The media wasted no time trying to make equivalency arguments about how just as much fiction was bandied by Democrats on the first night of their convention as by Republicans during theirs. Fact-checkers, however, could find little to rival Lyin’ Ryan or Refit Mitt. Here’s the most FactCheck.org could come up with.
— “The keynote speaker and others claimed the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, would raise taxes on the ‘middle class.’ He has promised he won’t. Democrats base their claim on a study that doesn’t necessarily lead to that conclusion.”
Romney has yet to reveal what he will do if elected, other than retaining the Bush tax cuts for those at the top of the income ladder. The Wall St. Journal described the findings in the study, conducted by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
A new study released Wednesday suggests that Mitt Romney‘s tax plan would benefit the rich and hurt the poor and middle class, no matter how current blanks in the plan are filled in.
Mr. Romney’s ambitious plan would extend current Bush-era tax rates, plus cut rates another 20 percent, eliminate investment taxes altogether for households making under $200,000, and abolish the dreaded alternative minimum tax. But it provides few details about what tax breaks would be pared to offset the budget hit.
The study basically concludes that eliminating tax breaks to offset the impact of Mr. Romney’s rate cuts would inevitably hurt the middle class.
How can FactCheck.org twist all this to be able to say that Romney might not hurt the middle class? Because it’s possible that the legislative process would prevent Mitt from doing so. Again, the WSJ:
The study makes an assumption that might or might not prove out when the legislation gets written – notably, that capital gains and dividend rates aren’t changed from the current 15% top rate for high earners. Holding the line on current investment tax rates is GOP orthodoxy right now. But when deal-making time arrives, it’s possible that GOP opposition will soften, if it’s necessary to get a broader deal with Democrats on lower rates.
Next instance of catching Democrats red-handed lying like Republicans:
— “The keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, also said there have been 4.5 million ‘new jobs’ under Obama. The fact is the economy has regained only 4 million of the 4.3 million jobs lost since Obama took office.”
No word on where FactCheck.org came up with their figures but the White House is using those provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which states a gain of 4.5 million private sector jobs. Governments at both the federal and state level have shed jobs at an even greater rate than the prviate sector in many areas but it’s doubtful Republicans and tea partiers would object to that.
Next, one of the easiest claims to prove.
— “A Democratic governor said Romney ‘left his state 47th out of 50 in job growth.’ Actually, Massachusetts went from 50th in job creation during Romney’s first year to 28th in his final year.”
Turning away from FactCheck.org and instead to Politifact shows Romney is just plain lying if he claims Massachusetts was 28th when he left office.
We used state-level statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal government’s official source of employment data. We used figures for non-farm jobs, seasonally adjusted. And because the Massachusetts governor takes office in early January, we used the data for December of each year as a baseline.
We found that from December 2002 to December 2006, Massachusetts ranked 47th out of 50 states (not including the District of Columbia) in job growth. (We calculated that by using the number of jobs at the beginning and end of the period for each state to determine the percentage change and then ranking the states.) Only Ohio, Louisiana and Michigan fared worse.
So the number is correct.
On to another incredibly easy fact to prove.
— “Multiple speakers repeated a claim that the Ryan/Romney Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,400 a year. That’s a figure that applied to Ryan’s 2011 budget plan, but his current proposal (the one Romney embraces) is far more generous.”
Follow me closely here, since FactCheck.org seems to have lost its way. Romney supported the 2011 Ryan budget plan when it moved through the House. Romney and Ryan both take a blood oath to repeal the Affordable Care Act. A repeal of “Obamacare” would end the $6,400 in preventive care that will be available to seniors so they don’t have to pay it out of pocket, and it would reinstate the prescription drug “doughnut hole” that the ACA eliminates.
That Ryan, since being selected as Romney’s running mate last week, is in the process of backpedaling on his written-out, black and white, word-for-word plan does not make Democratic comments on those written plans false.
And finally, there’s the matter of the First Lady’s speech. You will recall how, in her speech to the RNC, Ann Romney tried to spin the early years of her marriage to Mitt as ones of eating canned tuna in cramped quarters when in fact, they were living off Mitt’s stock options in an upper middle class home while he attended Harvard Law School and neither of them worked. So what lies were exposed in Michelle Obama’s speech?
As for first lady Michelle Obama’s address to the convention, the fact checkers don’t seem to have any faults to find.