(Jan. 18)  Political ads often take what can generously be called interpretive liberties that bear only partial relation to factual accuracy. Even so, even campaign commercials rarely feature demonstrable, flat-out lies. That, though, is exactly what a new ad for former President Donald Trump does to Trump’s former U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley.

Haley, alone among the serious Republican contenders for the presidency, has had the guts to tell the truth that the Social Security system faces insolvency within nine years and that, as a simple arithmetical fact, changes must be made to extend the system’s life span. Again, this isn’t opinion, it’s just math, as reported by the Social Security trustees themselves.

And as the trustees note, the absolutely guaranteed way to force massive benefit cuts is to do nothing to tweak the system. If lawmakers “don’t touch” Social Security, which is what Trump advocates, then when the system hits insolvency in about 2033, beneficiaries will automatically start receiving only 77% of their previously scheduled benefits. Trump’s refusal to make any changes, in sum, will reduce benefits across the board.

It then takes real gall for Trump and his campaign team to ape Democratic attacks saying that Haley advocates “gutting Social Security.” (This is far from the only way Trump mimics liberal Democrats, but that’s another story.) By straightforward logic, Haley’s position that it will take action to save Social Security is one that would ensure more benefits for more people than Trump’s “do nothing” approach.

Still, if Team Trump wants to take issues with Haley’s proposals, that’s its prerogative. What should not be Trump’s right, though, is to tell a straight-up whopper of a lie about her position. Yet that’s what his ad does….. [From here, I cite details, chapter and verse, showing why the Trump ad isn’t mere exaggeration but a despicable, outright lie. Read the whole thing here.]



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