Today's Column is Brought to You by the Letter 'F'

Commentary by Ron Miller

That's your spin — How Hoyer responded to a comment that "60% to 80% of new jobs are created by small businesses."

Commentary by Ron MillerToday's column is brought to you by the letter "F." Rep. Steny Hoyer is the recipient of a big, fat "F" for fact-fudging and fear-mongering. Let's go to the tape, shall we?

In the age of YouTube and flip camcorders, the big losers are politicians, who could find themselves as unwilling video stars on the Internet. Mr. Hoyer thought he was surrounded by the usual adoring press corps as he made his way through the halls of Congress, but then an enterprising young woman with the newsweekly Human Events intercepted him. Here is the result:

In breaking down the tape, we see two costly errors by Team Hoyer:

First: "…[T]hey're going up because of the Republican policy to phase out those taxes this year, actually." Um, actually, no. It wasn't Republican policy that put those expiration dates in the legislation.

When the legislation was first debated in 2001, the Republicans didn't have the votes to make the tax cuts permanent. Under Senate rules, tax cuts inserted into budget legislation must receive 60 votes to become permanent. Otherwise, the breaks must expire after 10 years.

The bill passed the Senate by a 58-33 vote, with a dozen Democrats voting for the tax cuts, and two Republicans, John McCain and Lincoln Chafee, voting against them. I suspect Sen. McCain was still miffed about losing to Bush in the primaries, and Lincoln Chafee was a Republican by the skin of his teeth.

Here's the truth; every Bush tax cut submitted to Congress was proposed as permanent. After 2001, the Republicans attempted on numerous occasions, one as recently as last year, to make them permanent, and they were defeated every time. "They are attempting to rewrite history," said Ryan Patmintra, a spokesman for Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican. "Much like they are today, Democrats were largely unified in their opposition to allowing the tax-rate reductions to become permanent."

Hoyer himself voted against the tax cuts and any effort to make them permanent. Here is a snippet of his record on the topic:

— Voted NO on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005)

— Voted NO on providing tax relief and simplification. (Sep 2004)

— Voted NO on making permanent an increase in the child tax credit. (May 2004)

— Voted NO on permanently eliminating the marriage penalty. (Apr 2004)

— Voted NO on making the Bush tax cuts permanent. (Apr 2002)

— Voted NO on $99 B economic stimulus: capital gains & income tax cuts. (Oct 2001)

— Voted NO on Tax cut package of $958 B over 10 years. (May 2001)

— Voted NO on eliminating the Estate Tax ("death tax"). (Apr 2001)

He is a liar.

Second: "That's your spin" - This was Hoyer's response to the comment that 60% to 80% of new jobs are created by small businesses. Now, I worked at the U.S. Small Business Administration as a political appointee, and so I'm pretty well-versed in the statistics about small businesses and their impact on the American economy. Let's just cut to the chase and see what today's SBA, currently under the leadership of President Barack Obama and his appointee, SBA administrator Karen G. Mills, has to say about the topic.

Small firms:

— Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.

— Employ half of all private sector employees.

— Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.

— Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years.

— Create more than half of the nonfarm private GDP.

— Hire 43 percent of high tech workers ( scientists, engineers, computer programmers, and others).

— Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.

— Made up 97.5 percent of all identified exporters and produced 31 percent of export value in FY 2008.

— Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms.

What's that fourth statistic? "Generated 65 percent of net new jobs over the past 17 years"? That's safely between 60% and 80%, isn't it? So if our intrepid young journalist is 'spinning' the numbers, then so is President Obama's SBA. You can draw your own conclusions.

It looks like Team Hoyer is going to need a lot of extra practice before it takes the field again.

I mentioned an "F" for fear-mongering, so allow me to be deadly serious for a moment.

In a time of severe economic crisis, with thousands of people in our region unemployed and underemployed, and with all the economic uncertainty that's out there because of policies he supported and promoted, it is despicable that Hoyer is strong-arming retired flag officers and business leaders to promote his reelection with the implication that, if he loses, the region's economy will be devastated, particularly in St. Mary's County.

His campaign strategy, in short is, "Vote for me or else the base goes and your jobs go with it." Mobsters call it "protection." The law calls it "extortion." I call it fear-mongering.

Why in the world is a retired admiral living in Florida writing a letter to the local papers in southern Maryland, promoting Hoyer's candidacy? Doesn't he have a race down in the Sunshine State that requires his attention? He doesn't live here, and the fate of the Patuxent River Naval Air Station means nothing to him.

If Hoyer's re-election means so much to him that he's willing to threaten your economic well-being to get your vote, you should ask yourself if he's running for you or himself. Hasn't this act grown old after 29 years? It's time to send him home with a big, fat "F" on his report card.

Ron Miller is a conservative writer and commentator, author of the book, SELLOUT: Musings from Uncle Tom’s Porch, and the president of Regular Folks United, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of individual liberty, free markets and our nation's founding principles. The nine-year plus veteran of the U.S. Air Force and married father of three writes columns for several online sites and print publications, and his own website, Join him on Facebook and Twitter.

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