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Monday, July 16, 2018

Yes, the Republican nominee for vice president Paul Ryan (R-WI) is lying. Pointing this out isn’t a Karl Rove “turn a strength into a weakness” campaign ploy – as it was in 2000 when Republicans accused Al Gore of exaggerating his achievements. And this assertion of fact isn’t based on Ryan’s marathon time exaggeration or even the purposeful deceptions in his Republican National Convention speech. It’s who Paul Ryan is. And knowing this is crucial to understanding what Ryan proposes.

Let’s be clear, as the president often says: Paul Ryan’s entire reputation is built on a lie. By elevating him to the national spotlight, Mitt Romney – who is no friend of the truth – unwittingly has done America a great favor.

Ben Smith at Buzzfeed gives credit to Romney and Ryan for honestly laying out their plans to cut domestic programs and taxes. But Smith is completely ignoring the lies that the Republican ticket is using to sell these cuts.

Pointing this reality out is the duty of anyone who wants the American people to know what exactly is at stake in November. Medicare cannot be saved by doing what Paul Ryan proposes. To let him get away with campaigning on that promise is to promote that lie.

Let’s put Ryan’s lies into context.

In 2010, Paul Ryan released a budget that confirmed many of America’s worst fears about the Republican Party. The “Ryan Plan” cut Medicare and turned it into a voucher program. It slashed every federal program for the poor and the middle class. And it would have privatized Social Security.

The point of the budget, Ryan said, was to deal with the mounting debt. But why then did it feature tax breaks for richest Americans that virtually erased any potential debt reductions?

It’s simple. As Matt Miller at the Washington Post has noted, Ryan is masquerading as a fiscal conservative.