Here is a list of five lies that Paul Ryan told when he gave his speech at the Republican National Convention last night. I am also posting sourcing for the repudiation of Ryan’s lies. Yes, I’m upset about Ryan’s lies. I would be equally upset if it was Barack Obama doing the lying. I’ve certainly called him out a time or two or a hundred, and particularly in my book A Year in My Pajamas with President Obama. I am just sick to death of this country’s politicians playing us all for fools. Enough already.
1. Lie: President Obama is the “greatest threat” to Medicare.
Truth: Obama didn’t make any cuts to Medicare benefits; he made cuts to provider reimbursements, to improve cost efficiency and extend the fiscal security of Medicare by eight years. According to the Medicare actuary, “[Obama’s] Affordable Care Act makes important changes to the Medicare program and substantially improves its financial outlook.”1
But Ryan actually does want to cut benefits. He proposed dismantling Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system, leaving millions of seniors to come up with more money to pay for care out of pocket.2,3
2. Lie: President Obama didn’t save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin.
Truth: First, Obama wasn’t even in office when the GM plant closed. Second, Obama never made a promise to save it.4
3. Lie: President Obama ignored recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission.
Truth: Paul Ryan actually sat on that commission. And he led Republicans in voting down the commission’s own recommendation. So the commission never gave a report to Obama, because Ryan himself voted to kill the report before it could.5
4. Lie: President Obama is responsible for the downgrading of the U.S. Credit Rating.
Truth: House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to try to ransom it for trillions of dollars in cuts to social programs without increasing taxes on the wealthy one dime. Standard & Poor’s said specifically, “We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.” That’s why our nation’s credit rating was downgraded.6,7
5. Lie: Ryan wants to protect the “weak.”
Truth: Ryan’s biggest feat in his political career was proposing a budget with dramatic cuts to programs benefiting the poor. He’d cut Medicaid by one third, take away health care insurance from 30 million Americans, and cut Pell Grants for 1 million students. All so that he could give more tax breaks to the rich.8
Here are the sources
1. “Fact check: Paul Ryan at the RNC,” USA Today, August 30, 2012
2. “Undoing Obama Medicare cuts may backfire on Romney,” The Boston Globe, August 18, 2012
3. “Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan Would Cost 29-Year-Olds $331,200: Report,” Huffington Post, August 27, 2012
4. “Paul Ryan Misleads With GM Plant Closure Tale,” Huffington Post, August 29, 2012
5. “Fact Check: Paul Ryan misleads on debt panel’s spending cut plan,” CNN, August 30, 2012
6. “Top 5 Fibs In Paul Ryan’s Convention Speech,” Talking Points Memo, August 30, 2012
7. “Paul Ryan Address: Convention Speech Built On Demonstrably Misleading Assertions,” Huffington Post, August 30, 2012 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=279604&id=50193-18784282-5yPWotx&t=14
8. “4 Ways Paul Ryan’s Budget Would Devastate The Poor,” ThinkProgress, August 17, 2012