Election 2012

Paul Ryan + Television = Lies, Lies, Lies

Not unlike his convention address, Paul Ryan was utterly divorced from the truth last night.


Ryan said Obama’s proposal to let tax rates rise for high-income individuals would “tax about 53 percent of small-business income.” Wrong. Ryan is counting giant hedge funds and thousands of other multimillion-dollar enterprises as “small” businesses.

Ryan was wrong when he said a rise in the jobless rate in Biden’s hometown was “how it’s going all around America.” The rate nationally has sunk back to where it was when Obama took office. And in Ryan’s hometown, it’s more than 4 percentage points lower that it was at the start of Obama’s term.

Ryan claimed the Obama administration spent stimulus money on “electric cars in Finland.” Not true. Although the cars have been assembled in Finland, the money went for work in the United States.

Ryan misquoted a Medicare official as saying “one out of six hospitals and nursing homes are going to go out of business” as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Not quite. The official said that many could become “unprofitable,” and the the situation could be monitored to head off bad outcomes.

Ryan claimed that the ACA contains “taxpayer funding” of abortion. In fact the law provides no direct funding of abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the mother’s life. And it’s a matter of interpretation whether subsidized private insurance would amount to indirect federal support for abortion.

Ryan was off base when he said of a cost-saving panel created by the Affordable Care Act, “not one of them even has to have medical training.” Actually, the board must include physicians and other health care professionals among its members.

Ryan at one point ground out a collection of shopworn misstatements about the health care law that we’ve had to rebut time and again, claiming “20 million people … are projected to lose their health insurance” (not true), that premiums have gone up $3,000 (no, they haven’t) and that 7.4 million seniors “are going to lose” Medicare Advantage plans (maybe, but they’d still be covered by traditional Medicare).

Additionally, Ryan said that the Obama administration made the economy worse. Do I need to seriously do this again? Job creation is up. Inflation is down. Business profits are up. Consumer debt is down. American auto sales are up. Middle class taxes are down. Prescription drug savings are up. The deficit is down. The stock market is up. Unemployment is down. Consumer confidence is up. Spending growth is down. GDP is up. Home values are up. Etc. Etc.

  • Brutlyhonest
  • mike

    But the problem is he makes it sound good, as if he knows what he’s talking about. Example: the San Jose Mercury News published 5 viewer reactions in today’s paper; 2 of those came from 19-yr-old students. Each was so impressed w/ Ryan’s grasp of the issues and the #s… how do you break through that?

    • bphoon

      Hammer back with the truth.

      Any good con man will appear to have a “grasp of the issues.” They target naive people (ie, 19-year-olds who haven’t been around long enough to know any better) since they’re such easy marks. Like any predator, an accomplished flim-flam artist (how accomplished Ryan actually is is an open question) goes for the weakest of the herd.

      Un- or under-educated, un- or under-informed, suspicious and superstitious rubes who are political neophytes: perfect GOP targets.

    • muselet

      Point the political naifs toward the internets: Bob, Kevin Drum, Ezra Klein, Steve Benen, Ed Kilgore, Dave Weigel and others do sharp, readable analysis complete with real links to real news sites.