By Manifesto Joe
It was refreshing to see a Democrat (Joe Biden) acting tough and fiesty at Thursday night's vice presidential debate. But something that's often been lost in the analysis is how many brazen whoppers Paul "Ayn" Ryan told in the 40 minutes that he spoke.
Perhaps the most obvious distortion from "Ayn" was on unemployment. He depicted the jobless rate of 10% or so in Biden's hometown of Scranton, Pa., as representative of conditions throughout the country.
This may have gotten by a lot of people who don't follow the news, and the aggressive Biden did miss an opportunity to double up on this point. This absurd distortion came only days after the Bureau of Labor Statistics' most recent U.S. jobless figure of 7.8% was the top story for most media outlets.
Igor Volsky of ThinkProgress points out further that the U.S. jobless rate dropped from a year before in 325 out of 372 metro areas that the bureau surveyed. Here's a link to Volsky's entire analysis.
Myths about Social Security and Medicare
"Ayn" also rehashed the old myths about Social Security and Medicare going broke. Volsky also addresses this "malarkey," as Joe Biden described it:
[T]he possibility of Medicare going bankrupt is —- and historically has been —- greatly exaggerated. In fact, if no changes are made, Medicare would still be able to meet 88 percent of its obligations in 2085. Social Security is fully funded for another two decades and could pay 75 percent of its benefits thereafter. There is also an easy way to ensure the program’s long-term solvency without large changes or cuts to benefits.
Social Security is taxed regressively, with the levy collected on annual incomes only up to $110,100. It would be very easy to shift some of that payroll tax onto people with higher incomes, thereby making the system able to pay 100% of obligations.
But many Mainstream Media outlets such as The Wall Street Journal are demagoguing this issue in a way that favors the wealthy, and keeping alive the myth among younger people that Social Security and Medicare won't be there for them. It isn't that the programs are destined to fail -- it's that the Republican Party is under the spell of people like Grover Norquist (and "Ayn") who lust for their failure and are doing all they can to undermine them.
Here's a link to an article on the subject by Travis Waldron.
The terrorist bogeyman
It had already become clear, listening to gaffes by the fool heading this "ticket," Mitt Scumney, that these people remain mired in a Cold War mentality. Now comes Eddie Munster, beating war drums and rattling sabres over Iran. That country seems to have become the latest villain in The Enemy of the Month Club.
More from Volsky:
(Quote from Ryan) "When Barack Obama was elected, they had enough fissile material -— nuclear material to make one bomb. Now they have enough for five." This is misleading and unproven. Iran now has enough fissile material, but has not yet enriched to the necessary level for a weapon. The Institute for Science and International Security says "it would take Iran more than two months to produce that amount if it started with 20%-grade uranium, and 'several months' to make enough for a bomb using low-enriched uranium. That would give the world community enough time to detect the operation and organize a response, ISIS noted in June."
Well, at least "Ayn" stopped short of saying that Obama wants to implement Sharia law in America. It wouldn't surprise me if he privately thinks that's seriously possible.
Tomorrow night, Obama gets his second shot at Scumney. I hope he's as aggressive as Biden. He made no mistakes on the facts, but his lack of aggression was his perceived failure in the first presidential debate.
With liars like these perhaps only weeks away from the two highest offices in the land, the stakes couldn't be higher.
Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.