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Fool me once, can’t get fooled again?

Do you recognize any of the following quotes from Republican politicians?

“It will raise your taxes, increase the deficit, and kill over one million jobs.” – Joel Hefley (R-CO)

“This plan will not work. If it was to work, then I’d have to become a Democrat. … your economic program is a job killer.” – John Kasich (R-OH)

“I believe this will lead to a recession next year. This is the Democrat machine’s recession, and each one of them will be held personally accountable.” – Newt Gingrich (R-GA)

“Clearly this is a job killer in the short run. The impact on job creation is going to be devastating. … Like so many of the President’s past promises, deficit reduction will be another cruel hoax.” – Dick Armey (R-TX)

“Hundreds of thousands of Americans will lose their jobs because of this bill, and the President will be one of them.” – Phil Gramm (R-TX)

“It will not cut the deficit. It will not create jobs. And it will not cut spending.” – Jim Bunning (R-KY)

“… will stifle economic growth, destroy jobs, reduce revenues, and increase the deficit.” – Jim Ramstad (R-MN)

“… a recipe for economic and fiscal disaster.” – Phil Crane (R-IL)

Sound familiar? Then you might be surprised to learn that all of these quotes are from 1993 — one year into the term of President Bill Clinton — when he passed his budget without a single Republican vote. Of course, as we know now these predictions were dead wrong. Instead of a recession, we went on to have the greatest economic boom in the history of the world while simultaneously reducing the deficit until it turned into a $5 trillion budget surplus. Well, that is until the Republicans got back in power. And surprising nobody, John Kasich didn’t become a Democrat.

And yet, this is not the first time Republicans have tried to scare us. Here are some more that might sound familiar:

“Let me tell you here and now it is socialized medicine.” – James Utt (R-CA)

“… we cannot stand idly by now, as the Nation is urged to embark on an ill-conceived adventure in government medicine, the end of which no one can see, and from which the patient is certain to be the ultimate sufferer.” – Durward Hall (R-MO)

“[I will] vote against the bill on final passage, and hope that it helps to draw attention to the horrendous tax burden that is going to be thrust upon every American and every future generation.” – Robert Michel (R-IL)

“I have always maintained that if a program is to be successful, it must… be voluntary… based on need and must not be financed through a payroll tax.” – Thruston B. Morton (R-KY)

“… one of these days you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in American when men were free.” – Ronald Reagan

These could be quotes against the current health care reform bill, but they were all in opposition to Medicare back in 1965.

But wait, we’ve been fooled by the Republicans more than two times. Here is another set of dire predictions:

“Never in the history of the world has any measure been brought here so insidiously designed as to prevent business recovery, to enslave workers and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people.” – John Taber (R-NY)

“The lash of the dictator will be felt and 25 million free American citizens will for the first time submit themselves to a fingerprint test.” – Daniel Reed (R-NY)

“This bill opens the door and invites the entrance into the political field of a power so vast, so powerful as to threaten the integrity of our institutions and to pull the pillars of the temple down upon the heads of our descendants.” – James W. Wadsworth (R-NY)

You might not recognize any of the names, but the quotes sound like they could have been spoken at a tea party last summer. But they are all from 1935, when FDR and the Democrats passed Social Security. The entire Republican Party predicted disaster.

As Dubya so aptly misquoted “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Fool us three or more times, and we deserve what we get. How many more times will we be fooled? Will we ever learn?

Andrew Tobias made up some nice Democratic campaign ads from these quotes.

NOTE: I wrote this earlier today, before Brown won the Mass Senate race. I guess we got fooled again.

Here’s an interesting article on how the Dems could use the “nuclear option“.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    the campaign ad is so simple: Vote Republican who Represent the top 5% of wealthy. Vote Democrat who represent the other 95% of us.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 6:52 am | Permalink
  2. Sammy wrote:

    @Eb: I disagree with you. I think most of them, regardless of the (D) or (R) after their name, represent the special interests who paid for their elections, with the ultimate goal being re-election. I know that’s a sweeping generalization, and I know how much Iron Knee hates that, but the legalized bribery that is allowed to happen in Washington points to that.

    Of course, I also realize that one person’s “special interest” is another’s “job creation” or necessary entitlement—err, allocation of funds.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    I’ve learned that any time someone promotes something saying that it will “create jobs”, then I’m almost certainly being conned and robbed. Worse, such measures rarely actually “create” jobs, they just move them from one place to another. Big example is tax breaks to large corporations for building a plant in a certain location. It is a zero sum game where we are the losers. Besides, it is small businesses that create most real jobs.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Permalink
  4. Chris wrote:

    Interesting quotes. You have to hand it to the G.O.P., they know how to craft a good scare quote. I wish the mainstream media would give some of that historical context when they repeat the latest batch of Republican threats.

    But I guess that would make them sound less threatening.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Permalink
  5. ebdoug wrote:

    Sammy, I’m an independent. I did not have such strong feelings before Bush. Since 2003, I’ve read book after book after book. About Rove, about what Bush did, about the dirty politics. Rove who is now consultant to Fox News has the aim of the wealth being in the top 5% of the country and the Republicans having all the power. He is using stupid Beck as his mouth piece. Limbaugh. Palin, etc. The Republicans must toe the party line or get out. (think Olympia Snowe)
    Same with the Democrats. There are things that Obama wanted to do differently but could not because of the Party Cant. I will never register with a party. I just see the Dems doing more good things for the people of this country. Probably Teddy Roosevelt had to move from the Republicans because he would not toe the line.
    I come from long lines of Republicans in power. I think of Kerry and Kennedy as being “for the people”
    Our family is bound and determined to stop the tax cuts for the rich. No one seems to care that the rich are now paying only 16% of their income in Federal Taxes. That is shameful. I come from the rich, now watered down after generations.
    I respect your opinions and keep reading and listening.

    Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

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