Cheney’s understanding of ‘government handouts’

CHENEY’S UNDERSTANDING OF ‘GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS’…. As it turns out, Liz Cheney’s grasp of economic policy is even worse than her understanding of foreign policy, a feat I hardly considered possible.

The right-wing activist and former State Department official appeared on “Fox News Sunday” yesterday, and insisted that the scheduled expiration of Bush-era tax rates would be awful for “small businesses.” This is a popular lie, but the frequency with which it’s repeated does not improve its accuracy. In Grown-Up Land, the argument has been debunked so often, one can only assume those who still repeat are deliberately trying to deceive the public.

But Cheney went on to say something even more interesting.

“What we’ve learned over the last 19, 20 months now of the Obama administration is that you cannot grow this economy, you can’t stimulate the economy through government handouts. You’ve got to do it through the private sector.”

Now, this is dumb on a variety of levels. Right off the bat, note that the Obama administration’s Recovery Act did “grow” and “stimulate” the economy. The evidence is no longer open to debate.

Also note, dismissing public investments as “government handouts” is not only offensive, it’s absurd. Cheney never got around to defining the term — when the Bush/Cheney administration directed lucrative no-bid contracts to her dad’s former corporation, do they count as “government handouts,” too? — but the fact remains some of the single most effective areas of economic stimulus have come in the form of direct aid to struggling individuals. Again, the evidence is so overwhelming, the point is incontrovertible.

One of the least effective ways to boost the economy is, incidentally, tax cuts for the wealthy.

And finally, Cheney insists that it’s imperative to grow the economy “through the private sector,” but what she may not realize is that this is already what’s been going on. Since the Recovery Act helped end the recession, corporate profits have soared, and the private sector is where nearly all of the new jobs are being created.

So to summarize, Liz Cheney made a variety of claims, all of which are demonstrably false.

This will have no bearing whatsoever on her being invited back onto the television talk shows, because that’s just not how our political discourse works.