Listen to a campaign speech by either Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan, and over 43 percent of what they say will be "mostly false" or worse. Imagine that: Come November, tens of millions of people will cast a vote to make Romney-Ryan one of the most powerful duos in the world -- and nearly half that decision will be based on shameless lies.
Fortunately, we don't have to sit back and take it. A few months ago, I uncovered five glaring lies consistently being uttered by Gov. Romney. Now, with Ryan now in the mix, it's time to bring forward lies six through 10.
Lie #6: The Affordable Care Act cuts Medicare by $716 billion.
"There's only one president that I know of in history that robbed Medicare, $716 billion to pay for a new risky program of his own that we call Obamacare."
- Mitt Romney on "60 Minutes"
Apparently Romney is not so prepared to handle attacks on his partner's contentious budget plan, the Path to Prosperity, which turns Medicare into a voucher system, because his only defense is that President Obama, too, plans to cut Medicare. The only problem, however, is that Romney, along with Ryan and the entire Republican platform, completely made that up.
Politifact has labeled this claim "mostly false" countless times, still putting no halt to the attacks. The Affordable Care Act does find around $500 billion in savings to Medicare (not cuts), mainly through reducing payments to hospitals and insurance companies. On the other hand, Ryan's plan, which Romney has supported multiple times, gives seniors a set amount to help purchase a private insurance plan, regardless of whether or not it's enough. Both Ryan and President Obama find ways to bring down Medicare costs, but only the former's plan reduces coverage to seniors.
Lie #7: President Obama's stimulus plan didn't work.
"After three years, the only thing President Obama's stimulus has produced is a series of broken promises."
- Headline on a Mitt Romney statement
You've probably heard this one before -- and quite frankly, anyone paying attention should know better. First off, in terms of promises, President Obama never made any, despite claims that he promised an unemployment rate below eight percent. Regardless, a simple look at the numbers shows that both GDP and unemployment significantly improved directly after the stimulus was passed in early 2009. Anyone who says otherwise is either blind to reality or simply disingenuous. Which brings us to our next point...
Lie #8: Ryan never sought stimulus money.
"No, I never asked for stimulus [money]."
- Paul Ryan
Let's make this simple: The next time you hear Ryan talk down to President Obama's stimulus plan -- which will likely occur the next time you hear him speak -- keep in mind that he begged to reap some of its benefits for his own state.
According to the Washington Post, Ryan's signature appears on letters sent to the Energy Department and Labor Department asking for millions of dollars in stimulus money for two companies in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Ryan is trying to deceive his constituents by touting his anti-government record while simultaneously securing millions for them in government grants.
Lie #9: Romney's budget is a serious plan for deficit reduction.
In the words of David Firestone of the New York Times, Romney's budget "defies the rules of math." Ryan and Romney both want to keep in place the Bush-era tax cuts, and then cut them much further. But that, they claim, won't raise the deficit by a dime, because the plan will be made "revenue neutral" through closing tax loopholes. The only problem is that they don't name what loopholes they will close.
The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan group of tax experts, estimates that Romney's plan, which differs only slightly from the Ryan plan, would cost over $4.5 trillion over the next decade. What about the closing of loopholes to offset that cost? According to the Tax Policy Center, there aren't even enough loopholes in the tax code to balance the cuts.
Lie #10: President Obama plans to gut welfare reform.
"Under Obama's plan, you wouldn't have to work and wouldn't have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check"
- Mitt Romney ad
In 1996, President Clinton signed landmark welfare reform which, among other things, put in place a work requirement for those receiving welfare -- a provision revered by conservatives. On July 12, the Department of Health and Human Services released a memo, which outlined a plan to give states more flexibility in determining work requirements. According to Romney, that amounts to giving away welfare to individuals who aren't even seeking work, regardless of the fact that the HHS memo says that only proposals that "improve employment outcomes" will be considered. In short, President Obama's plan only attempts to strengthen the work requirement -- it hardly aims to do away with it.
That's now 10 lies coming from Romney and his partner. As of now, they seem more like novelists than candidates for the nation's highest offices.
Follow Jess Coleman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@jesskcoleman