The website PolitiFact is going to be truth-squadding the Republican convention speakers this week, delivering verdicts on which claims are “mostly true” and which deserve a “pants on fire” rating. Our advice: Pay no attention to those ratings. PolitiFact can’t be trusted to get the story right.Its recent rulings on Medicare have demonstrated the point thrice over. PolitiFact said that Romney’s comment that Obama had “robbed” Medicare of $716 billion to pay for Obamacare was “mostly false.” Among its reasons: “The money was not robbed in any literal sense of the word.” So if Romney led anyone to believe that Obama had held Medicare at gunpoint and ordered it to hand over its wallet, they can now rest easy, because PolitiFact is on the case.
PolitiFact’s other arguments are that Medicare spending will continue to rise and that Obama’s spending reductions are “mainly aimed at insurers and hospitals, not beneficiaries.” Leave aside the economic naïveté of that argument, and focus instead on the irrelevance. Romney said that Obama had taken money that was going to be spent on Medicare and instead spend it on Obamacare, and suggested that this was a bad thing. In other words: an absolutely true claim, and an opinion based on it. If PolitiFact disagrees with that opinion, let it publish its views under a different name.