This is the final installment of the “biggest lies” series TheBlaze has been producing surrounding the untruths and slippery language that has been used at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). We’ve already discussed the five more pronounced lies that were told on the first and second days of the convention. Now, we’re back with five additional lies from Thursday’s event. Here they are:
1) On Thursday, Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) made some bold claims about the GOP’s handling of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the nation’s largest, most intensely valued — and most controversial — entitlement programs. The congressman said that “Republicans stood on the sidelines” when these programs were created, a notion that PolitiFact found to be false.
“When too many of our senior citizens who were living their golden years in the darkness of economic security, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt and a Democratic congress created Social Security, lighting a candle, while the Republicans cursed the darkness,” Clyburn said during his DNC speech.
And he wasn’t done there.
“When too many of our elderly found their lives darkened by unaffordable and inaccessible health care, Lyndon Johnson and a Democratic Congress lit the candles of Medicare and Medicaid, while Republicans stood on the sidelines and cursed the darkness,” he then added.
But, here’s what PolitiFact had to say about these claims:
Although some of the biggest and most vocal opponents of the bills were Republicans, it’s wrong to say that “Republicans stood on the sidelines” when the bills were being considered. On the final vote on Social Security, Republicans overwhelmingly supported the bill. On Medicare and Medicaid, a majority of Republicans voted for the bill in the House, as did a significant minority in the Senate. We rate Clyburn’s claim False.
This statement came from Clyburn just days after he made the bold — and factually inaccurate claim — that Republicans who happen to be Christians think “there’s something wrong with feeding people when they’re hungry.”
2) Vice President Joe Biden took the stage, too, last night, where he made a statement about Romney and Osama bin Laden that wasn’t factually accurate. Rather than placing the comments in their proper context, Biden claimed that Romney once said “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth” to catch the infamous terrorist.
Under a section called “Biden’s bin Laden Baloney,” FactCheck.org wrote:
The claim, which Republicansdisputed, fails to include the rest of Romney’s quote from an Associated Press story. Romney said the country’s focus should not be on one person, but it should be a “broader strategy to defeat the Islamic jihad movement.”
Biden: Folks, Governor Romney didn’t see things that way. When he was asked about bin Laden in 2007, here’s what he said. He said, “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just to catch one person.”
3) President Barack Obama, too, had some verbal blunders. Among his misleading statements was a claim that his tax plan would merely restore rates to what they were under President Bill Clinton’s administration. This, though, doesn’t take into account the tax increases that the wealthy will face as a result of Obama care; these additional taxes kick in next year. FactCheck.org writes:
Obama refers to his wish to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for families with over $250,000 annual income, or for individuals with over $200,000. The top marginal income tax rate would return to 39.6 percent, where it was set by Clinton’s 1993 tax increase, up from 35 percent, where it has been since 2003.
But that’s not the whole story. Obama has signed some new taxes to help finance the Affordable Care Act, increasing the burden on those upper-income taxpayers. Starting Jan. 1 next year, they will pay an additional 0.9 percent of wages for Medicare payroll taxes. And they will also be subject to a 3.8 percent tax on investment income from such things as stocks, bonds and sale of real estate. Those are taxes that didn’t exist when Clinton was president. If Obama succeeds in raising the top income tax rates to Clinton-era levels, total taxes on those making over $250,000 family income are thus likely to be higher than they were under Clinton. (They’ll still benefit from the Bush cuts on their income below $250,000, because Obama wouldn’t restore those lower-bracket rates to Clinton levels. So some upper-income taxpayers could still end up paying less federal tax than they paid under Clinton, depending.)
4) Obama also repeated the same claim that Clinton was called out for on Wednesday — that the current president has a plan that will cut deficits by $4 trillion. During his speech, Obama said, “Independent analysis shows that my plan would cut our deficits by $4 trillion. Last summer, I worked with Republicans in Congress to cut $1 trillion in spending.”
The Washington Post’s The Fact Checker debunked this claim, once again, writing:
But, while the numbers seem large, the results are unimpressive. At the end of the 10-year budget window, Obama would have the national debt at a 76.5 percent of gross domestic product. That actually would be an increase over the 74.2 percent of GDP in this year. In contrast, the debt reduction plan envisioned by the Simpson-Bowles commission — cited by the president — would reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio close to 60 percent.
Moreover, independent analysts have criticized the administration for claiming some $800 billion in phantom savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the administration had long made clear those wars would end. (The Bush administration had started the wars on borrowed funds.) Then, the president proposes to spend a good chunk of the nonexistent money on other spending — as he put it in his speech, “rebuilding roads and bridges; schools and runways.”
The $1 trillion in savings negotiated with Republicans, mentioned by the president, actually accounts for the bulk of his proposed reduction in spending. Indeed, much of the president’s debt reduction would come from tax increases on the wealthy, not spending cuts.
5) The final lie comes, again, from Biden. During his speech, he contended that “the experts” claim that Romney has a corporate tax plan that would create hundreds of thousands — 800,000 jobs, to be exact — overseas. In reality, only one expert asserted that this is the case and she was careful to say that it depends on the details.
Even if these jobs do grow in other countries, she said it was possible for that to happen without hampering U.S. employment. FactCheck.org explains:
She notes in her study that “jobs abroad need not displace jobs at home” — that is, provided that the present economy improves, and U.S. unemployment drops to a low level. So depending on the economic circumstances, creating jobs overseas doesn’t necessarily mean losing jobs in the U.S., as Biden’s listeners might have assumed.
Furthermore, a critique of Clausing’s figure by the Tax Foundation (a group supported in part by corporate donations) says that she based it on current corporate tax rates — not on the lower 25 percent rate that Romney proposes. The lower rate, it is argued, would attract foreign investment and lead to importing jobs.
There you have it. Five of the lies that were told during Thursday’s closing speeches at the DNC. What do you think about these claims? Let us know in the comments section, below.