Well, the first night of the Democratic National Committee Convention is in the history books. And true to expectations, there was the usual level of truth-bending of facts in the speeches--although not to the extent of the conscious distortions of reality and revisionism exhibited by most of the speeches during the Republican National Committee Convention last week.
Thankfully, there are a few nonpartisan organizations--albeit underused & under appreciated in the Grand Scheme--who work to sift through the partisan spin of electoral politics and campaigns to research whether or not claims of our elected and office-seeking leaders represent reality. And thanks to the good people over at FactCheck.org, the statements made during last night's opening speeches of the DNC Committee were put to the test of credibility.
Democratic Disinformation from Charlotte
Posted on September 5, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — We heard a number of dubious or misleading claims on the first night of the Democratic National Convention:
The keynote speaker and others claimed the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, would raise taxes on the “middle class.” He has promised he won’t. Democrats base their claim on a study that doesn’t necessarily lead to that conclusion.
The keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, also said there have been 4.5 million “new jobs” under Obama. The fact is the economy has regained only 4 million of the 4.3 million jobs lost since Obama took office.
Castro also insisted Romney and Ryan would “gut” Pell Grants for lower-income college students. Actually, the Ryan budget calls only for “limiting the growth” of spending for the program, and Ryan has said the maximum grant of $5,550 would not be decreased.
A Democratic governor said Romney “left his state 47th out of 50 in job growth.” Actually, Massachusetts went from 50th in job creation during Romney’s first year to 28th in his final year.
Two advocates of equal-pay legislation said women make 77 cents for every dollar men earn. That’s true on average, but the gap for women doing the same work as men is much less, and not entirely or even mostly the result of job discrimination.
A union president accused Romney of seeking “a government bailout” for “his company.” Not really. In fact, Romney negotiated a favorable but routine settlement with bank regulators on behalf of a former company, the one he had left to form his own Bain Capital firm. No taxpayer funds were involved.
Multiple speakers repeated a claim that the Ryan/Romney Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,400 a year. That’s a figure that applied to Ryan’s 2011 budget plan, but his current proposal (the one Romney embraces) is far more generous. The Congressional Budget Office says it “may” lead to higher costs for beneficiaries, but it can’t estimate how much.
Rep. James Clyburn engaged in partisan myth-making when he said “Democrats created Social Security” while Republicans “cursed the darkness.” History records strong bipartisan support in both House and Senate for the measure President Roosevelt signed in 1935.
Note to Readers
Our managing editor, Lori Robertson, is on the scene in Charlotte at the convention center. This story was written with the help of the entire staff, based in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. We are vetting the major speeches at this convention for factual accuracy, holding Democrats to the same standards we applied in last week’s coverage of the Republican convention.
Reprinted from Fact Check.org (September 5, 2012)
The takeaway here is simple: That in order to make informed choices as voters, people should get off their lazy butts, turn off their favorite belief-validating talking head, push whatever narrow little political ideology they hold dear to out of remains of their narrow little minds, and actually research the claims and slogans shouted by politicians!