The year's worst political deceptions, from both sides.
Despite what you may have heard in 2011:
- The new health care law won’t cost many jobs (and they’ll be poorly paying jobs at that).
- Republicans aren’t proposing to “end” Medicare (and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has signed onto a modified version of the GOP plan).
- Most of the “millionaires” who would pay higher tax rates under a Democratic proposal aren’t job-creating small-business owners.
- President Obama’s mother didn’t really fight to get health insurance coverage as she was dying.
And there was plenty more spin and deception in 2011. Obama claimed he pays a lower tax rate than a teacher. Michele Bachmann endorsed a claim that HPV vaccine causes mental retardation. Joe Biden claimed rapes quadrupled in Flint, Mich., after police layoffs. And that’s just some of the nonsense we debunked.
For our full run-down of the worst political whoppers we encountered during the year, please read on to the Analysis section. And get ready for more in the presidential election year that is about to begin.
Republican Whopper: ‘Job-Killing’ Health Care Law
The truth first: The best economic analysis of the new health care law points to the loss of a “small” number of low-paid jobs — starting in 2014. That’s when firms with 50 or more workers will be required either to provide health insurance coverage to their employees or pay a penalty.
The Congressional Budget Office also says that the law will lead to fewer people who want to work — or who will want to work as many hours as they normally would — because they’ll be better off financially, or won’t feel the need to stay on a job they don’t like just to keep their coverage.
But you would never know that if all you listened to was the constant repetition of the phrase “job-killing” by Republicans bent on repealing the law before it can take full effect.
We first wrote about this back in January, when we noted that House Republicans were attaching the misleading “job-killing” label to the law, and offering only misrepresentations of the evidence to back up their slogan. But the bogus claim has been repeated over and over all year. On Dec. 10, Rep. Michele Bachmann falsely claimed that a study showed the US will “lose 1.6 million jobs over five years if we keep Obamacare” — referring to a business group’s study that did not examine the new law at all, and showed nothing of the sort. And we also found the worst part of Mitt Romney’s first TV spot wasn’t the out-of-context video editing that caused the Obama campaign to label it “dishonest,” but instead was the more substantive claim that the new law is “killing jobs.”
It may be that the constant repetition of this false claim will make a lot of voters believe it. But repeating a whopper doesn’t make it true, it just makes it a bigger whopper.
A ‘Job-Killing’ Law?
More Baloney at ABC/Yahoo! Debate
Romney’s Ad ‘Deceitful & Dishonest’?
Democratic Whopper: Republicans Would ‘End Medicare’
First the truth: The budget plan that Republicans pushed through the House in 2011 would have radically changed Medicare in the future — for workers now under age 55. Starting in the year 2022, the GOP plan called for new Medicare beneficiaries to purchase private insurance with the help of federal subsidies.
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