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No, ‘Anti-Vax’ Republicans Are Not To Blame For The Weakening Economy

CNN contributor Jill Filipovic must have a direct line to the PR shop inside the Biden White House. That would explain her desperate attempt a few days ago to blame Republicans for the worrisome economic signs we are seeing. Expect more of this sort of fact-free nonsense as the economy struggles in the weeks and months ahead.

“The American economy is weakening,” Filipovic begins. She notes, correctly, that job gains in August were way below forecast and Goldman Sachs just downgraded its projection for GDP growth for the year. “And we know who is responsible.”

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that a writer for CNN is going to point a finger at those evil anti-vax insurrectionist Trump-loving Republicans.

And sure enough, there it is: “As businesses shutter, parents are forced out of work, Americans have fewer dollars to spend and fewer places to spend them, and life as we used to know drifts ever further out of our reach, let’s be clear about who is responsible: the anti-vaxxers, anti-maskers and their proponents in conservative media and in the Republican Party,” Filipovic writes.

Biden said much the same thing when he announced his vaccine mandates. After bragging about the economy on his watch, he bumbled on that “We cannot let unvaccinated do this progress — undo it, turn it back.”

Other news outlets are echoing this talking point, with CBS News running a story over the weekend headlined: “Biden’s vaccine mandate could be a shot in the arm for U.S. economy, experts say.”

Such claims conveniently leave out one important thing: those stubborn facts.

Filipovic, for example, complains that by not taking COVID seriously enough or slavishly following every dictate to come out of Anthony Fauci’s mouth, Republicans are creating an economic crisis.

Except, Republican states have been leading the economic recovery. As Politico reported not long ago, “of the 15 states that have returned to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity, 12 are led by Republican governors, Federal Reserve data shows. Of the 10 states reporting the lowest levels of activity since January 2020, seven – including New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois – are run by Democratic governors.”

Filipovic goes on to complain that “Republican governors, spurred on by business owners who say they can’t find low-wage workers, slashed unemployment benefits … even though this doesn’t seem to be pushing more potential low-wage workers into the labor force.”

Really? Then explain why the unemployment rates in states that cut off the Biden $300 weekly unemployment bonus are far lower than in the those that are “protecting” their unemployed. The average unemployment rate is 4.35% in states that voted for Trump, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Biden-backing states, it’s 5.72%.

WalletHub, meanwhile, just posted its list of states where unemployment claims are “recovering the quickest.” Of the top 10 states, all but three voted for Trump in 2020. Of the bottom 10, six backed Biden. In deep-blue New Mexico, unemployment claims last week were higher than they were a year ago.

Filipovic also complains that Republican governors are putting children’s lives at risk for objecting to mask mandates in schools, even though the science is more settled on this subject than it is on global warming: namely, that masks in schools are pointless.

What will these folks say when the COVID rate starts to decline? It already appears to have peaked. You can bet that pundits such as Filipovic will turn on a dime and credit Biden for that good news. But that will just make finding a way to blame Republicans for continued economic struggles all the more difficult.

Let’s be clear. The reason the economy is struggling is that Biden decided to abandon every pro-growth Trump policy. Inflation is rising because Biden is deficit-spending with abandon. And he’s just getting started. If he has his way, he’ll add $3.5 trillion in new spending, paid for in part by massive tax hikes. Then we will really be in trouble.

Of course, the more the economy suffers under President “Build Back Better” Biden, the more the Filipovics will come out of the woodwork trying to blame Republicans. Any Republican. For any reason. No matter how absurd. Facts be damned.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

1 comment

  • Democrats never make mistakes. They’re infallible. Any mistakes that Democrats might appear to make are actually the fault of the nearest responsible Republican. Who you gonna believe? “Experts” or your own lying eyes and common sense?

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