I didn’t know a great deal about the GOP nominee for vice president before the convention. In fact, all I knew related to his budget work in Congress. But now that Paul Ryan has been nominated and he has been put on stage, it appears he has a serious character flaw – he has a tendency to not tell the truth. The following is a list of five outright lies that Paul Ryan told when he gave his speech at the Republican National Convention. Many news outlets have reported on these misrepresentations.
• Untruth: President Obama is the “greatest threat” to Medicare. Truth: Obama didn’t make any cuts to Medicare benefits; he made cuts to provider reimbursements, to improve cost efficiency and extend the fiscal security of Medicare by eight years. According to the Medicare actuary, “[Obama’s] Affordable Care Act makes important changes to the Medicare program and substantially improves its financial outlook.” But Ryan actually does want to cut benefits. He proposed dismantling Medicare and replacing it with a voucher system, leaving millions of seniors to come up with more money to pay for care out of pocket.
• Untruth: President Obama didn’t save a General Motors plant in Wisconsin. Truth: First, Obama wasn’t even in office when the GM plant closed. Second, Obama never made a promise to save it.
• Untruth: President Obama ignored recommendations of a bipartisan debt commission. Truth: Paul Ryan actually sat on that commission. And he led Republicans in voting down the commission’s own recommendation. So the commission never gave a report to Obama, because Ryan himself voted to kill the report before it could.
• Untruth: President Obama is responsible for the downgrading of the U.S. Credit Rating. Truth: House Republicans, including Paul Ryan, held the full faith and credit of the United States hostage to try to ransom it for trillions of dollars in cuts to social programs without increasing taxes on the wealthy one dime. Standard & Poors said specifically, “We have changed our assumption on [revenue] because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues.” That’s why our nation’s credit rating was downgraded.
• Untruth: Ryan wants to protect the “weak.” Truth: Ryan’s biggest feat in his political career was proposing a budget with dramatic cuts to programs benefiting the poor. He’d cut Medicaid by one third, take away health care insurance from 30 million Americans, and cut Pell Grants for 1 million students. All so that he could give more tax breaks to the rich.
Since his acceptance speech at the convention, Ryan has continued to play fast and loose with the truth. For example, he wasn’t even truthful about his marathon time. I don’t believe the American people want a person as vice president who has a real problem with telling the truth.
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