On November 6th, will money trump truth?
At last week’s GOP Convention, Paul Ryan introduced himself as the son of a small-town lawyer who died an early death, leaving his mom to struggle. He only forgot to mention that his small-town lawyer dad was heir to a family fortune inherited from Ryan’s great grandfather, who founded a paving business. His up-by-the-bootstraps story failed to mention that those were $18,000 Gucci boots. It was rather like Mitt and Ann’s story of their trials and tribulations in Mitt’s college days. No mention of the fact Mitt had a multi-millionaire dad who made sure the struggles never got too taxing. But there was enough truthiness in both those false rags-to-riches stories to make them no more than the usual political spin-mastering.
What was truly disturbing was that the key political points in both Ryan’s and Romeny’s speeches were outright lies, as are much of the advertising the Romeny/Ryan campaign and their SuperPAC surrogates are running. Romney and Ryan claim to be the champions of the middle class. They say they intend to save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But the policies in the Romeny/Ryan budget add up to more taxes shifted to the shrinking middle class and the growing ranks of the poor, so that they can give even more huge tax breaks to millionaires. Their plan to eliminate all capital gains taxes would essentially allow those in Romeny’s bracket and beyond to live virtually tax free. On incomes in the millions per year, they would pay little or nothing in taxes other than occasional sales taxes on the luxuries they buy. They claim to have a plan to get Americans back to work. But their policy to make all off-shore corporate profits tax free is a plan to vastly accelerate the off-shoring of all remaining decent paying US jobs outside the financial sector. Their tax plan coupled with their plan to greatly increase defense spending would mushroom the national debt even more and leave Medicare broke by 2016, a full eight years before their vouchers kick in to let seniors go shopping among for-profit insurers. And those insurers would, thanks to their repealing Obamacare, be allowed to again exclude all preexisting conditions and simply refuse to ensure those with serious health conditions—i.e., a good portion of all senior citizens.
With billionaires and corporations who will massively profit from the Romney/Ryan policies now free to secretly contribute unlimited funds to their campaigns, Romney and Ryan will have well over a billion dollars spent on their behalf. Spending may top $2 billion to get them elected, and the return on investment for the billionaires and mega-corporations who provide those funds will make it a sound investment. The swift-boat lies will fly fast and thick in the last weeks before November 6th. Will truth matter, or has the Supreme Corporatist’s Citizens United decision put the USA in an era where only money and the best in Big Lie propaganda can prevail?