TAMPA, Fl - At his party's convention here last night GOP Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan rolled out, Orwellian-style, what just might be the biggest lie yet in the 2012 election campaign.
He labeled President Obama's cutting of waste from Medicare as a takeaway of $700 million from seniors. What really happened, of course, is that the Affordable Care Act cut overpayments to private insurers and hospitals that were making billions in profits and reinvested the money in traditional Medicare. Seniors have seen major improvements in Medicare services as a result.
Ryan labeled his and Romney's plan to end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher program as a plan to "save Medicare for our seniors and for future generations."
Not content with just trying to float a few lies about Medicare, Ryan blamed Obama for the closing of the GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan's hometown. The fact that the plant closed in 2008, before Obama even took office, apparently made no difference to Ryan or to the delegates who cheered when he made the claim.
Ryan said Obama "began with the country having a Triple A credit rating and is ending his term with a downgraded America."
Standard and Poors actually lowered the credit rating because Republicans in Congress, led by Ryan himself, were threatening to shut down the government in a budget fight.
The program that Ryan laid out last night is being widely described as a nightmare for American workers.
The Congressional Budget Office says that, if adopted, the proposed budget would shut down all government functions except defense, Social Security and Health Care.
That includes, says the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, education, medical and scientific research, highways, Medicaid, national parks, border patrols, police and fire protection, food safety and many other programs.
The vision Ryan spoke of last night endorses more tax breaks for the wealthy and for corporations, all paid for by cuts in Social Security, Medicare and other programs that working people depend upon.
Photo: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney checks to determine whether Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan' pants are on fire during a campaign speaking event. Mary Altaffer)/AP