Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fact Checking the Debate

The GOP candidates took some liberties when discussing jobs, Social Security, immigration, health care and other issues during the presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library:

*Perry exaggerated when he called Social Security a "Ponzi scheme" that won't be there for "kids that are 25 or 30 years old today." Social Security's finances -- while troubled -- are an open book, not an investment scam, and the program could still support 74 percent of promised benefits in 2085.

*Romney misrepresented Perry's position on Social Security, suggesting the Texas governor advocated "abolishing" it in his book. Perry's book criticized Social Security without proposing any changes to it.

*Romney misleadingly claimed that the Massachusetts health care overhaul affected just 8 percent of the state's residents, while the federal law will affect "100 percent of the people." But both plans require nearly everyone to have insurance or pay a penalty.

*Perry claimed Obama was poorly informed or an "abject liar" on the subject of public safety along the U.S.-Mexico border. But Perry misrepresented what Obama actually said, which was accurate; overall, crime rates in border towns have in fact declined.

*Bachmann said gasoline was just $1.79 a gallon when Obama became president, suggesting he is to blame for the current high prices. But gasoline prices -- which are set by world markets -- were higher under Republican President George W. Bush just months before Obama took office.

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