Friday, August 31, 2012

Truth & Lies And The People Who Tell Them

Dylan Matthews wrote the following article after Mr. Ryan’s speech at the GOP convention. Mr. Matthews took the time to research what Mr. Ryan said and determine what was true, false and misleading. 
After reading what Mr. Matthews wrote and then doing my own checking ( I had a thought. 
(Well, actually several thoughts)
But I'll share this one:  
The way to attract independents and undecided voters:
1. Tell the truth.
2. Speak in clear language about what will you do to improve / change this country. 
3. Don't talk about the other guy. Focus on what you will do.
It's about trust.  If I trust you - you've earn my vote. 
If you lie or mislead me why on earth would you expect my vote?  Who would hire someone that lies to them in the application process? Not me. 
In summary: 
Mr. Ryan told the truth 2x. He lied 6x. And he made 3 misleading statements.  Not good.
Below are excerpts from Mr. Matthews article. You can click the link to his blog and read his full text there. 
The True, the False and theMisleading: 
Grading Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech
Paul Ryan’s speech did not 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”: TRUE

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.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“Obama didn’t fix the housing crisis”: TRUE

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.”

FACT:  Obama did not cause the financial crisis and the truth is that it has still not fully recovered, as Ezra detailed in a recent column.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“A GM plant in Ryan’s district shut down on Obama’s watch.”: FALSE

From Ryan’s speech:  . . . 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.” 

FACT: The plant shut down in June 2008, when George W. Bush was president.

Janesville, Wisconsin Plant Closing - Dec. 23 2008
    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>
“The stimulus was the biggest expenditure in government history.”: FALSE

The stimulus, Paul Ryan writes, “cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.”

FACT: World War II cost $4.1 trillion in 2011 dollars.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“The Affordable Care Act increases taxes on millions of small businesses.”: FALSE

Paul Ryan declared that the Affordable Care Act imposes “new taxes on nearly a million small businesses.”

The Act changes taxes for small businesses in 3 ways:

1. Provides a tax credit (pdf) to subsidize insurance coverage. 1.4 to 4 million small businesses are eligible.

2. Imposes a tax on medical device manufacturers, of which there are aprox. 5,300 (pdf).

3. Imposes an mandate on businesses that do not provide coverage, which does not affect (pdf) businesses with under 50 employees.

FACT: Most small businesses got a tax cut, and the number of small businesses facing tax increases is about five thousand, far under a million.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“The stimulus was full of fraud”:  FALSE  

“The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst,” Ryan boomed.

According to TIME’s Michael Grunwald, whose new book The New New Deal is the definitive history of the stimulus, only 0.0001 percent of stimulus funds were wasted on fraud.

FACT: Grunwald quotes the stimulus’s head watchdog, Earl Devaney: “ . . .  serious fraud just hasn’t happened.”

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“The Affordable Care Act was a government takeover”: FALSE

”We got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care,” Ryan stated.

The Affordable Care Act greatly expands private insurance rather than implementing a truly government-run insurance system.

Fact: As Jonathan Oberlander, a health policy expert at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, put it, “The label ‘government takeover’ has no basis in reality, but instead reflects a political dynamic where conservatives label any increase in government authority in health care as a ‘takeover.’”

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“Obama doesn’t have a debt plan”: FALSE

Fact: President Obama released a comprehensive debt reduction plan (pdf), in response to the brewing debate in Congress. Mr. Ryan is incorrect in stating it does not exist.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“Obama didn’t support the Bowles-Simpson’s report “: MISLEADING

President Obama created a bipartisan debt commission. Mr. Ryan was on the commission.

They came back with an urgent report,” Ryan stated. “He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”

Fact: The bipartisan debt commission did not come back with a report. There were not enough votes to agree upon recommendations, in part due to opposition from Paul Ryan - a committee member.

Fact: The statement is misleading by implying that Ryan supports the proposal, when he aggressively opposed it, and by using the third person to avoid noting that Ryan was on the commission and voted no.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“Obama caused the debt downgrade”: MISLEADING

Paul Ryan said in his speech that Obama’s presidency “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”

This implies that Obama was responsible for Standard and Poor’s downgrading of U.S. debt.

Fact: That is false. The S&P report announcing the downgrade, made clear that blame rested with House Republicans for making the debt ceiling increase conditional on deficit reduction.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

“Obama added more to the deficit than any other president”: MISLEADING

“President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him,” Ryan stated.

As Ezra has explained, the vast majority of this debt was due either to the Bush tax cuts or the Iraq war, and only a tiny sliver due to the stimulus and other recovery measures.

FACT: It is misleading to imply that Obama’s policies are primarily responsible for the size of the deficit.

    <><><>   <><><>   <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>     <><><>   <><><>   <><><>

My opinion of Rep. Paul Ryan is: