GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan took to the stage of the Republican National Convention last night to blast Barack Obama and promote the presidency of Mitt Romney. (Here's a transcript of that speech.)
But in doing so, Ryan repeatedly distorted the truth and misled Americans. Here's a roundup of the top five lies in his speech:
- Ryan And Romney Will Protect Medicare: "A Romney-Ryan Administration will protect and strengthen Medicare for my mom's generation, for my generation and for my kids and yours." Why it's a lie: Ryan's infamous plan ends Medicare by handing it over to the insurance companies. The Center for American Progress estimates that future seniors would pay $60,000 more for their healthcare under the Romney-Ryan plan.
- Obama Is To Blame For The Closure Of A GM Plant In Ryan's District: "At that plant [in Janesville], candidate Obama said, 'I believe that if our government is there to support you, this plant will be here for another 100 years.' That's what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn't last another year." Why it's a lie: Talking Points Memo's Benjy Sarlin notes that the plant actually "closed in 2008, under President George W. Bush." Here's an excerpt from a letter Ryan wrote in June of 2008 protesting the closure of the plant.
- Obama Cut Medicare By $716 Billion: "They needed hundreds of billions [of dollars to fund the Affordable Care Act]. So they just took it all away from Medicare, $716 billion funneled out of Medicare by President Obama." Why it's a lie: The Affordable Care Act cut Medicare waste -- including useless payments to private insurance companies to administer the program under Medicare Advantage. Medicare benefits "will not change," notes Time Magazine's Kate Pickert. (It is important to remember, however, that Obama did make an successful and regressive offer to Republicans to raise the Medicare age in the summer of 2011.)
- The Stimulus Was Wasted Money: "What did taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn't just spent and wasted, it was borrowed, spent and wasted." Why it's a lie: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the stimulus added up to 3.3 million jobs to the economy -- hardly a waste. The New York Times's Paul Krugman notes that the biggest issue is that if anything, the "stimulus...wasn’t big enough." But the top reason Ryan should know what he said was a lie is because he himself sought stimulus funds as a congressman.
- Ryan And Romney's Economic Plan Would Create Jobs: "We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years." Why it's a lie: A Center for American Progress analysis of the plans offered by Romney and Ryan find that they'd actually cost jobs: "Romney’s plan would kill 360,000 jobs in 2013 alone. The even more radical Ryan plan, which Gov. Romney embraces, would kill more than 5 million jobs in the first two years of a Romney-Ryan administration."
From his absurd claim that Obama is responsible for the closure of a GM plant that took place before he even took office to his statement that his plan to end Medicare would actually protect it, Ryan seems intent on misleading Americans to win their votes -- not having an honest debate.