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Lies by the Bushel

August 30th, 2012

It has been difficult to watch TV in America recently; I landed here just in time for the buildup and beginning of the Republican Convention. And every time they start showing RNC speeches, I have to change the channel in frustration as I note lie after lie after lie within just a few sentences of each other.

The AP did a fact-check article, pointing out a multitude of lies and misrepresentations in major speeches, but I am not impressed; it’s raining lies in Tampa right now, all you have to do is hold out your hat for a few seconds to get enough material for a book.

Similar checks of PolitiFact show Republicans leading the way in lies, especially Pants-on-Fire ratings. Even more galling when you read the specifics and see that the “Mostly True” or “Half True” ratings usually catch Obama on technical points while most Republicans getting those ratings are actually lying on key points and getting a break on technicalities.

For example, Chris Christie gets a “Mostly true” for saying that Obama added $5 trillion to the deficit over the pas four years, but overlooks the fact that most of that debt was incurred by George W. Bush and not Obama, which was Christie’s intended meaning. Obama bears some of the responsibility, but without crashing the economy, and with Republican obstructionism added in, it would have been literally impossible for Obama to cut much of that budget at all, certainly not without committing political suicide.

Obama, meanwhile, gets a “Half True” for saying that most Americans probably pay more taxes than Romeny—a statement which is only untrue if you make assumptions unfriendly to Obama’s statement.

Overall, however, Republicans are full of it. About a month ago, I did an analysis, but didn’t have time to publish it. IU think the numbers are significant though, as it measures the truth and lies before Republicans got the spotlight. As one could argue that they have more negative showings on PolitiFact just because of greater exposure in the convention (which I think PolitiFact tries to “balance” by paying more attention to Obama), here is a count of truth and lies when the attention was even:

Politifact, which rates politicians’ statements as True, Mostly True, Half True, Mostly False, False, or “Pants on Fire!” has a page dedicated to “Pants on Fire” rulings. These pages have 20 rulings each.

The first page has one “Pants on Fire” ruling about an Obama statement.

The other 19 are all conservative statements, either candidates, pundits, think tanks, other organizations, or right-wing memes in email or elsewhere on the Internet.

Four are by Romney.

Page two again has 19 conservative pants-on-fire rulings, and one chain email from the left. Romney has three pants-on-fire rulings to himself.

You have to go to page three before more than one left-wing whopper appears; there are three (one each by Reid, Obama, and Pelosi). The same page holds five by Romney.

Those three pages take us back a little more than a year. So, let’s see: 60 rulings, 2 against Obama, 3 others against liberals, and 55 outrageous lies by right-wingers, including 12 Romney whoppers.

Obama does less well in the next-worse category, “False” statements. He has four of the latest 20; Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Biden each have one.

The other 13 are right-wingers. Romney alone has six.

On the following two pages, Obama shows up 3 times out of 40; Democrats Axelrod and Lew join two left-wing organizations to have “False” judgements, bringing the liberal total to 7 of 40.

The remaining 33 are right-wing people or groups. Romney had six of them.

To sum up: conservatives account for 55 of 60 of the most outrageous lies in the past year; Romney made 12, Obama 2. Conservatives also made 46 of 60 of the outright lies of the past 6 months, with Romney again responsible for 12, and this time Obama having 7.

Not hard to tell who is lying the hardest, even without resources like this.

Categories: Election 2012, Right-Wing Lies Tags: by
  1. Troy
    August 31st, 2012 at 01:30 | #1

    The lying is working, too.

    Like Carter, people are looking for reasons to ditch Obama and go with the nice man who will make everything better.

    This is a profoundly stupid society and we’re about to get it good and hard, as the man said.

    People don’t have the first clue as to how bad the Bush years screwed up our prospect this century.

    Clinton didn’t hand over a perfect situation — alternative energy was botched, the trade issue with China was ignored — but the shit the Bush people did and did not do made everything 10X worse.

    Consumer debt doubled 1999-2008:


    and that $7T of borrowed money was how we got out of the dotcom recession.

    our defense costs doubled, too:


    and that extra $400B is paying a lot of people — 12% of wages go to defense:


    so we’d need to pay a 12% income tax just for that alone.

    Corporate profits have skyrocketed since 2000:


    but adding in taxes paid (red):


    shows how little corporations are taxed these days (16%).

    Gasoline at $4/gallon is sucking $4000/household right out of the paycheck economy.

    Non-energy trade deficit is around $300B/yr, another $3000 per household of money lost.

    As mentioned above, defense spending is $8000 per household.

    Our inefficient (high-profit) medical sector is sucking over $10,000 per household in economic rents out of each household and that’s only going to get much worse this decade as the baby boom enters their 60s, 70s, and 80s (in 2026).

    The conventional wisdom is that Japan is screwed this century. That may or may not be the case but Japan doesn’t have half the problems the US does.

  2. Tim Kane
    August 31st, 2012 at 10:48 | #2

    I’m not so sure the Repugs will be able to pull of the theft of this election.

    Consider the convention, and the short period after that, their high water mark.

    When the Dems have their convention they can expose their lies, rebut their arguments and redefine the Republicans in accord with the truth. If the O team runs a competent campaign – they should come out of the convention time with the advantage.

    The Repugs will throw everything they have at this. For movement conservatives this election is an existential election. If they lose they are gone, probably for good. Consider: no matter who gets elected, no matter the policies, the economy will probably craw back to 6% as the business cycle recovers and as families shed household debt, increasing purchasing power.

    Now Consider if O wins. It is likely that he would then exit the Presidency after having created 10 million jobs over eight years time. To the 2016 voter, they’ll be looking back at roughly 10 million private sector jobs created by Obama, roughly 20 million created by Clinton, and ZERO private sector jobs created by Bush. The Bush presidency, and the hangover it created, constitutes a lost decade.

    Republicans will still be pointing back at Reagan for an example of vigorous job growth during their tenure. In 2016 Reagan will be ancient history and irrelevant. Also, the nature of history is, the farther you pull away from a presidency in time, the more it is accurately noted and acknowledge. Bush’s presidency is only going to look worse with time, and by 2016 it will already look deplorable. Finally the demographic changes will be starting to take hold – Texas might even be Blue by then and the Rethugs will then have lost their anchor.

    That makes this an existential election.

    It gets worse for them if the Dems have a good night in November. It’s not impossible that O gets a land slide win and carries the day in the House and the Senate. If that happens, expect a massive infrastructure and education bill. Expect fine tuning of Health Care, al a Japan/Korea/Taiwan model, which means a commission that sets prices. I can’t speak for Japan, but in Korea, I paid $42 a month, and my employer paid $42 a month for health insurance, and Taiwan is famous for having the most efficient system. The biggest difference is the price setting commission. Cheaper health insurance puts more purchasing power in the hands of workers, increasing demand in the economy, as will massive infrastructure projects. That means, O could enjoy Clinton like numbers come 2016.

    So expect the Republicans to pull out ALL the stops. They will lie, lie beyond belief and they will cheat, steal, and do anything and everything possible and they will throw more than a billion dollars at the problem. They will do just about anything in an increasingly desperate Republican party.

    If Obama runs a smart campaign, use some jujitsu, he can still run away with this election, and even walk away with the house and the Senate. And as you noted earlier Luis, unemployment is a lagging indicator, a good recovery could have unemployment just below 7% (I actually think the Petroleum industry is doing their level best to jack up prices, and wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out the fire at the refinery in Richmond was somehow ‘allowed’ to happen or some kind of act of arson [my tinfoil hat self, speaking there – but high gas prices no longer make sense because it triggers thrift in the consumer and brings on more supply from producers).

  3. Troy
    August 31st, 2012 at 12:42 | #3

    Tim, that’s kinda untethered IMO

    the economy will probably craw back to 6% as the business cycle recovers and as families shed household debt, increasing purchasing power

    The “business cycle” is dead, our sky-high Gini and reliance on trade deficits have killed it.


    People think consumer debt is bad, but without it we wouldn’t even have a middle class now. At any rate, it’s going to take a long time for middle class America to “deleverage”:


    shows at the current rate we might get back to Clinton-era debt burdens by 2020, right when we need to raise payroll taxes to cover the baby boom Medicare burden and also start pensioning off Gen X.

    Our economy has turned into one of haves and have-nots, and the have-nots are increasingly dependent on government charity — like our $800B/yr defense budget — to stay alive.

    It is likely that he would then exit the Presidency after having created 10 million jobs over eight years time.

    10 million would just get us back to the peak of the housing bubble:


    and if this accomplishment comes with a $20T national debt it’s not much of an accomplishment, really.

    As for health care, Korea has a $2000/capita health system, Japan is at $3000, and the US is at $8500.

    But ObamaCare does not actually control costs. It mildly limits insurance overheads (to 15-20% of premiums) but the major cost driver of US health care is the cost of hospitalization, and that is only going to go up since ObamaCare will pay for more access to the health system, assuming Romney isn’t elected and then snuffs it in the cradle.

    and even walk away with the house and the Senate.

    No way whatsoever that’s going to happen.

    [high gas prices] brings on more supply from producers

    Not really. Everybody is running flat out now.

  4. Troy
    September 1st, 2012 at 02:53 | #4
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