It takes hours and hours to fact check a Paul Ryan speech. This man is a great fit for Mitt Romney as a VP candidate; he can tell people with the feel of truth and authenticity that he is telling you the straight scoop. But the real deal is that he’s incredibly dishonest; I found 28 different lies, distortions, untruths, and falsifications that he shared on 37 minutes of national TV on the 2nd night of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida; that’s a little better than 1 lie per minute.
You can find the entire text of Paul Ryan’s speech HERE:
#1 – “With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that.”
False. Spending under President Obama has grown at a lower rate than any president in the past 60 years. That was rated “mostly true” by Politifact. (source)
#2 – “You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.”
Not so much; Romney is the most dishonest politician in modern history. 43% of Romney’s statements that have been fact checked by Politifact have been rate FALSE. You can find Romney’s Pants on Fire lies HERE and his 100% false statements HERE.
#3 – “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.”
False. The GM factory closed in December of 2008 before President Obama had ever taken office. Ryan is apparently upset with him because he didn’t retroactively fix it. (source)
#4 – “Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty.”
The first three months of 2009 – the country lost 2.2 million jobs (source). A little under 13 million are unemployed (source) but when you factor in underemployed – that sounds right. So the question is – why have Republicans blocked almost every jobs bill that Obama has proposed? I’ve shared this before HERE.
June 24th, 2010: GOP Blocks Unemployment Insurance Bill Once Again, Dems Giving Up (Open Congress)
July 29th, 2010: Republicans block small business plan in Senate (Reuters)
September 28th, 2010: GOP Blocks Bill to Punish Companies that Move Jobs Abroad (CBS News)
November 18th, 2010: House GOP blocks bill to extend jobless benefits (USA TODAY)
November 18th, 2010: Republicans vote unanimously against equal pay for women bill (Raw Story)
December 9th, 2010: Senate Republicans block 9/11 health bill (Reuters)
October 11th, 2011: Senate Republicans block Obama’s jobs package (CBS News)
October 20th, 2011: Senate blocks money for teachers, firefighters (WaPost)
November 3rd, 2011: Republicans block $60bn infrastructure bill (Financial Times)
December 11th, 2011: Senate blocks payroll tax-cut extension (MSNBC)
March 29th, 2012: Republicans Block Repeal of Oil-Company Tax Breaks Obama Sought (Business Week)
April 17th, 2012: Senate GOP blocks Obama’s ‘Buffett rule’ for minimum tax rate on millionaires (Fox News)
May 8th, 2012: GOP blocks Senate debate on Dem student loan bill (Associated Press)
#5 – “Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?”
After President Obama’s policies helped stabilize the economy within a year – since January of 2010 this country has seen over 4 million private sector jobs created. That’s a fact. And if you compare the jobs record of Obama vs. Bush – Obama’s jobs record wins hands down. More on that HERE.
#6 – “The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was 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. What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.”
False. 93% of economists surveyed by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business believed the stimulus reduced unemployment even when factoring in the cost of the amount borrowed to finance the stimulus (source). Also – 1/3 of the stimulus was TAX CUTS and 1/3 went directly to the states to stop the hemorrhaging. Only around $600 billion was actual spending.
Paul Ryan personally requested stimulus funds in 2009 which he now refers to as “borrowed, spent and wasted” (source). And in 2002 under much better circumstances – Paul Ryan pushed for a stimulus to pass tax cuts in two different rounds that totaled over $1 trillion in tax cuts otherwise known as “the Bush tax cuts”. They had a disproportionate benefit to the rich. Watch Ryan’s request for stimulus in 2002 HERE.
#7 – “<The stimulus> 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, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal.”
False. Politifact has rated this lie “Mostly False” (source); most people don’t realize that the loan guarantee program that conservatives are howling about actually started under President Bush in 2005 and was expanded under President Obama in 2009. The failed Solyndra plant applied for a government loan guarantee under that program from the Bush era. (source).
#8 – “Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.”
The stimulus came before health care. Flatly untrue that the Obama admin didn’t put job creation his “first order of economic business”
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) August 30, 2012
#9 – “Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care. Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.”
False. The claim that Obamacare is “‘A government takeover of health care” is Politifact’s Lie of the Year 2010 (source). The number of pages within the law seems as ridiculous as complaining about the color of the paper the law was printed on.
As far as rules, mandates, taxes, fees and fines having a role in a free country – Mitt Romney’s “signature achievement” in Massachusetts when he was governor had all of those things. Additionally – Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Britain, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland and a whole plethora of other countries also have those features in their health care laws. Are those countries also not “free countries”? And if not – which “free country” would Paul Ryan point to that America should best model its healthcare after? Somalia.
#10 – “And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.”
False. As we have written HERE:
Under the Obama plan – Medicare is still solvent until 2024. Obama’s plan thanks to Obamacare increases benefits and eliminates the donut hole for out of pocket expenses for seniors completely by 2020 (source). That means by 2020 – seniors will pay NOTHING in out of pocket expenses by 2020. Obama’s plan does not require increasing the retirement age.
Under the Romney/Ryan plan – Medicare would be insolvent in 2016. Romney would cut benefits by raising the retirement age. Romney’s repeal of Obamacare would mean seniors would continue to pay money out of pocket due to a gap in coverage in the Medicare program. In 2022 – out of pocket expenses for seniors would balloon to $12,500 a year (source). They would turn the Medicare Guarantee into a voucher plan increasing out of pocket expenses every single year by maintaining benefit increases at rates lower than the rate of inflation … thus equaling a tremendous rate cut.
#11 – “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.”
False. Politifact rated the claim that President Obama robbed Medicare of $700 billion “Mostly False” HERE. Even worse – Paul Ryan’s own budget cuts $700 billion out of Medicare but it cuts it from beneficiaries instead of reducing waste, fraud and abuse from medical and insurance companies.
#12 – “A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.”
False. Politifact says the Romney/Ryan plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program could cost an extra $6,000 in ADDITIONAL out of pocket expenses for Seniors is “Mostly True” HERE.
#13 – “<Obama’s term> began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.”
False. First three months Obama was in office – we lost 2.2 million jobs (source). Every single month the country has increased private sector jobs since February 2010.
#14 – “It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”
As we have written HERE - Standard & Poors downgraded American credit specifically because of the Republicans in Congress:
“The majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.”
#15 – “Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer. Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.”
That is true. But as economists have said – there was no other good option other than to borrow money to fund government operations. And that borrowing has resulted not due to huge spending increases under Obama but huge tax cuts that went unpaid for under Obama. In fact – under Obama – taxes are at their lowest rate in modern history (source). And President Bush handed over a $1 trillion deficit to President Obama upon assuming the office.
Paul Krugman talks about Paul Ryan’s plans for the deficit HERE:
So the Ryan budget is a fraud; Mr. Ryan talks loudly about the evils of debt and deficits, but his plan would actually make the deficit bigger even as it inflicted huge pain in the name of deficit reduction. But is his budget really the most fraudulent in American history? Yes, it is.
And Romney’s own adviser doesn’t even know how to explain how Romney’s plan will reduce the deficit (source). As Fareed Zakaria points out – Europeans think America is booming (source), but it is the Republican party that is advocating for European style austerity (source).
How to be a “deficit hawk”. Step 1: Always vote to increase deficit Step 2: Say you want to cut programs for the poor. There is no Step 3.
— Matt O’Brien (@ObsoleteDogma) August 30, 2012
#16 – “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.”
Paul Ryan is referring to the Bowles-Simpson commission. Paul Ryan was on the commission and he voted “NO”; David Brooks explains HERE:
“When that commission came up with its proposal, some conservative Republicans, like Tom Coburn and Judd Gregg, voted yes, but Ryan voted no. This was a devastating blow. If Ryan and the other House Republicans had voted for the Simpson-Bowles proposal, it would have gone to Congress for up-or-down votes, regardless of how President Obama reacted. We would have had national action on debt reduction.”
#17 – “Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems.”
That depends on who you ask. If you think a “good-faith reform” means huge cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and programs for the poorest Americans to pay for tax cuts for millionaires … then it’s a great idea. (source)
#18 – “They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.”
If this is true – why does Paul Ryan’s budget call for another $5 trillion in tax cuts with most of it going to the wealthy and why does his budget not balance until the 2030′s if we must resolve this budget deficit so immediately? Keynesian economics will tell you there is no other solution except to stimulate the economy in bad times and save as much as you can in the good times. America’s problem is that it didn’t save anything in the last decade.
#19 – “With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.”
Paul Ryan’s plan would cut Mitt Romney’s tax returns to less than a 1% effective tax rate (source); that’s his idea of tax fairness.
#20 – “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.”
Paul Ryan is obviously continuing to propagate the lie that Obama said “you didn’t build that” small business. Politifact rated this claim by the Romney campaign and they rated it as “false” HERE. The president did not say “you didn’t build that” small business.
#21 – “We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.”
Somehow – this one page economic plan will create 12 million new jobs. This is Mitt Romney’s ENTIRE economic plan. Nevermind that Moody’s Analytics currently forecasts 12 million new jobs under President Obama’s economic plan (source).
#22 – “In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.”
Focusing on % of GDP is ridiculous because GDP is only loosely associated with the size of government itself. But those “hard limits on the size of government” include moving the costs from government to seniors when they turn Medicare into a voucher plan. As we have written HERE - to be serious about cutting the size of government – the only way to address that is to make some serious cuts to these programs below (and Republicans want to increase spending on Defense):
In 2011 – the United States government spent:
Those 5 areas total $2.45 trillion in spending compared to the $2.3 trillion in revenues the government collected in taxes and other income.
#23 – “Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known.”
American decline like the Bush Economic crisis. Leaving allies to doubt us like when European countries turned their backs on America when we unilaterally attacked Iraq under false pretenses. Acting with conviction for peace like supporting torture and indefinite detention and wanting to attack Syria and Iran unilaterally. America is actually on the upswing compared to many other countries in the developed world. America’s reputation as a force for good is finally wiping off the tarnish of the Bush years. Alas – we are still keeping people in indefinite detention but that’s an issue Paul Ryan supports. Romney wants to open another Guantanamo if given the chance.
#24 – “But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.”
Again. First three months Obama was in office – we lost 2.2 million jobs (source). Every single month the country has increased private sector jobs since February 2010.
#25 – “We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.”
Romney is on record of calling for a constitutional amendment that anyone without 3 year of private business experience (source); Paul Ryan as VP would not qualify for this. As for Romney’s “success” – he has become successful by using offshore tax havens to unlawfully avoid taxes (source)
Mitt Romney made hundreds of millions by stepping on the backs of workers – not helping create good paying jobs for the middle class. If you want to see Romney’s record of “being successful” at Bain Capital – read HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE..
#26 – “He 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. “
As Politifact points out about Romney’s jobs record as Massachusetts Governor HERE:
For 2002 to 2006, the national growth rate was 5.2 percent, while Massachusetts’ rate was just .7 percent.
Romney claims he didn’t raise taxes – he just raised fees over and over and over. And when Tim Russert grills him about the difference between a tax and a fee … it just got brutal. See it for yourself HERE:
A fee on the blind
A fee for the mentally handicapped
A fee for having tuberculosis
A fee on volunteer firefighters and EMT’s
A fee for golfing
A fee for cremating the dead
A fee for prison phone calls
A fee for driving permits
Quadrupling already existing gun fees
A fee for cottages
A fee on ice skaters
A fee for barbers
A fee for hairdressers
A fee on nurses
A fee on pharmacists
A fee on plumbers
A fee on pscyhologists
A fee on Realtors
A fee on home inspectors
A fee on auto repair shops
A fee for divorce
A fee for changing your name
A fee on milk
A fee on funeral directors
#27 – “The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable.”
If you don’t know about Romney’s time as a Bishop in the Mormon church … you should read about the time he told a woman who got pregnant out of wedlock that she must give the child to the church for adoption HERE.
#28 – “We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.”
The vast majority of the Ryan plan will call for huge cuts to programs that hurt the poor. In fact – 90% of entitlements go to seniors, the disabled and the working poor (source) but the Republican party is on a mission to cut taxes for millionaires and cut assistance i.e. entitlements to the welfare crowd.
And as Ezra Klein explains about Mitt Romney’s budget HERE:
Romney is also promising that he will pay for his tax cuts, pay for his defense spending, and reduce total federal spending by more than $6 trillion over the next 10 years. But the only big pot of money left to him is poor-people programs. So, by simple process of elimination, poor-people programs will have to be cut dramatically. There’s no other way to make those numbers work.
Paul Ryan: “We can make the safety net safe again.”The amount of dishonesty and bullshit in this single sentence is breathtaking.
— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) August 30, 2012
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