11:15 AM EST, January 8, 2013
Voters are smart enough to see through the GOP smoke screen.
Boo Hoo Bob, former Gov. Robert Ehrlich's weekly whine fest about how no one seems to love conservatives, hit a new low this week ("For Republicans, a not so happy New Year," Jan. 6). His advice? Take more Fox News and send a check to the Heritage Foundation.
Conservatives lost not, as Mitt Romney said, because people want "free stuff," but because people are smart enough to see through the Republican smoke screen.
On the GOP's signature issue, lower taxes, Americans have seen that what Republicans say simply isn't true. Lower taxes do not create more jobs. If they did, more jobs would have been created during George W. Bush's presidency than during the Clinton presidency.
In fact, the Bush years resulted in the smallest number of jobs created in recent history. That doesn't take an economist to figure out. But economists have also put pen to paper and come up with the same conclusion: Lower taxes do not create jobs.
The Republican corollary to "lower taxes creates more jobs" is that "government doesn't create jobs." Again, voters are smart enough to know that this doesn't pass the sniff test either.
Just ask the hundreds of thousands of police officers, teachers, firefighters — and yes, even the people who work at Motor Vehicle Administration — if government doesn't create jobs.
And government creates jobs in the private sector too. Congressman Paul Ryan's family became wealthy in part from contracts building roads. The defense industry and its thousands of jobs wouldn't exist without taxpayer money.
Mr. Ehrlich takes up Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly's favorite hoary chestnut, the "war on Christmas." He's distressed that all Americans don't share his beliefs and don't want their tax dollars spent on symbols that are against their own religious beliefs.
And yes, as Mr. Ehrlich pointed out, it is frustrating that the Senate failed to pass a budget. But he fails to mention that the budget in the Senate was held hostage by a Republican minority led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, whose stated goal was to ensure the president's failure.
Mr. Ehrlich seems confused about why more Latinos and African-Americans don't love the GOP. But when party mouthpieces such as Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, etc., spend every day slurring these groups, why would they vote for the GOP?
As for Benghazi, I agree that it warrants inquiry. I'm glad the governor didn't follow the path of fellow conservatives, such as former U.N. Ambassador-by-recess-appointment John Bolton, who said that Secretary Clinton was "faking it" like a kid trying to skip gym class.
Every administration has its mistakes and intelligence failures. I vaguely recall a war being started in 2003 based on intelligence that was at best flawed — and at worst deliberately distorted to fit the objectives of the Bush administration.
Mr. Ehrlich is a wonderful writer of fiction, which is why his weekly columns on politics and the economy never fail to raise my blood pressure.
David Drake, Baltimore
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun