PRE-DEBATE PREP….In my debate scorecard on Monday, five of George Bush’s worst deceptions were related to domestic policies, which means we can probably expect to see them crop up again in tonight’s domestic policy debate. Here they are:

  1. Kerry’s healthcare plan amounts to a federal takeover. Flatly untrue. says it’s not true, the nonpartisan Lewin group says it’s not true, and an all-star team of health policy analysts say it’s not true. Jonathan Cohn examines ? and dismisses ? each of Bush’s false charges here.

    Kerry’s plan would cover more people, it would expand Medicaid, it would reinsure catastrophic health coverage, and it would cost a bunch of money. Those would be fair comments. But trying to pretend it’s a government takeover of healthcare is a lie.

  2. The deficit is solely the result of recession and war. Flatly untrue. It’s also the result of tax cuts and spending increases. George Bush just doesn’t like to admit it.

  3. Kerry’s tax plan will increase taxes on 900,000 small businesses. Flatly untrue. The 900,000 number (actually 995,000) refers to individuals with any amount of business income, not to small businesses themselves. The correct number for actual small businesses is about 500,000, less than 3% of the total. What’s more, over 90% of small businesses will get tax cuts under Kerry’s plan.

  4. Kerry opposes middle class tax cuts. Flatly untrue. Kerry’s tax plan taxes only those with incomes over $200,000, he has pledged not to increase taxes on those under $200,000, and he has clearly stated his support for last month’s bill extending middle class tax cuts.

  5. Bush has reduced the growth of nondefense discretionary spending. Flatly untrue. Bush has increased nondefense discretionary spending during his first term faster than any president since LBJ.

Of course, it’s one thing for these things to be untrue, but it’s quite another to convince people they’re untrue. But since they’re sure to come up, Kerry ought to have plenty of time to prepare clever responses. We’ll see.