Sunday, September 2, 2012

The many lies of Beck's "soulmate," Paul Ryan

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The race to the White House was not expected to be a concern of this Review of Glenn Beck's lies, many hypocrisies or reactionary opinions on political economics. That changed the day that Governor Romney selected Paul Ryan, Glenn Beck's "soulmate," to be his running mate. Last Wednesday at the Republican National Convention, Ryan gave his speech demonstrating again how easy it is for him to make statements that vary significantly from provable facts. The following are nine of the deceitful statements made by Congressman Ryan, two examples of Ryan's hypocrisy which are followed by a clip from The Daily Show nailing Ryan for three of those deceitful statements. More posts will follow that will cover more of the lies coming from the top of the Republican ticket, Governor Romney.

Who knowingly votes for practiced liars?

Glenn Beck and Paul Ryan: "soulmates" of dishonesty

The first four lies on this list was compiled by Sally Kohn and published on Fox News' website:
Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.
Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing. 
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. 
Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.
"Elections," Kohn added, "should be about competing based on your record in the past and your vision for the future, not competing to see who can get away with the most lies and distortions without voters noticing or bother to care."

  Sally Kohn headshot-studio lighting.  Juan Cole
Kohn and Cole agree: Congressman Ryan lies

The remaining five of the lies come from Juan Cole as published on Reader Supported News.
Cole wrote, "So here are some new lies he just retailed, along with a reiteration of my earlier refutation of points drawn from his stock speeches, which he put right back in his Convention speech:"
  1. Ryan continues to claim that President Obama said business owners did not build their own businesses. Obama said 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. Ryan's (and the GOP's) talking point in this regard is a typical Karl Rove Big Lie, and among an informed electorate it ought to discredit them.

  2. Ryan depicted Obamacare as virtually a turn to Soviet-style totalitarianism, as incompatible with liberal freedoms for the individual. But the logical conclusion is that Ryan's running mate, Mitt Romney, turned Massachusetts into a Gulag.

  3. Ryan slammed President Obama for not implementing the deficit-cutting measures recommended by the Simpson-Bowles commission. But he himself voted against Simpson-Bowles.

  4. Ryan keeps attacking Prsident Obama's stimulus program now. But in 2002 when then President George W. Bush proposed stimulus spending, Ryan supported it. "What we're trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed," Ryan told MSNBC in 2002. Ryan says that the stimulus had not positive effects, while economists say it saved or created millions of jobs and pulled the US out of a near-Depression. [This is more of another example of hypocrisy than deceitfulness.]

  5. Even more embarrassing, in 2010, Ryan asked for $20 million in stimulus money from Obama for companies in his district, then repeatedly denied requesting stimulus funds. He finally admitted he had done so, but continues to slam the stimulus program as a failure (even though the economy pulled out of a Depression as a result of it). [Again, this is hypocrisy, and it was previously covered here.]

  6. Paul Ryan charges that Barack Obama has 'stolen' $700 billion from medicare for his Obamacare. In fact, these expense reductions do not cut Medicare benefits, and, moreover, Romney and Ryan supported these reductions! The difference is that they would give the savings to the affluent, whereas Obama uses them to cover the presently uninsured.

  7. Ryan continues to push his longstanding plans for a steal-from-the-elderly-and-give-to-the-rich medicare plan, which President Obama warned would cost ordinary recipients over $6000 a year extra. Politifact checked and rated Obama's charge as correct, though they noted that the figures referred to CBO analyses of Ryan's last plan, not his 'new' one, which hasn't been subjected to similar analysis. Ryan certainly recently put forward a plan that would cost ordinary people that much extra.

  8. Ryan neglected to note that under the tax plan he favors, Gov. Mitt Romney would pay less than 1% in annual federal taxes, highlighting Romney's already low rate compared to ordinary Americans (slightly lower than Ryan's own!) and putting the spotlight back where Ryan's appointment was supposed to misdirect it. [This is not a lie, so much as it points to the failed, reactionary policies of the past. There will be more on Republican, reactionary tax proposals in the coming weeks.]

This is how The Daily Show covered just a few of these "convenient truths:"

Glenn Beck has a legion of followers who cannot, or refuse to, detect his dishonesty. They believe what they want to believe, and facts only backfire with them (as they avoid the cognitive dissonance of realizing that someone who claims, over and over and over, to tell the "truth" is, in fact, a professional deceiver, i.e., a "yellow" propagandist). Do not let your friends, neighbors and relatives get taken in by the dishonesty of the Republican ticket this year.

Update, 9/09/2012: It has been the argument of this Review that there are different versions of the truth, multiple truths dependent upon one's values and bias used to assimilate facts, statements, claims, reality. On Sept. 4th, Steven Colbert had Reihan Salam, friend of the host of Up with Chris Hayes, conservative (his bias) columnist and CNN contributor, on as his guest. Salam provides his truths about Ryan's claims in his speech.

Got that? Ryan was "telling the truth." Truth or facts? Unfortunately, both may get lost in the post-truth campaign for the presidency.

Update, 9/25/2012: In a NY Magizine piece entitled "Since When Did Paul Ryan Become a Liar?" by Jonathan Chait, is this:
 The thing about Ryan is that he has always resided in a counter-factual universe. He is a product of the hermetically sealed right-wing subculture. Many of the facts taken for granted by mainstream economists have never penetrated his brain. Ryan burst onto the national scene with a dense, fact-laden attack on the financing of Obama’s health-care bill that was essentially a series of hallucinations, pseudo-facts cooked up and recirculated by conservative apparatchiks who didn’t know what they were talking about ordidn’t care. His big-think speeches reflect the influence of fact-free conservatives and collapse under scrutiny.
They offer two more related stories:
Paul Ryan, the Media and the L-Word
Paul Ryan Bets on the Ignorance of America

That Glenn Beck and "lyin Ryan" are soulmates becomes more clear every day.

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