Paul Ryan’s speech before the Republican convention served its purpose, firing up the Tea Party, conservative base by speaking in their language.
When making such a speech, the facts sometimes get in the way of a good speech. So Paul Ryan didn’t let that stop him. For example, the claim that President Obama was responsible for the closing of the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin.
“A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.’ That’s what he said in 2008,” Ryan said.
Then he told the lie, “Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.”
The problem is that the plant closed prior to President Obama becoming President of the United States. The plant halted production in December 2008 and well before he enacted a more robust auto industry bailout that rescued GM and Chrysler and allowed the majority of their plants to stay in operation.
To show the disingenuous nature of that assertion, Paul Ryan himself voted for an auto bailout under President George W. Bush that was designed to help GM and specifically the plant in Janesville. However, Ryan was a vocal critic of the one pushed through by Obama that has been widely credited with revitalizing both GM and Chrysler.
The next lie told by Paul Ryan: Medicare.
Ryan said during the convention speech that “The biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.”
He continued the line about Medicare by saying, “You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money.”
“They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama,” Paul Ryan told the Republican conventioneers. “An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”
Paul Ryan proposed the exact same changes to Medicare as Obama actually implemented and accomplished. The changes to Medicare does not affect Medicare recipients directly, but rather reduce payments to hospitals, health insurance plans and other service providers. It eliminates a program called Medicare Advantage whose costs have gotten out of control and which will be covered by traditional Medicare at a lesser cost.
Not once during his speech did Paul Ryan explain the benefits of Obamacare and for very good reasons.
The benefits are extremely popular. Benefits like protection against denial of insurance for pre-existing conditions, coverage for adult children up to 26, a ban against rescission (the ability of insurance companies to cancel a policy on account of illness), lifting of lifetime caps, a rebate to consumers to protect against overcharging, free preventative coverage, the lifting of the dougnut hole and so much more.
All left out of Paul Ryan’s speech.
Why? Because the intention of a Romney/Ryan Administration is to “repeal” and not “replace” Obamacare, thus stripping all these benefits from American.
The most incredible claim by Paul Ryan concerns President George W. Bush. Paul Ryan never mentioned his wholehearted support for President Bush and all of his policies.
Paul Ryan approved Bush’s intervention in two wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
Both wars were not paid for and funded, adding trillions to the federal deficit then and now.
Both wars cost too many American lives. Paul Ryan voted for both Bush tax cuts.
Both tax cuts were not paid for and funded. Adding trillions to the federal deficit then and now.
Paul Ryan voted for a Medicare drug prescription program, known as the “doughnut hole,” because of the high cost to seniors.
Paul Ryan voted for TARP and the auto bailout. It was Paul Ryan last summer that vetoed the “going big” deal between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). A deal that would have trimmed trillions from the federal deficit over ten years.
Paul Ryan has a reputation has a “budget expert” and there is no question of his knowledge in this area.
However, Paul Ryan has allowed politics, time and again, of leaving behind his principles because of his own political ambitions.
Jim Messina, Obama for America campaign manager out it best, “He lied about Medicare. He lied about the Recovery Act. He lied about the deficit and debt. He even dishonestly attacked Barack Obama for the closing of a GM plant in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin — a plant that closed in December 2008 under George W. Bush.”
Messina added, “Paul Ryan also failed to offer one constructive idea about what he would do to move the country forward.”
And all along, Paul Ryan has been responsible for adding trillions to the federal deficit.
Then and now.
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John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books