It's that time of the year again. Well, it has been for quite some time, but this blog hasn't been around. As we reach the last week of presidential election campaigning, I think it is due to look back at twisted quotes, skewed facts, and outright lies by both of the main candidates. Let's take a recent example of bending the truth: In a recent Kerry ad, he claims, "Now Bush has a plan to cut social security benefits by 30 to 45 %. The real Bush agenda? Cutting social security." According to FactCheck.org, the plan that Kerry refers to is only one of three possible plans, none of which the president has endorsed. Bush has no clear plan on social security, and neither does Kerry.
Of course, the incumbent also does not tell the whole truth in his political attacks. One ad criticizing Kerry's health plan says in short, choppy, non-sentences, "Washington bureaucrats in control. A government-run healthcare plan. 1.5 trillion dollar price tag. Big government in charge. Not you. Not your doctor." First of all, the Bush campaign is guilty of the same crime as Kerry. According to another Fact Check article, three estimates were proposed by three different groups: $653 billion, $1.25 trillion, and $1.5 trillion. The Bush campaign simply chose the highest number, which happened to come from the most conservative group of the three (American Enterprise Institute). Also, nowhere did they mention that the estimate is the cost over a ten year period.
Secondly, I would like to discuss the statement, "Big government in charge. Not you. Not your doctor." The statement is an outright lie. Kerry's plan will enforce regulations "chiefly on employers and insurance providers rather than doctors or patients," states the article.
Simply put, politicians on both sides distort reality.