Posted: 6:14 pm Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Paul Broun and the GOP ‘promotion’ of socialist government 

By Jim Galloway

020713 polinsider HS04

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun/AJC file

This afternoon’s forum of U.S. Senate candidates was a relatively staid affair, with each candidate trotting out his or her stump speech before an economics-minded audience put together at Turner Field by the National Federation of Independent Business.

Karen Handel kept pointing to the lack of “results” from her three congressional rivals. Jack Kingston noted his longterm relationship with Johnny Isakson. Phil Gingrey again positioned himself as the most electable conservative. David Perdue, a well-spoken newcomer in the GOP field, continued to impress.

But within the two-hour event was a pair of dramatic flairs – one by U.S. Rep. Paul Broun and another by the lone Democratic participant, Branko Radulovacki.

The NFIB is oriented more toward Republicans, so we’ll start with Broun, who over the last few days has been attempting to present himself as the sole true conservative in the GOP primary.

In a discussion of federal deregulation, the Athens congressman had this to say:

“Once we the people are demanding a different kind of government — less government, not more, not an efficient socialist government like most Republicans in Washington have been promoting, like most candidates – or all the candidates — in this race are promoting. We’ve got to go back to constitutional, limited government.”

Video will be available at the NFIB website later this week for all to inspect.  But afterwards, Broun said he was not accusing his GOP rivals of being fellow travelers. “I didn’t call them socialists by any means. I’m not sure what you heard, but we cannot continue to build a bigger federal government. We’ve got to go back to what the Constitution says,” Broun said.

On Monday, Broun criticized GOP rival Jack Kingston, the congressman from Savannah, for bragging about his conservative ranking from the National Journal. The magazine/website bases that characterization on how many times Kingston and others voted with the House GOP leadership, Broun said.

“I don’t vote with the leadership. And that’s what the National Journal rating is all about. I’m fighting the big government that Republicans are working to make more efficient. We’ve got to start sending those powers back to the states and the people…”

Kingston was loathe to respond to Broun’s attacks. Asked if he considered House Speaker John Boehner to be a liability in a U.S. Senate race, Kingston gave a terse “No.”

But when presented with a staffer’s assessment that “dogs don’t chase parked cars,” the Savannah congressman agreed.

***

Now, as for Dr. Rad.

Michelle Nunn, his Democratic rival, declined a side-by-side appearance, as has become her custom. Which left the Vinings psychiatrist in a situation akin to Daniel in that lion’s den.

Branko "Dr. Rad" Radulovcki, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

Branko “Dr. Rad” Radulovcki, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate

Dr. Rad’s support for the Affordable Care Act – “What I think we can’t afford as a country is to do a U-turn” – served as a tee that allowed Republicans to swing away.

But it was a question on support for the minimum wage that allowed Dr. Rad to separate himself to some effect. First the others:

Broun: “I’ll do everything I can, as a member of Congress, as a U.S. senator, to make sure we never, ever again raise the minimum wage.”

Gingrey: “It would be the stupidest idea I can think of, other than continuing with Obamacare.”

Handel: “The only thing raising the minimum wage is going to do is diminish the number of jobs out there.”

Kingston: “I worked minimum wage….I wasn’t worth the $1.60 an hour they had to pay me. But I was fortunate the business was able to adjust and I was able to get that opportunity….It’s an opportunity wage. If we raise that opportunity wage too high, you quit hiring.”

Perdue: “If you got this economy going, you wouldn’t be sitting here talking about minimum wage. Why are we talking about minimum wage? Because one out of five people in America today are unemployed or underemployed.”

And finally, Dr. Rad:

“Small business owners recognize and understand that the key to their success is a productive, loyal workforce. In order to do that, we need to pay our workers fairly, we need to provide them with benefits, and we need to insure their economic stability. In my office, I offer three times the minimum wage….

“Small business owners benefit when they invest in their workers….A key concern of NFIB members is high inventories. Well, how do we help you get rid of that? We have to increase demand. The two gentlemen to my right said, in different responses, we’ve got to put money in the pockets of consumers. This is what an increase in the minimum wage will do. I believe it’s a win-win, and I support it.”

***

On one more note: Perdue is still learning as a candidate. He has yet to conquer the sound-bite, which is good for journalism and bad for nervous campaign managers.

But in offering his biography, Perdue went through his resume, which includes a successful turnarounds at Reebok and Dollar General. The candidate then described himself as “a co-founder of a small business here in Georgia.”

“We focus on exporting American-made products to emerging markets around the world. We bought a trucking company last year,” Perdue said. He couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that his fellow co-founder was former Gov. Sonny Perdue, his cousin.

37 comments
mrob
mrob

The current minimum wage rate is equal to the current speed limited on Georgia state roads in a fast moving economy, where many Georgians are making .45,.55,.65, and .70 cents on $5.00 and will never get ahead under the current "speed traps labor' laws, where as, work fast, efficient, smart, and more productive give you a citation of often times not being fast enough for more pay and respect---as any Republican see it.


" More taxes for Georgians with less pay and kept taxing more" is the Republican state and national slogan. 

Take a LQQk at how many times Georgian taxes have been rising in the last 13 years,


Here are some example,the new car tag tax, the super speeder tax, franchise tax, utility tax, and customer service fees tax to name a few.


Georgia, it's time for a Governor change and it's time to REGAIN our respect from these political self serving criminals.


DS
DS

If you'd like to read the CBO report on raising the minimum wage, it's online at http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44995-MinimumWage.pdf.

Here's the short version: the report analyzed two options, $9.00 and $10.10/hr. The first option would increase wages for 7.6 million workers, but might displace anywhere from 0 to 200,000 jobs. Net effect would be positive $1 B into the economy. The second option would increase wages for 16.5 M workers, but might displace anywhere from 0 to 1 M jobs. Net effect would inject $2 B into the economy.

So this really isn't that surprising or controversial. Demand for minimum wage workers is fairly inelastic. Increasing the minimum wage might cause a slight dip in minimum wage jobs (or might not), but most minimum wage workers would earn more, spend more, and this would help propel our economy forward. 

It's incorrect to call this a "job killer." Some Republicans are doing that because their patrons just don't want to pay their workers more, so they're grasping at any excuse.

Joeleejohnson
Joeleejohnson

'MINIMUM'

Without the benefit of Webster I know this descriptive word could never be used to depict an amount that I would want per hour for my time on a job.

As an eight year old my very first job where I was to work all day every day payed me 25 cents an hour. The two or three dollars a day I earned in the summer of '57 was soon spent. But the experience has pr over t o be invaluable.l

Politicians arguing about the worth per hour of a fellow citizen is ample evidence to support the correct notion that there should be no such thing as a government mandated minimum wage.

lvg
lvg

Quite fitting to have this circus act at Turner Field- just need some trapeze artists and trained animals to join these clowns. 

SouthGeorgiareader
SouthGeorgiareader

With the exception of Dr. Rad, that was a true comedy act by the others who played on the extreme of trickle-down economics, a failed theory which keeps money in big pockets and denies workers a decent wage.  If I didn't know better, I'd think they were part of a satirical skit on SNL.

WWTJD
WWTJD

Henry Ford raised wages so his workers could buy his product.  And, it worked.

ForsythCounty
ForsythCounty

Why isn't anyone mentioning that all those Walmart workers who currently qualify for food stamps would NOT qualify if the minimum wage was raised?


All these right wingers who supposedly hate people on welfare sure change their tune when Obama has an idea, just BECAUSE Obama has an idea.  


All their teabagger BS just gets tossed by the wayside when OBAMA suggests exactly what they want.  Hmmmmm.....

BigHat
BigHat

Louisiana had bumper stickers that said "Vote for the crook"; GA will have ones that say "Vote for the town crank."  

omahagrape
omahagrape

So, there's a Dr. Rad and a Dr. Radical both running?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

I heard David Perdue on a talk radio show this evening.  What an ego.  Evidently, David Perdue lives on Sea Island, Georgia.  I do not believe this man fully understands the average Georgian, even if both of his parents were school teachers in Georgia. Too self-involved, imho.

DannyX
DannyX

David Perdue is starting to sound like the Marilyn in the group of Georgia Munster Republicans.

TrueBlueDem
TrueBlueDem

If David Perdue is in business with Sonny Perdue,he is a fool. Sonny Perdue is a very dishonest man. He will figure out a way to screw his relative David Perdue.

Eustis
Eustis

" We’ve got to go back to what the Constitution says,” Broun said.'


So Dr Broun, what does the Constitution say?

Ralph-43
Ralph-43

Wow - not hard to see why Michelle Nunn would have been the smartest one present.  She made a very good choice to avoid this group of crackpots.  Is this the best Georgia Republicans have to offer?  Irrational, uncredentialed, lacking in human compassion, petty aspirations - no one here worth going to the polls for - although I guess we have to put up the worst (Broun obviously) to make sure Michelle Nunn takes it in a landslide.  When's the primary? 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

President Obama’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would cost 500,000 jobs in 2016, according to a report released Tuesday by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

While it is a known fact that this is a job killer, the raise needs to be done anyway since it is a populist issue that the left always (eventually) wins.

DS
DS

Interesting. The minimum wage quotes prove, once again, that most Republican politicians don't understand economics, or at least are willfully ignorant. 

Except Perdue. His quote was the only one that moved the needle on the "truthiness" meter.

Kamchak
Kamchak

OH NOES!  NOT THE TYPICAL AJC BIAS CARD!!

I'm melting...melting...melting....

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Notice that there are no Republicans posting here yet - just 3 Democrats and 1 Independent.  Pretty typical of the AJC audience, even though Republicans are by far the majority of GA voters.

honested
honested

Another 'Seven Dwarfs Circular Firing Squad' providing the sad but entertaining spectacle we have come to expect.


As usual, somebody should take broun to task for having no idea whatsoever Socialism is, how it works or who benefits. Of course he might know, he just wants to make sure his poor constituents never find out.

CherokeeCounty
CherokeeCounty

He couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that his fellow co-founder was former Gov. Sonny Perdue, his cousin.

Always fascinates me that Republican ex office holders end up as pariahs.  George Bush is ignored at the Republican convention, and doesn't campaign for anyone.  Sonny Perdue is universally panned as in over his head.  Everyone hated Nixon; Ford was considered a dope, and Poppy Bush was a RINO.  Boehner is despised by everyone, and McConnell is less popular than Obama in Kentucky.

Reagan would be the exception, but with his pro gay, pro union views, and the fact that he raised taxes eleven times, he couldn't get nominated today.

Very weird....

Kamchak
Kamchak

“I didn’t call them socialists by any means."

Yeah, you did. To wit, "...not an efficient socialist government like most Republicans in Washington have been promoting..."

What a lying weasel.

Just sayin'.


The_Centrist
The_Centrist

At least it doesn't seem that Kingston and Perdue are going to try to appear more conservative than Broun who is staking that right wing position with some objection from Handel and Gingrey.  


Should be interesting to see which candidates break into a top tier when most of the voting public starts paying attention (probably in April or May).

anothercomment
anothercomment

Dollar General moving into low income black and white communities is seen now as a scourge just like Walmart was when it

honested
honested

@Eustis  

Cut to the oddball youtube song "What Does the Fox Say?".

meno
meno

@The_Centrist The CBO also projects that increasing the minimum wage would lift many more out of poverty.  Interesting, how you either left out or did not look at that part.

Chris30338
Chris30338

@DS Republicans are still stuck in that "Trickle Down" era which was debunked a long time ago in practice and by economists. Which is why they can't name a single world class economist to to support their economic policies. The closest thing they have is Lou Dobbs.

Kamchak
Kamchak

As usual, somebody should take broun to task for having no idea whatsoever Socialism is, how it works or who benefits. Of course he might know, he just wants to make sure his poor constituents never find out.


Words like socialist/socialism, Marxist/Marxism, communist/communism have pretty much lost their original definitions and are now merely code words for "fear".

Chris30338
Chris30338

@The_Centrist Typical Republican field of candidates. The rich guy with connections trying to make his break into politics and then the crazy nuts who will waste no time proving that they are holier than the Pope when it comes to all the standard right wing agendas and conspiracy theories.

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

They help to equate 'conserrrrrrrvative' with the more common 'incompetent'.

Kamchak
Kamchak

Cut to the oddball youtube song "What Does the Fox Say?". 


Thank you for that earworm.

Chris30338
Chris30338

A Republican debate is like a race of the bottom feeders - First the race to the bottom of the pond and then who can stay down there the longest. But entertaining to watch if you like that sort of thing.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Lifting them out of poverty is a wash, since they will lose transfer payments based on the poverty rate.  I also took the mid estimate of the CBO job loss forecast - the high estimate was double.

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

Because I am a centrist and read both left and right news outlets - including my home metro area newspaper that has local news and sports. 

meno
meno

@The_Centrist So when the CBO says what you like, it is nonpartisan.  Otherwise, a "wash".  BTW I thought people no longer receiving transfer payments but being able to support themselves with a paycheck was in line with what conservatives want.  Also, why not think talk of job losses is a wash since more people will be spending money, with a minimum wage increase-- which means more jobs will be created?

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

Reading (skimming) things that do not fit your hard-wired world view for 'dog whistles' so you can discount them hardly qualifies as the 'center'.

If you are truly interested in factual discourse, why waste time on publications dedicated to slanting the information to fit a wrong-wing presupposition?

DannyX
DannyX

@The_Centrist, what a bunch of bs.  When you are visiting right wing sites no way in hell do you whine about the lack of liberals posting.  I can just imagine you posting at your favorite Beitbart.com, "Notice that there are no Democrats posting here yet - just 112 Republicans and no Independents. Pretty typical of the Brietbat.com audience."


You are nothing but a phony that takes the far right wing position 99% of the time, you run away and hide whenever your crazy delusional rants are called out.