Accountability check up

Thoughts from Behind the Pressline

A few weeks ago I suggested readers continue to check out sites like Factcheck.org and OpenSecrets.org so they could balance out the facts from the over-exaggerated spin that all political candidates seem compelled to use. Several readers asked that I periodically use this column to check in on the presidential candidates and provide an update to see who is saying what and how accurate the claims being made are.

Prior to the upcoming October head-to- head debates, the candidates are crisscrossing the country providing their standard stump speeches. Here’s what Factcheck.org has to say about the two candidate’s stump spins:

President Obama correctly states that manufacturing jobs have increased by more than half a million since hitting bottom, but he fails to mention that the number regained is less than half the total lost since he took office. The president claims that “renewable” energy production has doubled on his watch, which isn’t true (only wind and solar have doubled). He also claims he’d increase the tax rate on high-income earners to no more than they paid under Bill Clinton, when the truth is they’d pay more because of new taxes imposed to pay for the Affordable Health Care Act. He says “independent analysis” validates that his plan would cut $4 trillion from the deficit. But that total is inflated by $1 trillion in “savings” from winding down wars that he has promised to end anyway. He accuses Romney of proposing to raise taxes by $2,000 on middle-income taxpayers, when Romney has clearly stated that he wouldn’t do any such thing. He attacks Romney’s plan for Medicare as a “voucher” system that would leave seniors “at the mercy of insurance companies,” when the fact is, it’s structured the same as the system Obama’s health care law sets up for subsidizing private insurance for persons under age 65.

Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at dan@denpubs.com.

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