Sunday, August 26, 2012
Paul Ryan's Top 10 Falsehoods and Outrages... from Just His First Week on the Campaign Trail
Ryan's early roll-out for campaign 2012 has been quite the disaster.
August 22, 2012
1. Ryan’s position opposing abortion even in cases of rape, and his attempts to define cytoblasts as legal ‘persons’ (which would outlaw all termination of pregnancies and some forms of birth control) came under scrutiny when Republican Todd Akin, running for the Senate in Missouri, provoked a furor. Akin said he opposed abortion even in cases of rape because in ‘legitimate rape’ the woman’s body rejects fertilization. Akin’s insensitivity to a situation that affects a third of a million American women every decade, plus his ignorance of Biology 101, drew widespread condemnation. Mitt Romney put out a statement that both he and Ryan believed abortion was permitted in case of rape. Problem: Ryan has repeatedly opposed that position and appears to agree with Akin more than with his running mate.
2. Ryan keeps attacking Prsident Obama’s stimulus program now. But in 2002 when then President George W. Bush proposed stimulus spending, Ryan supported it. “What we’re trying to accomplish today with the passage of this third stimulus package is to create jobs and help the unemployed,” Ryan told MSNBC in 2002.
3. Even more embarrassing, in 2010, Ryan asked for $20 million in stimulus money from Obama for companies in his district, then repeatedly denied requesting stimulus funds. He finally admitted he had done so, but continues to slam the stimulus program as a failure (even though the economy pulled out of a Depression as a result of it).
4. Ryan slammed President Obama for the closure of an auto plant that closed in late 2008 under George W. Bush. Ryan’s running mate, Mitt Romney, opposed Obama’s actual auto bailout, which was a great success and returned Detroit to profitability.
5. When Ryan was challenged on his lack of foreign policy credentials, he replied that he had ‘voted to send men to war.’ That is, he is boasting that his support of the illegal and disastrous Bush invasion and occupation of Iraq qualifies him to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. The Iraq War left over 4,000 US service personnel dead, over 30,000 seriously wounded, and likely hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead; failed to uncover any weapons of mass destruction, contributed to the US debt, and led to the takeover of Iraq by Shiite elements close to Iran, who are now helping Iran get around US sanctions. Does Ryan really want to run on that record of foreign policy ‘success’?
6. Paul Ryan charges that Barack Obama has ‘stolen’ $700 billion from medicare for his Obamacare. In fact, these expense reductions do not cut Medicare benefits, and, moreover, Romney and Ryan supported these reductions! The difference is that they would give the savings to the affluent, whereas Obama uses them to cover the presently uninsured.
7. Ryan, seeking the youth vote, was foolish enough to list “Rage against the Machine” as one of his favorite bands. Band leader Tom Morello lambasted him, saying Ryan is the embodiment of the machine against which they are raging. Face it, Ryan, you are stuck with Megadeath and Ted Nugent.
8. It became clear that under Ryan’s tax plan, Gov. Mitt Romney would pay less than 1% in annual federal taxes, highlighting Romney’s already low rate compared to ordinary Americans (slightly lower than Ryan’s own!) and putting the spotlight back where Ryan’s appointment was supposed to misdirect it.
9. It turns out Ryan and his wife own shares in oil and gas companies that indirectly benefit from tax breaks for Big Oil that he wants to keep in the federal budget.
10. Ryan continues to push his longstanding plans for a steal-from-the-elderly-and-giv
e-to-the-rich medicare plan, which President Obama warned would cost ordinary recipients over $6000 a year extra. Politifact checked and rated Obama’s charge as correct, though they noted that the figures referred to CBO analyses of Ryan’s last plan, not his ‘new’ one, which hasn’t been subjected to similar analysis. Ryan certainly recently put forward a plan that would cost ordinary people that much extra.
Juan Cole is a professor of history at the University of Michigan and maintains the blog Informed Comment.