The American presidential campaign is known for rough politics. However, the blatant deceptions of this campaign have crossed the line from edgy campaigning to outright lying and slander.
Let’s take a look at some of the lies that came up during the last presidential debate as documented by the bipartisan factcheck.org.
McCain led the way with ridiculous charges against Obama’s healthcare plan.
McCain said, “Sen. Obama wants to set up health care bureaucracies, take over the healthcare of America through – as he said, his object is a single payer system. If you like that, you’ll love Canada and England.”
Obama’s plan is not a single-payer system. His plan would allow workers who don’t get insurance from their employer to buy into the same sort of plan that is provided for Congressmen.
While I think that this is a lousy plan, it in no way resembles the Canadian or British systems — the vast majority of Americans would still be insured by private companies, not by the government.
However, Obama’s comments on healthcare were equally misleading. Obama has repeatedly said his health care plan would save $120 billion a year, or $2,500 per American.
However, the study he based these savings on, from the RAND institute, a nonprofit policy think tank, estimated only $77 billion a year in savings, and that study has been criticized for being widely optimistic.
Even if the study were right, Obama is still inventing the additional $43 billion of savings out of the ether.
On the subject of misleading numbers, McCain said that Colombia is “our largest agricultural importer of our products.”
He’s off by a factor of ten, Colombia is our 12th largest trading partner. They only provide 10 percent of the goods that Canada does.
While this may have just been an example of McCain’s ignorance, Obama’s next fib was certainly out of malice.
Obama claimed that, “. 100 percent, John, of your ads — 100 percent of them have been negative.” McCain replied, “It’s not true.” To which Obama replied, “It absolutely is true.”
However, the facts show that both candidates have run negative campaigns. A recent Washington Post article looked into the matter and had some surprising results.
Not only was Obama’s 100 percent negative claim wrong, but, in fact, Obama was more negative than McCain. I believe Obama is the pot that calls the kettle black.
For a shining example of bipartisan lying, let’s look at both candidates’ lies about their budget proposals.
The candidates were asked, “Do either of you think you can balance the budget in four years?”
McCain replied that he could, while Obama said that every dollar of new spending he proposed was matched by a dollar of cuts he had proposed.
However, the Tax Policy Center said that both candidates’ plans would, “substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.”
They ran the numbers on Obama’s plan and found that it would generate an additional $281 billion deficit in 2013 on top of the crippling deficit we already face.
A $281 billion increase in the deficit is a far cry from Obama’s claim that his spending would be budget-neutral.
You might be wondering why I am bringing up all this examples of our candidates lying to us. I mean, everybody knows politicians lie, right?
If McCain admitted he had no idea how to run an economy or if Obama admitted, as I pointed our previously, that he was in the pocket of Fannie, Freddie and AIG lobbyists, no one would want to vote for either of them.
Telling the truth is dangerous; that’s why our leaders’ lie.
I’m voting third-party this election. I want a candidate that doesn’t try to steal my vote with smooth talk and slander. The truth is always better than pleasant-sounding lies.
Ian Bezek is a junior economics major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.