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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Lies, Damn Lies And The Four Whoppers Of 2011

Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) — “Have It Your Way,” the Burger King slogan goes. And most politicians do, twisting words to fit their interests. But sometimes they go beyond french-frying facts to serving whoppers.

Two reputable nonpartisan organizations, and PolitiFact, have helped to keep everyone honest in the holiday season by pointing out “death panels” (Sarah Palin) and Obamacare as a “government takeover” (Frank Luntz) as the top lies of recent years.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • jgj1234

    You say Ryan’s plan would still subsidize seniors’ health care, and therefore does not end Medicare. No, there’s a difference between subsidizing and giving vouchers to “help.” And, to many or most seniors, the essence of Medicare is not that it “helps,” but that it guarantees coverage. To those of us, and we are many, to say Ryan’s plan ends Medicare is not a stretch at all. Whether “help” or “guarantee” is the essence of Medicare is a matter of opinion, not fact, and I suspect the Democrats are with the majority on this interpretation. I believe one bill for a short hospitalization would make the difference crystal clear.

  • baldeaglepaul

    I agree with jgj1234. Ryan’s plan does in fact end Medicare. It would create a new plan that to some extent subsidizes private insurance costs for elderly but this simply is NOT Medicare by definition. Ryan will need to come up with a new name for his new plan.

  • freethinker

    Reputable nonpartisan organizations, and PolitiFact, are, in fact, not so nonpartisan.
    There might not be death panels, per se, but obviously the author is not on Medicare to see first hand how close we are. The author is also not a millionaire or he would know that the extra money millionaires have is almost always used to create jobs, directly or indirectly. Does he think they hide it under mattresses?
    Denying that government’s ‘affordable housing’ wasn’t the underlying cause of the housing bubble is ludicrous. Wall Street simply made lemonade with lemons, although, admittedly taking advantage of the great hoax.
    How are these for the category: “Jobs Bill” or “payroll tax cut”?

  • StephenMontgomery

    The biggest risk to the free exchange of ideas are the repeated chain emails and paid TV ads. The Supreme Court ruling allowing corporations to spend unlimited sums on political advertising without the exposure of public responsibility gives them the biggest megaphone outshouting more reasonable but short funded reasonable voices.

    As indicated in shifting poll results in support for various Republican candidates people are paying attention to those slick TV ads buying into their fact challenged messages.

    Look at the number of those who while not believing mainstream newspapers are taking the wild unsupportable statements from the chain emails as gospel forwarding that junk to everyone on their email list. These are the same people who believing that junk and the twisted messages of all TV political ads won’t bother to go to such sites as to find the truth. They justify their pursuit of and the spreading of false messages by their hatred of some political leaders. Not liking someone doesn’t justify spreading lies. All that can accomplish is to kill reasonable discourse, a risk to our system of government akin to throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

  • cliffyarbrough

    BaldEaglePaul andFreethinker are correct in their comments. Politifact, while bipartian, is capable of mistakes. And they made a big one by not understanding the definition of Medicare. StephenMontgomery also has problems with definitions. There are no death panels per se or otherwise. Having strong beliefs in conservative principles is fine. Failing to realize, and act according to the facts is another. No good ever came of denying truth to further a political ideology.

  • Clark_Kent

    freethinker is a nonthinker. Individuals with great wealth do not necessarily create jobs! Jobs are a cost to business. Employers “create” them only if they absolutely have to. If they are filling all their orders with the plant and employees they already have they will not hire anyone, regardless of their taxes or billions in the bank. If they are losing business because of late delivery or long checkout lines they will hire more people and buy more equipment regardless of taxes or bulging bank accounts. In other words, DEMAND drives the economy. For three dacades we have been trying this supply-side, trickle-down, cut taxes, and deregulate everything nonsense. Why aren’t we all rich? Why are we in the mess we are in? When will the right-wing idealogues admit their ideas lead only to booms and busts that provide wonderful opportunities for billionaires and jerk the rest of us around?

    Oh yes, freethinker asks what the rich can do with their money except create jobs. Most of are corporate management, so how about buying back stocks to make their options worth even more, or pay themselves outrageous salaries?

  • Dean May

    Two types of People in the world those that believe that there are two types of people in the world & those that don’t. I try not to but am becoming one of the former.
    type one. Those that listen to “fair & balanced ” media – really if you have to say your fair & balanced & we are the you can believe – everyone, EVERYONE else is a vast left wing conspiracy –really doesn’t make you a little suspicious?
    type two. Those that listen to the news & not just what they say but what they do – who votes for and advocates for what – where they get their money or Who their bosses are.
    1 Medicare I & increasingly many of my friends are on medicare & we like it -where is the evidence of death panels??????????
    2 Sadly I am not a millionaire either but I have been in business most of my life
    and here’s the facts not as they should be but as they are. If I came up with the new Air Jordan I would perfect the design – come up with samples – a marketing plan -line up investors – most importantly line up manufacturing – Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam? You would be crazy to try to compete at $14.00 to $20 something per hour versus 20c or whatever you could find per hour over there. BECAUSE you have INVESTORS, STOCKHOLDERS to answer to – to make a profit for – the TOP 1% THE MILLIONAIRES. So I guess your right they do create jobs just not for us. I guess it might fall to government to do that with infrastructure education etc.
    And #3 Of course government had a lot to do with housing bubble & burst. Was that not one of the main themes of the Bush Administration -every week something about we want to be an ownership society – own your own home – go out & spend after 911 (don’t worry about the war – we will borrow that money & keep it off the budget).
    Not to mention we will loosen & deregulate banks so you don’t have to check those apps. so close & when you get the money you can gamble with it.
    Yea we agree on this – the administration (Bush) was arm & arm with Wall Street on this one.

  • patricia wiseman

    A recipe for the housing deaster bank deregulation,greed,and job lose. The real estate market was doing OK until the Stock Market took a dive with the dot com. bust. People decided that real estate was a lot safer and the bankers where only to happy to give us anything we wanted. Real Estate was doubling and trippling in month’s not years, it was a feeding frenzy. The down side was that no one was paying attention to the job market, many of the better paying jobs had been going elsewhere for the past 10-15 years, it was gradual so we didn’t seem to notice. Finally the last major plant closed. Now many poeple where holding on but they had loans that had ballon payments or other gimmicks so they’re payments went up or they where foreclosed. The government thought hay will bail out the banks and maybe they’ll renegociate the mortages, but they just pocketed the money, waited a little bit then gave themselves a pat on the back and a big bonus.This is an example of deregulation at it’s best. Thank’s again Reagan

  • Doctor in the House

    My favorite lie of the year is attributable to Obama. It states that Obamacare will make medical costs go down, decrease the cost of insurance, and allow you to see any doctor you want.

  • DavidSims

    There is a healthy mistrust the government. I don’t trust government either without “sunshine laws” and “checks and balances” that can deal will corruption. I have much less trust in “Big Business” and “for-profit” insurance and healthcare businesses hiding behind corporate shields. For profit healthcare is still relatively new in our nation, and it has been a dismal failure in terms of its own propaganda promising that “sound business principals” and “competition” would hold down the cost of health care. I can remember in the late sixties when Blue Cross-Blue Shield was a Physicians Mutual co-op and hospitals were community owned not-for-profit institutions. Many were built as community “war memorial” institutions. Schools and Hospitals were initially community or religious institutions. Some still bear the name. For four decades, we see big insurance and corporate hospitals creating essential monopolies and feeding like hogs in a wallow at the expense of government and small business. The “overhead” or “administrative expense” of for profit insurance companies is many times that of Medicare. It is a sick joke to see private for profit corporations campaign against “government health care” and talk about “death panels” and “rationed care.” Of course they already ration healthcare. Both the “individual mandate” and allowing physicians to bill for their time consulting patients and families about care for the terminally ill were good Republican ideas.
    I grew up in a rural conservative Christian church where World War II and Korean War veterans worshiped and taught. They believed that this was too blessed a country for any child ever to go to bed hungry or anyone ever to go without the health care they needed. They were hardly “socialist,” but they supported community owned not-for profit hospitals and public schools, libraries, and trash collection. They built a Volunteer Fire Department. They believed in the county. So do I, but I do not equate privatized “subsidies” with Medicare.

  • orkneylad275

    “BECAUSE you have INVESTORS, STOCKHOLDERS to answer to – to make a profit for – the TOP 1% THE MILLIONAIRES.” — This is in part how Dean May sees the world .

    It’s more complicated than that, however. Let’s leave aside for the moment individual shareholders. Many pension funds are invested in corporations some of whose manufacturing is done overseas. I don’t believe this is the time to excoriate those corporations and start a “let’s get the institutional shareholders in corporation X to divest themselves of their shares in that corporation because it manufactures its products in sweatshops overseas” movement.

    Let’s also postpone discussing overseas sweatshops. Many of the manufacturing jobs once held by diligent, productive Americans will no longer return to our shores unless the feds borrow the money to subsidize the re-Americanization of these jobs. Unfortunately, we have thousands of our fellow citizens trained for jobs that no longer exist and won’t ever exist here again.

    Also unfortunately, many of these people are not at the age when they are easily retrainable — and this has nothing to do with their worth as human beings — for the jobs that are and will become available — in IT, the health care professions, etc. Of course, we will still need skilled tradesmen: electricians, carpenters, plumbers, automobile mechanics, et al. But given the current economy even these trades are not hiring as they will.

    Part of our problem, as I see it, is that we’ve come to believe the partial truth that everyone should go to university. That’s bull, even though someone will cite statistics that show that those who graduate from university will earn N-odd more money over their lifetimes than those who do not attend university. There is nothing demeaning or dishonorable about attending a vo-tech school and learning a trade. And the qualified tradesmen I know are not thriving, but they also are not starving.

    The important thing, to my mind, is that whatever tertiary education one acquires should help one learn how to learn. The days of our joining the workforce at duPont, Ford, United States Steel, etc., and spending our working lives there are gone.

    I mention a few areas where it is likely that there will be jobs in the near future, but I cannot predict which areas may develop or which ones will decline. That’s why we in the workforce must be flexible enough to acquire other skills when the ones we’ve been using are less pertinent to a well-functioning economy.

    On to the 1%. I do not believe they are the job creators in our society. Careful perusal of where the wealthiest Americans derive their income ought to confirm or refute that idea once and for all. Furthermore, I believe it is only a partial truth that small businesses are the bee hives of job creating activity. Yes, we have many small businesses, but I would like to see the statistics on how many “small” businesses have how many people on their payrolls and how the number of employees varies in a “normal” economy. I suspect that it is middle-sized businesses that are the job creators. It’s certainly not the entrepreneurs. Only a few like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and the like ever succeed in turning a “mom and pop” operation into a vast business-changing, profit making enterprises. Most of the small businesses remain just that. And many of them fail annually.

    So what should we do? I wish I knew. But I do know this: as long as the feds keep on borrowing and the value of the dollar grows less in real terms, Mark Twain was correct: “It isn’t the sum you get, it’s how much you can buy with it, that’s the important thing; and it’s that that tells whether your wages are high in fact or only high in name.”

  • Fearfull Ralph

    I keep seeing mentions of death panels either stating that they are a factor of Obamacare or not a factor and I would like to share an experience that I had in 1998. My mother had a series of strokes and was bedridden and completely unresponsive in an extended care hospital when a doctor asked if I would take time to discuss my mother’s treatment. Of course, I would and the doctor spent a great deal of time explaining my mother’s poor prognosis and finally convinced me to transfer her to the Hospice wing to ease her suffering and save money. Much to my surprise my cost immediately went up by a factor of ten and later I discovered that the doctor who had requested an interview with me did not work for the hospital but worked for my mother’s insurance company. Yes, it did save money for the insurance company since it shifted the cost of her care completely to me and it is obvious that this particular private for profit insurance company had a death panel consisting of one doctor well trained in convincing relatives to shift the cost of patient care from the insurance company to the family.

  • kurt.lorentzen

    This is one of the best and most well reasoned posts I’ve ever seen. About 80% of what’s written in response to aticles here are pure “I’m-on-the-bandwagon” rhetoric. It’s refreshing to see that a few of us can actually still think for ourselves, make astute observations, and come to rational conclusions. Keep it up!

  • Hankk

    Folks, Medicare and Social Security ARE NOT ENTITLEMENTS and we must not cave to the lies of the teapublicans and their owned media. Almost 100 years ago GREED led us into the GREAT DEPRESSION, from the same sources that caused todays mess. The plain fact is that humans can not operate in a non regulated society when they have to play by the rules. Another fact is that we the people have been under attack from the TEAPUBLICAN SWIFT BOAT LIE MACHINE, and it’ll get worse. Because they have no good points to tell the people, them and their owners resort to nasty lies. We the people need to remember that the creation of the middle class (by FDR and his congress’s NEW DEAL) is what made our country great, and de-regulations beginning in 1982 IS RESPONSIBLE for the fall of our great nation. Without a strong middle class there will be no come back, the biggest lie of the last 3 decades is ” tax breaks(welfare) for the wealthy & corporations is what creates jobs and keeps a strong economy. hankk, MI