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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 2:36 AM

Fact Check: Debate Filled With Half-Truths, Distortions, Outright Lies

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If you did not particularly care for what the President and Mitt Romney had to say in the debate, perhaps it's because the entire debate was filled with half-truths, distortions, and outright lies.

Then again, perhaps you liked what your candidate had to say for the precise reason that it was filled with half-truths, distortions, and outright lies.

Regardless, Bloomberg offers this Political Fact-Finding Reality Check. What follows is my summation of the Bloomberg article.

  • Romney misstated his position on auto bailouts.
  • Both candidates made "partially correct" statements on Libya.
  • Romney made misleading statements on contraceptives. Obama stated Romney's position accurately.
  • Obama understated a tax savings proposal of Romney.
  • Romney says his tax math adds up. Obama says it doesn't. The fact of the matter is no one knows because Romney has not provided any details.
  • Romney cited some energy figures correctly (but those were for 2010 and 2011). He exaggerated the decline in permits and ignored the fact total oil production on federal lands and offshore has increased 12 percent during Obama’s term.
  • On defense spending Obama said Romney “wants to spend $2 trillion on additional military programs, even though the military’s not asking for them.”  The problem is the military did not weigh in.
  • Romney claimed to support Pell grants while backing the Ryan Budget that makes it harder to qualify for them.
  • Romney claimed  “I’m going to get us to a balanced budget”, arguably the biggest lie in the entire debate. Ryan's budget will not balance until 2040 by CBO estimates, and never by Mish estimates. Rand Paul offered a reasonable way to balance the budget in 5 years but it received a total of 7 votes in the senate.
  • On coal jobs, Romney and Obama were each half-right.
  • On payroll tax cuts, Obama made the second biggest lie of the debate, claiming to continue $3,600 in middle-class tax cuts. After the debate, a White House spokesman confirmed the president has not yet said if he supports continuing those tax cuts.
  • Romney made misleading statements on job creation.
  • Obama overstated findings of a report on Romney's international corporate tax proposal.

Question of the Day

Still feeling good about what your candidate had to say? I am sticking with my position stated earlier in Debate II: Did Obama Right a Sinking Ship? Call It a "Spirited" Tie
Over half the time I did not particularly care for statements made by either candidate.

Both candidates scored some points and it is likely that supporters of each candidate thought their candidate won. On some points I agreed with the president, on others I agreed with Romney.

However, my view is not what is important. What the average undecided voter wanted to hear in the debate does matter. Yet, I do not know what that is, or whether the voters heard what they wanted.
Even if voters did hear what they wanted, they now need to ask "Was it accurate?"

Then again, perhaps the voters do not care. Voters certainly act as if they like being lied to, seldom holding politicians accountable for anything the politicians say or do.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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