Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell

Dogberry on the Obama Campaign

They have committed false report;
moreover, they have spoken untruths;
secondarily, they are slanders;
sixth and lastly, they have belied a candidate;
thirdly, they have verified unjust things;
and, to conclude, they are lying knaves

If you stretch the facts a little and creatively manipulate data and statistics to make your point, you are called an obfuscator, which is a fancy word for being not exactly accurate. If you transition into telling blatant falsehoods, you are called a liar. If you double down on those lies by calling the person exposing your lies the real liar, you are a lying liar. And if you persist in perpetuating those lies even though they have been universally refuted by objective fact checkers, you get the prestigious Dogberry award for being the lyingest lying liar of them all. Congratulations to President Obama and his campaign team, the newest Dogberry recipients for their unashamed and persistent lies about Mitt Romney's tax plan despite all facts to the contrary
We were in Iowa this last weekend for a wedding and, Iowa being a battleground state, we were bombarded by presidential political ads on t.v. (We get no such ads in MN since it seems clear our home state will continue the Democrat zombie walk it has engaged in since Carter.) The Obama campaign's post-debate ads continue promoting the claim that Romney’s tax reform plan will give a $5 trillion dollar tax cut* to the wealthy funded on the backs of the middle class. This blatant lie is perpetuated despite being rebutted by Romney himself in the debate, and soundly debunked by every fact-check that has addressed the issue. Why do I care, if it is so patently false a claim? Well, I’ll tell you.

Unfortunately, I have many friends and relations that only get their news from MSNBC or the propaganda firm of Colbert, Stewart, and Maher. They only read liberal rags like the New York Times, Washington Post, or our own Minneapolis Star and Sickle…er…Tribune. And they only follow left wing hack columnists like Andrew Sullivan, Ezra Klein, E.J. Dionne, and Paul Krugman. So they only hear the lying liars' lies claiming Romney lied in the debate. Hence they will believe these ads without giving any scrutiny to Romney’s actual plan. Luckily, despite all the misinformation they are absorbing, they may, due to our relationship, tolerate and give some credence, however slight, to a blog post from me. So my friends, here is the truth.

Mitt Romney has proposed a 5 point plan for creating 12 million new jobs. Anyone can look at this plan on the Romney web site. I suggest everyone look at Romney’s full plan and judge its merits on its face, not based on what Romney’s enemies say about it. Here is the link to the plan, so you have no excuse for remaining ignorant: http://www.mittromney.com/jobsplan.

The tax proposal which is being mischaracterized by the left is part of point 5 of the plan: “Champion Small Business”. The pertinent bullet point is: “Reduce taxes on job creation through individual…tax reform”. (There are corporate, capital gains, and other tax components to the proposal, but it is the individual tax rate reduction that is the focus of the “$5 Trillion tax break for the wealthy” claim.) The specific proposal has two parts: “Reduce individual marginal income tax rates across-the-board by 20 percent” and “Broaden the tax base to ensure that tax reform is revenue-neutral”.

In the debate, Romney expanded on the “broaden the tax base” part of the plan. Not only is he counting on increased employment and production to bring in more tax revenue but he also stated that he would close loopholes and remove deductions in an effort to reform the tax code and eliminate tax avoidance (not tax evasion, which is illegal, but tax avoidance, which is the legal tax gymnastics which help reduce an individual’s tax burden, a practice which overwhelmingly favors the wealthy). He stated two absolutes about these effects. 1) They would net to a near zero reduction in taxes for the wealthy, and 2) they would not result in net tax increases for the middle class. In fact, he said he would not sign any legislation, no matter how closely it followed his plan, if it raised taxes on the middle-class or did not result in net deficit reduction. In essence, he is saying he will only do it if it does what he says it will do - lower taxes AND increase revenue with a net effect of reducing the deficit.

“How can you do both?” you might ask (especially if you only listen to the left who say that it is impossible). Well, the simple answer is “the same way Reagan did”. Most people will recognize this as supply side economics. You know, that form of economics employed by Ronald Reagan which ushered in the longest sustained period of peace time economic expansion in the country’s history. It works because, combined with the other elements in Romney’s 5 point plan, it will increase employment and domestic production dramatically. Tax reductions for both corporate and individual small business owners will encourage hiring and expansion. Tax reductions for the middle class will increase household income and spur purchasing, leading to more production. More people working and more companies producing means more tax revenue. The tax cuts will be “paid for” by economic growth, as well as by the tax reform that will eliminate tax loopholes for the rich, which ironically, is exactly what the left has wanted for years.

Now, people can disagree about the feasibility of this plan. Many people still don’t believe that Reagan’s economic policies worked (despite all the empirical evidence to the contrary). Others will say that deficit reduction is impossible even with such economic growth. (Please read the whole Romney plan, as this is only one part which contributes to, but is not the be-all-end-all of, deficit reduction.) That may all turn out to be true, but this post is not an argument for the Romney plan. I simply want to point out how the Obama campaign is lying about the Romney plan. There is nothing in this plan that produces a $5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy, or increases taxes in any way on the middle class. In fact, the plan will be implemented in such a way as to minimize the NET tax benefit for the wealthy while maximizing it for the middle class. Anyone who claims otherwise is blatantly lying or woefully ignorant.

This brings up a more serious point regarding the campaign. The Obama camp is claiming that Romney lied in the debate and that he has reversed course from policies he has been touting for over a year. Yet you can read the plan for yourself. You can see that Romney portrayed the plan accurately in the debate and that the plan has been in place for a good deal of time. On the other hand, it is clear that the Obama campaign is purposely perpetuating a bold faced lie in their campaign ads. Is that the kind of President we want?

*The $5 trillion figure is based on the projected tax savings which result from the 20% reduction in individual marginal tax rates. The figure is cumulative over 10 years, even though the Obama campaign ads make it seem like it is an annual savings. Nobody disputes this figure, but it is only one half of the equation.

For more fun on the Obama campaign’s attempt to keep you in the dark on the facts, read this new article from “Iowahawk”: White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium. A teaser:
WASHINGTON DC - Engaged [in] a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House's Center for Narrative Control say they will take "all steps necessary" to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.

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