Colorado’s Sen. Bennet — Running Scared And Running False And Misleading Ads Against Ken Buck

Colorado’s 7News fact-checked Sen. Bennet’s latest attack ad against his opponent in the Colorado Senate race, Ken Buck and found that it is “misleading” in almost every respect.  It is a good analysis, but the ad makes several assertions that are outright false, not merely misleading.

According to Bennet’s ad, Buck “even questioned whether Social Security should exist at all.”  It then plays a recording of Buck saying “I don’t know whether it is constitutional or not. It is certainly a horrible policy.”

7News provides the context that shows Bennet’s ad to be nothing short of false:

[Buck] was answering this question: “Is it constitutional for the government to have a Social Security program where it directs the monies that we put into it?”

The following is more from Buck’s response at the forum:

“I don’t know whether it’s constitutional or not, it is certainly a horrible policy, and what happened in the LBJ administration back in the ’60s, when they took the money out of the trust fund to use to fund general fund programs, and what we ended up with was a system that will be bankrupt in 10-25 years from now. It is bad policy. I don’t know that a federal government should be involved in a retirement plan. It should be a plan that certainly once people pay into it, they have the expectation of getting their retirement and their entitled to that,” said Buck.

Not such an extreme answer, is it?  In fact, what seems extreme is the government creating a retirement program, requiring people to pay into it, then using those funds for other spending, leaving the retirement program functionally bankrupt.  But that is the Social Security system we have.  It sounds like Buck would like to change that. 

So Bennet labels him “extreme.”  If that is what counts as extreme in our political community, then I want more extremists.

And then there is this on the Department of Education:

Narrator: “On education?”

Buck: “We don’t need a Department of Education.”

* * *

At the same March forum, just before Buck gave the answer regarding Social Security, he was asked: “Could you name for me two or three federal programs right now that exist and are unconstitutional in their current form?”

“The federal government is trying to solve every problem. The reality is that the power lies with you and me, in our local communities. We don’t need a Department of Education in Washington, D.C., telling us in our local communities — education decisions are best, best left to a parent and a child, a parent and a teacher, a school board to determine curriculum. A one-size-fits-all system coming out of Washington, D.C., is a disaster and it has been a disaster for years.”

Just prior to that answer, Buck listed a number of other programs that he would cut.

“Can I name a few programs that I think could be cut right away that aren’t constitutional? Yes, I can name several, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Amtrak,” said Buck.

Buck also listed those organizations during an interview on the Jeff Crank radio show in Colorado Springs in May. Crank had asked where Buck would cut the size and scope of federal government. Buck then said the following:

“There are other agencies, like the Department of Education, that I think we can’t go in on day one and just wholesale get out. We have student loans and other programs that people have built up a dependence on, and over time, I’m not talking about 30 years, but over time we have to wean the American public off of those and bring those back to the states where they legitimately belong. I think it is a complicated mess. We’ve been doing this for 60 years and it’s going to take us some time to get out of the spending mess that we’re in,” said Buck.

Bennet’s ad so distorts Buck’s comments that it is simply false.  Not just misleading — it is intentionally creating a false impression of what Buck said. 

And I could support Buck’s substantive ideas on this front as well.  

The federal government has no business funding the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, or Amtrak.  There are any number of artistic and broadcasting outlets available in this country, and there is simply no reason for federal tax dollars to be spent on such things.    And train service will do just fine where it makes economic sense, such as in the northeast, without tax dollars subsidizing unnecessary rail service between, for example, Denver and Chicago.

As to the Department of Education, let’s look at some facts. 

Here is a chart showing per pupil spending on our public schools:

 Description of chart is below.

 And here is a chart showing massive increases spending v. flatlined student performance:


As the man says, “[a] one-size-fits-all system coming out of Washington, D.C., is a disaster and it has been a disaster for years.”  We have been shoveling billions of dollars into our schools for years without requiring any real accountability.  

Bennet wants to remain part of the problem — doing the same things (spending Billions) in the same way (throwing money at teachers’ unions) with the same predictable results (high drop-out rates, low student performance).  Buck is looking for practical solutions.  Which is more extreme?

Published in: on September 3, 2010 at 1:14 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] margin among independents is important because it shows that the nasty false and misleading attack ads being run against Buck on high rotation, which are attempting to paint Buck as […]

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