Monday, August 20, 2012

Election 2012: Should be Based on FACTS not FALSEHOODS

                                       Election 2012: Should be Based on FACTS
                                                        not FALSEHOODS
20 August 2012
Global American Series

Americans are facing a critical election on the path forward for our country. Therefore, they deserve to make their voting decision based on real FACTS and not political FALSEHOODS. We don’t need an election based on misrepresentations.

So it is GOOD that we are having a discussion on Medicare, taxes and the budget. We finally have an election based on “Big Ideas” instead of little ones. 

However, here is where FACTS come in. One of the first casualties of facts is the assertion by Romney’s campaign that “Obama has removed the work requirement from welfare.”  This is “pants on fire” false.  When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts he asked for the same waiver that the Obama administration has given states to give them more flexibility in meeting the work requirements.  Obama has actually strengthened the work requirement by 20%. So is the Romney claim a “dog whistle” call to supporters who think welfare recipients are lazy no- goods?

The second big claim that does not match the facts is Gov. Romney’s declaration that “Obama took $716 Billion out of Medicare.” It makes it sound like Obama REDUCED BENEFITS to people.

NOT TRUE.  Medicare recipients have not had one dollar cut from their payments. Obama’s Affordable Care Act has covered more of the “do-nut hole” for prescriptions. It did lower payments to insurers (not people) – which extends the life of Medicare by eight years. Without those changes Medicare would have run out of money by 2016. 

By putting that $716 billion on the table (i.e. by paying the insurance companies MORE) the GOP plan would have the Medicare system run out of cash in four (4) years -- in 2016. 

Obama’s campaign has been sticking with Facts, although the Priorities USA SuperPAC has painted a picture of Romney’s a plant lay off by Bain Capital as causing a man’s wife to die of cancer when she died five years after he lost his job and insurance.

But Romney’s Super PAC’s are no more honest.  That is a problem caused by the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision that lets SuperPAC’s acquire unlimited funding to say anything they wish, whether true or false. Unfortunately, 90% of the SuperPAC ads supporting Mr. Romney during the primary made FALSE statements about his GOP primary opponents.  So we have a case of the “pot calling the kettle black” when it comes to false SuperPAC ads.

Campaigns should have a higher standard than that. They should be policy focused and FACT based.  Unfortunately, facts and truth are in short supply this year.

We are entitled to our own opinions but we need Election 2012 to be made on HONEST FACTS and not FALSEHOODS by the campaigns. If a campaign cannot win based on truth then it deserves to lose. A campaign win based on FALSEHOODS is a deceptive win that undermines our democracy -- because it was based on a lie to the American public.

It is up to the media and all of us to insure that Americans are given honest truth from which to make their decision this November 6.

NEXT: Will there be an “October Surprise” – an attack by Israel on Iran’s nuke complex? If so, who would it benefit the most?

Michael Fjetland
Global American Series
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