longer looking for work. She never explains what's behind those numbers. I was too busy going after Trump's business incompetence to take the time to set the record straight, so I'm going to do it here.
I'm working on another project so I won't delve (be sure to follow the links). But know there are some very good reasons that many people are not looking for work today. Attending school, enjoying retirement (especially early boomers), taking care of a relative, etc. all contribute to a larger workforce that no longer looks for a job (a distinction Cathy never makes).
When it comes food stamps, the number of food stamp recipients has actually declined over the past two years. President Obama's record at "adding people" to the food stamp rolls stands at about 13.2 million. This number seems high (and it is if you're a recipient) until you look at 14.7 million people that President Bush added during his two terms in office.
Over all, though, President Obama's record in the food stamp arena is better than Bush's; an amazing feat considering President Obama was saddled with a recession of epic proportions when he walked into the White House.
In all cases, if we're going to acknowledge rising food stamp figures we need to acknowledge that, yes, it's worse. But it's a bi-partisan development, not an Obama issue.
There's more - I also discussed the Clinton surpluses - but you can watch the KGET clip if you want to see how that went.