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BRIDGE BRIEFING: Lyin' Ryan

Ryan Lied About A Wisconsin Plant That Closed In 2008

Janesville Gazette: “Obama Wasn’t President When The Plant Closed.” According to the Janesville Gazette, “Rep. Paul Ryan took an example from his hometown Aug. 16 when discussing energy policy in Ohio. Some have questioned his facts. Ryan told the Ohio audience that the Janesville General Motors plant closed in 2009, and he said President Barack Obama’s policies were, in part, to blame. Obama wasn’t president when the plant closed. Production ended in December 2008.” [Janesville Gazette, 8/28/12]

Washington Post: Despite Careful Wording, Ryan Implication Inaccurate Because Plant “Largely Closed In December 2008.” According to the Washington Post, “In his acceptance speech, GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan appeared to suggest that President Obama was responsible for the closing of a GM plant in Ryan’s home town of Janesville, Wis. Obama gave his speech in February 2008, and he did say those words. But Ryan’s phrasing, referring to the fact the plant did not last another year, certainly suggests it was shut down in 2009, when Obama was president. Ryan, in fact, issued a news release in June 2008, urging GM to keep the plant open after the automaker announced it would close it. The plant was largely closed in December 2008 when production of General Motors SUVs ceased — before Obama was sworn in. A small crew of about 100 workers completed a contract for production of medium-duty trucks for Isuzu Motors, a contract that ended in April 2009. Note that Ryan called the plant ‘locked up’ rather than ‘shut down.’ That’s because the plant has not been completely shut down; it remains on ‘standby’ and could reopen if GM production reaches the right level, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.” [Washington Post, 8/30/12]

Ryan Lied About The Affordable Care Act Increasing The Deficit

PolitiFact: Ryan’s Statement That the Affordable Care Act Was “Accelerating Our Country Toward Bankruptcy” Was Rated Mostly False. According to the Tampa Bay Times, “Now, is the CBO infallible? Certainly not. And good questions have been raised about some of the CBO’s methods in accounting for the health care law’s effects. We reported on some those concerns in great detail in a fact-check of statement from U.S. Rep Paul Ryan, R-Wisc. He said the law was ‘accelerating our country toward bankruptcy.’ We rated that Mostly False.” [Tampa Bay Times, 6/28/12]

CBO: The Affordable Care Act Will Reduce Deficits By $210 Billion From 2012-2021. According to Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf’s testimony before the House on March 30, 2011: “CBO and JCT effectively estimated in February that PPACA and the health-related provisions of the Reconciliation Act will produce a net decrease in federal deficits of $210 billion over the 2012–2021 period as a result of changes in direct spending and revenues.” [CBO.gov, “CBO’s Analysis of the Major Health Care Legislation Enacted in March 2010,” 3/30/11]

CBO: Repealing The Affordable Care Act Would Add $109 Billion To Deficit Between 2013 And 2022. According to a letter the Congressional Budget Office sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): “H.R. 6079 would repeal the ACA, with the exception of one subsection that has no budgetary effect. […]Assuming that H.R. 6079 is enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2013, CBO and JCT estimate that, on balance, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting that legislation would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013–2022 period.” [CBO.gov, 7/24/12]

The Affordable Care Act Lowers Deficit By More Than Repeal Increases It. According to a letter the Congressional Budget Office sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH): For various reasons discussed elsewhere in this document, the estimated budgetary effects of repealing the ACA by enacting H.R. 6079 are not equivalent to an estimate of the budgetary effects of the ACA with the signs reversed.” [CBO.gov, 7/24/12]

Ryan lied About The Advisory Board Members Being Unaccountable

Politifact: Ryan’s Claim Obama Put “15 Unelected, Unaccountable Bureaucrats” In Charge Of Medicare, Which Could Lead To Denied Care For Seniors, Was Mostly False. According to Politifact, “Vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan claims an ‘unelected, unaccountable’ board created by the health care law ‘will lead to denied care for current seniors.’ His language is more measured than other claims we’ve weighed over the years about Medicare’s new Independent Payment Advisory Board. But did he reach the truth? […]Board members aren’t elected, but it’s a stretch to say they’re entirely unaccountable. They’re appointed by the president and approved by the Senate. The president can fire them for neglect of duty or malfeasance. They’re required to recommend cuts to Medicare in years that other cost-saving measures don’t meet growth targets — but Congress can overrule their recommendations. Meanwhile, ‘denied care’ is a strong way to phrase the board’s possible effect. It’s expected to recommend cutting provider payments, with an eye on cutting waste and inefficiency. That could restrict some seniors’ access to care, depending on the what actions the board actually takes. Meanwhile, the board oversees only a small percentage of the Medicare savings in the health care law. Ryan creates the specter of an unaccountable board making all of Medicare’s spending decisions, but that’s scarcely the case. There’s an element of truth to his claim, but his overstatements add up to a Mostly False impression.” [Politifact, 8/23/12]

The Affordable Care Act Established An Independent Advisory Board (IPAB) To Find Additional Savings Who Are Confirmed By The Senate. As explained by the Kaiser Family Foundation: “The 2010 health reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also referred to as the ACA) establishes a new Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) with authority to issue recommendations to reduce the growth in Medicare spending, and provides for the Board’s recommendations to be considered by Congress and implemented by the Administration on a fast-track basis. […]As authorized by the health reform law, IPAB is an independent board housed in the executive branch and composed of 15 full-time members appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. [Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2011]

NPR: “The Members Have To Be Confirmed By The Senate.” According to NPR: “It will have 15 full-time members, and only a minority of them can be health care providers. The president is required to get suggestions from leaders of both parties in Congress in nominating 12 of the 15 appointees. For the other three, he doesn’t have to consult Congress. The members have to be confirmed by the Senate.” [NPR.org, 3/22/12]

Ryan Lied About The Medicare Advisory Board Rationing Benefits

Ryan Said Obama’s Medicare Plan Would Lead To Rationing Of Health Care For The Elderly. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Escalating the campaign fight over Medicare, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan warned an audience of Florida seniors Saturday that changes to the program made by President Obama’s healthcare plan will lead to rationing of care for the elderly…Obama ‘puts a board of 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in charge of Medicare who are required to cut Medicare in ways that will lead to denied care for current seniors,’ Ryan said. As a result of changes made by the new federal law, ‘one out of six of our hospitals and our nursing homes will go out of business,’ he added.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/18/12]

Politifact: The Health Care Law Specifically States That The Board Cannot “Ration Care.” According to PolitiFact, “Actually, the law specifically states that the board cannot ration care. The board doesn’t look at individual patients or deny individual treatments. Instead, it makes system-wide recommendations to rein in the future growth of Medicare spending, and it makes those recommendations within limited parameters. It also was created to stop runaway spending growth within the Medicare program itself, not to divert money to other budget items.” [PolitiFact.com, 3/12/12]

The Independent Payment Advisory Board Cannot “Ration” Care. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “The Board is prohibited from recommending changes that would reduce payments to certain providers before 2020, and is also prohibited from recommending changes in premiums, benefits, eligibility and taxes, or other changes that would result in rationing.” [Kaiser Family Foundation, April 2011]

Ryan Lied About The Stimulus Not Helping Taxpayers

Ryan’s Claim That The Stimulus Failed To Help Taxpayers Was False. According to Factcheck.Org, “Ryan falsely claimed that the stimulus failed to help taxpayers and that it ‘cut out’ the American people. Actually, more than 25 percent of stimulus dollars went to provide tax relief for workers. Ryan: [The stimulus] cost $831 billion. The largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. … You, the American people of this country, were cut out of the deal. The nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation calculated that about $230 billion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided tax relief. Much of that money, about $116 billion, funded the Making Work Pay tax credit for workers. In 2009 and 2010, the credit gave up to $400 to individuals earning up to $75,000, and gave up to $800 to couples earning up to $150,000.” [FactCheck.org, 8/30/12]

Ryan Falsely Called The Stimulus The “Largest One-Time Expenditure Ever” By The Federal Government. According to the Washington Post, “The stimulus, Paul Ryan writes, ‘cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government.’ This is false any way you cut it. By comparison, the Congressional Research Service estimates (pdf) that World War II cost $4.1 trillion in 2011 dollars. That was the biggest one-time expenditure ever, not the stimulus. Ryan is simply incorrect.” [Washington Post, 8/30/12]

The Recovery Act Included $288 Billion In Tax Cuts. According to PolitiFact,  “Nearly a third of the cost of the stimulus, $288 billion, comes via tax breaks to individuals and businesses. The tax cuts include a refundable credit of up to $400 per individual and $800 for married couples; a temporary increase of the earned income tax credit for disadvantaged families; and an extension of a program that allows businesses to recover the costs of capital expenditures faster than usual. The tax cuts aren’t so much spending as money the government won’t get — so it can stay in the economy.” [PolitiFact.com, 2/17/10]

Stimulus Tax Cuts Benefited Working Families. According to FactCheck.org: “Obama had previously signed a tax cut that benefited nearly all working families and was in effect from 2009 through 2010. The ’Making Work Pay’ tax credit was part of the stimulus bill he signed shortly after taking office. That credit was worth a maximum of $400 per person, or $800 for couples during those years. It phased out at higher income levels, and so its benefit went entirely to individuals making less than $95,000 a year, or couples making less than $190,000. The White House figures it went to ‘95 percent of working families.’ And even allowing for those who are retired or unemployed, it benefited more than 75 percent of all individuals and families, working or not, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.” [FactCheck.org, 5/17/12]