Ryan Extends Meaning of Vice to Include Lying

Merriam-Webster defines vice as "a moral fault or failing." Lying, presumably qualifies, and in that sense GOP VP candidate Paul Ryan showed himself ready for the job in his speech to the Republican convention on August 29. Here we debunk seven lies worthy of the label.

... the planners in Washington still didn't have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. 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.

The House GOP budget, engineered by Ryan himself, includes the same $716 billion.

As ThinkProgress reported, "... maintaining these cuts will extend the solvency of Medicare’s trust fund.... That’s because the cuts do not target seniors’ benefits, but rather the payment rates to health care providers. Overpayments to private insurers in Medicare Advantage are trimmed, overall provider payments are reformed to encourage efficiency, and reimbursements are tied to improved economic performance."

My home state voted for President Obama. 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.

The plant closed in 2008 during the Bush administration.

[The Obama presidency] began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.s

While the S&P downgrade announcement called both parties to task, it specifically cited the the Republican tactic of using the threat of default as a "bargaining chip".

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.

The stimulus bill provided a tax cut for most Americans and created 2-3 million jobs.

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.

Ryan was a member of the Simpson-Bowles commission, and voted against its recommendations, preventing a Congressional vote.

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt "unpatriotic" – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.... So here we are, $16 trillion in debt....

Ryan himself voted for the programs widely acknowledged to have created most of the debt: two wars, tax cuts, new Medicare benefits, and TARP.

And finally, what Salon's Joan Walsh calls "the central lie of the GOP convention":

... [I]t sure doesn't help [small business owners] to hear from their president that government gets the credit.

As ABC News pointed out last month, Obama's point was that "business people need government infrastructure in order to succeed".


In A not-very-truthful speech in a not-very-truthful campaign the Washington Post's Ezra Klein concludes:

... Ryan’s claims weren’t even arguably true. You simply can’t say the president hasn’t released a deficit reduction plan. The plan is right here. You simply can’t say the president broke his promise to keep your GM plant open. The decision to close the plant was made before he entered office — and, by the way, the guy at the top of your ticket opposed the auto bailout. You simply can’t argue that the Affordable Care Act was a government takeover of the health-care system. My doctor still works for Kaiser Permanente, a private company that the government does not own. You simply can’t say that Obama, who was willing to follow historical precedent and sign a clean debt ceiling increase, caused the S&P downgrade, when S&P clearly said it was due to congressional gridlock and even wrote that it was partly due to the GOP’s dogmatic position on taxes.

Oh, and here’s one we missed: “You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business. But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.” The stimulus — which was the administration’s major job creation package — came before health care. It was their first priority. That’s simply inarguable.