In a new attack ad by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), she portrays Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) as an incompetent, nut-job who cannot get a straight thought out, all while voting to cut social security to help the rich.
But, the Washington Post is giving Landrieu’s attack add three Pinocchios. And they’re also calling out Landrieu for making Cassidy seem uneducated and stupid. First, here’s the ad:
But there’s a problem here. What Landrieu shows are just tiny snippets of Cassidy’s overall speech at the Republican Leadership Conference. Here’s that full speech, in which Cassidy is most definitely not incompetent.
The other issue with Landrieu’s claim is that Cassidy did not in fact to cut Social Security in favor of giving tax breaks to the rich, as the Washington Post points out.
The RSC budget document claimed that the chained CPI formula “would save $137 billion over ten years, and more importantly, according to the Social Security Trustees 2013 report, would solve about 20 percent of Social Security’s long-range actuarial balance.” Raising the retirement age — a step Congress has taken before — “could close up half the Social Security funding gap over 75 years,” the budget document says, also citing the trustees report.
You’re probably wondering where Landrieu then got the whole “tax breaks for the rich” claim. Well, here’s what the Post had to say.
The Landrieu campaign justifies this line by saying the budget was intended to achieve balance over 10 years, so the $137 billion in Social Security savings is used to help achieve balance. The campaign also argues that the tax plan has not been proven to be revenue neutral but instead relies on optimistic assumptions.
At the end of the day, Landrieu’s ad earned three Pinocchios, with the Post ultimately coming to this conclusion: “On several levels, this claim falls short. Whatever one thinks of Cassidy’s Social Security proposals, they are aimed at helping preserve the system, not funding tax cuts for the wealthy. Landrieu has to go through several leaps of logic to tie those benefit changes to tax cuts for the wealthy — and then to assume Cassidy would benefit greatly.”