From Obamacare to Taxes: 5 Hot Topics Politicians Love to Lie About
Mar 28, 2012
Political lies are as old as the Republic, but that doesn’t make the practice any less of an insult to the American people.
Whether they are about Obamacare or taxes, political lies are a special kind of deception.
Rarely are they blatantly false. Political lies rely on misrepresentation of facts and convenient omissions that make their target look better – or worse – than it really is.
So convincing are today’s politicians and their minions it’s not even clear they always realize when they’re bending facts past the breaking point.
“The problem is we never know whether they believe what they’re saying or not,” Brendan Nyhan, a Dartmouth political scientist and author ofAll the President’s Spin, told USA Today.
At least three fact-checking organizations – the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s FactCheck.org, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker column and the Tampa Bay Times’ PolitiFact – do their best to point out the almost daily deceptions.
But politicians know that few citizens ever visit such Websites. And that’s what politicians and their surrogates are counting on.
“I don’t think [the fact checkers] make a whit’s worth of difference,” Rick Tyler, a senior adviser to Winning Our Future, a super PAC that supports Newt Gingrich, told USA Today. “Millions more people will see [our] ad than will ever see the political fact check.”
That doesn’t deter the fact checkers, however. The constant stream of political lies has been keeping them very busy lately.
Here are five issues that have been particularly prone to political lies over the past several months. You’ll probably hear variations of these all the way through the 2012 election.