“We are entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts,” Sen. Al Franken hollered on the Senate floor moments ago.
But apparently, he doesn’t think that saying should apply to himself.
Franken was angrily pushing back against the Republican argument that while taxes included in the health care bill would start being collected in 2010, the benefits wouldn’t kick in until 2014.
Up to a point, Franken’s complaint was technically right in that some benefits from the new legislation would kick in immediately, but then he got carried away to the point of blatant lying.
“The fact is that benefits kick in on day one and the large majority of benefits kick in on day one,” he shouted.
But in reality, the overwhelming bulk of the spending in the new health care bill comes by expanding Medicaid and offering subsidies to individuals to purchase insurance on the new government exchanges, and those changes don’t go into effect until year five (or 2014).
The Congressional Budget Office found that just $9 billion of the $848 billion total spending aimed at expanding coverage from 2010 to 2019 would occur in the first four years, while the remaining $839 billion wouldn’t come until the last six. In percentage terms, a whopping 1 percent of spending would occur from 2010 to 2014. This was one of the accounting gimmicks that Democrats used to make the legislation appear cheaper over their 10-year budget window.
Yet this reality didn’t stop Franken’s sanctimonious rant.
“Sen. McCain a week ago said, ‘facts are stubborn things,’” Franken shouted, pounding on the lectern. “These are stubborn things!”
He continued, ironically saying, “I stand here day after day after day, and hear my colleagues, my good friends from the other side, say things that are not based on fact.”
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