One need not turn to Facebook for Fake News. It appeared in our local newspaper on Sunday — front and center on the Opinion page. While some might wrongly excuse the publication of lies on the Opinion page because they would say, it’s just the author’s opinion, let’s remember that while authors are entitled to their own interpretation of facts, they are not entitled to their own facts.
First, Justin Haskins’ piece blames Nancy Pelosi for the Great Recession of 2008-09 because she happened to be Majority Leader in the two years prior — the last two years of the GW Bush Presidency. His claim is laughable. Credible economic history traces the cause of the Recession to deregulation by the Republican-held Congress of 1999-2000, egged on by lobbying from the notoriously corrupt Enron Corporation which had ties to then Texas Senator Phil Gramm, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
Haskins then claims that Pelosi engaged in a “cover-up” based on the work of one dissenter to the 2011 investigative commission’s report. (That dissenter being the employee of another right-wing think tank funded by billionaires, the American Enterprise Institute.)
Next, Haskins claims the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, passed while Pelosi was Speaker, was a failure. That’s an opinion not shared by most economists. A 2012 poll conducted by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found 80 percent of leading economists agree unemployment was lower at the end of 2010 than it would have been without the stimulus.
Haskins criticizes Pelosi for enacting the 2010 Affordable Care Act, which brought health insurance to 20 million Americans who didn’t have it before and he blames her for the failures of the Republican-controlled Congresses of 2010-2018 to fix its weaknesses. I laughed out loud since the desire of the American people to preserve this law has prevailed over Republican attempts to undermine it for the last eight years.
The fact that a right-wing author like Haskins and his colleagues at the Heartland Foundation and fellow ideologues at the American Enterprise Institute oppose Nancy Pelosi sounds to me like a strong recommendation of her as a leader of Democrats who won this recent Midterm Election handily. It remains most troubling, however, that the Daily Sun would allow the publication of clear falsehoods under the guise of an opinion piece.
Posted in Letters to the Editor.