From Crooks and Liars
- President Obama Cut Taxes for Almost All Working Americans
- Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt
- George W. Bush Doubled the National Debt
- Reagan Raised Debt Ceiling 17 Times, Bush Seven
- Tax Cuts Don't Pay for Themselves
- Almost All Working Americans Pay Taxes
- The GOP's "Job Creators" Don't Create Jobs
- Low Capital Gains Taxes Fuel Income Inequality...
- ...But Not Investment
- The Estate Tax Has Virtually No Impact on Family Farms and Businesses
- Income Inequality Has Reached an 80 Year High...
- ...While the Federal Tax Burden Has Hit a 60 Year Low
- Romney-Ryan Plan Another Massive Tax Cut Windfall for the Wealthy
- Romney, Ryan Won't Say Which of the $1 Trillion in Tax Breaks GOP Will End
- Romney-Ryan Will Add More Debt Than President Obama
From: Common Dreams
Romney World’s: Freedom from Fact
Perhaps it was inevitable when you combine the Republican “do-anything-to-win” strategies, honed from the days of Richard Nixon, with the Right’s vast media machine, built over the past several decades, that America would have a campaign like the one waged by Mitt Romney and a GOP convention like the one just completed in Tampa.
In a speech to the 1988 Republican National Convention, President Ronald Reagan blundered in quoting John Adams’s famous remark that “facts are stubborn things,” except that it came out of Reagan’s mouth as “facts are stupid things.” Reagan’s mangled quote would have fit nicely at the GOP convention 24 years later.
Today’s Republicans appear to have decided that facts are also irrelevant things. While it’s true that all campaigns spin the truth somewhat and pounce on clumsy remarks from rivals, the Romney campaign has not only ventured outside the traditional boundaries but has set up a permanent settlement there.
The GOP convention had the feel of a cult meeting in which everyone agrees on the same false premises. Speaker after speaker reprised President Barack Obama’s out-of-context quote – “you didn’t build that” – accompanied by endless Republican signage and t-shirts. Everyone with a brain knew that Obama’s “that” wasn’t a reference to a person’s business but to the roads, bridges and infrastructure – indeed, the American system of public-private cooperation dating back to the Founding – that help businesses succeed.
But the speakers and the delegates had to act as if they believed the lie that has become a centerpiece of Mitt Romney’s campaign, that Obama meant that no businessman actually built a business. Similarly, everyone had to believe that Obama had eliminated the work requirements in welfare reform though they also had to know that his administration had simply responded to a bipartisan appeal from state governors to give them greater flexibility in implementing the work-requirement law.
Indeed, looking in at the Republican convention was like peering into a bizarre alternate reality where all the people accept lies as truth. Indeed, acceptance of the fabrications seemed something of a prerequisite to be in the cult. Indeed, anyone who would dare to point out the “you-didn’t-build-that” distortion or expose the lie about gutting welfare reform would have been identified as a heretic.
So, speaker after speaker repeated the lies and delegate upon delegate cheered the lies. There was almost a pride and defiance in the lying and the cheering, as if the Republicans were in a full-throated rebellion against what one of George W. Bush’s aide’s once derided as the “reality-based community.”
From: Common Dreams
Romney-Ryan: 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.
Moreover, the vouchers almost certainly would be inadequate; their value would be set by a formula taking no account of likely increases in health care costs.
Why would anyone think that this was a good idea? The G.O.P. platform says that it “will empower millions of seniors to control their personal health care decisions.” Indeed. Because those of us too young for Medicare just feel so personally empowered, you know, when dealing with insurance companies.
Still, wouldn’t private insurers reduce costs through the magic of the marketplace? No. All, and I mean all, the evidence says that public systems like Medicare and Medicaid, which have less bureaucracy than private insurers (if you can’t believe this, you’ve never had to deal with an insurance company) and greater bargaining power, are better than the private sector at controlling costs.
I know this flies in the face of free-market dogma, but it’s just a fact. You can see this fact in the history of Medicare Advantage, which is run through private insurers and has consistently had higher costs than traditional Medicare. You can see it from comparisons between Medicaid and private insurance: Medicaid costs much less. And you can see it in international comparisons: The United States has the most privatized health system in the advanced world and, by far, the highest health costs.
So Vouchercare would mean higher costs and lower benefits for seniors. Over time, the Republican plan wouldn’t just end Medicare as we know it, it would kill the thing Medicare is supposed to provide: universal access to essential care. Seniors who couldn’t afford to top up their vouchers with a lot of additional money would just be out of luck.
Still, the G.O.P. promises to maintain Medicare as we know it for those currently over 55. Should everyone born before 1957 feel safe? Again, no.
For one thing, repeal of Obamacare would cause older Americans to lose a number of significant benefits that the law provides, including the way it closes the “doughnut hole” in drug coverage and the way it protects early retirees.
Beyond that, the promise of unchanged benefits for Americans of a certain age just isn’t credible. Think about the political dynamics that would arise once someone born in 1956 still received full Medicare while someone born in 1959 couldn’t afford decent coverage. Do you really think that would be a stable situation? For sure, it would unleash political warfare between the cohorts — and the odds are high that older cohorts would soon find their alleged guarantees snatched away.
The question now is whether voters will understand what’s really going on (which depends to a large extent on whether the news media do their jobs). Mr. Ryan and his party are betting that they can bluster their way through this, pretending that they are the real defenders of Medicare even as they work to kill it. Will they get away with it?
From the Washington Post
"A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent."
Go over to the Washington Post and read the whole article