Probably the biggest lie on the airwaves this cycle — repeated over and over again — is that the General Assembly “cut” $500 million from the education budget this year.
They didn’t. According to the non-partisan Fiscal Research staff, the state actually increased spending on public education this year by $302,966,430 — and over the last four years, education spending has increased by $967,610,737 — that’s nearly a billion dollars. And for what it’s worth, the last two years the other party was in charge, they cut $610,926,774 from public education. (See chart.)
Although the $500 million lie has already been throughly debunked by several sources, including Factcheck.org, PolitiFact.com, and the Washington Post (which gave it two “Pinocchios”) — and although they certainly must know better by now — for some reason, these candidates continue to repeat the big lie in ad after ad. Maybe, like George Costanza, they don’t think it’s a lie — as long as they believe it. Or maybe it’s because, as someone once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
But it certainly makes you wonder what else these shifty candidates and their partisan propaganda meisters will say just to win an election.
Anyway, even WLOS-TV in Asheville seemed to have finally had enough. On Friday, the ABC affiliate broadcast a story that hammered the point home. “For viewers and voters, the deception is disturbing,” says anchor Frank Fraboni, who interviewed people about the lie. “It bothers me when something is presented in a short ad like that as fact, and a lot of folks are going to take it as fact without doing their homework,” says Asheville resident Katie Craig.
We wish we could show you the original video, but it’s been deleted from WLOS’s website. Maybe someone got upset.