In perhaps the most memorable line of his State of the State address, Gov. Snyder played off typical right-wing distaste for so-called “job-killing government regulations” by citing an obscure Department of Environmental Quality rule requiring that outhouse users close the seat while not in use. The only problem? There is no such regulation.

The governor’s spokesperson told the Free Press it makes no difference whether the governor “misstated” the regulation, saying it perfectly illustrated “the types of regulations that are outdated and need review.”

This is actually a perfect illustration for the conservative movement’s overwhelming focus on rhetoric and anecdote, at the expense of the truth. 

Conservatives love creating their own parallel reality, like by claiming only certain jobs matter, so they can point to the numbers that make them look good. Gov. Snyder simply made up an anecdote in order to support his argument that government regulations are standing in the way of job creation, when in reality businesses tell us that government regulation has almost nothing to do with small-business job creation. Economists tell us the same thing:

In 2010, 0.3 percent of the people who lost their jobs in layoffs were let go because of “government regulations/intervention.” By comparison, 25 percent were laid off because of a drop in business demand.

Gov. Snyder constructed a falsehood within a falsehood, simply to fit a cheap joke into his narrative on how the economy works and how businesses create jobs. I think we can all agree that if there’s one thing that needs to stay closed, it’s the lexicon of lies and dishonesty that far-right extremists promote in order to preach their discredited theories.


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