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SA’s Prick of the Week – Lyin’ Paul Ryan

September 1, 2012

I haven’t given a Golden Prick Award in quite a while, but Paul Ryan’s speech at the republican convention necessitates this one. Romney’s VP pick is a sleazy, slimy, smarmy prick and a pathological liar. If he had any morals at all, he wouldn’t have been able to stand up there and spout such blatant falsehoods. His pants were ablaze and, if Ryan’s family had any idea of reality or truth, they’d have slithered under their seats with embarrassment.

There was no shortage of uninformed, Obama-bashing pricks at the convention, but that’s to be expected whenever republicans gather. What is inexcusable is when the presumptive vice president of the United States rattles off a laundry list of lies that have been proven false – again and again – by all fact-checkers. I will list the major lies from his speech here. For a detailed fact-checker response, go [here] or to the site of your choice.

ON THE CLOSING OF THE JANESVILLE AUTO PLANT
Ryan said:
“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. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”

Fact: The Janesville plant he accused Obama of closing was closed when George W. Bush was in office. The plant’s last full shift was on Dec. 23, 2008. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, and Romney has criticized Obama’s auto industry bailout that ultimately prevented other plants from closing.

ON THE S&P CREDIT RATING DOWNGRADE
Ryan said:
“It [Obama’s economic record] began with a perfect AAA credit rating for the United States. It ends with a downgraded America.”

Fact: The credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling
When Scott Pelley stood him down, Ryan said: “I met with the S&P team. What they said was that if our proposed budget had passed, it would have avoided the downgrade. They said that it was the lack of political leadership in Washington.”

Pelley: For the record, what S&P said was: “We have changed our assumptions on this because the majority of republicans in congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenue.”

ON THE RAIDING OF MEDICARE
Ryan said:
“You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.” Later, he had the nerve to defend his and Romney’s plan as “protecting” Medicare, while accusing the Obama administration of “raiding” it.

Fact: The $716 billion that he accused President Obama of “raiding” from Medicare was actually savings in Medicare reimbursement rates to providers (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too). Ryan himself embraced outright cuts of the same amount in his budget plan.

ON THE SIMPSON – BOWLES COMMISSION
Ryan said:
“He [Obama] created a new bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”

Fact: Mr. Obama did, in fact, create a bipartisan debt commission. A committee of House and Senate leaders promised to hold votes on the commission’s recommendations if 14 of the committee’s members agreed to the plan. Paul Ryan was one of the seven who killed the plan by voting against it saying: “Obviously, I’m not going to vote for it. Not only did it not address the elephant in the room, health care, it made it fatter.” So, while Mr. Obama didn’t get the commission report passed, it’s not true he did “nothing” to address the debt, and Ryan torpedoed the chance to trim $4 trillion from the budget over the next decade.

ON WHO BUILT THIS
Of course Ryan reiterated the tired central lie that was a major GOP talking point throughout the convention and on the stump when he said: “After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.”

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn’t what the president said. Period. See [my post] for what the president actually said.

ON ROMNEY’S STINT AS GOVERNOR
Ryan said:
   “He [Romney] was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.”

Fact: While it’s true Romney consistently balanced the Massachusetts budget without raising [personal] income taxes, he “did hike government fees by hundreds of millions of dollars, and he also closed loopholes on some corporate taxes.” The Associated Press detailed some of those fees, reporting that Romney, along with Democratic state lawmakers “raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cash-strapped state coffers by approving new and higher fees on everything from marriage licenses to real estate transactions to gun licenses.” These fees weren’t characterized as taxes, so the Ryan claim is technically accurate, but many argue that the fees he raised in place of taxes amount to more or less the same thing.

In the same sentence, Ryan claimed that “unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.”

Fact: According to Bureau of Labor Statistics and FactCheck.org, unemployment was reduced under Romney from 5.6 percent to 4.6 percent. In the context of the national economic climate, however, the same data shows that the Massachusetts unemployment rate was slightly lower than the national rate when Romney took office and was roughly the same as the national rate when he left office.

ON THE STIMULUS
Ryan said:
“The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy. At a time when he got everything he wanted under one party rule. It cost $831 billion. The largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs and make-believe markets. The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare anachronism at their worst. You — you the American people of this country were cut out of the deal. What did taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted.”

Fact: Because of the stimulus, most taxpayers got a tax cut and between 1.4 and 3.3 million jobs were saved.

————

Ryan blamed Obama for a deficit mostly created by programs he himself voted for – from two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits and TARP. Interestingly, for all his lies, Ryan didn’t repeat the Romney camp’s false claim that Obama did away with the welfare system’s work requirements. Maybe he ran out of time.

Ryan may have helped solve some of the likeability problems facing Romney, but ultimately by trying to deceive voters about basic facts and trying to distract voters from his own record, Ryan’s speech caused a much larger problem for himself and his running mate.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 1, 2012 3:44 PM

    The sad thing is that the people who need to read and understand this have already made up their minds that everything the GOP says is GOsPel.

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