Saturday, June 4, 2011

Republicans and the Big Lie: Part LXVIII

Charlie Bass is a NH Republican congressman and, like most Republicans, voted for the Ryan budget which includes a provision that would end Medicare and replace it with a voucher system. This has proved extremely unpopular and the Republicans have faced a lot of opposition over it.

So, the Democrats have been airing a spot in which a NH woman explains why she is now opposed to Charlie Bass even though she voted for him in the past: the main reason is that he voted to end Medicare.

Not so, say Republicans. They claim that their plan is Medicare, since they choose to call it that. Of course, we all know what Medicare is, and a voucher system it is not. That doesn't prevent the PTR from engaging in a bit of, how shall we put it delicately... lying.

Of maybe, in the words of the immortal John Kyl: "It was not intended to be a factual statement."

The PTR demanded that Comcast take the ad off the air. Comcast refused. Will the Party for The Rich now take them to court? Is "beneath contempt" an absolute, or can one be lower than beneath contempt?



  2. Actually, Politifact is wrong in this case about what the CBO actually said. The numbers are more subtle. For a more careful analysis, see this report from The Daily Kos:

    In any case, if you take chicken-noodle soup and eliminate the chicken and replace the noodles with rice, you can't call it by the same name.

  3. If you want further repudiation of the Politifact article, here's more from The New Republic:

    (Their criticism doesn't even require the careful reading of the CBO report, which is supplied by the Kos article referred to in my previous Comment.)

    As a mathematician, I advise Anonymous to read numbers carefully and, especially, read the numbers from the original source (in this case the CBO), not someone else's editing of these numbers.

    Finally, a related statistical point raised by the CBO is that the huge "base" population covered by traditional Medicare -- all seniors -- makes for great savings since people who turn out to be healthy subsidize those who become sick. This is the same principle that applies in any insurance setting; in fact, that's what insurance is all about. You wouldn't want to buy auto insurance from a plan that mostly covers teenagers and alcoholics.

    The CBO estimates that replacing Medicare by vouchers for private companies will cost about 25% more in premiums because of this statistical fact.

  4. Oh please. The ads run by Democrats are misleading. Here's a good article from the Washington Post.

  5. Krugman also covers this issue in his latest NYT column -