Lies, Lies and More Lies

How do the progressives lie? Let me count the ways!

1-We now have an entitlement crisis because George W. Bush “squandered” the surplus left to him. Lie!

The reality is a bit more complicated.

To start with, it’s important to emphasize that the projected surpluses were just that — projections. As the Congressional Budget Office cautioned in its January 2001 report on which Montgomery based her piece, “considerable uncertainty” surrounded them.

The CBO wrote that “the U.S. economy and the federal budget are highly complex and are affected by many economic and technical factors that are difficult to predict. As a result, actual budgetary outcomes will almost certainly differ from CBO’s baseline projections.”

And as it turned out, in 2001, one of the most unpredictable events in American history happened — the Sept. 11 attacks. Not only did the attacks further weaken an economy that had already been shaken by the bursting of the tech bubble, but they led to an increase in defense spending after a decade of historically low military spending resulting from the post-Cold War “peace dividend.” This was to some degree inevitable no matter who was president….

2-The rich don’t pay enough in taxes. Lie!

This is not an argument for making the tax system less progressive; but the data is a necessary corrective to the impression advanced by the Democrats that the rich don’t pay their “fair share.” They pay much more than that.

3-Higher taxes on oil companies will reduce the price at the pump. Lie!

Wood Mackenzie also found that should taxes be increased on oil companies by $5 billion a year, that “would result in a $128 billion loss in government revenue and would reduce domestic production by 400,000 barrels per day by 2025,” with an additional 1.2 million barrels per day at risk. “This tax increase would increase, not decrease our reliance on foreign sources of oil.”

4-President Obama has a plan to reduce the budget. Lie!

Ever since President Obama gave his speech on deficit reduction last month, in response to the Paul Ryan-authored 2012 House Republican budget, press accounts have suggested that he has released an actual budget that would reduce deficit spending by $4 trillion. This claim is wrong on both counts: Obama has not released a second budget, and the proposals he outlined in his speech and its corresponding “framework” would not reduce deficit spending by anywhere near $4 trillion.

5-Paul Ryan’s budget plan contains and individual mandate, just like Obamacare. Lie!

In what could be a sign of desperation on the part of opponents of the Paul Ryan’s budget, theWashington Post’s Ezra Klein and Slate’s Simon Lazarus both argue that the House budget contains an Obamacare-like individual mandate that requires people to buy health insurance under penalty of law. The short and simple answer is: No, it doesn’t.

6-Free markets don’t work when it comes to education. Lie!

Teachers unions and their political allies argue that market forces can’t supply quality education. According to them, only our existing system—politicized and monopolistic—will do the trick. Yet Americans would find that approach ludicrous if applied to other vital goods or services.

7-Paul Ryan’s plan will kill seniors. Lie!

Follow the lies for the truth.

Update: I almost forgot this oil lie, propagated by none other that Politifact!

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