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Both Republicans and Democrats Are Distorting the Truth About Medicare: FactCheck.org

Daily Ticker

Republican VP candidate Paul Ryan came under heavy fire yesterday for some remarks that many people viewed as outright lies.

In contrast, says Robert Farley, the Deputy Managing Editor of Factcheck.org, Presidential nominee Mitt Romney's speech "avoided major falsehoods."

Romney did, however, engage in typical political distortions, says Farley.

For example, Romney suggested that President Obama has raised taxes on the middle class when he has actually done no such thing. Romney's defense for this line, Farley says, is likely tied to the penalty that will be owed by those who don't buy health insurance under Obamacare. Specifically, a few million Americans who make under $120,000 a year will likely have to pay about $667 a piece by 2016 if they choose not to buy health insurance--a penalty that Romney is framing as a tax. (The Supreme Court saw it this way, too.)

But, overall, Obama has reduced taxes for the middle class, so Romney's line could be described as a typical major political distortion, Farley says--a grain of truth that is presented as meaning something entirely different.

And how about the Democrats? How are they doing with respect to dishonesty this year?

The Democrats are bending the truth about Medicare just as aggressively as the Republicans are bending it, Farley says. Medicare is obviously an important issue, and both sides have realized that one effective way to get votes is to scare seniors into thinking that the other side wants to take Medicare away from them. (In fact, neither side does.)

Overall, says Farley, this campaign has been more dishonest than most. It's just plain nasty out there.

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