Fact checking the Republican debate

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Chris, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Chris
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    Chris Gold Member

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    Nov. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Rick Perry stumbled when he forgot which federal departments he would shut, while Mitt Romney and other rivals for the Republican presidential nomination strayed from the facts on regulation, auto bailouts and health care in a debate focused on the economy.

    Texas Governor Perry and former businessman Herman Cain blamed government regulations for the weak economy in last night’s debate co-sponsored by CNBC and the Michigan Republican Party. Former Massachusetts Governor Romney said bailouts of the auto industry were the wrong way to go.

    Those and other statements by the White House contenders stretched the truth during the debate at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan.

    Following are examples of gaffes or assertions that didn’t stand up to fact-checking by Bloomberg reporters:

    Perry on Agency Cuts

    The Claim: Perry said he would shut three government agencies. He named two, the departments of Commerce and Education, and said he couldn’t remember the third: “I can’t. Sorry. Oops.”

    Background: Perry’s Republican rivals have also called for eliminating a number of departments, with Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota pledging to shut the Environmental Protection Agency and Representative Ron Paul saying he would close the Department of Interior in addition to the ones Perry wants to end.

    The Facts: Later in the debate Perry said the third agency he wanted to close was the Department of Energy. Perry, who made expanded oil drilling a cornerstone of his Oct. 14 jobs plan, also named that agency as one he wanted to do away with during an Oct. 1 town hall meeting in Hampton, New Hampshire.

    Cain, Perry, Bachmann on Regulations

    The Claims: Cain said fixing the housing crisis requires that “you get the regulators off of the backs of the banks.” Perry said “it’s the regulatory world that is killing America,” and Bachmann said, “Our biggest problem right now is our regulatory burden.”

    The Background: Perry pledged to review all rules issued during President Barack Obama’s administration and revoke those that kill jobs. Former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said he would repeal every Obama-era regulation that cost businesses more than $100 million.

    The Facts: Obama’s administration approved 613 rules during his first 33 months in office, fewer than the 643 issued by President George W. Bush’s administration in the same time period, according to Office of Management and Budget statistics. A National Federation of Independent Business survey of small business owners released this month found that 26 percent of respondents cited poor sales as their top problem, compared with 19 percent citing regulations. Of almost 489,000 initial unemployment claims from extended mass layoffs in the first half of this year, 2,085 -- less than 1 percent -- came from people who employers said were fired because of government regulations, according to the Labor Department.

    Republican Reality Check Shows Misfires on Regulation, Bailouts - Businessweek
     
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    Romney on Bailouts

    The Claim: Romney said auto bailouts by Obama and Bush were “the wrong way to go.” General Motors Co. and Chrysler Corp. should have gone through “a private bankruptcy process” instead, he said.

    The Background: The Bush administration extended more than $17 billion in loans from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to General Motors and Chrysler in late 2008 to save up to 3 million jobs and the network of industry suppliers. Ford Motor Co. didn’t need government financing because it restructured its debt in 2006. In 2009, the Obama administration provided additional financing for the two car companies as well as their financing arms while an auto-industry task force shepherded them through accelerated bankruptcies. The process allowed them to shed excess facilities, workers and dealers.

    The Facts: Private financing for a traditional debtor-in- possession bankruptcy for GM and Chrysler wasn’t available during the 2008-2009 credit crisis, according to Steven Rattner, who headed the Obama administration’s auto rescue, economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics Inc. and David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan’s economy is recovering from the recession at the second-fastest pace in the U.S., lifted by reviving carmakers and local manufacturers, according to a Bloomberg index that tracks the pace of states’ growth. Michigan’s 11.1 percent unemployment rate in September was down from the crisis peak of 14.1 percent in August 2009, and still higher than the national 9 percent figure. The state has added 92,500 nonfarm jobs since employment bottomed in December 2009.

    Perry on Medicaid

    The Claim: Perry said if the federal government let states run Medicaid, the health program for the poor, “I guarantee you we will do it safely, we will do it appropriately and we will save a ton of money.”

    The Background: Republican candidates have urged the federal government to send money to the states for the joint federal-state program and let them figure out how best to spend it.

    The Facts: Since Perry became governor, the number of Texas Medicaid beneficiaries covered by managed-care plans has more than doubled, from 29 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2009, the latest year for which the state released enrollment figures. That’s a faster shift to managed care than the country as a whole. The state contracts with the Institute for Child Health Policy at the University of Florida to review the quality of its Medicaid managed-care program. The institute said in 2009 that the 1.2 million Texans covered by the state’s largest managed- care program, called STAR, fared worse than Medicaid beneficiaries nationwide on several indicators. STAR adult beneficiaries were almost three times more likely to be admitted to the hospital for hypertension, more than twice as likely to be admitted for uncontrolled diabetes and 71 percent more likely to be admitted for urinary-tract infections.

    Republican Reality Check Shows Misfires on Regulation, Bailouts - Businessweek
     

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