Top 10 Paul Ryan Lies
by Juan Cole, Informed Comment (edited)
This year’s Republican campaign may be the most dishonest in history. In honest political debate, when a candidate says something that may not true, he is confronted by journalists and the public, and either gives evidence that it is true, or backs off. Ryan continues to insist on repeating known falsehoods, to the extent that even FOX News lamented his dishonesty.
Voters need to ask who Ryan represents. It's clearly people who make a million dollars a year or more. Everything he says is intended to produce policy that benefits them, and which hurts working people. Millionaires don’t like having to pay for government-provided infrastructure, or health care for workers. The rest of us like driving on roads without potholes, over bridges that don’t fall down, and not being bankrupted when we need an operation. Since most Americans would be crazy to vote for policies that only benefit the top 1%, Ryan tries to appeal to workers with religion (banning abortion). He has to get people on his side who would be hurt by his policies. And that requires that he simply lie to them.
So here are ten of his biggest whoppers:
LIE #1. Ryan blamed the US credit rating downgrade on President Obama. But it was caused by the Republican Congress’s threat not to raise the debt ceiling. So the fault for the downgrade from AAA to AA belongs with… Paul Ryan.
LIE #2. Ryan continues to claim that President Obama said business owners did not build their own businesses. But what Obama actually said is that business owners benefit from government infrastructure and programs, which they did not build. No small business owner has built an inter-state highway or bridge, but those are the means whereby their goods get to market.
LIE #3. Ryan depicts Obamacare as a Socialist takeover of healthcare. But it's nearly identical to what Ryan’s running mate, Mitt Romney, enacted in Massachusetts in 2006. And bears almost no resemblance to the truly socialized healthcare practiced in most other developed countries.
LIE #4. In a display of shameless hypocrisy, Ryan slammed President Obama for not implementing the deficit-cutting measures recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. But Ryan himself voted against Simpson-Bowles, and was in fact instrumental in sabotaging the commission.
LIE #5. Ryan keeps attacking President Obama’s stimulus program, insisting that government stimulus doesn't work. But in 2009, Ryan asked for $20 million in stimulus money from Obama for companies in his district, then he blatantly lied by repeatedly denying he requested the funds.
LIE #6. Ryan blamed President Obama for the closure of a GM auto plant in Janesville that actually closed in late 2008 under George W. Bush.
LIE #7. He also claims Obama promised to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made any such promise. Ryan’s running mate, Mitt Romney, opposed Obama’s actual auto bailout, which was a great success and returned Detroit to profitability.
LIE #8. Paul Ryan charges that Barack Obama has ‘stolen’ $716 billion from medicare for his Obamacare. In fact, these expense reductions do not cut Medicare benefits at all. And, moreover, Romney and Ryan supported these reductions! The difference is that they would give the savings as tax breaks to the rich, whereas Obama uses them to cover the uninsured.
LIE #9. Ryan claimed in his Convention speech that only the GOP have produced a debt reduction plan and Obama has no plan of his own. Wrong again. Here's Obama's debt reduction plan:
You don’t have to like it but Ryan is lying when he says it doesn’t exist.
LIE #10. Ryan states “President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him.” But the vast majority of this debt was due either to the Bush tax cuts or the continuing Iraq/Afghanistan wars, and only a tiny sliver due to the stimulus and other recovery measures. It is extremely misleading to imply that Obama’s policies are primarily responsible for the size of the debt.