Ryan’s policies have been widely criticized by Catholic scholars, nuns, and bishops. The Nuns on the Bus, who have traveled around the country to advocate for economic justice, have denounced Ryan’s budget as “immoral and unjustifiable” because it “will be putting the burden on the poor.”
While Joe Biden said the Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception, the Vice President said he would not impose that value on anyone else. But Ryan co-sponsored a radical “personhood” amendment that endows a fertilized egg with “all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This type of legislation would outlaw abortion, invitro fertilization, and some forms of contraception.
Before Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) infamously said that women cannot get pregnant from “legitimate rape,” Ryan worked with him to try to narrow the definition of rape. Ryan has teamed up with Akin to co-sponsor eight anti-choice bills to limit women’s reproductive freedom:
Under the Hyde Amendment, the government cannot use federal funds to pay for abortion services. Obamacare neither violates this nor allows copay-free access to abortions. The law does cover emergency contraception like Plan B, which is not an abortifacient, despite common misconceptions.
Religious institutions haven’t been forced to “violate their conscience” by paying for contraception, as Ryan insinuated. Obamacare’s contraception mandate contains a “widely accepted compromise that exempts houses of worship and other religious organizations from covering contraceptive services they object to.
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops sent letters to various Congressional committees harshly criticizing Ryan’s budget, saying it disproportionately cut programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.” These programs include food stamps, Medicaid, and other parts of the social safety net — the tools our society uses to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.
Romney/Ryan have continuously criticized Obama’s foreign policy strategy without offering any viable alternatives. For instance, asked about Syria during the debate, Ryan actually pointed to a similarity: “We agree with the same red line they do, on chemical weapons…they’re right about that.”
The Romney/Ryan campaign has criticized the Obama administration’s Afghanistan policy but hasn’t offered and specifics or any substance. Tonight, Ryan endorsed Obama’s timeline to withdraw by 2014 and did not offer any alternative. “We don’t want to stay,” he said. Oddly, Ryan then criticized Obama for setting a timeline, but said he and Romney agree with it.
Ryan said that Obama should have kept U.S. troops in Iraq to prevent weapons shipments from Iran to Syria. He did not explain how having American forces there would have prevented such an outcome. Romney and Ryan have attacked Obama for ending the war in Iraq, calling it “tragic.” Watch it:
Ryan claims that 6 studies say the math adds up on the Romney-Ryan tax plan. If those are the same studies Romney has touted before, they prove that Romney would have to raise taxes on the middle class in order to keep his promise not to lose revenue. Twostudies done by the Wall Street Journal simply reiterate right-wing talking points without crunching the numbers.
Romney paid a tax rate of less than 14 percent on his annual income of $20 million, a far lower rate than most middle-class Americans pay. When pressed by CBS’s Scott Pelley, Romney agreed that it’s a “fair” arrangement and the “right way to encourage economic growth.”
Ryan says he’ll close loopholes, but has actually refused to say whether he would support closing the carried interest tax loophole, which wealthy hedge fund managers and private equity managers use to have a portion of their income taxed at 15 percent, leading to a significantly lower overall tax rate. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that closing the loophole would generate $7.4 billion in 5 years and $17.7 billion in 10 years:
Ryan is trying his hardest not to give an explanation of the Romney-Ryan tax plan. Martha Raddatz just called him on it. The reason he can’t give more details is because the plan doesn’t make mathematical sense. Their plan to reduce rates across the board by 20 percent, and pay for it by cutting deductions, would force tax increases taxes on 95 percent of the population, while those making more than $200,000 would see a net tax cut.
Biden pointed out that, contrary to Ryan’s assertions, the majority of seniors are satisfied with their Medicare coverage. He’s right. A full 90 percent of seniors report that they are satisfied with their coverage under Medicare Part D.
Although the Romney/Ryan campaign has shied away from calling their Medicare plan a “voucher” plan favor of the euphemistic “premium support,” that is exactly what their plan is — turning Medicare from a defined benefit into a defined contribution program. Ryan has even specifically called his plan a voucher program himself.
Ryan claims Romney frequently reached across the aisle to Democrats as governor. Not really, says the New York Times: “But on closer examination, the record as governor he alluded to looks considerably less burnished than Mr. Romney suggested. Bipartisanship was in short supply; Statehouse Democrats complained he variously ignored, insulted or opposed them, with intermittent charm offensives. He vetoed scores of legislative initiatives and excised budget line items a remarkable 844 times, according to the nonpartisan research group Factcheck.org. Lawmakers reciprocated by quickly overriding the vast bulk of them.”
Don’t let Ryan’s apparent concern for seniors confuse you. Ryan has advocated for privatizing Social Security. If that had happened when Ryan pushed for it in 2008, people with private accounts would have fared significantly worse during the financial crisis, likely losing an average of $26,000 and having a negative real rate of return of -0.6 percent.
Ryan says President Obama “funneled” $716 billion out of Medicare to pay for the Affordable Care Act, ignoring the fact that his own budget makes the exact same cuts to the program. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says the cuts Obama wants to make do not come at the expense of Medicare beneficiaries — as Ryan claims — but rather, from hospitals and health care providers in the name of cutting down on waste and increasing efficiency. In addition, the CBO also estimates the cuts will extend Medicare’s solvency by eight years. Fact checkers said Ryan’s Medicare statements are “mostly false.”
Biden interrupts Ryan’s outright misportrayal of the $90 billion loans to energy companies, calling it “green pork.” Multiple reviews, including an independent review of all Department Of Energy loan programs by Herb Allison – finance chair for McCain for President 2008 –found no wrongdoing and these loans were not steered to friends or family, as Ryan claims.
The Independent Payment Advisory Board, or IPAB, is not the “death panel” Ryan makes it out to be. In actuality, the board makes recommendations for how to cut health care spending that Congress has the ability to accept or reject. The board cannot ration care or raise revenues and — despite Ryan’s recent opposition — he actually proposed two very similar boards in 2009. Here’s a comparison between Ryan’s plans, which are in some ways more intrusive than the IPAB:
Commission–5 members appointed by the President subject to Senate approval. No commissioner may engage in any other business, vocation, or employment; Forum–15 members chosen by the Commission
15 members appointed by the President subject to Senate approval. No member may engage in any other business, vocation, or employment.
“The development and periodic review and updating of standards of quality, performance measures, and medical review criteria”
Offer recommendations as to how to cut back on Medicare spending costs
Scope of Authority
Entire health-care system; commissioners will select specific targets.
Recommendations must be made once a year
Recommendations are only made when the Medicare’s per capita expense exceeds its growth targets
Source of Enforcement Authority
Commission works directly with the Secretary of Health and Human Services without congressional oversight.
IPAB’s recommendations must be approved by Congress.
Exclude providers from federal health care programs or impose civil fines
Impose cuts in health providers’ reimbursement benefits
Paul Ryan’s claims that the Obama administration has been weak on China is just not true. During his first term, President Obama has imposed a 35 percent tariff on Chinese tire manufactures to save jobs in states like Ohio, filed seven complaints against China with the World Trade Organization and just last week blocked a Chinese company from purchasing a wind farm near a military base in Oregon.
While we’re still on the topic of stimulus, it’s worth noting that Ryan hasn’t always opposed such measures. Here’s video of him advocating for it in 2002, during the Bush administration. In it, Ryan argues government spending creates jobs.
Biden just referenced Ryan’s stimulus letters. Here they are. Though he called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act “a failure,” Paul Ryan took full advantage of it and requested money for an energy company in his district. He wrote at least five letters to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu expressing his support for grant applicants from his district and asking that they be given “prompt and full consideration.” Ryan claims he did not know about the letters until recently, though his name is signed at the bottom of each one. Watch his defense:
Ryan is attacking the stimulus as a failed policy, but the stimulus worked. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says it added as many as 3.3 million jobs to the economy and boosted GDP growth 0.1 percent, yet Ryan opposed it — even though he still requested funds for his district.
Raddatz asks if Biden or Ryan can get unemployment below six percent. We’re not there yet, but just last month, the Obama administration celebrated a net gain in the number of jobs since the President took office. That’s after the worst recession since the great depression.
Martha Raddatz asked Ryan if a military attack on Iran would be effective. But he did not answer. A bipartisan expert group recently released a report saying that an attack would only delay Iran’s nuclear program by up to 4 years. If the objective is “ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear bomb,” the U.S. “would need to conduct a significantly expanded air and sea war over a prolonged period of time, likely several years.” Former and current Israeli and American have also said that an attack would give Iran incentive to weaponize its nuclear program and spark a regional war.
According to ABC News, pressure created by international sanctions has led to mass protests: “A strict round of new measures made it more difficult for Iran to conduct foreign trade and international banking, including its economically critical sales of oil. Think tank Oxford Analytica estimates Iran has lost a quarter of its oil revenue as a result. With the sinking rial [Iranian currency] the cost of food and everyday items in Iran has soared, leading to public frustration that today appeared to bubble over.”
Paul Ryan agreed that it is absolutely appropriate to apologize when American soldiers burn qurans and behave inappropriately. Mitt Romney said on September 25 that he would “never apologize for America.”
Biden’s claim that intelligence on Libya shifted matches with what experts say about the difficult nature of gathering intelligence — former CIA analyst Aki Peritz said “[b]laming the president for not having instantaneous and perfect information is a ridiculous political stunt.”
Biden is talking about the House Republican vote that cut $300 million from the U.S. embassy security budget. Earlier this week, Rep. Chaffetz admitted House Republicans “absolutely” voted for the cuts.
Obama is not making massive to the military. Sequestration — which Ryan voted for — calls for $492 billion in military budget cuts. The reductions would only bring the military budget back to its 2006 levels.
Fact-checkers have long known that Mitt Romney’s claims that President Obama has been apologizing for America is false. Politifact has rated the claim Pants on Fire and FactCheck.org has said that they “found no basis for this claim”.
Ryan said the Obama campaign is “trying to blame the Romney/Ryan ticket for making this an issue,” referring to the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. This claim is false. The Obama campaign blamed the Romney campaign for making the LIbya attack a “political issue,” not a policy issue.
The Biden family is eating grilled chicken, spaghetti, and salad for dinner. Biden is snacking on “M&Ms, animal crackers, as well as lots of Gatorade, coffee and tea.” Ryan “spent the early part of Thursday with his family, studying his policy binders and exercising. He ate a tuna salad sandwich for lunch and will eat salmon with rice for dinner, an aide said.”