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Are Republicans actively trying to bring about a new recession to obtain a political advantage? Well, of course.

Last year, ThinkProgress reported on a Tea Party group urging businesses to avoid hiring Americans in order to damage Obama's re-election chances.  Who knows how many conservatives took that plea to heart and masochistically contracted their businesses when expansion was called for and could have benefited themselves, their families, and their communities.

And just today I saw an ad on TV from the right wing Orwellian-named "Americans for Job Security" - the ad, titled "Running," shows a woman complaining about Obama (whom she supposedly "voted for"):

The ad claims that "spending and debt have exploded" - ignoring the fact that Romney's promises of tax cuts for the rich and trillions of dollars in unnecessary defense spending would make the current rate of debt increase look like a trickle; and the narrator sure seems to think that the trend toward 12% unemployment Obama was handed in 2008 is a better state of affairs than the 8% unemployment which we've worked our way up to.

But the most malicious line in the ad is the one where the woman declares - based on nothing at all - that "now we're facing another recession." This is, simply put, a lie. All economic indicators point to a slow, but progressive, recovery underway. And this ad, in saying the opposite, is not an effort to inform people about the state of the economy, but to undermine confidence in the economy, to actually cause things to become worse by talking people down from their hopes. This right here is more economic sabotage than the Beastie Boys could make a record about.

Of course, Romney and the Republicans will promote this sort of talk, rather than condemning it as they should, because weakening the economy helps their political chances. It should be no surprise in this climate that Romney's supporters in the banking industry are hyping a sudden need to slash their workforce, and blaming it on regulations. Apparently their directors have done the math, and are preparing to take one for team Romney, hoping to recoup with the false promise of post-election tax cuts.

The bottom line (and that phrase should get the attention of conservatives), is that we should be prepared to counter complaints about the state of the economy by pointing out that this state is being generated by Romney backers looking for political advantage. And maybe, just maybe, these economic saboteurs should try being patriotic rather than treacherous, and should stop talking down the economy so that average Americans don't find the rug pulled out from under them.

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