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Travis Rowley: A Thousand Falsehoods

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Both Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D) and Congressman David Cicilline (D) made recent appearances on Channel 12 Newsmakers that verified their predictable strategy for the 2012 election season. As usual, our Democratic delegation will be coming home from Washington, DC with a thousand falsehoods designed to paint a simple impression: They care. And Republicans are mean.

As expected, Republicans will be forced to cut through a glut of nonsense, not the least of which will be a disingenuous political gimmick called the “Buffett Rule.” Technically called the “Paying A Fair Share Act,” Whitehouse is sponsoring the legislation while Cicilline is wholeheartedly embracing the plan that would ask wealthy individuals to pay more in taxes.

But why? Well, mainly because Cicilline and Whitehouse view Rhode Island voters as complete suckers for the politics of class warfare.

Cicilline and Whitehouse realize that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will never allow the “Paying A Fair Share Act” to reach President Obama’s desk. More than that, however, they’re also aware of the bill’s utter impotence, that it stands to raise only a small fraction of the revenue needed to solve the nation’s fiscal dilemma. As reporter Tim White expressed last week, “The idea may be popular for a lot of non-millionaires, but the increase in revenue would do little to address the country’s massive deficit.” It would “reduce the deficit by less than one percent,” White reminded Whitehouse.

Stunts like these represent just how much Whitehouse and Cicilline actually respect their constituents.

Medicare and Social Security

Rhode Islanders should also expect the employment of an old Democratic scare tactic – the notion that Republicans wish to strip seniors of Medicare and Social Security. With one of the highest percentages of residents over the age of 65 (about 140,000 Rhode Island seniors receive social security benefits) Rhode Island is the place where Democrats can least afford to withhold this lie.

Before he was known all over Rhode Island as a master of deceit, Cicilline was traveling to elderly homes throughout the state in 2010, suggesting to seniors that Republicans represented a threat to their well-being. “We have to do everything we can to protect social security,” Cicilline told the crowds.

And on Newsmakers last weekend, Whitehouse showed that he’s ready to replicate Cicilline’s tactics, alluding to the possibility of being “throw[n] off Social Security” and “cut[ting] Medicare benefits for seniors.”

The challenge to Republicans will be to make sure that 2012 is the year that Rhode Island voters finally reject the customary Democratic campaign, and what PolitiFact called “the most frequently used weapon in the Democratic arsenal” during the 2010 midterm elections – that is, the idea that Republicans would “privatize” social security, risking payouts to senior citizens.

And there’s cause for optimism.

For years Rhode Island Democrats shirked the voices of reform-minded Republicans who were trying to highlight the dangers posed by overreaching public unions and unfunded pension liabilities. Democrats found it simple, convenient, and politically advantageous to respond by telling the public that Republicans were simply “anti-worker” and “only for the rich.”

Eventually, however, Central Falls retirees discovered who was truly looking out for their best interests all those years.

So in the wake of Central Falls’ collapse, one would think that Rhode Island seniors will be poised to lend an ear to candidates who are speaking plainly about the solvency of their own retirement programs. Perhaps they’re prepared to view Democrats for what they truly are – a party of reckless and self-interested politicians who are perfectly willing to flirt with economic devastation and entitlement bankruptcy in order to retain political power.

It will be interesting to see if Rhode Islanders believe the traditional Democratic lie this year, that it is a Republican wet-dream to watch old people suffer.

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.

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This is so true. The Buffett Rule is just more class envy, and the democrats have been terrifying our seniors for YEARS. I can't tell you how many elderly people vote for Democrats because they think Republicans will take away their SS and Medicare. People shouldn't win elections by lying. Shame, shame, shame.

Comment #1 by Sierra Lee on 2012 04 14

I'm a Republican. Democrats are trying to convince people that what I want is for my parents to have their livelihoods taken away. Yeah, that makes a whole lot of sense.

Comment #2 by Jared D on 2012 04 14

In a Fox News story currently running on Huffington Post, it has been revealed that President Obama is ALSO paying his taxes at a rate less that that paid by his secretary. I wonder what Weldon's tax return reveals? These Democrats are such a bunch of hypocrites. The Democrats never point out the charitable contributions made by many rich people. That won't take a huge hit if their taxes get raised, will it? This will be another liberal bill with exactly the opposite effect of what they say they intended.

Comment #3 by Michael Trenn on 2012 04 14

Our democrats may very well lay on a heavy layer of falsehoods, but die hard democrats around here don't know, or don't care about falsehoods. They have no alternatives. The tax rich thing just might trickle down and save one middle school janitor's job, or keep the fire department overtime train running. The seniors are a piece of cake for democrats. Seniors are on one track, social security. They're easy marks for democrats, feed them and keep them scared. Cicillne could be an ax murderer, but if he saves my social security, he's flamboyantly fabulous.

Comment #4 by David Beagle on 2012 04 14

Thank you Travis for showing "smoke and mirrors" deceit by the democrats. I just hope enough people are listening and have the fortitude to change the way they vote.

Comment #5 by Stephen Canning on 2012 04 15

The writer talks about False Hoods with Democrats.Well lets not forget the GOP`S False Hoods like I`M NOT A CROOK,READ MY LIPS NO NEW TAXES,and the infamous WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. Someone mentioned SMOKE AND MIRRORS the GOP has blowing smoke up our butts for years .I`m not saying the Democrats are any better but for me Democrats are the way to go for now.

Comment #6 by Joe McCauley on 2012 04 16

Why are the Democrats the way to go? Are they the same Democrats that you grew up with, Mr. McCauley (West End McCauleys, perhaps). My Father was on the Ward 8 Democratic Committee back in the day. He backed Senator Pell when nobody else would. My siblings and I "rang the bell for Claiborne Pell." He told a very young Frank Darigan to pursue a career in politics. We were Democrats, with a capital D. However, the party left us in the 60's and 70's, until it is now the party of those who don't get up to go to work in the morning (or at any other time) It is not the same party, and deep in your heart you know it.

Comment #7 by Michael Trenn on 2012 04 16

Now it can be told. I am a Reagan Democrat, who became a Republican. I don't envision ever going back.

Comment #8 by Michael Trenn on 2012 04 16

Thats the problem Mr. Trenn you let your heart decide your Politics I use my head.I don`t live in Providence and my family was from the Southend

Comment #9 by Joe McCauley on 2012 04 16

Flat tax is the only fair tax. That way everyone pays, everyone has skin in the game.
Next would be to have to pay taxes by writing out a check to Uncle Sam and the State every week. This would have the startling effect of showing how much the "free stuff" aka government services costing each wage earner each week.
I believe people would suddenly be able to do with a lot less government all around.
If we manage that labels on things like gasoline pumps would show a breakdown of where your money is going, x to the station owner, y to the oil company, z to the state and t to the feds.

Comment #10 by Wuggly Ump on 2012 04 16

Didn't Michael just demonstrate that he DOES NOT use his heart to decide his politics, in the fact that he had the sense to leave a party that did not agree with him anymore?????

Comment #11 by Jared D on 2012 04 16

JJ--spot on. Joe doesn't get it...he just keeps pulling the "D" lever and hopes things get better. Guess it's easier than thinking.

Comment #12 by Mike Govern on 2012 06 04

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