Monday, August 20, 2012

Three kinds of lies

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said that every person is entitled to his own opinion, but not  to his own facts.  So while, as I said yesterday, we must respect the right of the other side to its opinions, we need to call them out when they lie.  Given that that seems habitual with the Republican Party these days (interspersed with mere ignorance and prejudice), constant vigilance is needed.  

Since Mitt Romney chose Paul Ryan to run with him, the air has been rife with contentions about Medicare, as Republicans try to turn the issue against President Obama.  As is widely known, they are doing so primarily by lying:  by maintaining that $700 in future savings in the program are cuts in it, and by implying that those cuts come from benefits.  False and false again.  

The media have reported the Romney-Ryan team's "distortions" widely, but what has been less reported is the telling detail of where the Medicare savings would come from:  Reduced payments to hospitals (including for-profit chains that are major supporters of Republican candidates) and Medicare (dis-)Advantage plans, which are huge boondoggles in which insurance companies are subsidized to provide Medicare benefits to citizens who could get them directly from the government.  Medicare Advantage plans cost the government 12 percent more than socialized medicine, err, Medicare.  Given the scale of Medicare payments, that's real money.

And so the Republicans, again, want to subsidize corporations from the public treasury.  Another example of corporate welfare that should be more widely reported.

To paraphrase the Duke of Wellington, there are three kinds of lies:  Lies, damn lies, and Republicans.

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