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Archive for Thursday, October 4, 2012

Debate shows off facts and figures, but not all exactly correct

October 4, 2012

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WASHINGTON — As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney rhetorically sparred in Wednesday night’s televised debate, both candidates exhibited a propensity toward misstatements, falsehoods and exaggerations.

From the economy to immigration, health care to military spending, both Romney and Obama sometimes played fast and loose with the facts. Here’s a look at some of what was said:

Medicare

Romney repeated his claim that Obama took $716 billion from Medicare to fund the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.”

The law would reduce Medicare spending by $716 billion from 2013 to 2022, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates. But the spending reduction wouldn’t affect services for seniors, because the trims would come mainly in lower annual payment increases to hospitals and other providers, higher premiums for affluent beneficiaries and lower payments to Medicare Advantage plans, the private plans that provide Medicare benefits.

The Medicare spending reductions also would be supplemented by new revenue from a health care law payroll tax on high-income workers and new fees on drug companies, medical device makers and insurers — all industries that will see substantial new revenue when the law provides coverage for millions of uninsured Americans in 2014.

Romney said he would repeal the health care law, and that doing so would put the $716 billion back into the program. But the CBO said repealing the law would raise the deficit by $109 billion over the next decade.

Doing so also would eliminate its savings and revenue provisions for Medicare and would cause Medicare’s Hospital Insurance Trust Fund to become insolvent eight years earlier — in 2016 instead of 2024, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

That’s because the projected $716 billion in reduced Medicare spending under the health care law would disappear if the law was repealed.

Jobs

Obama claimed he created 5 million private-sector jobs over the last 30 months. This does not take into account the loss of government jobs — federal, state and local — that has occurred during his administration. And it doesn’t take into account the job losses in his early months, when the economy was shedding a staggering 800,000-plus jobs per month.

Economists don’t blame him for these losses, as they were part of the Great Recession, which ended in his fifth full month in office. But if you add up the jobs numbers during his entire term, the net on private-sector jobs is in the ballpark of 300,000.

Taxes

Responding to Obama’s assertion that businesses get tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas, Romney responded, “I’ve been in business for 25 years, and I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

He’s correct, if taken literally, that there is no deduction for moving a job overseas. But what the Obama administration has sought, as have several presidential candidates and sitting presidents over the last 50 years, is limiting the ability of corporations to defer payment of U.S. taxes on overseas profits.

A company that moves a plant to China can defer paying U.S. taxes on the profits of that operation, instead of having to pay taxes annually if producing in the United States. Many companies also seek out low-tax countries, maximizing their profits and deferring payment of taxes in the United States.

In 2004, Congress offered corporations a one-time lower tax rate if they repatriated some of those foreign earnings, called “undistributed earnings.” Republicans, who consider the U.S. taxes essentially double taxation, have pushed for another similar tax holiday.

Comments

true_patriot 2 years, 3 months ago

I didn't hear a single item from Romney that wasn't anywhere from misleading and disingenuous to an outright whopper. He contradicted himself, his campaign, his VP pick, and his party platform constantly. Obama should have been more aggressive once Romney trampled the debate format and moderator but then again I'm guessing he was playing for independents and not to fire up his base - a tactic that will be interesting to see how it plays out.

In regards to your comment about moving jobs out of the country, @commonsenseanyone, you might want to actually read the article you're commenting on. I'll give you a hint - it's the last section of the article above and it has a bold header called "Taxes" ...

I think Obama should have spent less time on details and more time on exactly this issue, mentioning Bain Capital by name, the recent Boston Globe expose on how they destroyed American jobs in favor of slave labor manufacturing in China. Then he should have explained to Americans how the ultra-wealthy and corporations in general for decades now flip America the bird by using the tax dodge described above that Obama (and other presidents in the past) want to end to avoid paying their share of taxes while simultaneously moving wealth and jobs out of the American economy. I can't think of anything more anti-American, really.

jjinks 2 years, 3 months ago

Actually it's a shame that this government wants to tax a business into the ground and force them to go elsewhere to stay in business You call yourself a" true patriot" but your idea of patriotism is taxing which is the problem. Remember no country has ever taxed it's way out of hard times all they have done is taxed themselves into poverty. Being jealous of those that make money and take care of it is a sickness. Being envious should motivate a person but being jealous helps no one but that is what the government has done so as to split us down the middle. Wake up people this kind of thinking will ruin us and almost has

Enlightenment 2 years, 3 months ago

The moderator for this debate was horrible and had no control over the situation. It seemed as though Obama was adhering to the time limits early on, but Romney was often allowed to get the last response on an issue even if it was not his turn to speak.

I think Obama could have performed better and failed to capitalize on several of Romney's ridiculous claims and comments.

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