Rep. Tipton takes hits right and left over shutdown, Obamacare

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Did not the ‘political and Constitutional realities’ exist before the little stunt Mr. Tipton pushed and supported that cost the US Economy $24 billion?  Was he just unaware of them or did he not care?  Neither are nice options.

To put it politely, 3rd C.D. “Representative” Scott Tipton disingenuously told only “half the story” at his “town meeting” yesterday, as does Gary Harmon’s report – “Rep. Tipton takes hits right and left over shutdown, Obamacare” – in today’s Daily Sentinel.

Tipton first attempted to obfuscate the rationale for his October 1 vote to both cause the “government shutdown” and threaten “debt ceiling” default by endorsing only the former (costing $24 billion), while omitting any allusion to the latter.

Tipton next deflected criticism of his duplicitous vote to end the “shutdown” and avert default by citing the Constitutional structure of our government, openly admitting that “ObamaCare” could never have been “de-funded” (since its self-funding is “mandatory”) and blaming Senate Democrats for “refusing to negotiate” (under threat of default) and Senate Republicans for failing to filibuster the very bill Tipton voted for. 

Tipton then falsely claimed that the “shutdown” forced a conference committee with the Senate, but could not refute the fact that (since March 23, 2013) Speaker Boehner had refused to appoint House conferees and Senate Republicans had filibustered Reid’s—because “Tea Partiers” like Tipton wanted to force a shutdown and threaten default.

Of course, Tipton did not explain why his caucus irresponsibly ignored the foreordained futility of that strategy – denying that it was “his” strategy and thus attempting to evade “personal responsibility” for its adverse economic consequences.

The depth of Tipton’s intellectual dishonesty was exposed by his “handout” – depicting the false proposition that “spending is the problem”.  As a percent of GDP, government revenues are now their lowest since 1950, but Tipton’s chart both obscured the fact that President Obama has reduced deficits from 10% to 4% of GDP and was clearly contrived to scare gullible locals with inflated projections of future deficits. 

Most ominously, Tipton declined to forswear default.

And there’s more.

Tipton encouraged anecdotal complaints about the roll-out of ObamaCare and reported complications with ConnectColorado, and falsely claimed that “10 Democratic Senators” had called for the same one-year delay in the entire implementation of ObamaCare as had House Republicans – citing only Senator Joe Manchin (D-WVa).  Rather, as I correctly pointed out (but Tipton retorted was “wrong”) “10 Democratic Senators” had indeed signed a letter calling for a 6-week extension of the “open enrollment” period – only.

Tipton also ignored yesterday’s official report that – despite regrettable problems with websites (which would be “fixed” by the end of November) – some 700,000 people have “applied” for health insurance under ObamaCare (although many were not yet “enrolled” because of garbled transmission of application data to health insurers) – a first priority.

In reassuring local lemmings of his on-going support for repealing ObamaCare, Tipton repeatedly referred his audience to H.R. 2300 – the House Republican “alternative” to the Affordable Care Act sponsored by Congressman Mike Lee (R-Ut).  After having already admitted that “ObamaCare” was almost fully funded and thus could not be “de-funded”, Tipton failed to explain that Lee’s bill remains in a House committee because it is not funded at all and would cost $1 trillion more than ObamaCare over ten years (and fails to prohibit denials based on “pre-existing conditions).

In response to a question about high unemployment in Mesa County, Tipton failed to explain how his support for a government shutdown, threatened default, sequestration, and/or further spending cuts would produce any jobs anywhere – much less here.

When I reminded Tipton that government revenues were at their lowest point since 1950 (as a percent of GDP), he countered that – in dollar amount – those revenues are higher than they’ve ever been!  Of course, this totally incoherent ideological response was inconsistence with his handout (which depicted deficits and spending as a percent of GDP), and totally ignored the fact the U.S. population (and concomitant governmental responsibilities) have more than doubled since 1950.

Personally affable as he may be, until Tipton starts educating his constituency with facts rather than propounding fiction, he remains woefully unfit to hold office.

And, there’s still more.

In response to a question premised on the false propositions that Immigration Reform amounted to “amnesty” and would “cost American jobs”, Tipton opined that he’d not heard anyone talk about “amnesty” (disingenuously denying a consistent “Tea Party” talking point) and shifted his remarks to a Guest-Worker Program (some variation of which he supports).

Thus, Tipton deliberately evaded an obvious opportunity to explain that we already have de facto “amnesty” – since millions of undocumented immigrants remain in the U.S. and successfully avoid detection and deportation.

Tipton also ignored the CBO’s conclusion that enacting the already-passed Senate bill would help reduce future budget deficits by some $1 trillion over the next two decades – by expanding the labor force fully encompassed by Social Security payroll taxes and income taxes – while increasing unemployment by only .1% over its first five years.

The CBO also projects that S.744 will increase GDP by $700 billion (3.3%) in 2023, and by $1.4 trillion (5.4%) in 2033 (with similarly expanding gains in-between), projections which were entirely omitted from Tipton’s deceptively fear-mongering “hand-out”.

Tipton also failed to explain how spending $46.3 (Senate) or even $8.3 (House) billion on doubling the number of Border Patrol agents and/or building 700 miles of fencing in Texas would create any jobs in Mesa County – or anywhere else in the 3rd C.D.

Thus, Tipton remains the prisoner of his absurdly inconsistent “conservative” ideology, and is apparently determined to keep his constituency fellow inmates inside the “Tea Party’s” fact-free bubble.

One more thing.

Tipton also referred to a church in southwest Colorado whose health insurance premiums under ObamaCare were increasing from $50,000 to $70,000 for six employees, and to a small business that was converting some employees to part-time to avoid the employer mandate applicable to employers with 50+ FTE.  While both anecdotal cases could be true – I doubt it – and will ask Tipton’s office to identify both.

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