Fact Checking Sally Kohn

Sally Kohn’s opinion article on Paul Ryan’s speech last night is making the rounds with liberals. The thinking goes that, hey, her piece was published on Fox News so it couldn’t possibly be liberal and everything in it must be true. That idea is, of course, absurd but I’ve decided to go through and refute the “facts” she lists in her article one by one.

Her first “fact” deals with Ryan’s attack on the President for presiding over the only national credit downgrade in American History:

Fact: While Ryan tried to pin the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating on spending under President Obama, the credit rating was actually downgraded because Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling.

In reality S&P said they downgraded the rating because “The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics”.

Not because, as Sally Kohn says, “Republicans threatened not to raise the debt ceiling”.

Her second “fact” deals with Paul Ryan’s assertion that, despite then candidate Obama’s assertion that he’d keep the Janesville GM plant open for 100 years in 2008 it didn’t even last through 2009:

Fact: While Ryan blamed President Obama for the shut down of a GM plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, the plant was actually closed under President George W. Bush. Ryan actually asked for federal spending to save the plant, while Romney has criticized the auto industry bailout that President Obama ultimately enacted to prevent other plants from closing.

As my post from earlier today calling out Politifact’s lies explains, the Janesville GM plant continued building trucks until April 23rd, 2009. That’s completely indisputable, and Sally Khon is either lying on purpose or too lazy to look into the details.

Kohn’s third “fact” isn’t exactly clear but I’m guessing she’s referring to Paul Ryan’s attack on President Obama’s now infamous “you didn’t build that” speech:

Fact: Though Ryan insisted that President Obama wants to give all the credit for private sector success to government, that isn’t what the president said. Period.

This statement isn’t remotely one of fact. It’s very obviously a statement of opinion on both what Ryan and Obama said. One that I couldn’t disagree with more. Period.

Her fourth, and final, “fact” deals with Ryan’s attack on how the President cut money from Medicare in order to make Obamacare’s financials seem more palatable.

Fact: Though Paul Ryan accused President Obama of taking $716 billion out of Medicare, the fact is that that amount was savings in Medicare reimbursement rates (which, incidentally, save Medicare recipients out-of-pocket costs, too) and Ryan himself embraced these savings in his budget plan.

Frankly, she doesn’t even appear to dispute that $716 billion is being cut from Medicare. She simply calls it “savings” and, in an obviously sloppy mistake, links to a Politifact post about welfare waivers. Heck, even the NYT post she also links to says “The 2010 health care law cut Medicare reimbursements to hospitals and insurers, not benefits for older Americans, by that amount over the coming decade” right in the second paragraph.

So, as you can see, none of the “facts” in Sally Kohn’s piece are accurate. The piece can’t stand on its own two legs. If this is the best the left can do at “fact checking” it should give up the pursuit altogether.

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