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Bungling the facts

EDITOR:

Everyone has a right to an opinion but my fellow residents, you do not have the right to change the facts. Several writers have concluded that the President bungled the oil spill by not waiving the Jones act. Another stated that the President is incompetent and should not hold office. A third person wrote that unemployment is Harry Reid’s fault and the government can not create jobs.

1. Did Obama turn down foreign offers of assistance in cleaning up the Gulf oil spill? Did he refuse to waive Jones Act restrictions on foreign-flag vessels?

Fact: No to both questions. So far, offers from six foreign countries or entities have been accepted and only one offer has been rejected. Fifteen foreign-flag vessels are working on the cleanup, and none required a waiver.

Republicans claimed that the Jones Act was temporarily lifted by President Bush after Hurricane Katrina, and is now standing in the way of foreign vessels bringing assistance to the United States. They are both incorrect.

In reality, the Jones Act has yet to be an issue in the response efforts. There are 15 foreign flagged ships currently participating in the oil spill cleanup. None of them needed a waiver because the Jones Act does not apply. (The Jones Act is a trade and commerce law that was enacted in 1920 as part of a larger Marine Merchant Act. It requires all trade delivered between U.S. ports to be carried in U.S. flagged vessels constructed in the United States and owned by American citizens. The law states its purpose is to develop a merchant marine for national defense and commerce.)

2. President Obama incompetent, well that is an opinion without merit I might add. Because the writer brings up G. W. Bush in the same letter. Bush is the poster boy for incompetence, here again an opinion.

3. Our high unemployment is caused by Harry Reid, opinion or fact?

American Crossroads, a conservative group empowered by veteran GOP operatives Ed Gillespie and Karl Rove, blame Nevada unemployment and lack of stimulus dollars on Harry Reid.

The ad hits hard on Reid but the number used are wrong.

Facts: Administration data claims in comparison to Nevada there are 13 states who have received less stimulus money. In spite of the misleading data, it’s the audacity of the conservative group which comes to the forefront. American Crossroads is essentially an attempt to criticize the stimulus program mastered by a number of critics like Karl Rove.

4. The government can’t create jobs? Fact or opinion? Fact: Yes. The government controls monetary policy, actions by the central bank and fiscal policy. Through the stimulus package the government created 3 million jobs. In addition, extending unemployment creates an economic stimulus multiplier (every dollar spent on government investment can increase GDP by about $3, while every dollar of targeted transfers can increase GDP by about $1.)

I suggest that people stop watching FOX propaganda and read.

Jerry Denis Sullivan

Minden