Debate Bottom Line: Romney Misled, and Obama Didn’t Call Him On It Aggressively
Mitt Romney kept questioning the president’s honesty when it was he, Romney, who was most dishonest.“I will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals,” Romney claimed while saying at the same time he’d cut rates 20%.
Romney was not honest about the deficit:
Mr. Romney said Mr. Obama had doubled the deficit. That is not true. When Mr. Obama took office in January 2009, the Congressional Budget Office had already projected that the deficit for fiscal year 2009, which ended Sept. 30 of that year, would be $1.2 trillion. (It ended up as $1.4 trillion.) For fiscal year 2012, which ended last week, the deficit is expected to be $1.1 trillion — just under the level in the year he was inaugurated.
Measured as a share of the economy, as economists prefer, the deficit has declined more significantly — from 10.1 percent of the economy’s total output in 2009 to 7.3 percent for 2012…
He was not forthcoming about how he’d cap deductions:
Mr. Romney did not address how his proposed cap on deductions would affect tax credits. (Generally, deductions lower a family’s level of taxable income and credits erase part of their overall tax bill.)
It is also unclear whether his proposal to cap deductions would raise enough revenue to pay for his income tax rate cuts — at least not without increasing the tax burden on families making less than $200,000 a year, which Mr. Romney has vowed that he will not do.
Romney was wrong about a government takeover of healthcare:
Mr. Romney said that Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul would allow the federal government to “take over health care,” an assertion rejected by the president.
The 2010 health care law clearly expands the role of the federal government. But it also builds on the foundation of private health insurance, providing subsidies for millions of low- and moderate-income people to buy private insurance.
He was untruthful about the number of green energy companies that failed:
Mr. Romney said that half the companies backed by the president’s green energy stimulus program have gone out of business. That is a gross overstatement. Of nearly three dozen recipients of loans under the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program, only three are currently in bankruptcy, although several others are facing financial difficulties.
Romney lied about the $716 billion reduction in Medicare spending, calling it a cut, and ignores that savings come from money to providers, not consumers:
Mr. Romney repeated the claim, suggesting that the $716 billion in Medicare reductions would indeed come from current beneficiaries.
While fact-checkers have repeatedly debunked this claim, it remains a standard attack line for Mr. Romney…
According to nonpartisan analysts, it is Mr. Romney who would both cut benefits and add costs for beneficiaries if he restored the $716 billion in reductions…
Also, the Obama reductions added eight years to the life of Medicare’s financially troubled trust fund, to 2024, according to Medicare trustees. If the cuts were restored, the insolvency date would revert to 2016.