I’ll be up front and put right out there that elections annoy me. Usually by November the smearing, name calling, mud-slinging and lies put me over the edge; this year it only took until August. The lies especially bother me. Its one thing to spin a truth to makes things look better for your side, and then there is boldfaced lying. With the internet so readily available to fact check, and independent websites out there that do just that, it astounds me that politicians say the things that they say. Here’s a taste of 2012 so far.
I live in Maryland, and our Governor, Martin O’Malley, is an ardent truth killer. Watch out, because this man is setting his sights quite higher than the Governor of Maryland. During his first and second administrations (he is currently in his second) O’Malley has increased state spending to the tune of $7 billion dollars. When asked, he says that he cut spending. Maryland currently ranks 6th highest in taxes in the US, and he claims we are one of the lowest. Astoundingly, he just approved a measure that would give the casino industry in Maryland a huge tax cut when he just raised the tax rates on Maryland families. He did this after taking millions from casino interests … after decrying those same contributions and saying they should be banned. I can’t judge his heart, but his actions and words tell me that he’s either a devious liar or just a complete idiot.
On the national stage, it only gets worse and more vicious. Attacks against Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, have been vicious and ongoing. Here they all are in a nutshell:
Bain Capital: “When he was working at Bain Capital, Mitt Romney shipped American jobs overseas, and may have committed a felony by lying to the SEC.” According to even left leaning newspapers like the Washington Post, this is an outright lie (giving it “Four Pinocchios”), and FactCheck.org said there was “no evidence” to support either charge.
Abortion and Contraception: “He seeks to ban contraception, and opposes all abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest.” Romney succinctly stated that contraception is “working just fine, Just leave it alone.” He is also pro-life, and makes exception for rape, incest and if the mother’s life is at risk. When a campaign ad from Obama said that he doesn’t make those exceptions, Politifact, (a left-leaning fact-checker) gave it a “pants on fire” score.
Tax Evasion: “He evaded paying taxes for a decade, and was party to the largest tax avoidance scheme in history.” This has been circulating because of Romney’s refusal to release more tax returns. Harry Reid deceitfully accelerated it. He repeated it on the Senate Floor, quoting a “source” he refused to name. The Washington Post, Politifact and Factcheck.org all rejected it out of hand. Obama is still running a campaign ad about the tax avoidance scheme despite knowledge to the contrary, and Factcheck.org said “There is so much deceit here, we don’t even know where to start.”
Romney’s Tax Plan: “His tax plan would cut rates for the wealthy, but raise taxes on middle class families by over $2,000.” When Obama argued that the Tax Policy Center said Romney’s tax reforms would either hit middle income Americans with higher taxes, or add to deficits, he carefully left out that the TPC study is incomplete. It didn’t have important information, and where information was lacking, the TPC made assumptions. The Wall Street Journal described Romney’s plan as entirely feasible. It lowers tax rates among all income brackets by 20 percent, lowers the corporate tax rate and limits and/or eliminates loopholes and deductions, mostly for higher income earners. President Obama, on the other hand, has raised taxes on lower and middle class families and “Obamacare” has gone from being “not a tax” to a the biggest tax in human history.
Cancer Death: “Romney’s closure of a steel plant in Kansas City led to the death of a woman with cancer.” This is slanderous. Obama’s campaign started this story, put it on its website and Obama’s formally-endorsed SuperPAC put it in an ad. In short, the woman died from cancer, but not because her husband was laid off and had no health insurance. She had her own insurance from her job, which ended when she left it prior to her diagnoses. CNN called the insinuation that Romney was the cause “outrageous”, the Washington Post gave it “Four Pinocchios” and the Chicago Tribune called it “a disgrace.” Obama refuses to condemn it.
Medicare: “Romney/Ryan will kill Medicare” The Democratic campaign committee sent an email that Politifact called the “lie of the year” about this issue. The fact is, without any changes Medicare will become insolvent in 12 years. The Romney-Ryan solution grandfathers in all citizens 55 years old or older so their plan will not change. Those younger would fall under a federal premium support program, choosing among a menu of options. Obama transferred $700 billion in Medicare cuts to Obamacare to partially fund it. This is resulting in real cuts to current seniors. Other than that, he has no plan to fix the problem.
I would think that even Obama supporters would find all this dishonesty and deception over the top. Or maybe they’re ok with win at all costs …
Image: Svenska: Jim Dines Pinocchio-skulptur Walking to Borås; courtesy of Svenska: Jim Dines Pinocchio-skulptur Walking to Borås.