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Did We Watch The Same VP Debate?

Rob Kall’s article, “Ryan: A Weak, Minor League Teacup” made me laugh. Kall tries to pass off Biden’s smiles and grins as, “… part of his plan to marginalize Ryan, to show … contempt for Ryan … Biden backed up his smiling contempt with strong words.”

That having been said, some research into what both candidates said is certainly in order.

  • Unbiased Martha Raddatz – She was, after the debate, criticized for interrupting [Paul Ryan] 31 times – that’s in addition to the 82 timesBiden interrupted Ryan. So, it seems that both Raddatz and Biden tried to “marginalize Ryan,” to “show … contempt for Ryan….””Biden backed up his smiling contempt with strong words” – unfortunately, his “strong words” weren’t founded on facts, something I don’t say without cause:
  • Biden’s “facts”require White House clarification; 26 times Biden stressed the importance of facts:
    • “White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, [on October 12, 2012,] tried to explain why Biden’s remarks were being misinterpreted.” There is a word for what Carney is doing: dissembling!
  • Foreign Policy:
    • “Biden falsely claims he did not vote to invade Afghanistan or Iraq.”
    • “Biden contradicts State, blames intelligence community for Libya misinformation.”
    • “Biden claims the administration didn’t know the Benghazi consulate requested greater security, again contradicting State.”
  • Tax “Malarkey”:
    • Biden: “97 percent of the small businesses in America pay less – make less than $250,000. Let me tell you who some of those other small businesses are: hedge funds that make $600 million, $800 million a year. That’s – that’s what they count as small businesses, because they’re pass-through.”
    • Biden: “We went ahead and made sure that we cut taxes for the middle class.”
  • Entitlements and Taxes. According to Biden:
    • “The capital gains tax rate is a loophole.” False.
    • “About 120,000 high-income families would get an additional $500 billion tax cut over 10 years.” False
    • “Romney’s tax plan would cut taxes by $5 trillion.” False
    • “Romney’s tax plan would cut deductions for the middle class.” FalseOn the other hand, we find Ryan’s statements to be true. It’s difficult to marginalize the truth!
    • “Raising taxes on small businesses would cost 710,000 jobs.” True
    • “The tax rate on small businesses would rise to nearly 45 percent under President Obama’s proposal.” True

I also got a laugh from Igor Volsky’s article, “At The Vice Presidential Debate: Ryan Told 24 Myths In 40 Minutes.” Volsky manages to list 24 myths, some of them are a “stretch” at best:

  • Myth # 1: Ryan said, “It took the president two weeks to acknowledge that [the Libya attack] was a terrorist attack.” Volsky says, “Obama used the word ‘terrorism’ to describe the killing of Americans the very next day at the Rose Garden.” To that statement, I have two questionsd. First, just where in his statement does Obama refer to the Lybia attack? Second, if Obama was referring to the Lybia attack, why the elablorate cover-up attempt by trying to blame a film? Even Biden didn’t buy what Volsky is espousing.
  • Myth # 3: Ryan said, “Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are indisputable facts.” Volsky replies: “[T]he possibility of Medicare going bankrupt is … greatly exaggerated.” I agree, “bankrupt” is the wrong word, so let’s use “insolvency.” According to a Congressional Research Service report, Medicare’s “Hospital Insurance Trust Fund” (Part A) is projected to be insolvent in 2017 (Table 1, page 5). Talk about a myth! The Social Security Trust Fund, comprised entirely of “Special Bonds,” is truly a myth. And, the Social Secuity Trust Fund is projected to become insolventin 2016.
  • Myth # 8: Ryan said, “Obamacare takes $716 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare.” Volsky replies: “Ryan is claiming that Obamacare siphons off $716 billion from Medicare, to the detriment of Medicare beneficiaries.” Please view this article. ‘Nuff said.

As Kall likes to say: “Bottom Line:” According to Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post columnist, ““If you read the transcript, I think it’s dead even. If you heard it on radio, Biden won. If you watched on television, he lost. In the transcript, if you just look at the raw arguments I think it was even because each side had points to make and made them. I think on balance, not one side was stronger than another.” He continued, “If you put them all together and you end up with television where you saw the demeanor that the Vice President had in regard to Ryan, I think that undid the advantage in rhetoric that he had in carrying the debate. It was so disrespectful.” So, according to Krauthammer, Biden was the loser if you watched the debate on TV.

Who “won?” I guess that is like beauty – it’s in the eye of the beholder.

But that’s just my opinion.

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