Democrats Debate in Iowa
December 13, 2007
Richardson stands out for exaggerated and inaccurate claims.
In the final Democratic debate in Iowa, we found:
- Richardson claimed “enormous progress” in New Mexico education, when in fact the state's eighth-grade reading scores have slipped and remain among the worst in the U.S.
-Richardson exaggerated the extent to which his state's teacher salaries increased.
-Richardson said one-third of U.S. health care spending goes to “administration and bureaucracy,” but Medicare officials put the figure at 7.4 percent.
-Dodd said University of Iowa costs have gone up 141 percent in six or seven years; we find they rose 81 percent.
-Dodd criticized “the Chinese government” for slave labor, when in fact it just sentenced a slaver to death.
-Obama claimed Medicare would save “a trillion dollars” if fewer Americans were obese. We find little support for that figure.
Republicans Debate in Iowa
December 12, 2007
More exaggerations and misstatements in the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses.
In the Dec. 12 Republican presidential debate in Des Moines:
Arizona Sen. John McCain promised to make the U.S. “oil independent” within five years, a goal experts say can’t be achieved.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney claimed American students score in the bottom quarter among industrial nations, but they score about average in the most recent tests.
Romney also claimed that federal programs to prevent teen pregnancy are “obviously not working,” while in fact births are dramatically below what they were in 1991 despite a relatively small increase last year.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani said a big federal tax cut would produce “a major boost in revenues for the government,” a notion that nearly all economists say is a fantasy.
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee claimed he had the most impressive record on education of any GOP candidate, even though Arkansas children scored below the national average while those in Romney’s Massachusetts were No. 1.
Rep. Duncan Hunter claimed the cost of administering and complying with the federal income tax is $250 billion a year, far higher than the figure given by a recent presidential advisory commission.
The 90-minute debate was sponsored by the Des Moines Register and televised nationally on CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC and C-SPAN3. It was the final debate among GOP candidates before the first-in-the-nation Iowa presidential nomination caucuses, which are scheduled for Jan. 3.We noted the following factual bloopers:
Move Over, Al GoreSen. John McCain of Arizona announced a lofty, and, according to experts on the subject, improbable goal of ending foreign oil imports in five years.
McCain: We have got to achieve energy independence, oil independence in this nation. I will make it a Manhattan Project, and we will in five years become oil independent.We can’t predict the future, so perhaps McCain can make this happen. But experts have serious doubts. “There’s just no way,” says Frank Verrastro, director of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “You can’t institute technological change that quickly,” he tells FactCheck.org, adding that the U.S. couldn’t ramp up alternative fuels that quickly. “It takes 15 years now to turn over the car fleet,” he says. Verrastro's organization and the National Petroleum Council issued a report this summer, commissioned by the secretary of energy, that found the U.S. could reduce its reliance on oil imports by a third by 2030 if it instituted various measures, such as increasing fuel efficiency, domestic sources of oil and non-petroleum fuels. Another study, partly funded by the Pentagon and published in 2004 by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on energy policy, said it would take until 2040 for the nation to be free of all oil imports, by primarily using new technologies and competition. The nonprofit Americans for Energy Independence vows to “use grass roots support to achieve our independence by the year 2025.” About 66 percent of the oil used in the U.S. in 2006 came from foreign imports, which amounted to 13.7 million barrels a day. Says Verrastro: “Getting rid of that in five years is a huge task.”
How Low Can You Go?Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney exaggerated the extent to which the U.S. lags behind other industrial nations in education. He said, "Our kids score in the bottom 10 or 25 percent in exams around the world among major industrial nations." That's not so. Actually, the U.S. ranked closer to the 50th percentile than the bottom quarter, according to the most recent rankings by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an internationally standardized study administered to15-year-old schoolchildren in 57 countries.Students in several nations were tested in 2006. In science, the U.S. ranked 29th out of 57, or at the 49th percentile. And in math, the U.S. ranked 35th out of 57, or at the 39th percentile. The U.S. was not ranked in reading for 2006 because of a testing misprint, but in the previous round of testing in 2003 U.S. students again landed near the middle, scoring 15th out of 29, or at the 48th percentile.A Romney campaign aide said the candidate was referring to a much earlier study in which the United States finished 19th out of 21 nations in math and 16th out of 21 nations in science. But that study, the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) is from 1998.
Teen PregnancyRomney also said federal programs to combat teen pregnancy are "obviously not working real well." Actually, the teenage birth rate declined consistently from 1991 to 2005, dropping 45 percent for 15- to 17-year-olds, 26 percent for 18- to 19-year-olds and 34 percent for 15- to 19-year-olds. It's true that the most recent report shows the birth rates for these age groups increased in 2006, but the change was small: a 3 percent increase for 15- to 17-year-olds and for 15- to 19-year-olds, and a 4 percent increase for 18- to 19-year-olds. There was a 14 percent decrease for 10- to 14-year-olds. (Ler mais aqui)"
Voz familiar adverte-me: "Não te esqueças que nos Estados Unidos o serviço do FactCheck é lido por uma minoria." Pois será, mas existe o serviço, e os políticos sabem-no. É mais uma forma de aprenderem a respeitar a verdade.