When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
- Proverbs 29:9
When a wise man has a controversy with a foolish man, The foolish man either rages or laughs, and there is no rest.
- Proverbs 29:9
ThinkProgress goes on with point 5:
5. “$716 billion, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.” Ryan’s favorite lie is a deliberate distortion of Obamacare’s savings from eliminating inefficiencies. Furthermore, Ryan’s own plan for Medicare includes these savings. Romney has vowed to restore these cuts, which would render the trust fund insolvent 8 years ahead of schedule.
Oh, this is fun. Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare to pay for itself.
From there, ThinkProgress goes into fantasyland. Obamacare’s savings are projected savings. They don’t exist. They’re supposed savings that will happen in the future.
That’s like saying I’m going to beat Michael Phelps at swimming in 2016 because I decided to do a lap in the pool today. My projected athletic potential is unrivaled! I’ll do powerlifting and do a 100-meter dash faster than a Suzuki Hayabusa while I’m at it, and then be hanging out with Michelle Jenneke in the Olympic village.
Okay, now that you’ve “right-clicked, saved as” and moved on, I’ll reiterate. It doesn’t matter what promises you make if you don’t keep them. See point 3. It doesn’t matter what projected savings you have when those savings don’t materialize. You can’t say “I’m gonna, I’m gonna”, especially when you have a track record for “I didn’t, I didn’t”, or worse yet “it’s not my fault, it’s his fault”.
And ThinkProgress finishes up with point 6:
6. “The greatest of all responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak.” Ryan closed the speech with an invocation of social responsibility, saying, “The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.” However, numerous clergy members have condemned Ryan’s budget plan as “cruel,” and “an immoral disaster” because of its devastating cuts in social programs the poor and sick rely on. Meanwhile, Ryan would give ultra-rich individuals and corporations $3 trillion in tax breaks.
They really are clueless. This is actually a bit of actual Republican code (hint: it doesn’t have anything to do with racism). It’s a subtle way to say to pro-lifers that there’s a interest in protecting the unborn, who are by their very nature, weak. It’s a point to say that things like the Born Alive Act would be supported. Interesting that ThinkProgress only thinks of the poor and sick adults, who can work their way out of their weakness, rather than newborns who are by their very nature without even legal protections. But regardless, their opinion here is also flawed.
Duties to one’s fellow man are supposed to be those that we assume of our own volition. If you choose to help your neighbor, you do so out of your own concern. If you do so because the government mandates it, you get people who are disinterested in their fellow man because “the system” is supposed to take care of them. This is why every year, often around Christmas, when a news story comes out saying that conservatives give huge amounts to charity and leftist-statists are skinflint scrooges, leftists are surprised.
“You find that people who believe it’s the government’s job to make incomes more equal, are far less likely to give their money away.” Compassion, however, should be rooted in personal engagement; liberals fail to match conservatives in this area.
The “devastating cuts in social programs” are good things. It helps people to help themselves. Thomas Sowell, among others, has written at length about how the welfare state has caused a decline in those it’s supposed to help. Sowell specifically cites the example of how the black family has been destroyed by programs mean to “help”, and how individual black Americans find themselves figuratively enslaved to a system that makes them into perpetual wards of the state. Same applies to anyone else whose individuality and individual accomplishment is subsumed into identity politics along class lines which lead them to believe they have a station in life that they cannot escape.
ThinkProgress’s accusation of a lie is based on their own opinion, an opinion that is disproven by facts, history, and the conditions of those who are subject to government “help”.
Furthermore, tax hikes and increased spending on those who are unfortunate does nothing but harm those who are actually working to improve their lives. If you’re working at $15/hour and you lose another $1/hour to pay for someone else to sit and not work, your life is harmed by being forced by goverment to fund a government bureaucrat to redistribute your hard-earned income. If you’re working at $15/hour and your boss, who’s an evil rich robber baron who’s both evil and rich and spends his leisure time racing flying machines with his dog Muttley, has his taxes raised, that means he may not be able to pay you as much.
That means he may not be able to employ you at Evilco. With workman’s comp and Obamacare and social security and FICA and a dozen other impositions, he may not be able to afford to pay for your labor.
And then you’re out of work. This gives the government bureaucrat someone else to distribute wealth to, but it hurts you. We’ve covered this ground before many times, but it’s worth looking at the second and third-order effects of taxes and “social programs” that are nothing of the sort. $3 trillion in cuts to employers and a climate of stability means businesses will expand.
So out of 6 contentions of lies, ThinkProgress is wrong on all of them. Except for point 3, if you’re somebody who cheats on their wife and says “but I said I’d be faithful, I didn’t promise I wouldn’t cheat! That’s not saying I wouldn’t cheat! I didn’t promise that!” Basically what you’d expect from someplace called “ThinkProgress”.
Point 3 from ThinkProgress:
3. Shuttered General Motors plant is “one more broken promise.” Ryan described a GM plant that closed down in his hometown, Janesville, Wisconsin, and blamed Obama for breaking his promise to keep the plant open when he visited during his campaign. But Obama never made that promise, and the plant shut down in December 2008, before Obama even took office.
From the source they cite:
Obama did speak at the plant in February 2008, and suggested that a government partnership with automakers could keep the plant open, but made no promises as Ryan suggested.
“I believe if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years,” Obama said.
He didn’t use the words “I promise”.
He ran on a campaign of government support for industries that he chose to bail out – like GM, which he did bail out. But it is an interesting choice of words.
Clearly, since he didn’t say “I promise”, that’s not a promise.
Score one for ThinkProgress, if you’re a lawyer. These are the kind of people who’d find djinn, say something stupid, and then say “but I didn’t wish for that!”
4. Obama “did exactly nothing” on Bowles-Simpson. Ryan said, “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.” In fact, Ryan was instrumental in sabotaging the commission, leading the other House Republicans in voting against the plan.
Read ThinkProgress’s point. They start with Ryan’s statement about Obama, then talk about what Ryan did. They don’t talk about what Obama didn’t do.
There were a lot of reasons that Simpson-Bowles was flawed, and a lot of reasons for fiscally-minded Republicans, as well as entitlement-minded Democrats, to avoid it. Obama ditched it. What Ryan did doesn’t make the statement untrue.
First off, the full RNC speech here:
It’s a good speech, though I’d like to see Fast and Furious mentioned every other word, but that’s me.
While noting that the self-admitted biased NYT ran with an intentionally negative picture of Paul Ryan on their cover, I stumbled across a lot of “fact-check” folks saying Ryan’s speech was full of lies – which would be interesting if it were true.
From “Think Progress“:
1. “A downgraded America.” Ryan blamed the president for the nation’s credit downgrade in August 2011 after Republicans threatened to allow the government to default on its debt for the first time in history. But the ratings agency explicitly blamed “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”
Well, that’s interesting. Let’s go to the source, another quote by Think Progress:
Among the reasons cited will be “Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal.”
Hey, now that’s not the source, that’s ABC being reported by ThinkProgress. Hell, I’m just a little guy in the blogosphere here and I don’t quote my own opinions to prove myself right – though it would be fun and easy.
Standard and Poors had this to say:
We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.
Kinda different, huh? What that says, specifically, is that the issue is containing the growth in public spending or raising revenues. The controversy over raising the debt ceiling is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is raising the debt ceiling is spending more money that you don’t have, and using it on entitlements that are out of control. Standard and Poors can see that the Obama administration has been kicking the can down the road.
Despite this year's wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.
So the problem, again, is not “the Republicans”. The problem is spending. The only reason revenues are an issue is because more money is needed for spending. The only reason more money is needed for spending is because of out-of-control entitlements. On top of that, increasing taxes leads to people who stop generating revenue. Raise taxes and people leave the country. The Austrian explained that quite well. Eastern states have seen it when millionaires abandon their states, or simply don’t move there. But that’s a whole other economics debate.
Go back to their #1 point, “the ratings agency explicitly blamed” turns into “among the reasons cited” turns into the two large S&P quotes from above, both of which cite spending as the problem. Revenues can alleviate the problem, and debt can kick the can down the road, but nothing solves the deficit crisis without addressing those issues. After four years of the Obama administration, and 2 years of total Democrat control of Congress, Senate, and White House from 2008-2010, the debt and spending was astronomically absurd, and 2010-2012 years left Republicans trying to … wait for it… fix the mess they inherited. “Think Progress”‘s complaint is clearly bogus in light of how the debt that Obama was supposed to take responsibility for (yes, Bush’s fault, and the CRA, and other things), and then Obama spent more money on top of it. Obama made the financial crisis worse with his out of control spending. Obama did nothing to fix it. Ryan is right.
Next point from ThinkProgress:
2. “More debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined.” Romney has made the almost identical claim, that Obama has amassed more debt “as almost all of the other presidents combined.” But their math doesn’t add up: when Obama took office, the national debt was $10.626 trillion. It has increased to slightly above $15 trillion.
Think Progress people must just be stupid. That’s got to be it. Obama caused $5 trillion in debt.
(CBS News) The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.
The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.
The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush’s last day in office, which coincided with President Obama’s first day.
It is more debt than any other president before him. It’s twice as fast as Bush. That’s the case, and that CBS story is from March 2012. Since Obama spends about $1 trillion per year, he should be up another $500 billion.
Before Bush, in 2000, the debt was $5,674 billion. Or $5.6 trillion. So from George Washington until the end of Bill Clinton, it’s $5.6 trillion. From Bush beginning to end, it’s $5.6 to $10.6 trillion, over 8 years. From Obama 2008 to Obama 2012, it’s $10.6 to $15.56 or $15.9, depending on your source. So around $5 trillion in 4 years. Yeah, that claim fits, and the math adds up correctly. The NY Times story from 2011 that Think Progress cites as an example of how they’re right doesn’t jive with the .gov figures. The government figures for debt outpace the NYT story by about $3 trillion… as of 2010. So the NYT and ThinkProgress are proving the saying that figures lie, liars figure.
Ryan is right.
They’ve got 4 more “biggest lies”, but since the first two have been shown to be bogus, I’m not expecting much.
There’s something to be said for composition.
Peter Roskam, the Illinois Republican congressman and deputy majority whip, said the front page makes Ryan look like the “son of Satan.”
The picture is taken to make him look small, weak, young, dominated by mysterious shadowy figures with a red background. It’s made to look sinister, with Ryan being the puppet, the pawn, the figurehead, altogether weak and subject to the domination of the diabolical suits behind him in the darkness. It’s taken from an angle that shows weakness, that cuts off his body, destroying any poise or presence he has. It’s a masterful piece of propaganda.
Contrast to this:
It’s a picture that puts the current media darling in a very, very positive light. The picture is taken from below, from a position that makes him superior, larger than life. It gives him a big, powerful, commanding presence. For those who see through the chicanery, it makes the viewer see it as a media hack-job that’s unknowing self-parody. They think he’s a wizard.
Obama with halos as the Chicago Jesus isn’t new. But it’s worth it to show the contrast.
Or even “Obama Reflecting”… otherwise known as “Obama counting ceiling tiles”. It’s still not a bad picture, it shows thought, dignity, and the stresses of the presidency upon the wisest, greatest man who ever lived in the history of ever.
And let’s not forget Obama the gay Jesus:
Now, scroll back up and take a look at the picture of Paul Ryan. He delivered this speech last night, and it was a good, solid speech that made a lot of good points. His presence is nothing like the picture the NYT chose to run, but they’re choosing to make it that way.
It would be like running this picture for every mention of Obama, a photo met with derision and hatred by the mainstream media:
Photography and composition says a lot, and it says a lot about what the media chooses to run with, doesn’t it?