Debate Fact Check
Submitted by William
Here’s the AP’s take:
ROMNEY: “They finally realized I was right.” — On the government ushering the auto industry into and out of bankruptcy.
THE FACTS: Romney did propose a bankruptcy process for the automakers before the government opted for that course. But there was a tremendous difference between the course he advocated and the one that was taken. GM and Chrysler went into bankruptcy on the strength of a massive bailout that Romney opposed. Neither Republican President George W. Bush nor Democratic President Barack Obama believed the automakers would have survived without that backup from taxpayers. Romney held out the possibility at the time of the government giving certain loan and warranty guarantees that would not have approached the nearly $85 billion bailout…
NEWT GINGRICH: “When I was speaker … we balanced the budget for four consecutive years.”
THE FACTS: Gingrich has made this misstatement many times before. He was speaker from January 1995 to January 1999. During budget years 1996 and 1997, when Gingrich was House speaker, the government ran deficits totaling nearly $130 billion. In budget year 1998, which ended Sept. 30, 1998, there was a surplus of $69 billion. And in budget year 1999, during which Gingrich was speaker part of the time, there was a surplus of $126 billion. Thus, Gingrich can only claim credit for contributing to two years of a balanced budget, at most…
SANTORUM: “Gov. Romney raised $700 million in taxes and fees in Massachusetts.”
ROMNEY: “We cut taxes 19 times.”
THE FACTS: Romney largely held the line on tax increases but the record is mixed. Massachusetts raised business taxes by $140 million with measures mostly recommended by Romney. As well, the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers raised hundreds of millions of dollars from higher fees and fines, another form of taxation. Romney himself proposed raising nearly $60 million by creating 33 new fees and increasing 57 others. Anti-tax advocates praised his support for income tax cuts while objecting to his course on business taxes and fees…
ROMNEY: “I’m going to link the pay of government workers with the pay in the private sector. Government servants shouldn’t get more than the people who are paying taxes.”
THE FACTS: It’s something of a myth that federal workers make out like gangbusters next to their private sector counterparts…
GINGRICH: “If we’re going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues, it is President Obama, who as a state senator voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion.”
THE FACTS: As an Illinois state senator, Obama voted against legislation promoted by anti-abortion activists that would have conferred protection to fetuses showing any signs of life after an abortion, even if doctors did not believe the fetus was viable. Obama pointed to an existing Illinois law requiring doctors to protect fetuses they believed were likely to survive after an abortion, and said he was concerned the proposed new law was so broad it could interfere with routine abortions. Obama said he would have supported federal legislation President George W. Bush signed in 2002 that would protect a viable fetus but reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion.
GINGRICH: “It is utterly stupid to say that the United States government can’t control the border. It is a failure of will. It’s a failure of enforcement.”
THE FACTS: A failure of will or enforcement is difficult to see in the statistics. Starting under the Bush administration, the ranks of the Border Patrol have risen to more than 21,400 agents, a force augmented by National Guard troops, unmanned aerial vehicles and fencing. A record 396,609 illegal immigrants were deported last year.Click here for reuse options!
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