Ronald Kessler reporting from Washington, D.C. —
Faced with a record of economic failure, President Obama has fashioned a campaign based on myths. They include:
- The rich do not pay their fair share.
As it is, the top 1 percent of wage earners pay 37 percent of federal income taxes.
- Republicans hate women and minorities and detest Obama because he is black.
The parade of Republican women and minorities who have achieved high office and who spoke at the GOP convention demonstrate how fallacious this claim is.
- The stagnating economy is George W. Bush’s fault.
Aside from the fact that Obama has had almost four years to initiate policies that would grow the economy and create jobs, what triggered the financial implosion on Wall Street were the problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which fostered lax lending practices and covered up their own financial deficiencies.
Going back to the beginning of his administration, President Bush warned of the problems at these institutions and the consequences if Congress did not bring them under control. Seventeen times, Bush publicly called for reform of both institutions. But Congress ignored the warnings and denied there were any problems.
- Mitt Romney does not understand the problems faced by ordinary Americans.
In order to understand what it is like to be without a job, it is not necessary to experience it oneself. What counts is whether a president has the capability and wisdom to fix those problems. By giving millions of dollars to charity each year, Romney has demonstrated his sensitivity to the needs of those less fortunate than he is.
- Republicans want to return to old policies.
Fiscal responsibility may be an old policy, but it is as up to date as the plans that Republican-led states are now adopting to deal with overspending.
- Republicans want to end Medicare as we know it.
In fact, Romney wants to leave Medicare intact for those 55 years or older. The latest plan by running mate Paul Ryan would offer future retirees the choice of a government program modeled on Medicare or private plans subsidized by government. Romney has endorsed Ryan’s concepts in broad terms but has said the White House agenda will be his own, not his running mate’s.
“You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time,” the saying goes. As noted in my story "Why Mitt Romney Will Win Decisively
," the American people will not fall for a campaign based on failure and deception.