The phrase “there are two sides to every story” is especially true when it comes to this political attack ad.
In a new attack ad by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) re-election campaign, the lonesome Louisiana Democrats portrays challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as a vicious doctor, voting for cuts against seniors, Medicare and Social Security. However, one of Landrieu’s attacks on Cassidy has been debunked by Politifact and the Washington Post.
Here’s the attack ad out this week:
The claim that Cassidy voted to “raise Medicare costs by $6,000” came from this Democratic report by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), which criticized the Paul Ryan budget, and has actually been discredited/debunked by Politifact and the Washington Post.
This is another talking point long past its due date. The $6,000 claim is based on a 2011 analysis by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, using data from the Congressional Budget Office, regarding Ryan’s original plan. The report said that in 2022, when the premium support system was expected to go into effect, a beneficiary’s out-of-pocket expenses would double, from $6,000 to $12,000.
But when Ryan’s plan changed, so did the numbers, in part because Ryan allowed Medicare spending to grow slightly faster than the nation’s economy (+0.5 percent), the same growth rate as President Obama’s budget.
What the attack ad conveniently leaves out is the fact that Landrieu cast the deciding vote for Obamacare, which then cut $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the healthcare overhaul.
“It’s beyond logic to attack others for cuts to Medicare when the only cut to Medicare that actually happened is the $716 billion dollars that Senator Landrieu cut from Medicare to pay for Obamacare,” said John Cummins, Cassidy’s Press Secretary. “Senator Landrieu is playing slight of hand because she doesn’t want voters to focus on the fact that the biggest cut ever in the history of Medicare occurred because she cast the deciding vote for Obamacare.”
And as the Weekly Standard noted, Cassidy did vote for gradually increasing the retirement age to 70, however, at the same time, Landrieu has signed a letter in support of the “Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission’s plan, which itself proposed raising the retirement age to 69 for Social Security. Landrieu and the other signatories specifically said they ‘commend’ the proposal’s Social Security reforms.”
And back in 2011, Landrieu told POLITICO that Medicare and Social Security needed to be structurally changed in order to deal with the debt crisis the country faces with the entitlement programs.