The Savannah River 1900 – Mitt Romney Has Declared That Sleazy Lies Are a Value

The Savannah River, c1900. While this may look like a painting it is a Photochrom color print. The Savannah River forms most of the border between the states of South Carolina and Georgia. Beautiful picture and from a distance still makes for a beautiful landscape to this day. While it was probably polluted in the early 1900s – dumping raw sewerage in river was pretty common, sadly in 2009 the Savannah River has the fourth-highest toxic discharge in the country.

Cony Island, New York c1910. If one had the free time and a little money this was the place to hang out at the time. I appreciate modern casual attitudes about fashion as much as anyone, but you have to hand it to the era for having a sense of style. Like mall watchers today, one of the biggest reason to be there was to people watch and to be seen.

Hand in hand with the Republican Party and conservative movement to the extreme Right has been its contempt for the truth. Since the conservative mind is perfectly capable of the most bizarre urban myths, from non-existent WMD as a patriotic reason to die, to the UN taking over the country, to believing that real rape does not get women pregnant, no doubt they have little problem rationalizing the increase in lies. Occasionally, so occasionally that it becomes news worthy, one of them will let some truth slip out – Republican Gov. Brownback admits Romney welfare ads are false.  I’m sure that Romney said something during his convention speech that had some truth in it, much like an apple pie has a pinch of cinnamon. That is not the way it is supposed to work. Romney made a pie out of cinnamon with a pinch of apple thrown in. The last I heard truth is a value. Though certainly since Saint Reagan’s welfare queen lie, or Nixon’s I am not a crook assertion, conservatives have been willing to throw most of what Americans consider values under the bus for the cause of the right-wing agenda. I’m going to list the three links and take a lie from each. Some fact checkers found more lis than others and some did a better job of explaining them: WaPO – Fact checking Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech at the GOP convention. ABC News – Fact Check: Mitt Romney’s Speech at RNC and CBS - Fact check: Mitt Romney’s convention speech

“And unlike the president, I have a plan to create 12 million new jobs.” (Romney)

This sounds like a pretty bold statement, especially considering that only two presidents — Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — created more than 12 million jobs. Romney, in fact, says he can reach this same goal, in just four years, though the policy paper issued by his campaign contains few details. It is mostly a collection of policy assertions, such as reducing debt, overhauling the tax code, fostering free trade and so forth.

But, in fact, the number is even less impressive than it sounds. This pledge amounts to an average of 250,000 jobs a month, a far cry from the 500,000 jobs a month that Romney once claimed would be created in a “normal recovery.” In recent months, the economy has averaged about 150,000 jobs a month.

The Congressional Budget Office is required to consider the effects of the so-called “fiscal cliff” if a year-end budget deal is not reached, which many experts believe would push the country into a recession. But even with that caveat, the nonpartisan agency assumes 9.6 million jobs will be created between 2013 and 2017. (This is a revision downward; CBO had estimated 11 million in January.)

But Moody’s Analytics, in an August forecast, predicts 12 million jobs will be created by 2016, no matter who is president. And Macroeconomic Advisors in April also predicted a gain of 12.3 million jobs.

In other words, this is a fairly safe bet by Romney, even if he has a somewhat fuzzy plan for action. We have often noted that presidents are often at the mercy — or are the beneficiary — of broad economic trends, and Romney’s pledge appears to be an effort to take advantage of that.

As lies and conservative cleverness goes, this was a clever less than truthy statement. If elected president and the economy does not have a mini-recession, he can claim credit for jobs that would have been created if the Obama recovery continues.

‘His $716 billion cut to Medicare to finance Obamacare will both hurt today’s seniors, and depress innovation.’

The now-famous $716 billion is not a “cut” to Medicare, in the sense that it does not take from the “trust fund” or reduce the amount of money available to beneficiaries. Rather, the Obama plan, like Paul Ryan’s, puts caps on the amount the government will pay to health-care providers. And while some of those savings, which were codified in The Affordable Care Act, have been counted by the White House against the new costs incurred by health-care overhaul, there is no real connection; there are no dollar bills once marked “Medicare” that have been scrubbed clean and shifted to cover expenses under the Obama health care law.

This is a threefer lie. It lies about how Romney’s plan would gut Medicare and it lies about the fact that Paul Ryan’s plan to gut Medicare had cuts that Republicans in the House actually passed. The bill had no chance of being passed by the Senate or of President Obama signing it into law, but conservatives are happy to waste tax payer dollars on purely symbolic votes.

“His trillion-dollar cuts to our military will eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs, and also put our security at greater risk.”

This claim is tied to the fact that the defense budget is facing $500 billion in cuts at the end of the year. As part of an agreement between Congressional Republicans and Democrats, the cuts are set to go into effect (along with roughly equal cuts to domestic programs) in January – unless lawmakers can agree on an alternate way to cut spending. It is not correct to call those “his” cuts, in reference to the president.

This was part of the infamous debt ceiling hostage deal. Republicans really blew that one. They could have gotten another trillion in spending cuts in exchange for raising a little revenue from taxes on millionaires. Republicans decided to look out for millionaires. Now that the conditions of their agreement are coming due, they’re screaming bloody murder that it’s all President Obama’s fault. When I was growing up we considering taking responsibility for our actions a value. Conservatives seemed to have thrown that in the sink and ground it up in the disposal along with a few other old American values.

Paul Krugman dived into Paul Ryan’s Medicare lies again. I think many of us are particularly concerned, angry, disappointed or whatever combination because the social safety net for seniors and the disabled are so important. It is not, for me at least, a way to score easy point, it is about the deep moral betrayal of America’s seniors and those soon to be senior citizens, by the Republican Party, The Medicare Killers

Paul Ryan’s speech Wednesday night may have accomplished one good thing: It finally may have dispelled the myth that he is a Serious, Honest Conservative. Indeed, Mr. Ryan’s brazen dishonesty left even his critics breathless.

Some of his fibs were trivial but telling, like his suggestion that President Obama is responsible for a closed auto plant in his hometown, even though the plant closed before Mr. Obama took office. Others were infuriating, like his sanctimonious declaration that “the truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” This from a man proposing savage cuts in Medicaid, which would cause tens of millions of vulnerable Americans to lose health coverage.

And Mr. Ryan — who has proposed $4.3 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, versus only about $1.7 trillion in specific spending cuts — is still posing as a deficit hawk.

But Mr. Ryan’s big lie — and, yes, it deserves that designation — was his claim that “a Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare.” Actually, it would kill the program.

Before I get there, let me just mention that Mr. Ryan has now gone all-in on the party line that the president’s plan to trim Medicare expenses by around $700 billion over the next decade — savings achieved by paying less to insurance companies and hospitals, not by reducing benefits — is a terrible, terrible thing. Yet, just a few days ago, Mr. Ryan was still touting his own budget plan, which included those very same savings.

But back to the big lie. The Republican Party is now firmly committed to replacing Medicare with what we might call Vouchercare. The government would no longer pay your major medical bills; instead, it would give you a voucher that could be applied to the purchase of private insurance. And, if the voucher proved insufficient to buy decent coverage, hey, that would be your problem.

As I mentioned in a post last year, any attacks on Medicare are also a backdoor attack on Social Security. If seniors and the severely disabled must bear a much larger share of their medical expenses they have no new source of income to turn to ( in most cases). So extra expenses will have to be paid out of Social Security. Conservatives have framed this – and it is echoed in every conservative site tha takes comments and by trolls in other places, that we must get Medicare cost under control – and of course the only way to do that is gut it. On the contra, a combination of increased revenue and while I don’t like it, some means testing for high income earners, would put Medicare on track. Medicare is the single greatest downward pressure on health care cost – costing about 14% less than other health care plans. The health care business has very little incentive to save money or offer discounts. Since 2001, employer-sponsored health coverage for family premiums have increased by 113%. The national rate of inflation has been around 1.5 to 2 percent.

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