Watching the Republican Convention is like watching a movie in an alternate state of reality. I could barely contain myself as speaker after speaker continued to lie. While Condoleezza Rice’s speech tried to take a more conciliatory tone, it was full of misinformation. I did a CNN iReport on Condi immediately after her speech to debunk it. The Paul Ryan speech however was the most disconcerting because it was laced with falsehoods and misrepresentations. It was very hard to listen to, but I had to in order to ensure I had valid information to provide our readership (here is the Paul Ryan CNN iReport I did debunking a few his lies).
Generally the mainstream media have been hesitant in calling out Republicans as they lie on every one of President Obama’s policies. In fact I hold the mainstream media responsible for the healthcare reform misinformation because they gave the blatant lies promoted by the Republicans credulity by making it a choice in arguments as opposed to stating that their attacks were simply lies, misinformation, and propaganda to confuse Americans. There were no death panels yet it made it into our lexicon. It is clearly not a government takeover but a private health insurance inefficient takeover. Yet it was never reported that way.
I was happy that both on CNN and MSNBC Paul Ryan’s speech was partially fact checked immediately after. The different panels agreed that he made many false statements and misleading statements. What was ironic is the robotic answers Republican operatives gave when confronted with the lies. They continued to reiterate them on national TV thus indirectly giving them a forum to continue the misinformation and lies.
America needs to determine what type of country it wants. Will it be an individualistic laissez faire Plutocratic state or will it be a strong Democracy based on free enterprise and the correct balance between government, the corporation, and the individual. My contention is that the latter is what most Americans would choose and it is for that reason that Republicans feel the necessity to lie when presenting the little they present about how they would change our country. I wrote a book called “As I See It: Class Warfare The Only Resort To Right Wing Doom” in which I covered that balance as well as ideas on how we get there. Our problem during this election is that we are not getting a debate. A debate requires two sides giving their ideas. Currently the Republicans are asking for a debate of ideas versus lies. That is an impossible debate.
Please read the fact check of Ryan’s speech below. Most importantly please share this post with your family, your friends, your acquaintances, and your co-workers throughout the Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, etc) and in person. Republicans believe they can lie on these issues for the next 10 weeks and “low information” listeners and viewers will elect them. That would be a catastrophe for the American middle class.
The true, the false, and the misleading: grading Paul Ryan’s convention speech.
Posted by Dylan Matthews on August 30, 2012 at 1:09 am
It was Paul Ryan’s big moment in Tampa tonight, and he sure didn’t lack for passion. But do the claims he made hold up? Wonkblog went about sorting the true from the misleading and the downright false.
Obama cut Medicare – Ryan blasted the cuts to Medicare reimbursements and Medicare advantage included in the Affordable Care Act. “They just took it all away from Medicare,” Ryan declared. “Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” That much is correct – the Affordable Care Act contained over $700 billion in cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates and Medicare advantage. The Obama administration insists the cuts will not hurt quality and are necessary to control costs, while the Romney-Ryan campaign disputes this, but the underlying claim is correct.
Obama didn’t fix the housing crisis – Ryan claimed Obama’s presidency, “began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.” It is true that Obama did not cause the financial crisis and true that it has still not fully recovered almost four years later, as Ezra detailed in a recent column.
A GM plant in Ryan’s district shut down on Obama’s watch – From Ryan’s speech:
My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.
A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.
Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.
The plant shut down in June 2008, when George W. Bush is president. Ryan says it had not yet shut down Obama was elected, that Janesville was “about to” lose the factory at the time of the election. This is false, as Ryan knew in 2008 when he issued a statement bemoaning the plant’s closing.
The stimulus was the biggest expenditure in government history – The stimulus, Paul Ryan writes, “cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.” This is false any way you cut it. By comparison, the Congressional Research Service estimates (pdf) that World War II cost $4.1 trillion in 2011 dollars. That was the biggest one-time expenditure ever, not the stimulus. Ryan is simply incorrect.
The Affordable Care Act increases taxes on millions of small businesses – Paul Ryan declared that the Affordable Care Act would impose “new taxes on nearly a million small businesses.” The Act changes taxes for small businesses in three ways. It provides a tax credit (pdf) to subsidize insurance coverage for which between 1.4 and 4 million small businesses are eligible. It imposes a tax on medical device manufacturers, of which there were only 5,300 (pdf) in the United States in 2007. Finally, it imposes an employer mandate on businesses that do not provide coverage, which will not affect (pdf) businesses with under 50 employees. Most small businesses, then, get a tax cut, and the number of small businesses facing tax increases is about five thousand, far under a million. Ryan’s claim is just false.
CONTINUED – Please continue reading the piece. It is that important!!