Paul Ryan's big lie of omission

It took only hours for GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s convention address to get sliced and diced, and dissected and dismissed, by the factcheckers and the pundits.

All fair game. From where I sat Wednesday — watching, like many Americans, to get a first long look at this nominee — Ryan’s biggest lie was one of omission.

Criticizing President Obama’s lack of leadership on the budget, Ryan accurately pointed out that the president did nothing with the recommendations that came from his own bipartisan debt commission. The “Simpson-Bowles” panel — so named for former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and Erskine Bowles, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton — recommended a $4 trillion deficit-cutting plan that included spending cuts and tax increases.

What Ryan failed to note was that he sat on that commission — and, in December 2010, voted against the Simpson-Bowles plan.

That’s no trivial matter. The plan got 11 yes votes on the 18-member commission — but by the committee’s own guidelines, 14 yes votes were needed to move a proposal to Congress. Could a yes vote from Ryan vote have encouraged a couple of other holdouts to vote yes? And would this have at least advanced the ball on deficit reduction?

I don’t know. I do know this much. Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, one of the 11 “yes” votes on the panel, had to swallow hard to accept some unpopular pieces of the plan. And that’s what it will take to solve the deficit problem: some tough, unpopular decisions. Crapo’s courageous vote resonates a little more with me today.

In terms of rising to the moment, Ryan scored. He came across as passionate, tough, personable and smart.

And maybe a bit too clever.

Ryan is absolutely right to excoriate Obama’s leadership (or lack of same) on the deficit. If you’re looking for the biggest failing of this presidency, start right there.

But for a nominee who said he wanted to level with Americans about the budget crisis, Ryan did a lousy job of being honest about himself.

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And like obama never.....

.....told a lie, or misspeaks to gain something (only like everyday he does.)

They all lie...

If you were an honest, hard working fellow before politics, you shortly become another snake in the den with an agenda. This is true for almost anyone who covers politics also.

He wants to blame Obama for

He wants to blame Obama for not pushing a bill the Republicans and tea party clowns all said they'd vote no for? Ya waste his time on a for sure loss so you can clown up that too for PR purposes. I sure hope there are some educated Americans left that can see through this garbage on both sides.

Wow. You are so deep in the tank, you'll never find the lid.

The reason Ryan didn't vote for Simpson Bowles is because the study never reconciled the impact of Obamacare, the main driver of the debt in the next decade.

Alice Rivlin, a former Democrat OMB officer under Clinton and Paul Ryan offered an amendment to the S/B study, recognizing the impact of ACA. The commision never took up the amendment, and therefore the study never considered all the data.

Even with all this going on, President Obama, certianly could have taken all this data to the congress and with his leadership had the debate and used his power to push a debt package through.

So now the media and the Democrats will continue to run cover for their weak President who will be beaten in November's election. You'll see.


My point is straightforward. Ryan should have acknowledged he didn't vote for this plan. He could have quickly explained why. A viewer watching last night wouldn't have had any idea he was even on the committee.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor


Informed viewers would know.

But, KR, if this was YOUR "first long look at this nominee —" as you write, I guess you missed the many interviews he has done about the federal budget, S/B plan and many other things, then I would ask "where ya been?"

TIP- write about local/Idaho issues. Be informed and comprehend the national issues. Jus saying you're setting the par pretty low for an op/ed.

"Informed viewers" ?

Informed posters would know that in this country (particularly in this state), "Informed viewers" is virtually an oxymoron.

Best Saying Yet

Politicians are like diapers, they need to be changed frequently and for the same reasons


I was seeing people in my Twitter stream pointing out lies and omissions in real time.

All lies, all the time...

Paul Ryan is just like the 24/7 drivel from Fox News which consists of all lies, all the time. Maybe there is a tiny kernel of truth mixed in with the lies from time to time just to make it sound honest, but those are few and far between. The Republican party has devolved into one giant nonstop propaganda campaign that cares nothing about facts and only involves itself in renouncing increasingly ugly lies when they are so blatant as to be laughable, such as the Akin comments on rape or the Bachmann muslim conspiracy theories. Those muslim conspiracy theories, by the way, are being widely distributed in the anti Obama documentary "2016". Why do people believe this endless litany of increasingly outrageous lies? They believe because they have been programmed to only accept as fact the lies perpetuated by the GOP propaganda machine, and to distrust every other source of information, because they have a liberal bias, no matter how non-partisan the source may be. Thus, a fantasyland has been created wherein trickle down economics actually works and everyone should be happy to destroy the social safety net and be content to play roulette with their health care. In this third world utopia the removal of the minimum wage will provide full employment and complete deregulation will make all corporations responsible citizens. Corporations are people my friend. I don't care if you are moderate, liberal, conservative, or what have you, everyone should be disturbed by the endless misinformation campaign of the right wing media. If Fox called itself the Republican channel, I wouldn't be too offended, but when they claim to be "fair and balanced" it is disturbing because their very slogan is nothing more than a bald faced lie in and of itself. So it is with the Romney/Ryan campaign as they go on and on about cleaning up the deficit spending that is a combination of the Bush administration's credit card wars and ruination of the economy and the Obama administration's efforts to rescue the economy and as many citizens as possible. And yet, with further tax cuts for the wealthy, that are proposed by the Romney/Ryan ticket, their deficit reduction efforts are expected to take forty years vs. ten years under Obama's budget proposals. True to GOP form, their main selling point is nothing more than one huge untruth. Romney and Ryan can say anything they wish to and they will be believed by many,certainly by all of those have been trained to believe the unbelievable nonsense presented to them every day. It is a sad time for our nation. God bless the USA.

Another Ryan Politikspeak ...aka lies.

Ryan also claimed Obama was taking $760 billion in Medicare away from the elderly. Actually, the cuts in to Medicare are cuts to hospitals (which they agreed to), funding to Medicare Advantage (a benefit to insurance companies), and better enforcement agains fraud and abuse. The Medicare's chief actuary said that Obama's cuts actually improve Medicare's financial status.

Ryan also didn't mention his plan also also cut $760 billion but would go to reduce the deficit and fund tax cuts for the wealthy.

Give Ryan come credit. He didn't repeat the "pants on fire" lie that Obama had gutted the need to work from welfare programs. Other speakers at the Convention did that for him.

And PACS supporting Romney have run ads featuring the welfare lie .PolitiFact checked a Romney campaign ad's claim that Obama ended welfare work requirements earlier this month, rating it Pants On Fire. Actually states can apply for an extension of time to help ensure more employment which must be approved by the feds. Look who applied:

Utah officials have asked for a waiver.

"Utah’s goal through all of this is to increase work-related outcomes, and we felt that this waiver would better allow us to achieve that goal," said Nic Dunn, a spokesman for Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

Medicare's chief actuary is

Medicare's chief actuary is the person who pointed out the ACA is applying that $700+ billion twice, that you can't spend the same money twice.

Re the cuts to hospitals and doctors, that is one of those cans Congress has been kicking down the road for years, perhaps for good reasons, because price controls have unintended consequences. What good does it do to have a Medicare insurance card if you can't find a doctor who accepts it?

Re the cuts in funding for the 25 million seniors with Medicare Advantage plans, a letter should have already gone out to those seniors warning them to be prepared to make a choice between paying higher premiums for their existing plan or switching over to regular Medicare. The Obama administration decided to postpone sending this letter until after the election. Is that fair to seniors who will then have about 30 days to conduct a cost-benefit analysis before the Medicare enrollment period ends in December?

Re the factcheckers, it has been said people are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. The factcheckers are doing a splendid job illustrating the fallacy of that statement.

Full of Holes

Ryan's speech had more factual holes than his budget plan which balances the budget in (ha ha) 22 years and (knee slapper) through tax cuts favoring the wealthy and spending cuts primarily aimed at the middle class.

Gee Kevin,

Did it ever occur to you to fact check your Leftist shill fact checkers?

Either KR is unaware or he doesn't want you to know that......

Ryan explained his "no" vote to both Bowles and Simpson on the day of the vote and Simpson said Ryan's explanation was "good enough answer for me because there was truth in that." Ryan voted no because SB took away the employer deduction for medical insurance premiums employers pay for employees. In Ryan's view that would have panicked employers and forced them to push their employees into Obamacare and bloat that system further. All of this has been a matter of public record for months. Paul Ryan also omitted to inform us that we had a full moon last night and that the sun came up this morning - somehow I was able to determine that for myself.


Again, my point is that Ryan didn't tell a national audience that he voted against Simpson-Bowles — let alone why. You think his explanation is valid. Don't you think he should have shared it in his speech?

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor

Because the vote took place months ago, perhaps he assumed.....

that both his vote and explanation were thoroughly debated in the media months ago. What I find newsworthy is that you seem to have just discovered that (1) he was a member of SB (2) He voted "no" and (3) he explained his vote to both Simpson and Bowles on the day of the vote (and that Simpson and Bowles accepted his explanation). This entire issue is old news - well it's old to those of us who get their news from more than one source.

So, KR calls Ryan a liar because he's unhappy with his detail.

KR could have schrouded his bias if he would have pointed out the total admiration that Erskine Bowles has for Paul Ryan. "I thought I was good at arithmetric, but this guy runs rings around me", say's Bowles, when referring to Ryan.

Ryan is flying at 30,000 ft. at 600MPH. His handlers have him dumb down his speeches for our ignorant electorate and bias media. KR, if you are unhappy with Ryan's presentation, perhaps you could volunteer talking points to the Obama adminstration.


Yes, delete your critics.

Very effective.


You're essentially making the same point over and over. Let's get back on topic.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor


The topic is 'omitting information'.
You and Statesman political writers do it all the time.


Kevin's greatest contribution to journalism is his ability to spike any news that doesn't fit his agenda.