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The Arkansas Democratic Party continues to call out Tea Party Congressman Tom Cotton's (R. AR) lies.  This time, it's regarding Medicare:
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, announces his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Dardanelle, Ark., Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Congressman Cotton is peddling the same false attacks on Medicare that have been repeatedly  debunked by fact checkers.  

The fact that Congressman Cotton is willing to attack Senator Pryor over Medicare and
do it with a straight face is an impressive display of political cynicism.  

Congressman Cotton may not like it when the truth gets in the way of his blind ambition, but facts are facts: Congressman Cotton voted repeatedly for the same $716 billion in long-term Medicare savings that he's now calling "cuts" to attack Senator Pryor.  
Don’t take my word for it. Listen to President Clinton break down Congressman Cotton’s cynical attack.  

Congressman Cotton: It takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.  
Watch President Clinton Here  

President Clinton: Now, when Congressman Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama’s Medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry — (laughter) — because that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he has in his own budget. (Cheers, applause.) You got to get one thing — it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.    

Background:

COTTON ATTACKED PRYOR FOR THOROUGHLY DEBUNKED MEDICARE “CUTS”…  

Cotton’s Campaign Claimed Pryor Voted To Cut $700 Billion From Medicare. “Cotton spokesman David Ray issued the following statement regarding Senator Mark Pryor's latest television commercials: ‘These despicable scare tactics are typical of Washington politicians like Senator Pryor.  In all his time in Washington, Pryor has done nothing to preserve Medicare or keep the program solvent.  Instead of protecting Medicare, Pryor voted to cut $700 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare, a law he calls 'an amazing success' that has Arkansans suffering from lost insurance plans and drastic increases in premiums, deductibles and co-pays.’” [Cotton Release,  2/5/13]    

•       PolitiFact: Affordable Care Act “Doesn’t Actually Cut Medicare.” According to PolitiFact, “While the health care law reduces the amount of future spending growth in Medicare, the law doesn't actually cut Medicare. Savings come from reducing money that goes to private insurers who provide Medicare Advantage programs, among other things. The money wasn’t ‘robbed.’ We rated the statement Mostly False.” [PolitiFact,  8/15/12]  

•       Associated Press Fact Check: Ad Used “One of the Oldest Dodges” to Claim Reduction in Medicare Spending Growth Was a “Cut.” According to an AP fact check, “American Crossroads may be a new voice in political advocacy but it resorts to one of the oldest dodges used in Washington by both parties: casting a reduction in spending growth as a "cut." The new [health care reform] law slows projected increases in Medicare payments to providers but expands benefits in the traditional program instead of cutting them.” [Associated Press, 10/15/10]  

•       “Fact-Checkers Have Repeatedly Debunked” Claim That Health Care Law Cuts Medicare. In October 2012, the New York Times reported: “But Mr. Romney returned to it, suggesting that the $716 billion in Medicare reductions would indeed come from current beneficiaries. While fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked this claim, it remains a standard attack line for Mr. Romney.” [New York Times,  10/3/12]      

… FORGETTING TOM COTTON VOTED REPEATEDLY FOR THE SAME MEDICARE SAVINGS  

PolitiFact: Paul Ryan's Budget Relies On The Same $700 Billion In Savings From Medicare That Mitt Romney And Other Republicans Have Been Attacking Democrats As “Cuts”. According to PolitiFact, “Cutter said that Romney attacked Obama for cutting $700 billion out of Medicare, but ‘Paul Ryan protected those cuts in his budget.’ Again, with this item we are not addressing whether they are cuts, but simply whether she is correctly characterizing Ryan's plan. Cutter is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the future health care law. Just recently, the Romney campaign backed away from that play, saying Romney’s plan would restore the spending that the health law is set to curtail, such as extra funding for private insurers under the Medicare Advantage plan. Still, Cutter was right about the Ryan plan. We rate her statement True.” [PolitiFact,  8/12/12]  

Cotton Voted For Ryan Budget. In 2013, Cotton voted for passage of the controversial Ryan Budget that would “[restructure] of Medicare into a ‘premium support’" system beginning in 2024. It would call for an overhaul of the tax code, under which the alternative minimum tax would be repealed, the six current individual income tax brackets would be consolidated into two and tax credits and deductions would be eliminated or curtailed. The budget was adopted by a vote of 221-207. [CQ; H Con Res 25,  Vote #88, 3/21/13]    

•       Ryan Plan Included Same Medicare “Cuts” Cotton Criticized. According to Forbes, “The Path to Prosperity keeps, but repurposes, Obamacare’s Medicare cuts and tax increases, while repealing the law’s spending on the uninsured. Those two components can be thought of as accounting for nearly $2 trillion of the Ryan budget’s $4.6 trillion in net deficit reduction.” [Forbes,  3/16/13]  

•       Paul Ryan Confirmed His Budget Includes The Same Medicare Savings As The Affordable Care Act. According to PolitiFact, “Here’s what Ryan said in an interview with George Stephanopolous of ABC News in June, before his selection as Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate:

Stephanopoulos: ‘You know, several independent fact-checkers have taken a look at that claim, the $500 billion in Medicare cuts, and said that it's misleading. And in fact, by that accounting, your budget, your own budget, which Gov. Romney has endorsed, would also have $500 billion in Medicare cuts.’

Ryan: ‘Well, our budget keeps that money for Medicare to extend its solvency. What Obamacare does is it takes that money from Medicare to spend on Obamacare. ...’ So Ryan confirmed his budget includes the Medicare savings.” [PolitiFact, 9/5/12]  

•       PolitiFact: “So Ryan Confirmed His Budget Includes The Medicare Savings.” [PolitiFact, 9/5/12]  

•       PolitiFact: “Does Ryan’s Budget Include Those Same Reductions In Medicare Spending? The Short Answer Is Yes.” “Now onto our second question: Does Ryan’s budget include those same reductions in Medicare spending? The short answer is yes.” [PolitiFact, 9/5/12]    

Cotton Voted For Republican Study Committee Budget That Transformed Medicare Into Voucher System for Seniors. In 2013, Cotton voted for the extreme Republican Study Committee budget that would “assume the transformation of Medicare into a premium support program that would compete against private plans.” The budget was rejected by a vote of 104-132. [CQ; H Con Res 25,  Vote #86, 3/20/13]    

•       Republican Study Committee Budget Included The Same Medicare Savings From The Affordable Care Act That The NRSC And Cotton Criticized. According to Forbes, “The Republican Study Committee, which represents the conservative wing of the House Republican caucus, has released its own budget, that would reach balance in 4 years. It takes the Ryan plan and builds upon it, by implementing the Medicare reforms for those younger than 59; raising the Medicare and Social Security retirement age to 70 over time; implementing the ‘chained CPI’ adjustment for Social Security benefits; and other measures. Like the Ryan budget, it uses the tax and Medicare baselines from Obamacare. [Forbes,  3/16/13]  

•       Cotton Supported Previous Version Of Ryan Plan And The Republican Study Committee Plan As Well. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported in 2012: “For his part, Tom Cotton says he supports either the Paul Ryan plan or something called the Republican Study Committee plan.” [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 5/29/12]      

PRESIDENT CLINTON SAID IT BEST, THEY ARE ATTACKING DEMOCRATS “FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF MEDICARE SAVINGS THAT (RYAN) HAD IN HIS OWN BUDGET”  

Clinton: “That $716 Billion Is Exactly, To The Dollar, The Same Amount Of Medicare Saving That “Ryan” Had In His Own Budget.” According to PolitiFact, “"When Congressman (Paul) Ryan looked into that TV camera and attacked President Obama's Medicare savings as, quote, the ‘biggest coldest power play,’ I didn't know whether to laugh or cry," Clinton said in his Sept. 5, 2012, speech in Charlotte, N.C. "Because, that $716 billion is exactly, to the dollar, the same amount of Medicare savings that he had in his own budget. You gotta give one thing, it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did.” [PolitiFact,  9/5/12]    

•       PolitiFact Rated Clinton’s Claims About The Ryan Budget At DNC “True”—Their Best Rating. PolitiFact fact-checked Clinton’s claims at the DNC “that Ryan attacked the president for ‘the same amount of Medicare savings that (Ryan) had in his own budget.’” PolitiFact ruled that the statement was “True”—the highest rating they offer. PolitiFact stated: “Clinton said that Ryan attacked the president for ‘the same amount of Medicare savings that (Ryan) had in his own budget.’ Clinton is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the health care law. Just recently, the Romney campaign backed away from that plan, saying Romney’s plan would restore the spending that the health law is set to curtail, such as extra funding for private insurers under the Medicare Advantage plan. Still, Clinton was right about the Ryan plan. We rate his statement True.” [PolitiFact,  9/5/12]  

PolitiFact: “Clinton Is Correct That The Ryan Budget Plan Included Cost Savings That Were Part Of The Health Care Law.” “Clinton said that Ryan attacked the president for "the same amount of Medicare savings that (Ryan) had in his own budget." Clinton is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the health care law. Just recently, the Romney campaign backed away from that plan, saying Romney’s plan would restore the spending that the health law is set to curtail, such as extra funding for private insurers under the Medicare Advantage plan. Still, Clinton was right about the Ryan plan. We rate his statement True.” [PolitiFact,  9/5/12]

Excellent research from the Arkansas Democratic Party.  If you would like to get involved with Pryor's campaign, you can do so here:
http://pryorforsenate.com/

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:35 PM PST.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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