By Tom Quiner
In my previous post, I presented five myths that worked there way through the nation’s media last year. I barely scratched the surface. Here are five more:
MYTH #6: America suffers from consumer inequality. This is the natural extension of the 1% vs the 99% argument made by the Occupy Wall Street movement. But this isn’t remotely true. I started my business twenty five years ago. My long distance bill dropped from 25 cents per minute to less than a nickel. How? Government broke up the Ma Bell monopoly and unleashed the power of the marketplace. My fist MacIntosh Computer cost over $4000. Today I own four of them, each thousands of times more powerful than my original at less than half the price.
The Wall Street Journal had a whole article on the subject today on consumer equality. Today, middle America gets plastic surgery, knee replacements, cars loaded with gadgets, big screen televisions and oodles of goodies that were once only available to the rich. Lots of people became wealthy, as they should, through their wonderful innovations, such as the late Steve Jobs. But why should we begrudge them their wealth when we have all benefited? There is more consumer equality than ever when market forces have been allowed to work.
On the other hand, prices have skyrocketed in market segments, such as health insurance and health care, where government has unduly intervened and suppressed (over regulated) the market..
MYTH #7: Newt Gingrich was reprimanded and fined by the House of Representatives. Here are the facts: Mr. Gingrich was charged with 83 ethics violations. Eighty-two of them were dismissed. He was reprimanded for the final infraction and agreed to pay the House $300,000 to cover the cost of the investigation. One year later, the IRS weighed in and said Gingrich did nothing wrong. He was innocent. Candidates who flout Mr. Gingrich’s ethic charges are being dishonest, because Gingrich was exonerated. Whether you like Gingrich or not, let’s shoot straight on this issue and drop it.
MYTH #8: Newt Gingrich served divorce papers on his first wife as she was dying of cancer in the hospital. Mr. Gingrich’s daughter, Jackie Cushman Gingrich, a political columnist, set the record straight. First, her mother didn’t have cancer. Secondly, she wasn’t dying and is still alive today. Thirdly, they had already decided on divorce before she ever entered the hospital. They story is factually incorrect on these three details.
MYTH #9: Barack Obama was alleged to have said: “I only saw Rod Blagojevich one time, and that was in the stands and from a distance at a Chicago Bears Football Game.” Quiner’s Diner posted several photos of President Obama standing next to former Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, a few days ago, suggesting that the quote above was dishonest. One of our readers took us to task and questioned the authenticity of the quote. I tried to track it down and was unable to find the source. I am removing that post with my apologies to the president until someone can verify that the quote isn’t an urban legend.
MYTH #10: Obamanomics works better than Reaganomics. Die-hard leftists believe this. The president and a dwindling number of his party believes this. The media believes it. Most Americans don’t because the data refutes it. For example, when Ronald Reagan took office, the misery index (the unemployment rate added to the inflation rate) stood at a staggering 19.33. By the time he left office, it had fallen to 9.72.
When Barack Obama took office, the misery index stood at 7.83. In his third year in office, it has risen to 12.67.
The Reagan economic recovery averaged 7.1% per year compared to Mr. Obama’s 2.8%.
Unemployment fell 3.3 percentage points during Reagan’s first seven quarters compared to 1.3 for Obama.
Mr. Reagan inherited an economy that was arguably in worse shape than did Mr. Obama. Reagan staked out an approach that was the exact opposite of Obama’s, including lower taxes. deregulation, and tighter monetary policy. It far outperformed the Obama model.