Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden made a lot of claims about the economy, health care, jobs and taxes during Wednesday night's debate. We've fact checked some of those claims below:
Ryan: The Problem With Taxing The Rich? There Aren’t Enough Of Them
Paul Ryan slammed Biden: “There aren't enough rich people and small businesses to tax to pay for all their spending.” As much as liberals talk about a level playing field, Ryan has a solid point here. A Third Way study found that <a href=” http://www.thirdway.org/publications/585 “>popping the rich</a> without seriously cutting spending would still leave a massive deficit for decades to come. (Hat Tip: <em><a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/25/the-case-for-raising-taxes-on-capital-gains/">The Washington Post </a></em>)
Biden: Auto Bailout Saved A Million Jobs
Actually Biden might have sold himself short. According to the non-partisan Center for Automotive Research, the $80 billion bailout <a href=” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/26/opinion/sunday/a-million-jobs.html“> saved 1.45 million jobs.</a> Conservative have argued that it’s impossible to know what would have happened if the companies were <a href=” http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/details-auto-bailout-you-won-t-hear-charlotte”>allowed to restructure after bankruptcy</a> and the bailout was a sop to coddled union workers.
Ryan: Six Studies Have Verified That Tax Math Adds Up
During the vice presidential debate, Republican nominee Paul Ryan claimed that <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate">six studies confirm</a> that the math for the Romney/Ryan tax plan adds up. That's <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/11/footnoting-the-vice-presidential-debate/#liveblog-entry-15034">not exactly true</a>; some studies claimed that you could make their tax plan work, but only by monkeying with the definition of middle class or subjecting some investment income to taxes, according to <em>the Washington Post</em>.
Ryan: Stimulus Is Worth $831 Billion
During the Vice Presidential debate Paul Ryan overstated the cost of the stimulus package, saying <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate">that it cost $831 billion</a>. In fact, the stimulus plan that President Obama passed in 2009 <a href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/subjects/u/united_states_economy/economic_stimulus/index.html">was worth $787 </a>billion, according to <em>The New York Times</em>.
Ryan: Biden Blew Stimulus on “Green Pork”
In accusing the vice president of wasting stimulus money on “green pork,” Ryan asked "was it a good idea to spend taxpayer dollars on electric cars in Finland, or on windmills in China?" Sounds like an awful idea. Luckily it didn’t happen, <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/oct/11/paul-ryan/ryan-says-stimulus-dollars-paid-electric-cars-finl/">according to Politifact</a>. The government did loan money to an American carmaker to build green cars in Finland, but it wasn’t stimulus money and it predated Obama. As for those windmills, less than $3 million might have gone to China, but the vast majority of wind energy investment was spent here.
Biden: Romney-Ryan Tax Plan Will Hurt Middle Class
Vice President Joe Biden slammed the Republican nominees' tax plan, saying that it would cost the middle-class more than the wealthy. "The only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people, cut the health care deduction for middle-class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college," he said. According to a study by The Tax Policy Center, the math for the Romney/Ryan tax plan only really works if <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/09/tax-policy-center-mitt-romney_n_1952111.html">popular middle class tax cuts are eliminated</a>. Still, the study <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/tax-policy-center-decides-romneys-tax-plan-is-less-impossible/2012/08/16/39f3a6ee-e7ef-11e1-936a-b801f1abab19_blog.html">has come under scrutiny</a> because it was based on a variety of assumptions about the plan that the Romney campaign has yet to specify.
Ryan: Social Security And Medicare Going Bankrupt
During the vice presidential debate, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said that "Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate">indisputable facts.</a>" Ryan's right that the picture for social security and Medicare look pretty grim, but Ryan's position may be a bit extreme. It will be <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/social-securitys-financial-forecast-gets-darker-medicares-outlook-unchanged/2012/04/23/gIQA6hdQdT_story.html">decades before Social Security's trust fund</a> is completely depleted and it will be even longer before Medicare completely runs out, according to an April government report cited by <em>The Washington Post</em>.
Ryan: Obamacare Will Force 20 Million Workers Off Health Insurance
Paul Ryan repeated a claim often made by the Romney campaign that about <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate">20 million workers</a> will lose health insurance because of Obamacare. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/paul-ryan-obamacare_n_1960120.html?utm_hp_ref=business">between three and five million workers</a> will switch from employer-based plans to other forms of healthcare.
Biden: 14 Million Underwater Homeowners Haven't Missed A Payment
Joe Biden claimed that there <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate">are 14 million underwater</a> homeowners that have "never missed a mortgage payment." Biden's claim about the size of the problem is about right -- there are <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/opinion/the-one-housing-solution-left-mass-mortgage-refinancing.html">around 13.5 million American homeowners</a> that are underwater, according to economists Joe Stiglitz and Mark Zandi. But it's unlikely that all of those homeowners have "never missed a mortgage payment."
Ryan: Job Growth Is Slowing
Paul Ryan claimed <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/11/162754053/transcript-biden-ryan-vice-presidential-debate">"we're headed in the wrong direction</a>" when it comes to job growth. "Job growth in September was slower than it was in August, and August was slower than it was in July," he said. In fact, the<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/paul-ryan-unemployment-rate_n_1960030.html?utm_hp_ref=business"> unemployment rate is going down</a>. It's fallen from 9 percent last September to 7.8 percent last month -- the lowest level since President Obama took office.