False dichotomies

August 1, 2011

In process DRAFT

Polarized thinking, false choices, false dichotomies, either or thinking, primal thinking, false dilemma, black and white thinking)

Blumenthal, Paul. 2011-07-29. “Debt Limit Stalemate Has Roots In Campaign Money, Earmarks, Social Media.”


2011-07-31 On National Public Radio last week, Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican deputy whip, was giddy about the potential for calamity. Asked if it was a mistake to try to cut spending by threatening the U.S. economy, Cole replied: “No, I don’t think so. Frankly, I think it’s one of the good things that’s come out of this. We’ll never have a debt-ceiling increase again without serious efforts to deal with the long-term spending (source).”

2011-07-18 A CNN Survey found that 64% of Americans supported spending cuts and tax increases. The question in the survey was worded: “In those discussions, several budget plans have been proposed that would reduce the amount the government owes by trillions of dollars over the next ten years. If you had to choose, would you rather see Congress and President Obama agree to a budget plan that only includes cuts in government spending, or a budget plan that includes a combination of spending cuts and tax increases on higher-income Americans and some businesses (source)?” 52% of Americans felt that President Obama acted responsibly in reply to the question: “Based on what you have read or heard about the discussions between Congress and Barack Obama on the debt ceiling, do you think Obama has or has not acted responsibly?” To the question: “Based on what you have read or heard about the discussions between Congress and Barack Obama
on the debt ceiling, do you think the Republicans in Congress have or have not acted responsibly?” 63% of Americans answered “No, have not 63%.” In response to the question regarding potential cuts in government spending and increasing taxes that have been suggested as part of the discussions on the debt ceiling. 66% opposed cutting federal subsidies to farmers; 68% opposed cutting pensions and benefits for retired government workers; 52% opposed cutting defense spending; 77% opposed cutting the amount the government spends on Medicaid; 77% opposed cutting the federal health program for the poor; 87% opposed cutting the amount the government spends on Medicare; 87% opposed cutting the federal health program for the elderly; 84% opposed cutting the amount the government spends on Social Security; 73% were in favor ncreasing the taxes paid by oil and gas companies by ending
federal subsidies for those businesses 73% 26% 1%
Increasing the taxes paid by businesses that own private jets 76% 23% *
Increasing the taxes paid by people who make more than
250 thousand dollars a year 73% 26%

2011-05-01 Republican is Michael Grimm, elected in November 2010 argued that Medicare was not sustainable. “What this debate has turned into is class warfare — let’s be honest about it,” he said. Lower taxes across the board would increase government revenue, he maintained, in the face of loud catcalls from those who pointed out that that economic theory has long since been discredited [. . .] We need a strong national defense.” (source).”

2011-04-11 President Obama called for allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for individuals making $200,000 or more a year and couples making $250,000 or more. Some conservatives, such as Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) have voiced support for tax increases.

Who’s Who?

Representative Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed a controversial budget plan which included a proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio proposed a new debt limit to the Republicans. They required 216 votes.

Below is a snapshot of This group of Republicans votes against Speaker John Boehner’s proposed bill to raise the debt ceiling.

Michele Bachmann, Minnesota – The Tea Party stalwart and presidential candidate said she would not vote for any bill that raised the debt ceiling.

Paul Broun, Georgia – Elected in 2007, Broun has on several occasions referred to President Barack Obama as a “socialist.”

Jason Chaffetz, Utah – Chaffetz has staked out turf as a Tea Party-friendly conservative since being elected in 2008. He is weighing a primary challenge to Senator Orrin Hatch.

Chip Cravaack, Minnesota – A former Navy pilot, Cravaack was elected last year with Tea Party support but declined to join official Tea Party group in Congress.

Scott DesJarlais, Tennessee – A doctor first elected last year with Tea Party support, he had not held any previous elected office.

Trey Gowdy, South Carolina – Gowdy won election last year with Tea Party support after winning the Republican primary by accusing the incumbent of working too often with Democrats.

Tim Huelskamp, Kansas – Elected in 2010 with Tea Party support, Huelskamp was raised on a farm.

Tom Graves, Georgia – Won his seat in a special election last year with Tea Party support.

Tim Johnson, Illinois – Johnson has compiled a moderate voting record since he was elected in 2000.

Jim Jordan, Ohio – A leader of the party’s conservative wing, Jordan was first elected in 2006.

Steve King, Iowa – A veteran leader of the party’s social conservatives, he gained notoriety for saying Obama’s election would lead to radical Islamists “dancing in the streets.”

Connie Mack, Florida – Elected in 2004, Mack started an anti-tax freedom caucus while serving in the Florida House.

Tom McClintock, California – Elected in 2008, McClintock gained some national prominence when he ran for governor going up against movie-star Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003.

Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina – Elected in the Republican wave in 2010, he is the first Republican to represent his district since 1883.

Ron Paul, Texas – A long-time favorite of groups that want to drastically shrink government, the presidential candidate said he would not vote for any legislation that raised the debt ceiling.

Tim Scott, South Carolina – A leader of the party’s freshman class, he is the first black American to win national office from South Carolina since the Civil War era.

Steve Southerland, Florida – Elected in 2010, Southerland is owner and president of a family funeral home business.

Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) won his seat in 8th Congressional District in Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs in an out-of-nowhere victory 2010-Fall. He accused President Obama of being a liar on the debt-ceiling issue. He maintained uses cable television and social media like Twitter to maintain a high level of visibility.

Joe Wilson, South Carolina – A veteran lawmaker best known for shouting “You lie!” at President Obama during the 2009 State of the Union address.
(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Kim Dixon; editing by Anthony Boadle)

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