Romney/Ryan: a campaign based on lies
August 31, 2012
Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported, "Vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is taking flack on the morning news shows for his keynote address at the Republican National Convention Wednesday night. His speech was riddled with false claims, so much so that even Fox News wrote, 'To anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to facts, Ryan's speech was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech.'" Today, Paul Ryan will bring his claims and campaign to Richmond, Va.
Progressive Point: Virginians respect leaders with honor, not politicians who play on our fears to gain power. From attacking the President for the Medicare savings they supported to the stimulus funding Ryan lobbied for and the national credit downgrade the Tea Party caused, Romney and Ryan are running a campaign based on lies.
Romney and Ryan's "you pay more so we pay less" plan would make the middle class pay more taxes, end guaranteed Medicare, and cut Social Security, all to pay for more wasteful tax breaks for the already-rich. Elections should be about competing based on your record and your vision for the future, but Romney and Ryan are just trying to see how many lies and distortions they can get away with. Virginia cannot solve its problems if leaders can't tell the truth.
Get the Facts:
1. "A downgraded America." Ryan blamed the president for the nation's credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed "Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal."
2. "More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined." Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt "as almost all of the other presidents combined." But their math doesn't add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.
3. Shuttered General Motors plant is "one more broken promise." Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.
4. Obama "did exactly nothing" on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, "He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing." In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.
5. "$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama." Ryan's favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare's savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan's own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.
6. "The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak." Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, "The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves." However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan's budget plan as "cruel," and "an immoral disaster" because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.