Some of Obama’s biggest debate whoppers

| October 5 2012
Greg Conterio

Romney’s 47% Rule – My own Corollary

Don’t waste your time reasoning with those who aren’t going to believe anything you say.

For political and policy junkies like me, one of the remarkable  aspects of Wednesday night’s debate was the sheer number of things Obama said that just were not true.  I had to quit taking notes on them, because there were just so many, I was missing much of the debate.

What is really amazing to me is after sitting through eight years of hearing liberals shriek “BUSH LIED!!” and trying to characterize everything he said as a deliberate attempt to deceive, how they are so willing to defend the actual, blatant lies of his successor.  Such is the hypocrisy of partisanship, I suppose.  And then I am always disheartened whenRepublicans just roll-over or ignore obvious lies, and let them go unchallenged.  To me, that was probably the biggest, most pleasant surprise Wednesday night, that Romney did not let any of the obvious mistruths from Obama just go by.  It seemed like he challened them all.  I think that is one of the biggest reasons for his success.

Of course the liberals were quick to respond Thursday morning that Romney had lied too.  The Democrats are actually even fundraising on this meme today, if you can believe that.  Of course they conveniently fail to provide any specifics.  What’s amazing is the chutzpah of some who like to wag their finger at you, and say if you were really fair-minded, you would acknowledge the lies of BOTH candidates, and then go on to only focus on those they claim came from Romney.  I’m going to invoke a variation on the Romney 47% Rule, and not bother trying to explain or defend accusations about Romney’s statements to a bunch of people who are not going to believe anything I say anyway.  But I would like to examine a couple of the really huge whoppers that came from Obama Wednesday night, because Thursday morning, he was out telling many of them again.

Number One – “Social Security is structurally sound.”  My jaw literally dropped when I heard him say this.  Seriously, how does anyone actually say such a thing with a straight face?  This sounded like something Biden would say.  This is like walking into the kitchen to find your three-year-old sitting on the floor, shoveling grape jelly straight from the jar into his mouth with a big wooden spoon, saying “what, I didn’t do anything!  It wasn’t me!”   You remember how after his “You didn’t build that!” gaffe, the liberals came out a few days later and said we were all idiots not to understand Obama was actually referring to public infrastructure?  I expect any day now for these same people to explain that when he said “structurally sound” Obama was clearly referring to the building Social Security is housed-in.  To quote MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, hardly a right-wing source, “We all know that’s not true looking into the future.”

Number Two –  “I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas.”  Romney shot this one down quite effectively during the debate, and rightfully so.  There is no such loophole.  There is nothing on the books at all providing any sort of incentive for companies to move jobs overseas.  Obama just pulled it out of his backside.  This one deserves special attention for two reasons:  First, Obama is still saying it.  The very next day after the debate, he was out making fun of Romney for apparently being so ignorant as not to know about such deductions.  Second, some of the “fact-checkers” are disingenuously giving Obama cover on this one.  Even Foxnews.com has a blurb about it, noting that the cost of moving, whether it be to Kansas or Kuala Lumpur, is deductible as a business expense.  Technically they say, moving a company overseas is deductible.  But that is not the claim Obama made.  He said he wants to “close the loophole.”  No such loophole exists, and even the fact-checkers acknowledge that while moving expenses are deductible, there is no specific incentive to more jobs overseas.  To be fair, Obama may just assume such an incentive exists.  It’s a part of the urban mythology specific to those steeped in class warfare, which would mean that this is not necessarily a lie.  But seriously, as president which is worse, lying about this, or being so profoundly ignorant of such a fundamental principle as to believe it is true?

And finally, my favorite – “saving” 716 billion in Medicare overpayments.  This was another one where I nearly fell out of my seat.  The truth: in negotiating the details of Obamacare, the administration talked insurers and providers into a $716 billion cut in payments from the government in order to help pay for the costs of the ACA.  Their theory behind this is that as Obamacare swings into effect, Medicare recipients will shift to that, and out of Medicare.  The reason they predict this will happen is…???  There is no reason.  It’s just an assertion.  Obama presented this Wednesday night as if he had ferreted-out $716 billion in waste, and thus saved us all a bunch of money.  For my money, this was far and away the biggest whopper of the evening, and yet another stunning example of how Obama routinely uses falsehoods to cover his manifold failures.  So guess what?  Obama DID cut Medicare by $716 billion.  There is no other way to slice it.  Nobody really knows if the recipient roles will shrink as a result of Obamacare or grow, but a cut is a cut.  And after decades of relentless demagoguery thrown at Republicans in which seniors were breathlessly warned that a vote for Republicans was a vote for Medicare cuts, it takes some special kind of nerve to present this as cutting waste.

There were many more examples, and you can in fact find a very useful list of some of them here.  To be fair, Romney got some things wrong too.  He overstated the average amount by which middle-income Americans have seen their income reduced, and said Obama had spent 90 billion on wind and solar energy, when that number actually applied to energy programs in general, but he didn’t make any of the sort of brazen, bald-faced lies Obama did.  And even the “fact-checkers” are getting many things wrong, so if you’re really into finding the truth behind the claims, you need to treat them as a jumping-off point, not an authoritative source.

Frankly, I can hardly wait for the next debate, which will feature the vice-presidential candidates.  Lots of folks are anticipating a bloodbath, featuring as it does the king of finance and budget wonkery, Paul Ryan.  But to me, anytime you let Joe Biden have a microphone, it is guaranteed quality entertainment!

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