PolitiFact, the St. Petersburg Times newspaper operation that rates the veracity of political statements, gave Paul Ryan a little boost today when it listed as "the lie of the year" the assertion by numerous Democrats that Ryan's plan kills Medicare. Nope, says Politifact, which came to its conclusion even though a public survey on the question did not win out. That was a survey that Ryan tried to stuff.
Politifact's decision was a call by the national operation, not the Wisconsin Politifact franchise run by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The ruling gives Ryan some wiggle room to reinvigorate his image, if not his proposed legislation. The measure, which won passage in the GOP House, isn't going anywhere in this Congress under this White House, but could come back to haunt Americans after 2012's elections.
Politifact's analysis -- which basically mirrors Ryan's own rhetoric -- is that if you keep calling it Medicare but change most of its functions and greatly privatize it, that doesn't mean it will die. But many experts think otherwise, and when Democrats echo that analysis, Politifact takes them to task. Never mind that Ryan's proposal is specifically designed to give Republicans cover, bending over backwards to assure voters that Medicare will be stronger as a result. But it's just that: political camouflage, and nothing more.
Here's a more detailed analysis of Politifact's misguided ruling on DailyKos.
[And here's Thom Hartmann on the subject. -- Xoff]: