Fired Up Missouri! caught Missouri Freshman Rep. Vicky Harzler tweeting today. She was all giddy about her first speech and vote – to repeal “Obamacare,” a.k.a. the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The money quote: the ACA equals “job-killing, deficit-increasing, unconstitutional government takeover.” Apart from getting the prize for cramming the most dishonest talking points into one tweet, her statement is remarkable for another reason – it’s one more example of the way that the GOP is trying to use the recession to attack any and every piece of social legislation. They’re hoping that if they call something “job-killing,” which often, as in the case of the ACA, is patently untrue, they don’t need to do any heavy lifting to make their case.
These fools actually titled their silly, let’s-appease-the-tea-partiers bill the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” Talk about over-using a meme. Many, including Fired Up!, have pointed out that the ACA does the opposite of job-homicide, so I don’t need to address the issue here – it’s been done very well elsewhere. It is worth keeping in mind, though, that, as Steven Benen notes, the “job-killing” arguments aren’t just wrong, they’re backwards.”*
However, there’s another point that we overlook in our outrage at this distortion of the truth. As The Washington Post‘s Steven Pearlstein wrote in a must-read discussion of the intellectual dishonesty inherent in the the GOP misuse of this phrase:
What’s particularly noteworthy about this fixation with “job killing” is that it stands in such contrast to the complete lack of concern about policies that kill people rather than jobs
Pearlstein lists numerous examples of legislation that Republicans have opposed that have a real effect on whether or not people live or die: food safety regulation most recently, mine-safety regulation; the list is endless, including the very “Obamacare” that Hartzler so blithely voted to kill:
Repealing health-care reform, for instance, would inevitably lead to thousands of unnecessary deaths each year because of an inability to get medical care.
And lest you think this is an exaggeration, today we read that another person has died as a result of the Arizona GOP’s rationing of health care. That’s the world the Republican House, including Ms. Hartzler, wants for us all.
So is anybody tweeting Hartzler back, asking her why she’s so copacetic with “people-killing” legislation- the repeal legislation, that is?** Could it have anything to do with the fact that she’s got her good government health-care all wrapped-up, so “handout nation,” which, given the trajectory of health-care costs, will soon be most of us, can go to hell?
*Sentence slightly edited; eight words added at beginning.
** five words added at the end of this sentence