It’s time for Willard’s Lies of the week.
Once again, I will point out the site on the blog roll: Romney The Liar: because there are Liars, Damn Liars, and then there’s Mitt Romney.
Steve Benen, now at The Maddow Blog:. Here’s last week’s entry of Chronicling Mitt’s mendacity:
Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity, Vol. XXX
By Steve Benen – Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:50 PM EDT.340
Mitt Romney gave a speech Beallsville, Ohio, this week, and presented an unfortunate attack against President Obama. “How can you go out there and tell people things that just aren’t true?” he asked rhetorically. He added, “This is a time for truths.”
In context, Romney was referring to Obama’s claim that “we’re adding jobs in the coal industry.” In reality, the nation really is adding jobs in the coal industry — Romney was looking for an example of the president saying something that “just isn’t true,” and he pointed to an Obama quote that happened to be accurate, though he told his audience the opposite.
It’s hard not to appreciate the ironic circle — the president said something true, Romney lied when he said the accurate claim is false, and then he complained about falsehoods in the campaign.
I don’t know the Republican candidate personally, but from a distance, it appears there’s a part of his brain that allows him to create some kind of deliberate blind-spot. It’s actually a little scary to think of a leader — a man who’d be given enormous power and influence, literally making life and death decisions on a regular basis — who can convince himself that his falsehoods are true, and that others’ truths are falsehoods.
But here we are. If this is, as Romney claims, a “time for truths,” I can only hope the Republican candidate will take a few moments to consider the 30th installment of my weekly series, chronicling Mitt’s mendacity. (This is the biggest list I’ve ever done.)
1. At an impromptu event in South Carolina yesterday, Romney said on Medicare policy, “Our plan [has] no change for current seniors and those 55 and older.”
That’s plainly false. Romney’s plan eliminates all new benefits for seniors under the Affordable Care Act, which necessarily means higher prescription drug costs for seniors, and more expensive preventive care.
2. At the same event, Romney argued, “Under the president’s plan, [Medicare] goes bankrupt… Under the plan I propose, it is solvent.”
That’s the exact opposite of reality. Obama’s policy strengthens Medicare’s finances, and under Romney’s plan, the system would be closer to insolvency faster.
3. In Chillicothe, Ohio, Romney said that under Obama, “We’ve got lower economic growth.”
Actually, we got higher economic growth.
4. In the same speech, Romney said that under Obama, “We’ve got higher unemployment.”
Actually, we got lower unemployment.
5. He went on to say the annual budget deficit has hit the $1 trillion mark under Obama for the “first time the history of our country.”
Not true. The first time in the history of our country that the deficit hit $1 trillion was George W. Bush’s last year in office, when the annual shortfall was $1.3 trillion.
6. Romney added that Obama promised “he’d get the unemployment down to under 5.6 percent today if we pass that $1 trillion stimulus package.”
That’s actually two falsehoods wrapped as one. For one thing, the stimulus wasn’t $1 trillion (Romney’s off by over $200 billion, and that’s real money). For another, that’s not what Obama promised.
7. Romney added, “You see unlike President Obama, I won’t raise taxes on small business.”
Obama has repeatedly cut taxes on small businesses — by some counts, 18 times — and if given a second term, his tax plan would have no effect on 97% of small businesses.
8. In an interview with Fortune magazine, Romney said the president’s stimulus measures “have not put Americans back to work.”
Yes they have.
9. In the same interview, Romney said he would create jobs by “taking advantage of America’s energy resources, particularly natural gas, as well as coal, oil, nuclear, solar, and wind.”
Much of this is contradicted by Romney’s own agenda. He opposes the wind production tax credit, no matter how many jobs it costs the nation, and has vowed to cut off investments in renewable energy programs (Romney has said wind and solar do not constitute “real energy.”)
10. Romney went on to say, “A nation which is a highly productive nation as we are benefits by trade with others… The Obama administration has negotiated no new [trade] agreements.”
Did Romney not hear about the trade agreements with Panama, Colombia, and South Korea?
11. Romney added, “We have to cut the deficit and get America on track to a balanced budget in order to convince investors that America is a good place to invest long term…. The president has done virtually nothing other than to propose a series of tax increases.”
Actually, Obama proposed a massive, $4 trillion “grand bargain,” most of which was made up of spending cuts. Congressional Republicans turned it down anyway.
12. Romney also said, “We’re at a 30-year low in new business startups.”
Still not true.
13. Romney went on to say, “I indicated as I announced my tax plan that the key principles included the following. First, that high-income people would continue to pay the same share of the tax burden that they do today.”
At a minimum, this is ridiculously misleading. Under Romney’s plan, high-income people would get an enormous tax break.
14. Romney added, “Obamacare is a tax. It’s been so determined by the Supreme Court, and it falls predominantly on the middle class.”
He’s referring to an individual mandate that would apply to 1% of the population. And if President Obama’s health care policy “raised taxes on the middle class,” then Mitt Romney raised taxes on the middle class.
15. Romney also said, “President Obama raises taxes on the middle class. I will under no circumstances raise taxes on the middle class.”
There’s overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
16. Romney went on to say, “I will follow a model similar to Simpson-Bowles.”
No he won’t.
17. Romney also said, “I believe infrastructure is going to see very substantial investments over the coming decade.”
He may believe that, but he’s also endorsed a budget plan that drastically curtails infrastructure investments.
18. Romney argued, “I believe that you’re going to see us having created 12 million new jobs.”
If we do nothing, we’re on track to create 12 million new American jobs over the next four years anyway.
19. In a televised ad, Romney said Obama “cut $716 billion dollars from Medicare … to pay for Obamacare.”
20. The ad goes on to say, in reference to seniors, “So now the money you paid for your guaranteed healthcare is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you.”
That’s plainly false. Under the Affordable Care Act, seniors pay less for prescription medication and preventive care — meaning the policy is “for” them, too.
21. At a campaign stop in Ohio, Romney said under Obama we’re not “adding jobs in the coal industry” and not “producing more coal.”
Romney’s lying. In reality, we’re adding jobs in the coal industry and producing more coal.
22. Romney said this week that Paul Ryan reached out to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to “co-lead a piece of legislation that makes sure we can save Medicare.”
According to Ron Wyden, that’s ridiculously untrue.
23. In another attack ad this week, Romney once again accused Obama of “quietly ending work requirements” in the welfare law.”
He’s still blatantly lying.
24. In Beallsville, Ohio, Romney argued, “President said he’d cut the deficit in half. He’s doubled it.”
Maybe Romney doesn’t know what “double” means. The deficit on Obama’s first day was $1.3 trillion. Last year, it was also $1.3 trillion. This year, it’s projected to be $1.1 trillion. When he says the president “more than doubled” the deficit, as he has many times, Romney’s lying.
25. In the same speech, Romney added that Obama has “raided that [Medicare] trust fund.”
Obama has strengthened the Medicare trust fund.
26. Romney went on to call the Affordable Care Act an “unproven federal government takeover to health care.”
There is no universe in which this makes sense — “Obamacare” relies on private insurers, not a government takeover. (Also, it’s not “unproven” — the policy works quite well in, ahem, Massachusetts.)
27. Romney also said, “My number four [goal] is to stop spending massively more than we take in to get America on track to have a balanced budget. And I’ll do it.”
No you won’t.
Romney says his plan “can’t be scored,” but independent budget analysts have found his agenda would make the deficit bigger, not smaller, and add trillions to the national debt.
28. Romney went on to say, “Seventy-five percent of small businesses in this country surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said that Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people.”
The “survey” is a joke. The Chamber, a pro-Republican lobbying institution heavily invested in helping Romney, put up an unscientific online survey. Treating this as a legitimate poll of businesses is fundamentally dishonest.
29. Romney also said, “I’m going to put work back into welfare.”
Work hasn’t been taken out of welfare.
30. Romney went on to say, “[Obama] said if you have a business, you didn’t build that. Someone else did that.”
That’s not even close to what the president said.
31. At an event in St. Augustine, Florida, Romney said the president “won’t want to remind people of Greece because that’s where he’s taking our country if we don’t get off the road we’re on.”
That’s painfully untrue.
32. In the same speech Romney said of the president, “He said he’d measure progress also by whether people were able to have a good job that kept them in their home and paid their mortgage. Well, 8.5 million homes foreclosed, a record level, is not success, Mr. President.”
Putting aside how dishonest it is for Romney to blame the housing crash on the president, let’s also not forget that Romney intends to deliberately avoid any efforts to curtail foreclosures.
33. Romney added, “I’m going to take every government program and apply this test: Is this program so critical it’s worth borrowing money from China to pay for it? And if it’s not, we’ll get rid of it.”
This continues to be misleading. The implication here is that U.S. debt is financed by the Chinese, but this isn’t true — China only holds about 8% of the nation’s debt.