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U.S. representative (R-WI) Paul Ryan attends a vigil in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, August 7, 2012. The killings of six worshippers at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin has thrust attention on white power music, a thrashing, punk-metal genre that sees the white race u
Granny can suck it.
Paul Ryan's big speech Wednesday night was so filled with lies that there's disagreement on which were the five biggest. Definitely his lies about Medicare made the top five. Definitely his claim that President Obama failed to save a Janesville, Wisconsin, GM plant that had actually closed before Obama was inaugurated. But there's so much more to choose from.

On Medicare, Ryan repeated his claims that President Obama raided Medicare to pay for Obamacare, that "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." In reality, of course, Obama's cuts did not affect Medicare benefits, and Ryan's budget, the cornerstone of his reputation as a serious policy thinker, has the exact same cuts. And then some. Ryan would weaken Medicare for everyone, even the people whose benefits he says he wouldn't touch, and basically kill it off for people under 55 now.

But there's so much more. Ryan claimed that Obama "created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report.  He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing." In fact, the Simpson-Bowles debt commission never issued an official report—in part because Paul Ryan, who sat on the commission, voted against it because he and his fellow Republicans opposed raising taxes on the rich to increase revenue and reduce the debt.

Chart showing debt contributors
Ryan blamed Obama for "more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined." But seriously? Here's where that deficit came from: Bush tax cuts and Bush wars. Which Paul Ryan voted for.

You could argue that Ryan only lied about the credit rating downgrade by implication, not directly, saying Obama's presidency "began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America." The only way this statement can cling to truth is by parsing the sentence so fine we see that he's not directly saying in so many words that Obama was responsible for this state of affairs, just that it happened during his presidency. But we know that's not what Ryan was saying. He was blaming it on Obama, loud and clear, and that's a lie. The truth—that congressional Republicans brought the United States close to a default by refusing to raise the debt ceiling, leading Standard & Poors to downgrade the U.S.—has to do with Obama only in that Republicans brought on that crisis because they hoped it would help them defeat Obama this year. It was a set-up for Paul Ryan to say the words he said last night, and they risked the country's economy for it.

Perhaps the biggest lie Paul Ryan told, though, was about his own intentions and those of Mitt Romney.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.
There's nothing to argue with in that paragraph. They're fine words. They're also the exact opposite of what Ryan and Romney would do. Here's just the beginning of the damage Ryan would do not just to those who are poor or vulnerable now but to people who are getting by with some struggle now and would become unemployed thanks to Paul "we have responsibilities, one to another" Ryan:
  • On jobs: The Ryan budget would cost five million jobs in the next two years. That's not five million jobs created. That's five million jobs lost in the extreme austerity his budget would create. [...]
  • On education: Ryan would take Pell grants away from one million students in the next decade. That's just part of the $291 billion in cuts that also hit Head Start, child care, K-12 education, and job training.
  • On the safety net: Ryan would cut Medicaid and other health programs for low-income Americans, including the elderly and children, by $2.4 trillion, not billion, trillion.
  • On food assistance: He would cut food stamps by 17 percent over the next decade, $134 billion. That's $134 billion that's not helping the millions of people newly unemployed by his cuts.
In the end, the big question is not which specific lie was the biggest, but who Paul Ryan lied about the most. Was it Barack Obama? Or was it Paul Ryan himself?

(For further discussion, see diaries by strobusguy, Tortmaster, hungrycoyote, and Puddytat, among others.)


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Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 07:02 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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