Where Are The Lies?

This entry is part 37 of 47 in the series Blog1

Thinker: Okay, what’s the first lie?

True Believer: Paul Ryan claimed that Obama was to blame for the closing of the GM Janesville plant when the truth is it closed in December of 2008 before he was even President. That’s an obvious lie if I ever heard one.


Thinker: I have to admit that it does sound like an obvious lie the way that you, the media and the Left in general have distorted his words.

True Believer: How so?


Thinker: First let us start with the untrue statement you made which has spread like a virus all over the Internet and media. The hard fact is the Janesville plant did not close in December 2008, but April 23, 2009 when Obama was President.

True Believer: That’s not what I heard.


Thinker: Of course not. Here, Google “Janesville closing April 2009” Now click on the first site that comes up which is an article from the local Janesville paper.


True Believer: It looks like most of the employees were laid off in December.  It appears that it was as good as closed then.


Thinker: So by your logic, which agrees with the blogs of the Left, the plant was closed even though it was still producing 25 Isuzu trucks a week. Does that really make sense to you?

True Believer: Everyone knew it was going to close before Obama became President so it was as good as closed.


Thinker: First when a plant is open and manufacturing it is not closed.  There should be no debate about that. Secondly, Obama provided the funds to bail out GM.  He could have channeled funds to keep the Janesville plant open. Isn’t that correct?

True Believer: I suppose, but it was seen as a lost cause.


Thinker: Which brings us to Ryan’s controversial statement at the convention.  Here are his actual words;


My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory. 


A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.”  That’s what he said in 2008.


Now let us go through this quote to see if we can find a lie. Did Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin vote for Obama in 2008 as he said?

True Believer: Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean anything.


Thinker: Just want to cover all the points as we search for a lie. Next he said, When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.” Any lies in this statement?

True Believer: Not sure. Was there a danger of closing when Obama spoke there?


Thinker: Yes, he spoke there on Feb 13, 2008 one day after GM announced a $38.7 billion loss.  Many were expecting the plant to close, but Obama’s speech gave them some hope. Wouldn’t you agree?

True Believer: I’m not sure.


Thinker: One day after the bad financial news depressed all the workers Obama expressed his belief that with government support the plant would be there another hundred years. Since he was likely to be the next president we can sure understand that he gave people hope the plant would stay open. Doesn’t that sound true?

True Believer: I’ll have to look into it.


Thinker: The facts are before us.  There’s not much more to look into. My question to you is where is the lie that Ryan has been accused of time and time again?

True Believer: I think Ryan left something out of the quote and that gave the wrong impression.


Thinker: In a convention address one has to use as few words as possible, but we do not have that limit here.  Here is Obama’s full quote on the subject:

“I know that General Motors received some bad news yesterday, and I know how hard your governor has fought to keep jobs in this plant. But I also know how much progress you’ve made — how many hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles you’re churning out.


“And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years.”


Now you’ve read the more complete quote can you find any lie that Ryan gave about it?

True Believer: I’ll look into it.


Thinker: If you are honest you have to admit he merely expressed what happened and let the audience draw its own conclusions

True Believer: I’m sure I read about him lying about this.


Thinker: So did, I but apparently the accusation itself was a lie.

True Believer: Let me Google this.  You must be leaving something out.  Here it is.  A few days before the convention Ryan gave a speech saying this:

“I remember President Obama visiting it when he was first running, saying he’ll keep that plant open. One more broken promise.”


Thinker: Now you’re drifting off the subject, which is concerning lies told during the convention. If statements before the convention are fair game then I can bring up the fact that Obama said he visited 57 states. The fact is he has been accused many times in the media of lying in his convention speech and we see this is not true. In a previous speech he inferred that Obama promised to keep the plant open. After reading the text I can certainly see how many walked away from Obama’s speech believing this. However, technically he did not make a promise but gave them hope he would do something about it.  There’s a pretty think line between giving hope and a promise in this context. It looks to me that Ryan realized that he could have been more accurate and improved his phrasing for the convention. Again, can you find any lie in this statement that he made at the convention?

True Believer: He can think of nothing that makes any sense.


Thinker: We couldn’t find a lie in the first accusation.  Tell me something else you think was a lie given at the Republican Convention.

True Believer: How about this.  In his convention speech Romney said, and I quote, “unlike President Obama, I will not raise taxes on the middle class.” This is an obvious lie. Everyone knows Obama lowered taxes on the middle class.


Thinker: Are you talking about the temporary reductions on the payroll taxes?

True Believer: Yes.  That benefited the Middle Class.


Thinker: Let’s analyze these supposed tax cuts. The first one was a part of the stimulus in 2009 and reduced taxes of an individual in the middle class a whopping $7.69 a week for a year. The second one was also temporary and this reduced Social security taxes 2%.  This was more substantial and reduced taxes on the typical family around $1000.  Higher earners had this tax reduced by a couple thousand. Those who made over $250,000 were not affected. This expires in January 2013 which means that the middle class is due for a tax hike on that date just as Romney said. On the other hand, such a short term tax cut is more of a rebate, kind of like the one issued by Bush when he sent out checks to everyone. Because that was a short term effect he didn’t call that a tax cut, but a rebate

True Believer: So you admit that Obama did cut taxes?


Thinker: But notice that Romney never said Obama never cut taxes, even though some would call them rebates, but was talking in future tense and on January 1, 2013 taxes will go up around $1000 a year on the typical middle class family.

True Believer: But taxes did go down.


Thinker: Yes, but they will go up. Furthermore, it was a dumb tax cut because it takes over $120 billion a year from Social Security. And to replace that so Social; Security checks will still come on time we will have to borrow from the Chinese or some other source.  Does that make sense?

True Believer: Desperate times require desperate measures.


Thinker: But not stupid ones. Also, we are not only facing tax increases from the expiration of the temporary tax cuts but from Obamacare.

True Believer: That wouldn’t be a tax though.


Thinker: The Supreme Court disagrees. They have decreed that the mandated fees we have to pay to support Obamacare is a tax. That tax for middle-income families will be between $2085 to $12,500 a year. This will be a tax on the middle class just as Romney said. Here’s an interesting article relating five tax increases in the Middle class through Obamacare.

True Believer: We need health insurance anyway so it’s really not like a tax.


Thinker: But the Supreme Court says it is a tax because it’s mandated. Obama’s lawyers even argued that it was a tax before the court.  Now I try and take care of myself so I don’t have high health care costs.  For the last 50 years I have averaged less than $100 a year for any medical expenses. If I was forced to pay $12,500 a year, as some will be forced to do, then I would have paid out $625,000 for $5000 worth of services. I’d personally call that a penalty tax with close to zero benefits for myself. How in the world can you argue that this is not a tax?

True Believer: (He has no intelligent response.)


Thinker: I’ve given you positive evidence that Romney did not lie about Obama taxing the Middle Class. So time to try again.  Tell me something else said at the convention you think is a lie.

True Believer: I’ll tell you a clear cut one. The theme for the convention on Tuesday, Aug 28th was “We Built It.” They distorted Obama’s words about building businesses throughout the entire convention making him say something that he didn’t say.


Thinker: It is certainly true that they emphasized individual initiative with this theme and speakers gave a number of examples of what individuals have built or created. Surely you can’t believe it is a lie to do that?

True Believer: No but the whole idea is built on the lie that Obama said something he never said.



Let me remind you that we have already covered Obama’s remarks in the full context. Here’s the link so you can refresh your memory.


Read our dialog again and you’ll see I’ve made a pretty good case that when Obama said, “You didn’t build that,” that he was talking about an individual’s business. Are you saying that I am lying to you right now because I think this?

True Believer: I wouldn’t accuse you of lying.  You seem to believe what you are saying.


Thinker: But I am saying the same thing the Republicans did at the convention and many Democrats are accusing them of lying. At worst they are not understanding Obama.  But I have a clincher that gives proof as to what Obama did mean.

True Believer: What’s that?


Thinker: First let me ask you this.  When Obama said, “You didn’t build that,” what was he referring to?

True Believer: He was saying that the business owner didn’t build roads, bridges and other things necessary for his business. Republicans distorted his words to make it sound like he meant the individual’s business.


Thinker: Tell me – are roads and bridges plural or singular?

True Believer: Plural obviously.


Thinker: Then why didn’t Obama say “You didn’t build THEM” or “those things?”

True Believer: I’m sure he wasn’t thinking of his English.


Thinker: Come on!  He’s a Harvard graduate.  He knows correct English. He knows the word “that” refers to something in the singular like a business. When he said, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.” He was speaking correct English only if he was referring to the singular business, not to the plural roads and businesses. It sounds to me like you owe the Republicans an apology for accusing them of lying at the convention when you can’t articulate one lie told there.  What do you think?

True Believer: It’ll be a cold day in hell before you get an apology out of me.


Thinker: I think we have a point of agreement here.

Copyright 2012 by J J Dewey

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