On Paul Ryan’s speech, Sally Kohn’s Fact Checker needs Fact Checking #PaulRyanVP #RNC2012


Sally Kohn has written a factless opinion piece on FoxNews.com today supposedly outlining how Ryan deceived everyone last night.  Her whole piece is really inaccurate and full of distractions, but the Left, as I saw on Michael Grimm’s (Rep-NY 13) Facebook page today, is using this piece as some definitive rebuttal of Ryan.

I’ll take a few of them and give you the fact-checking of Sally Kohn’s lack thereof:

Kohn’s “fact“: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the  fact  is that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which,  incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in  his budget plan.

THE TRUTH:

Obama did CUT $716 Billion from Medicare in order to fund Obamacare.
Further, the plan Ryan put forth, which is not Romney’s plan BTW, did not use those funds for a new entitlement, but rather to extend the solvency of the Medicare program.  They don’t harm Medicare but rather help to save it.  Further in Ryan’s plan, those over 55 ARE NOT affected by any of it…so the Obama campaign lie that it Ryan’s plan will cost seniors is just that….a lie.
A large portion of the cuts that Obama has made lower the amount doctors are paid under Medicare….and Obama’s own actuary admits that these cuts will make several providers “unprofitable” and likely not able to sustain their business.   This does DIRECTLY affect seniors when they can no longer get the providers they need.

Kohn’s “fact”: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville,  Wisconsin, the plant  was actually closed under President George W. Bush.  Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has  criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to  prevent other plants from closing.

THE TRUTH:
MSNBC and others hyperventilated after Ryan’s speech last night with a lie that the Wisconsin GM plant closed down in 2008. Not true. That plant closed in 2009 giving Obama PLENTY of time to fulfill his campaign promise to keep it open.  Ryan was spot-on accurate in Obama’s broken promise and the lie that is still told today by Obama that GM was “saved” by him.

Kohn’s “fact”:  While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on  spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded  because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

THE TRUTH:

The credit rating was lowered because the credit agencies didn’t see a meaningful move toward a BALANCED BUDGET.  Since the Senate has not passed a budget and Obama’s budget was defeated with NO votes in the House or Senate, the agencies have a valid concern…..and S&P does not mention anything about “raising the debt ceiling as Kohn insists.  According to S&P, the downgrade occurred because “the government budget deficit of more than 11 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and net government debt rising to about 80 percent or more of GDP by 2013, to be high relative to other “AAA” countries…..meaningful progress towards balancing the budget would be required to move the U.S. back to a “stable” outlook” (that is a direct quote from MSNBC on Wikipedia, however MSNBC has removed the contents of their article regarding this…fancy that!)

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5 Responses

  1. Well said SRT!
    BTW (By The Way), GM went bankrupt under Obama as well. The difference is that the taxpayer paid for unions to own it. This was an Obama payback for union support in his 2008 election.

    See below from John Lott in National Review:

    Obama and GM Cook the Books
    By John Lott
    May 16, 2012 4:00 A.M.
    Would you hire President Obama as your financial adviser? Three years ago his administration invested more than $100 billion in taxpayer money to bail out General Motors. On Tuesday, the entire company, not just what the government owns, was worth less than $34 billion. By anyone’s definition, that investment is a glaring failure. Yet over the last few days the Obama campaign, in a $25 million marketing blitz, has flooded the airwaves with ads in battleground states, claiming the bailout should be counted a rousing success.

    Unfortunately, assertions that “all loans have been repaid to the federal government,” that the bailout “saved more than one million American jobs,” that “U.S. automakers are hiring hundreds of thousands of new workers,” that GM is again the “number-one automaker” — all are based on creative accounting.

    The money the government spent adds up quickly: $50 billion in TARP bailout funds, a special exemption waiving payment of $45.4 billion in taxes on future profits, an exemption for all product liability on cars sold before the bailout, $360 million in stimulus funds, and the $7,500 tax credit for those who buy the Chevy Volt. GM’s share of other programs is harder to quantify but includes, for example, some of the $15.2 billion that went to Cash for Clunkers. Those costs are in addition to the billions taken from GM’s bondholders by the Obama administration.

    A look at the accounting shows the trouble with contentions that much of the TARP money is getting paid back. The Obama administration compares the $50 billion in direct bailout funds with the price it will eventually be able to get for selling the GM stock it owns. But that assumes that the stock price won’t reflect government subsidies, including GM’s exemption from paying $45 billion in taxes. By the Obama administration’s logic, if the stimulus grants to TARP recipients were simply large enough, all the TARP money could be paid.

    Claims that GM paid back its TARP loan are true but misleading. President Obama clearly wants to create the impression that all the money given to the auto companies has been paid back. But the $6.7 billion loan to GM was just a tiny fraction of the money given to it. As TARP special inspector general Neil Barofsky explained, GM used “other TARP money” to pay off the loan.

    So what about President Obama’s boast in a White House speech in late April that the bailout “saved probably a million jobs” and that “GM is now the number-one automaker again in the world”?

    The “million jobs” contention is quite a stretch. Before filing for bankruptcy in July 2009, GM had 91,000 employees in the United States. You can reach a 400,000 total by assuming that all of GM’s jobs, as well as all the jobs of its parts suppliers and car dealers, would have been lost. Last year, employment in the entire automotive industry in the U.S. (counting Ford, Toyota, and other companies and their suppliers, in addition to GM and Chrysler) was only 717,000.

    Obama’s economic advisers told him during an April 2009 meeting that job losses in the auto industry would be only a fraction — 10 to 20 percent — of these claimed numbers, even for the much weaker Chrysler. The advisers reported the obvious: Bankruptcy would not kill all jobs at GM and, even with cutbacks, suppliers would pick up other work. But Obama keeps using numbers that his own advisers told him were wrong.

    Even saving 20 percent of 400,000 comes at quite a cost — at least $780,000 per job. How many workers would have been willing to quit working for GM for a $400,000 severance payment?

    The “number-one automaker” assertion is no more accurate. Obama’s sales totals include 1.2 million mostly cheap commercial vehicles built by China’s Wuling, a company in which GM owns a small stake, and it excludes sales by vehicle makers in which Volkswagen owns a majority share. Fortune magazine lists GM’s revenue as smaller than Toyota’s and Volkswagen’s.

    The only real winners from the GM bailout were unions, which were protected from pay cuts, from losing their right to overtime pay after less than 40 hours a week, and from cuts to their extremely generous benefits. They faced only minor tweaks in their inefficient union work rules.

    As for “hundreds of thousands of new workers,” the truth is closer to a tenth of that.

    Having just $34 billion to show after a $100 billion-plus investment would get a chief executive of any private company fired. Unfortunately, Obama does not seem to understand how this money has been wasted.

    — John R. Lott Jr. is a FOXNews.com contributor. He is an economist and a co-author of Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future.

  2. More from the WSJ 13 Jun 2012

    Sherk and Zywicki: Obama’s United Auto Workers Bailout
    If the administration treated the UAW in the manner required by bankruptcy law, it could have saved U.S. taxpayers $26.5 billion.
    Article
    Video

    By JAMES SHERK
    AND TODD ZYWICKI

    President Obama touts the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler as one of the signature successes of his administration. He argues that the estimated $23 billion the taxpayers lost was worth paying to avoid massive job losses. However, our research finds that the president could have both kept the auto makers running and avoided losing money.

    The preferential treatment given to the United Auto Workers accounts for the American taxpayers’ entire losses from the bailout. Had the UAW received normal treatment in standard bankruptcy proceedings, the Treasury would have recouped its entire investment. Three irregularities in the bankruptcy case resulted in a windfall to the UAW.

    First, GM and Chrysler owed billions of dollars to the union’s Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association (VEBA) when they went bankrupt. The union and the auto makers created VEBA in 2007 to assume responsibility for the UAW’s generous retiree health benefits. The benefits allowed UAW members to retire in their mid-50s with minimal out-of-pocket health-care expenses for the rest of their lives. GM owed $20.6 billion and Chrysler owed $8 billion to VEBA as unsecured claims.

    A bedrock principle of bankruptcy law is that creditors with similar claims priority receive equal treatment. If you owe $1,000 each on two credit cards, in bankruptcy you cannot choose to pay $900 to Citi and only $200 to Chase. Each of the creditors is entitled to an equal percentage recovery.

    In the auto bankruptcies, however, the administration gave the unsecured claims of VEBA much higher priority than those of other unsecured creditors, such as suppliers and unsecured bondholders.

    At the time of bankruptcy, GM owed these unsecured creditors $29.9 billion, for which they received 10% of the stock of “new” GM, which went public in November 2010, and warrants to purchase 15% more at preferred prices. Yet VEBA got 17.5% of new GM and $9 billion in preferred stock and debt obligations. Based on GM’s current stock price, VEBA collected assets worth $17.8 billion—$12.2 billion more than if the administration had treated it like the other unsecured creditors.

    The same thing happened at Chrysler, only to a greater degree. Chrysler’s junior creditors recovered none of their $7 billion in claims. In normal bankruptcy proceedings, the UAW would have also collected nothing. Instead it walked away owning almost half of new Chrysler and a $4.6 billion promissory note earning 9% interest. Had the stock and note gone to the Treasury instead, the bailout would have cost taxpayers $9.2 billion less.

    The administration also insulated the UAW from most of the sacrifices that unions usually make in bankruptcy—at taxpayer expense. Section 1113 of the Bankruptcy Code enables reorganizing companies to improve their post-bankruptcy competitiveness by renegotiating union contracts to competitive rates. In April, for example, American Airlines proposed using this power to bring down its labor costs to the level of its rivals, just as Delta and United had in earlier bankruptcy filings.

    The administration decided not to do this at GM. The UAW did accept sharp pay cuts for new hires. But they only made modest concessions for their existing members, like eliminating the much-maligned Jobs Bank that paid workers even when they were laid off.

    As a result, GM still has higher labor costs ($56 an hour) than any of its competitors. Indeed, Steven Rattner, the Obama administration’s former “car czar,” told the Detroit Economic Club last December, “We should have asked the UAW to do a bit more. We did not ask any UAW member to take a cut in their pay.”

    Had bankruptcy brought GM compensation in line with its competitors’ (approximately $47 an hour), we estimate the resulting savings would have increased the value of the taxpayers’ stake in GM by $4.1 billion. This would still leave UAW members making 40% more than the average American manufacturing worker.

    Finally, GM’s decision to assume certain pension obligations of Delphi, the bankrupt former GM subsidiary, also increased the cost of the bailout. New GM no longer had an obligation to support Delphi’s pensions. Yet it decided to spend $1 billion to top up the pensions of Delphi’s UAW retirees. Delphi’s nonunion retirees and retirees in other unions did not fare so well. GM gave them nothing.

    Why GM gave $1 billion of bailout funds to employees of a different company it owed no legal duty to remains a mystery. The inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program is investigating whether the administration pressured GM to give the UAW special treatment, but the IG lacks subpoena power to force officials to testify. It may take a congressional investigation to establish what happened.

    We estimate that these three irregularities increased the cost of the bailout by $26.5 billion. The Treasury expects the auto bailout to ultimately cost taxpayers $23 billion. The funds diverted to the UAW account for the taxpayers’ entire net loss.

    Avoiding these losses would have been straightforward. If the government treated the UAW in the manner required by bankruptcy law, it could have given the stock and promissory notes to the Treasury instead of to the UAW. Labor cost savings and not supporting Delphi pensions would have increased the value of the taxpayers’ shares of GM, while GM would have needed less financing.

    Instead, President Obama gave over $26 billion to the UAW—more money than the U.S spent on foreign aid last year and 50% more than NASA’s budget. None of that money kept factories running. Instead it sustained the above-average compensation of members of an influential union, sparing them from most of the sacrifices typically made in bankruptcy. Such spending does not serve the common good. President Obama did not bail out the auto industry. He bailed out the United Auto Workers.

    Mr. Sherk is a senior policy analyst in labor economics at the Heritage Foundation. Mr. Zywicki is a law professor at George Mason University and a senior scholar at the university’s Mercatus Center. This op-ed is adapted from a longer article published this week at Heritage.org.

  3. Thanks for the references Boria…and yes, I am back, I hope. I just can’t find much time for blogging anymore…but do try to put a few things on Sharp Right Turn FB page.

    I’ll try to get back into blogging, though, especially for the election.

    I appreciate your loyalty!

  4. […] up. Here is a response ( with fact checkers if it makes you feel any better ) to Kohns opinions: On Paul Ryan’s speech, Sally Kohn’s Fact Checker needs Fact Checking #PaulRyanVP #RNC201… While this may come off as bias media since it is defending Ryan, click the hyperlinks to see the […]

  5. I am curious to find out what blog system you happen to be
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