Fact Checking The Republican Debate
WaPo‘s Glenn Kessler went over the fine print.
Romney: We’re inches away from no longer having a free economy.”
Fact: Romney’s statement that the United States is “inches away” from not having a free economy is rhetorical nonsense. There are many metrics one could use to disprove it, but here’s one: the conservative Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. The United States ranks ninth out of 179 countries. There’s still a long way to go before the nation catches up with North Korea.
Bachmann: “In the last two months, I was leading on the issue of not increasing the debt ceiling.”
Fact: Bachmann does not play a leadership role in Congress and had virtually no involvement in the debt ceiling discussions, except rhetorically.
Paul: “The country’s bankrupt and nobody wanted to admit it. And when you’re bankrupt, you can’t keep spending.”
Fact: Under no definition is the United States “bankrupt.” The nation has a large debt as a percentage of its economy, and that is an issue of concern. But it is able to pay its debts and its bonds are still regarded as the gold standard in the financial markets — which is why investors have flocked to buy U.S. Treasuries during this period of market turmoil.
Pawlenty: “Where’s Barack Obama on these issues? You can’t find his plans on some of the pressing financial issues of our country.?”
Fact: Obama’s health-care law was filled with Medicare reforms, designed to rein in costs…One can disagree whether those reforms will be effective, but the law certainly is a plan. And during talks with congressional leaders on the debt limit, Obama offered to put Social Security reforms on the table.
Bachmann: “The Congress gave Barack Obama a blank check for $2.4 trillion. What did the American people get in return? Twenty-one billion [dollars] in illusory cuts. . . . We just heard from Standard & Poor’s, when they dropped our credit rating. What they said is, we don’t have an ability to repay our debt.”
Fact: Bachmann once again mischaracterizes what S&P said, an issue we had examined just this week. S&P never said the United States could not repay its debts — otherwise the country would be bankrupt — but it downgraded Treasury bonds because it felt the political environment in Washington was too toxic to make progress on a package to substantially reduce the deficit…By the way, a blank check means there is no dollar amount. In any case, Congress has already committed to spend much of this money, under budgets passed in previous years.
Copyright 2011 Liberaland