Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Bill Cassidy's election results party on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Apparently Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy’s distortions have gotten so glaring that even The Advocate felt compelled to give them some attention.

Having the three leading national fact-checking organizations cite his claim that Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., “put illegal immigrants ahead of veterans” as completely false should be a wake up call for Louisiana voters.

The Washington Post article that’s cited states clearly “despite Cassidy’s claim, there never was a vote that pitted ‘veteran benefits’ against benefits for illegal immigrants.” The same article notes that Cassidy makes this claim himself, looking directly at voters (through the camera), putting his credibility on the line.

That credibility was already eroded on numerous occasions, such as the congressman attacking the Affordable Care Act for “cutting” $500 billion (sometimes it’s $700 billion) from Medicare over the next ten years, while voting for the same amount in cuts in the House Republican budgets that he supported.

He falsely represented the cost controls in the ACA as cuts in benefits, which they weren’t, but also failed to tell voters that the savings by the ACA were plowed back into the Medicare program, and has ignored the fact that the Medicare Trustees have said that the ACA’s provisions have extended the program’s solvency until 2030 (as opposed to two years from now.)

The GOP’s cuts to Medicare would go partly to cover the large — and completely unjustified — new tax breaks they want to give to the wealthiest Americans.

But those proposed tax breaks for the people who need them the least are so large that even the Medicare cuts wouldn’t cover the funding shortfall they’d produce — nor would cuts in Medicaid in the amount of $700 billion.

Cassidy claims we can’t afford the programs that help ordinary Americans — but he’s leaving out the other part of Republican fiscal plans: costly new benefits for the folks at the top of the heap.

Patrick D. Reed

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