By Phillip Blackmon
Today, the Richmond Times Dispatch endorsed Dave Brat for U.S. Representative for the Seventh Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The periodical’s logic for doing so is spurious at best, so I thought it worthwhile to break the Richmond Times Dispatch’s endorsement down line by line.
RTD: “Rep. Dave Brat has not, during his two terms in Congress, always been associated with bipartisan efforts.”
RESPONSE: Questionable tactic to lead with an understatement. To my knowledge, Representative Dave Brat has not been bipartisan in Congress. He refers to the Goodlatte immigration bill as a compromise bill. This bill does not even have the support of Republicans due to its extremist policies. His spirt of bipartisanship declines from there. He also claims to be a supporter of states’ rights, but does so only selectively. For instance, he is a sponsor of a concealed carry reciprocity bill, which is an egregious federal overreach.
RTD: “He has, however, been one of the most principled members of the U.S. House — an energetic original thinker who’s never afraid to speak truth to power:
RESPONSE: This makes no sense unless your principles are racism, misogyny, xenophobia and transferring wealth from the poor to the rich. These are not the principles of the people of the 7th, nor do these “principles” help the people of the 7th. As for speaking truth to power, he is a freedom caucus member (i.e., the far right wing of a right wing party), who has never stepped out of line and never uttered a word of disagreement with the president – not even following the president’s abhorrent statement made concerning the tragedy in Charlottesville when he called white supremacists “very fine people”.
RTD: “He brings much-needed economic sophistication and understanding to a national capital sorely deficient in both. He has been relentless in his efforts to educate constituents and colleagues about the rising national debt caused by too much federal spending.”
RESPONSE: Where do I begin on this one. YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS! The Republicans are in power of both the executive and legislative branches of government and have increased the deficit by unprecedented levels, particularly in times of economic prosperity. This started with a tax cut for the wealthy that does not help the people in his district but will increase the deficit by $1.9 TRILLION DOLLARS. This deficit will be paid for by our children. Though Representative Brat did vote against the budget based on “fiscal” principles, his numerous votes against bills like funding for schools, funding for disaster relief and healthcare, including pre-existing conditions (see Washington Post’s Fact Checker on this), reveal all too clearly the truth: Representative Brat would rather cater to the rich than invest in VA07.
RTD: “He has been relentless in his efforts to educate constituents and colleagues about the rising national debt caused by too much federal spending.”
RESPONSE: If Representative Brat is educating us on the national debt, then his lesson is one of fiscal irresponsibility. The GOP tax cut is ground zero in this regard. In a time of economic prosperity, the prudent course is almost never to cut taxes. Rather it is to invest in the future: pay down debt, build infrastructure, improve education, renewable energy, and so on. Why do economist advise against cutting taxes? Because at some point, the economy will falter. When it does happen, the government has three primary tools: cut interest rates, invest (i.e., increase spending), or lower taxes. Interest rates are already low (though rising); in a downturn, revenue will abate, meaning more spending and higher deficits; and lowering taxes is a less feasible option now that taxes have already been cut in prosperous times.
RTD: “He was wise enough to grasp that faster growth will result from the Republican tax reform package he supported — and will be part of the long-term solution to America’s budgetary woes.”
RESPONSE: See responses above. I know no credible economist who agrees with this statement and challenge you to name one. (P.s. Representative Brat is not a credible economist; he is an alleged plagiarist. See here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/rep-brat-an-economist-borrowed-heavily-from-bernanke-in-academic-paper/2018/10/22/cd5a0470-d616-11e8-aeb7-ddcad4a0a54e_story.html?utm_term=.818daf0b2bc6.)
RTD: “His economic expertise and judgment give Brat the edge in a race that was a close call — and we are pleased to endorse his re-election.”
RESPONSE: Richmond Times Dispatch has endorsed racism, xenophobia, misogyny and a continued Republican failure to run a responsible, ethical government. It has endorsed irresponsibility and needs to get with the times.
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