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December 20, 2011 2:19 pm ET

Fact-Checking PolitiFact On Its "Lie Of The Year"

Earlier in the year, Republicans in the House overwhelmingly voted on a budget proposal crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). Ryan's radical piece of "right-wing social engineering," as Newt Gingrich once referred to it, aims to, among other things, convert both the Medicaid and food stamp program into block grants, repeal the Affordable Care Act, and end the single-payer health care system known as Medicare. Unfortunately, the fact checkers at PolitiFact have decided that this indisputable fact — that the Ryan budget ends what Americans have long understood as Medicare, and replaces it with a more expensive and inferior privatized health care system that will be Medicare in name alone — warranted their "Lie of the Year" designation. But PolitiFact is wrong. Republicans have voted to end what all Americans know as Medicare. As economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman writes of PolitiFact's decision, "they've bent over backwards to appear 'balanced.'"

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December 19, 2011 9:24 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 18, 2011

This week on the Sunday political talk shows, topics of discussion ranged far and wide. On Fox News Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney advocated for block granting Medicaid despite the harm that would do to those who rely on the program. On This Week, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) distorted the content of a CBO report on income inequality. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), appearing on Meet the Press, shared several false claims: that employers are concerned about "uncertainty," and that the Keystone pipeline would create 20,000 jobs. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), also on Meet the Press, did the same, falsely asserting that there's no evidence the payroll tax holiday created jobs and that Iran has threatened the U.S. and Israel with nuclear weapons.

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December 12, 2011 12:11 pm ET

Republicans: Payroll Tax Holiday Isn't "Stimulating" Enough

A prominent group of Republican lawmakers are opposing Obama administration efforts to extend a payroll tax holiday — due to expire on December 31 — that would continue putting more money in the pockets of working Americans. Opponents lean heavily on the argument that the current payroll tax holiday has not had a sufficiently stimulative effect on the economy, but experts disagree, arguing that the holiday has helped bolster the recovering economy.

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October 11, 2011 10:31 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 9, 2011

Sunday's political talk shows were chock full of the misinformation that we've come to expect from conservatives. On CBS' Face The Nation, presidential hopeful Herman Cain told viewers that his 9-9-9 economic plan was revenue neutral and disputed the charge that it is regressive. However, his plan would cut taxes for the very wealthy and "disproportionately tax lower and middle income earners." Cain also appeared on CNN's State of the Union, where he claimed that 50 percent of taxpayers account for just 3 percent of all taxes. On NBC's Meet the Press, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed that businesses are not hiring because of regulatory uncertainty. That is not supported by the facts, however: Economists and business owners point to weak consumer demand, not uncertainty. And finally, Rick Santorum, another presidential contender, continued his homophobic ways by telling Fox News host Chris Wallace that being gay is a choice.

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September 19, 2011 9:32 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 18, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a litany of standard GOP untruths. On CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) repeated the favorite false Republican talking point of late: that businesses aren't hiring because of "uncertainty." He was joined in his lie by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and presidential candidate Herman Cain, both of whom appeared on Fox News Sunday. Both Cain and Ryan also revived an old piece of misinformation — that raising taxes on top earners would disproportionately harm small businesses — which was echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). For his part, Graham misrepresented the public's opinion on taxing the wealthy, and absurdly claimed that "everything" — including unemployment — is worse because of President Obama's policies. Ryan dredged up some old lies about the House-passed GOP budget's effects on Medicare, which it would essentially destroy, and then falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board puts bureaucrats in charge of "rationing."

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August 11, 2011 6:40 pm ET

GOP Social Security Schemes Would Only Harm Retirees

As the anniversary of Social Security nears, it's important to remember how Republicans have approached the program. Beginning with a Bush-era commission on Social Security reform and continuing up through Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) "Roadmap for America's Future," Republicans have sought over the last decade to disrupt the Social Security system via a variety of schemes. Their proposals, which have often included privatization plans and "progressive price indexing," would introduce uncertainty into retirees' lives by attaching payouts to the ups and downs of the market, and would amount to substantial benefit cuts for many Americans.

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August 08, 2011 9:46 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 7, 2011

The highlight of yesterday's Sunday political talk shows was Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) deceptive performance on Fox. Ryan misled on a range of topics, from the causes of the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, to the drivers of that debt, to President Obama's policy positions, to the reasons businesses aren't expanding today, with plenty of stops in between. By comparison, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) dishonesty about Afghanistan and Social Security, Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) bogus economic statistics, and Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) deceit on deficits under President Bush and Democrats' willingness to cut spending were barely even blips on the radar.

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August 02, 2011 10:30 am ET

Op-Eds From Reps. Ryan And Pitts Filled With Health Care Lies

As a deal on the debt crisis was being reached, Reps. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Joe Pitts (R-PA) refocused their energy on lying about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and distorting its impact on job creators, seniors and economy. In Politico op-eds, the congressmen attacked the health care waivers granted, cited the debunked McKinsey study as proof of the ACA's supposed negative impact on hiring, and condemned the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) for harming seniors by denying care. Rep. Ryan also rehashed the tired claim that the ACA cut $500 billion from Medicare and falsely asserted the ACA has "weakened our economy and accelerated out-of-control government spending" while touting his "Path to Prosperity" budget plan that would end Medicare as we know it.

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July 01, 2011 1:21 pm ET

45 Years After Medicare's Implementation, Republicans Are Trying To End It

45 years ago today, Medicare was implemented. As a cornerstone of the American health care system, Medicare has provided access to health care to millions of elderly and disabled Americans over the last several decades. However, despite its indisputable place in American society, House Republicans have voted to dismantle the program with their latest budget. Both House and Senate Republicans have also spent years trying to gut the program of over a trillion dollars. Medicare continues to be necessary to help the elderly and disabled, and unfortunately, the Republicans have decided not to keep their interests in mind.

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June 14, 2011 10:53 am ET

Rep. Ryan's Misinformation Tour De Force

In an op-ed on titled "Obama's Economic Experiment Has Failed - Time to Get Back to What Works," Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) put forward a slew of mischaracterizations and outright falsehoods to attack President Obama's economic record. Ignoring that Obama inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression — and that his Recovery Act helped prevent an even greater economic downturn — Ryan asserted that the Recovery Act has "failed to create jobs." To this end, Ryan also deceptively cited lackluster May jobs numbers and a report that preceded Obama's inauguration. Ryan also attacked the president's signature policies, including financial and health care reform, baselessly asserting that they didn't fix "the problems they were intended to address." He touted his own plan to 'save Medicare' (even though the GOP budget plan would dismantle the Medicare system) and falsely claimed that President Obama doesn't have any plan to address the program. He threw around meaningless catch words like "uncertainty" to attack Obama's tax policy, and misleadingly stated that the U.S.'s corporate tax rate is the highest in the developed world, when in fact the effective tax rate is lower than many other developed countries. And despite the numerous tax cuts Obama and Democrats passed over Republican objections, Ryan attacked the president for tax hikes on job creators.

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June 13, 2011 9:43 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 12, 2011

Sunday saw multiple GOPers blaming President Obama for job losses that are rightly blamed on President Bush's recession and pretending that Obama policies haven't started to turn the job market around. Republicans have never stopped misleading people about the impact of the Recovery Act, but ignoring two million new private-sector jobs since February 2010 is shameless. Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) each offered one jobs lie or another. Pawlenty claimed that tax cuts pay for themselves (they don't), that President Obama is "out of ideas" on economic and entitlement issues (false), that we "have to" cut Social Security (nope), that the Affordable Care Act cut $500 billion from Medicare (wrong again), and that he didn't really leave a $6 billion deficit behind at the end of his term as Governor of Minnesota (nice try). Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) falsely claimed on CBS that the GOP Medicare plan doesn't affect current seniors, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told CNN that ending oil subsidies will increase gas prices, and Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) told CNN that the debt ceiling deadline isn't real because "the global economy will understand" if we default.

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June 03, 2011 3:52 pm ET

Republicans Suddenly Embrace Fact-Checkers Who Routinely Call Them Liars

In order to attack Democrats' credibility on the House-passed Republican budget proposal, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have recently cited independent fact-checkers' analyses Democratic statements about the GOP plan to dismantle the Medicare system. But those same fact-checking organizations routinely point out Republicans' false claims — including their distortions about how their plan would affect Medicare. And while those organizations have taken issue with specific phrasing or excessive rhetoric from Democrats, it's well-established that the Republican plan would, in fact, turn Medicare into a voucher system that would shift rising health care costs onto future seniors rather than preserving the Medicare program as-is.

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June 03, 2011 3:28 pm ET

Debunking The Top Lies About The Republican Medicare Scheme

Contrary to polling, special elections, and town hall uproar, Republicans have decided their Medicare scheme is a political winner — it's just that Democrats are lying to people. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the plan's architect, expressed the GOP mentality in a Fox News interview on June 2, 2011, saying that Democrats are "distorting and demagoging" the plan and once people "realize they've been lied to," Democrats "are gonna be one the wrong end of that exchange with the American people." He then proceeded to misrepresent the GOP's "Path to Prosperity" budget in a half-dozen ways, capping the falsehoods with another whopper: "When people know the facts about what we proposed, they're extremely supportive," Ryan claimed. The facts, unfortunately for Republicans, say otherwise.

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May 25, 2011 2:23 pm ET

Rep. Paul Ryan Repeatedly Claims IPAB Will Ration Care

Desperate to defend his unpopular Medicare-destroying budget plan, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) took to television, Twitter and a Budget Committee video to turn back the attack on the Affordable Care Act. At least four times in one day, Ryan has publicly claimed that President Obama's health care reform law sets up a panel of 15 unelected bureaucrats who will implement price controls that will lead to rationing, waiting lists and denied care. In reality, the Independent Payment Advisory Board provided for in the Affordable Care Act is appointed by the president, but must be confirmed by the Senate. It does not have the authority to ration care; instead, it is authorized to make recommendations on how to reduce the growth of Medicare spending if and only if spending exceeds targets.

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May 23, 2011 10:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 22, 2011

The absurd ginned-up right-wing outrage over President Obama's reiteration of a long-standing tenet of mainstream Middle East peace plans continued on Sunday morning, even as the president drew applause from the crowd at AIPAC for repeating his call for a Palestinian state based on "the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps." Newt Gingrich, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) each misrepresented the president's words in order to attack him. Honest conservatives were no easier to find on domestic policy issues either. McConnell joined Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in claiming the House GOP budget 'saves Medicare' (although it in fact replaces the program with something utterly different) and that the White House would ration seniors' care (another falsehood). McConnell also claimed tax cuts aren't driving the debt and lied about President Obama's position on the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, Ryan claimed the Republican Medicare scheme polls better when you explain the details (nope), insisted Democrats haven't put forth any debt reduction plans (wrong again), and said his plan cuts $6 trillion in spending when on net it only cuts $155 billion. On CBS, Gingrich repeated an exaggeration of his record as Speaker of the House. And, not to be outdone, pizza magnate Herman Cain misled Fox viewers about the Fair Tax and claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling would increase "market confidence," even though the market is saying the opposite.

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May 16, 2011 10:39 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 15, 2011

The Sunday political talk shows were full of conservatives spouting misinformation about everything from energy policy and taxes to the debt and recent economic history. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) falsely claimed the economy isn't creating jobs, despite 2.1 million new private-sector jobs added over 14 straight months of growth. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled on Social Security, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed the Bush tax cuts haven't hurt the national debt picture, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) exaggerated the spending cuts in the House GOP budget, which total a mere $155 billion after you factor in the deep tax cuts the plan offers to the wealthiest. Each of those three claimed that ending tax subsidies for oil companies would increase gas prices, but it won't — and Kyl had to blatantly misrepresent a Congressional Research Service report to support his claim. And in a statement that sums up GOP insincerity on a negotiated debt-reduction agreement, Ryan rewrote the last decade of Republican policy by claiming that "the whole reason we're running into this debt limit so soon is because of the spending spree that has occurred over the last two years."

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May 02, 2011 10:03 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 1, 2011

Hours before President Obama announced U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama bin Laden, more pedestrian and partisan news ruled the Sunday morning airwaves. On Fox, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) falsely blamed $4 trillion of debt on President Obama and then incorrectly claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn't be a big deal. On ABC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) tried to defend his budget by claiming people don't like it because there is "misinformation" swirling around and not because it dismantles the social safety net. Elsewhere on Sunday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) each claimed that the U.S. needs a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, an idea rejected by experts on both sides of the aisle. And on NBC, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dishonestly claimed that the Ryan Budget would increase funding to Medicare, while criticizing the Affordable Care Act for cutting Medicare, a claim which is also untrue.

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April 18, 2011 9:45 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 17, 2011

On Sunday morning, first-year Tea Party Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) almost managed to upstage her party's budget chairman by wrongly insisting on ABC that the GOP's "Path to Prosperity" budget is not a voucher program, works just like the insurance benefits for members of Congress, and would be sufficient to cover the cost of medical care for seniors. But Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) still offered the biggest whopper of the morning, claiming on CBS that the GOP budget doesn't cut taxes for the rich. None of these claims is true. The Republican plan slashes income taxes for the wealthy to Herbert Hoover levels while eliminating the capital gains tax. For the non-rich, the plan would end Medicare as we know it, leaving the typical 65-year-old with over $20,000 in annual medical costs by the year 2030. Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) claimed President Obama hasn't helped grow the economy, which is demonstrably false, and Walsh joined Rep. Allen West (R-FL) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would in fact cripple Congress' ability to control spending and address recessions.

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April 14, 2011 4:37 pm ET

The Republican Budget Hits Poor, Elderly, and Children Hardest

Last week Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the GOP's first 2012 budget plan, entitled "The Path to Prosperity," which proposes to cut over $4 trillion from the deficit by slashing discretionary spending and reforming entitlements. To do so, the plan would block grant Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps), turn Medicare into a voucher system, and eliminate the Affordable Care Act, leaving millions uninsured. The proposal would also disrupt American's ability to get housing assistance. The only budget document the new GOP House majority has produced thus far puts the onus of paying down the debt on those most in need: America's poor, children, and the elderly.

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April 11, 2011 10:13 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 10, 2011

With a government shutdown narrowly averted this weekend, the Sunday shows focused naturally on spending issues. On CBS, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the absurd assertion that government spending caused the recession (and not rampant fraud on Wall Street), and falsely claimed that a balanced budget amendment would help our fiscal situation. On Fox, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) repeated a favorite GOP lie about entitlement programs — that they "are not gonna be there for me when I retire" unless voters allow conservatives to rip holes in the safety net. And on NBC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) misled viewers about his budget proposal that would undo safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps while cutting taxes for the richest Americans and protecting special interest tax loopholes for Big Oil. Meanwhile on ABC, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) seemed to have forgotten that he voted in February to eliminate all Title X funding for family planning services.

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April 07, 2011 10:08 am ET

Rep. Ryan Misleads Fox News Viewers On His Budget Proposal

Fox & Friends interview is the political equivalent of home field advantage for Republicans, and Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) appearance yesterday morning demonstrated just how nurturing the Fox News environment is for right-wing misinformation. Ryan insisted his plan doesn't give tax breaks to the rich at the expense of middle-class working families (even though it does) and asserted — falsely — that his budget proposal will "repair the social safety net," protect Medicare and Medicaid, and pay down the debt. While the GOP's cable network of choice didn't challenge any of these assertions, Political Correction is happy to round up the evidence that Ryan is lying. It's presented below.

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April 05, 2011 2:15 pm ET

Paul Ryan's Budget Proposal Misleads On Private-Sector Employment

Today Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his 2012 budget proposal entitled "The Path To Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise." Inside the 73-page document Ryan states that private-sector job growth is "sluggish" compared to the "breakneck speeds" of public-sector growth. This is not true: the private sector has added jobs for 13 straight months while public sector-employment has shrunk steadily. Overall, the private sector has added 923,000 jobs since Obama policies began to reach the economy, while the public sector has shed 350,000 jobs.

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April 04, 2011 10:47 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 3, 2011

The Sunday political talk shows dedicated most of their time to Libya, but the ongoing budget struggle in D.C. grabbed some attention as well. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) appeared on Fox News Sunday to disseminate a standard GOP talking point blaming President Obama and exonerating President Bush for the nation's debt trouble. Ryan also did some laughable cheerleading for his health care plan, which he says is not a voucher system even though the CBO uses the word "voucher" a half-dozen times in describing how the plan would work. Meanwhile, on ABC, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) dissembled about the effects of a balanced budget amendment, and absurdly criticized Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for 'refusing to take up' a partisan House bill that the Senate already voted on.

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February 22, 2011 10:21 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 20, 2011

With nearly 70,000 protestors out in Madison, WI to reject Gov. Scott Walker's (R) attempt to break the state's public employees unions on Sunday, the morning shows focused almost exclusively on labor disputes — meaning there was plenty of misinformation flying about Wisconsin workers. Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie told Meet the Press that "we're not talking about eliminating collective bargaining," even though that's precisely what Gov. Walker wants to do (he even said as much in his own Sunday morning interview). Former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) falsely claimed that Wisconsin public employees don't pay anything toward their health insurance. Meanwhile on Face the Nation, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed the fight in Wisconsin is about "modest shared sacrifice," even though the governor has rejected such "modest" compromises in his drive to bust the unions. Elsewhere, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined Rep. Ryan in distorting spending figures, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed there's no reason to think world opinion of the U.S. has gone up in the Obama era.

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February 14, 2011 9:54 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 13, 2011

With Valentine's Day looming, the Sunday shows provided a timely reminder of the GOP's love for false talking points. While Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrongly claimed that President Obama "refused to support" pro-democracy protestors in Iran in 2009, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) confined themselves to stale misinformation about the economy. On Fox, Ryan implied that government workers have benefited most from Democrats' economic policies, alleged that President Obama tried to raise taxes by $2 trillion last year, and claimed that the president has increased spending by 84 percent. Meanwhile on NBC, Speaker Boehner told viewers that Obama's policies "destroy jobs." No matter how many times Republican leaders say these things, the facts continue to demonstrate that they're just not true.

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February 11, 2011 2:57 pm ET

Rep. Ryan Falsely Claims CBO Director Testified That Health Care Law 'Destroys Jobs'

After the CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf testified at the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) posted a tweet saying, "President's health care law will destroy jobs, says CBO." But Rep. Ryan is misrepresenting Elmendorf's testimony, which aligns with an August CBO report saying that there will be a reduction in the supply of labor due to workers voluntarily leaving the workforce — not a reduction in the supply of jobs. The tired Republican talking point that the health care reform law destroys or kills jobs has been repeatedly shown to be false.

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January 26, 2011 10:47 am ET

Sen. McCain Repeats Rep. Ryan's "Nifty" Spending Distortion

This morning on Fox & Friends, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) praised GOP State of the Union responder Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), saying that Ryan "understands these issues better than almost anybody else." Maybe he should have stopped there. Instead, he repeated what PolitiFact calls Rep. Ryan's "nifty accounting maneuver" by saying, "we increased spending by some 84 percent in the last two years." In fact, spending levels have increased but they have not skyrocketed to these levels. In other words, McCain and Ryan deliberately hyperbolize spending numbers to scare the American public.

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January 25, 2011 10:40 pm ET

Fact Checking Rep. Ryan's State Of The Union Response

In his televised response to President Obama's State of the Union address, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) repeated a series of debunked Republican talking points and attacks on Democratic policies. Among other things, Ryan absurdly claimed that the Recovery Act "failed" to create jobs, overstated Obama's role in creating the current debt, and stubbornly insisted that the Affordable Care Act will increase the deficit, even though nonpartisan experts say that he's wrong.

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January 25, 2011 1:56 pm ET

Reasons To Believe Rep. Paul Ryan's SOTU Response Will Be No More Than Partisan Bluster

GOP Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is slated to give the Republican response to Obama's State of the Union address this evening. Having spent his time in the House avoiding the rhetorical excesses of the likes of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — who is giving her own unofficial response — Ryan is an unsurprising but worrisome choice, indicating that the GOP has no intention of trying to play it straight with the American people despite retaking the majority in the House in November. A partisan to the core, Ryan has made a habit of launching falsehood-laden attacks on the Democratic agenda and on President Obama, and he introduced a troubling plan — the "Roadmap For America's Future" — that would eliminate Medicare and Social Security while raising taxes on the lower classes and cutting them for the rich. Ryan's actions have shown him to be willing to stand by the party line — and at times, push that line further — at the cost of the truth and the good of the country.  

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January 19, 2011 12:25 pm ET

Debunking The Republican Claim That Health Care Reform Adds "$701 Billion" To The Debt

At the outset of the floor debate on the GOP's effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) laid out the Republican case that Democrats bamboozled the CBO with "smoke and mirrors," and the reform package actually "has a $701 billion deficit." Ryan claimed the CBO score relies on 'double-counting' of savings to Medicare and some tax revenue, but that is provably false — and Ryan himself admitted last year that the CBO doesn't double-count. Ryan also revived the claim that "$115 billion in new appropriations" for the bill "wasn't counted." But that $115 billion is not "new" spending, it's not mandatory under the bill, and $86 billion of it was counted by the CBO. Finally, Ryan argued that "the doctor fix" adds another $208 billion to the debt, but the "doc fix" is only necessary because the GOP screwed up the formulas for Medicare reimbursement back in 1997. The "doc fix" is a separate legislative issue — and a separate budget item — from the Affordable Care Act.

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