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Grassley jumps the shark and accuses MLB of “economic terrorism” in wild hearing

Grassley jumps the shark and accuses MLB of “economic terrorism” in wild hearing

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The economic record of the past few Republican presidents makes it quite clear that math is not the party’s forte.

From the voodoo economics of their favored trickle-down theory to the ballooning deficits caused by their gift of massive tax cuts to corporations and billionaires, the GOP likes to play fiscally responsible stewards of the economy on TV while in real life they ravaged the economic health of the nation like drunken sailors and presided over one bubble collapse after the other.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) provided the perfect evidence of the mathematical deficiencies of members of the Republican Party today when he embarked on what has become a favorite pastime for GOP lawmakers seeking their allotment of soundbites on Fox News — attacking corporations for having the temerity to publicly oppose Republican efforts to pass laws that amount to nothing more than legally sanctioned voter suppression to ensure their own grip on power.

Grassley aimed for the fences with his remarks today condemning Major League Baseball’s decision to move the annual All-Star Game out of Atlanta to protest the passage of new voting regulations that many Democrats see as a thinly veiled attempt at reversing the record turnout of minority voters that showed up to defeat Donald Trump and elect two Democratic U.S. senators in the previously predominantly red state.

Why an Iowa Senator is so concerned about matters taking place far away in Georgia — involving a sports league that doesn’t even have a franchise in his own home state — is a question that many people may wonder.

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Beyond wondering about his motivation for speaking out on an issue that has little to do with his representation of Iowa’s citizens, Grassley’s critics have assaulted the senator’s overall credibility when he made the outrageous claim that moving the All-Star Game out of Atlanta will cost the city “100 million jobs.”

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Given that the current employment level for the entire United States sits at around 150 million jobs, Senator Grassley is essentially claiming that the move of the location of a single sporting event will lead to the elimination of two-thirds of the jobs in the country, something that not even the COVID-19 pandemic was able to accomplish.

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Moreover, since the All-Star Game is being moved to Colorado rather than being canceled outright, presumably no jobs will be lost at all.

They will simply be moved to another state, depriving Georgia of the economic benefits of hosting the event, as MLB surely intended in order to signal their displeasure with the state’s GOP establishment and their deplorable power play.

Those who may want to give Senator Grassley the benefit of the doubt will likely argue that it was merely a slip of the tongue that led him to substitute “jobs” for “dollars,” since Fox News — unfortunately, the sole source of information for many Americans and U.S. senators — had already reported that the move of the All-Star Game could cost Atlanta $100 million.

Even if it was an honest mistake, however, the information that Grassley was attempting to convey would have been grossly exaggerated, with at least one economist saying that the estimate is “a whole lot closer to zero than the $100m number” that Atlanta was claiming.

According to The Guardian:

“Georgia’s $100m figure surely makes for a juicy cable-news chyron, the consensus among sports economists is these estimates are routinely exaggerated.”

Economics professor Victor Matheson told the newspaper that “the rule of thumb that I always tell everyone is ‘just take whatever number the boosters are telling you, move the decimal one place to the left and you’ve probably got a pretty good guess.'”
Sounds like a good formula for deciphering any Republican financial claim.
You can watch a clip of Senator Chuck Grassley’s wildly overstated claim about the impact of the loss of the All-Star Game on Atlanta’s economy in the video below.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter. 

Original reporting by David Badash at RawStory.

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