The Five's Idea Of A “Fact-Check” Is A Rehash Of Debunked Claims
Fox News' The Five purported to fact-check President Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention but instead parroted a series of claims that have been widely debunked.
Eric Bolling: Clinton “Gets An 'F' In Arithmetic”
Eric Bolling: “We Don't Have Time To Expose All The Lies, But Here Are A Few ... So You, 42, Get An 'F' In Arithmetic.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Eric Bolling said of Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention: “We don't have time to expose all the lies, but here are a few ... So you, 42, get an 'F' in arithmetic.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
In Fact, Clinton's Speech “Checked Out”
Factcheck.org: “With Few Exceptions, We Found His Stats Checked Out.” After evaluating the accuracy of Clinton's speech, Factcheck.org concluded that “with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out”:
Former President Bill Clinton's stem-winding nomination speech was a fact-checker's nightmare: lots of effort required to run down his many statistics and factual claims, producing little for us to write about.
Republicans will find plenty of Clinton's scorching opinions objectionable. But with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out. [Factcheck.org, 9/6/12]
Bloomberg: “Our Fact-Checkers Could Not Find One Claim That Was Patently False.” In a report headlined, “No False Claims in Clinton's DNC Speech,” on Clinton's speech, Bloomberg's Meghan Hughes agreed that Clinton's speech did “square up with the facts,” adding, “Our fact-checkers could not find one claim that was patently false, so this was a really well-researched speech.” She concluded: “Nothing that they found was patently false here. The biggest complaint that I can tell you that I've heard of the speech is that it was just too long.” [Bloomberg, 9/6/12]
Politico: Clinton “Had A Strong Command Of Facts And Figures.” In its analysis of Clinton's “facts on health care,” Politico noted that Clinton “had a strong command of facts and figures”:
Clinton did score some hits in his Wednesday night speech. He correctly pointed out that Paul Ryan kept Obama's Medicare savings in his own budget -- which even Ryan has admitted. And he had a strong command of facts and figures, including his detailed breakdown of what kinds of people could be affected if Medicaid spending is cut. [Politico, 9/6/12]
LA Times: “For The Most Part, The Fact Police Gave Clinton High Marks.” In an analysis of Clinton's speech titled, “Bill Clinton courts fact-checkers, earns mostly praise,” the Los Angeles Times concluded that “the fact police gave Clinton high marks”:
With frequent off-the-cuff citations of facts and figures, Clinton's speech was sure to be scoured by the army of fact-checkers that has been kept busy with the truthiness (instead of truthfulness) of the 2012 election.
For the most part, the fact police gave Clinton high marks. [Los Angeles Times, 9/6/12]
The Five Filled Segment With Numerous Falsehoods
CLAIM: Obama Has Not Created 4 1/2 Million New Jobs, He's Actually Lost 300,000
Clinton: “In The Last 29 Months, Our Economy Has Produced About 4.5 Million Private-Sector Jobs.” From Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention:
CLINTON: So let's get back to the story. In 2010, as the president's recovery program kicked in, the job losses stopped and things began to turn around. The Recovery Act saved or created millions of jobs and cut taxes -- let me say this again -- cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people.
And in the last 29 months, our economy has produced about 4.5 million private-sector jobs.
We could have done better, but last year the Republicans blocked the president's job plan, costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here's another job score. President Obama: plus 4.5 million. Congressional Republicans: zero. [President Clinton's convention speech, 9/5/12, via The Washington Post]
Bolling: “Barack Obama Has Not Created Four And A Half Million New Jobs ... He's Actually Lost 300,000.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bolling stated: “No, Barack Obama has not created four and a half million new jobs, Mr. President. He's actually lost 300,000.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: Economy Has Created 4.5 Million Private-Sector Jobs Since January 2010
Private Sector Employment Has Grown For 29 Months Adding Millions Of Jobs. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted that “private employers [have] added nearly 4.5 million jobs to their payrolls in the last 29 months, an average of 157,000 jobs a month.” The post included the following chart:
[“Chart Book: The Legacy of the Great Recession,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, updated 8/30/12]
CBS News: “The Economy Has Created 4,517,000 Private Sector Jobs Since January 2010, 29 Months Ago.” CBS News fact-checked Clinton's jobs claim, and found it accurate:
According to data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy has created 4,517,000 private sector jobs since January 2010, 29 months ago." [CBS News, 9/6/12]
For more about the economy under President Obama, click here
CLAIM: Obama Didn't Save The Auto Industry, He Bailed It Out
Clinton: “The Auto Industry Restructuring Worked.” From Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention:
CLINTON: And I'll tell you something else. The auto industry restructuring worked. It saved...
It saved more than a million jobs, and not just at G.M., Chrysler, and their dealerships, but in auto parts manufacturing all over the country. That's why even the automakers who weren't part of the deal supported it. They needed to save those parts suppliers, too. Like I said, we're all in this together.
So what's happened? There are now 250,000 more people working in the auto industry than on the day the companies were restructured. [President Clinton's convention speech, 9/5/12, via The Washington Post]
Fox's Bolling: "No, Barack Obama Didn't Save The Auto Industry, He Bailed It Out With Our Tax Payer Money." On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bolling stated: “No, Barack Obama didn't save the auto industry, he bailed it out with our tax payer money.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: Economists Agree The Auto Bailout Was Necessary
Moody's Chief Economist Mark Zandi: Because Of “Credit Crunch,” Private Bankruptcy Financing “Would Be All But Impossible To Get.” In 2008, Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi explained why the federal government needed to provide financial help to prevent liquidation of U.S. automakers:
The U.S. auto industry desperately needs financial help, and the federal government should provide it. Without aid, the industry seems headed toward a quick liquidation, which would mean hundreds of thousands of layoffs at just the wrong time for the sliding U.S. economy.
Without government help, the Big Three will almost surely enter the kind of bankruptcy from which there is no exit. They could file for a Chapter 11 restructuring, but would most likely end up in a Chapter 7 liquidation. Their plants and other operations would be shut and their assets sold to pay creditors. Given the collapse in the financial system and resulting credit crunch, so-called “debtor in possession” or DIP financing would be all but impossible to get. Bankrupt firms need DIP financing to operate -- to pay suppliers, finance inventories and meet payroll -- while they restructure. It is risky for DIP creditors even in good times, but they do get first dibs on the bankrupt firms' assets and can earn high rates and fees. But in a credit crunch such as we are experiencing now, nothing will convince creditors to take the risk. [Moody's Analytics, 11/21/08]
Dean Baker: “No One Would Have Stepped Forward To Provide Credit To Operate Through Bankruptcy Without A Government Guarantee.” Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote:
Had General Motors and Chrysler been allowed to go into bankruptcy last fall, it would have quickly led to a chain of bankruptcies by a whole set of parts suppliers, all of whom are owed large amounts of money by these two companies. It is virtually certain that these companies and their suppliers would be forced to shut down, because no one would have stepped forward to provide credit to operate through bankruptcy without a government guarantee. Because Ford shares many of these suppliers with GM and Chrysler, the disruption to the supply chain almost certainly would have been enough to push Ford over the line as well.
This would have meant almost a complete shutdown of the auto industry in the states of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. In these states, the auto industry and its suppliers account for close to 6% of total employment. Imagine if the country suddenly lost 8.4 million jobs (more than twice the actual job loss over the last five months). Such is the impact these three states would face were the Big Three to cascade into bankruptcy. [Center for Economic and Policy Research, 4/3/09]
FACT: The Auto Bailout Resulted In More Jobs For American Workers
The Toledo Blade: “Car Makers Are Adding Shifts And Hiring Thousands Of Employees Around The Country.” In an article detailing the rapid growth of the auto industry, The Toledo Blade reported that "[c]ar makers are adding shifts and hiring thousands of employees around the country":
Three years after the U.S. auto industry nearly collapsed, sales of cars and trucks are surging. Sales could exceed 14 million this year, compared with last year's 12.8 million.
The result: Car makers are adding shifts and hiring thousands of employees around the country.
Car makers and parts companies added more than 38,000 jobs last year, with industry employment averaging 717,000 in 2011.
Automakers have announced plans to add 13,000 more this year, mostly on night shifts.
The hiring is good news for communities around the country that lost hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs. Starting in 2005, GM, Ford, and Chrysler closed 28 factories and eliminated 88,000 jobs. Parts companies cut 234,000 other jobs.
Now, if sales hit 15 million by 2015, as some experts predict, the three Detroit automakers could hire 20,000 people more, said Sean McAlinden, chief economist for the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor. [The Toledo Blade, 2/28/12]
FACT: Automakers Continue To Post Strong Sales
LA Times: “GM, Ford, Chrysler All Post Strong August Auto Sales.” In an article examining August sales at the three largest automakers, the Los Angeles Times reported that the “automobile industry continued to help anchor the U.S. economy.” The article continued:
“August continues this summer's trend of healthy growth,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of global automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates.
General Motors Co. said its U.S. sales rose 10% to 240,520 in August compared with the same month a year earlier.
Ford Motor Co. reported that sales increased 13% to 197,249 vehicles as shoppers gravitated to smaller cars.
Chrysler Group said its sales rose 14% to 148,472 vehicles compared with the same month a year earlier. It was the automaker's best August sales since 2007. Chrysler's gain was driven in part by sales of its new Dodge Dart compact sedan. Ram truck sales also were strong. [Los Angeles Times, 9/4/12]
For more about the realities of the auto rescue, click here
CLAIM: Paul Ryan's Plan Won't Bankrupt Medicare, It Actually Saves It
Clinton: “If [Romney] Does What He Promised To Do, Medicare Will Now Go Broke In 2016.” From Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention:
CLINTON: So if he's elected, and if he does what he promised to do, Medicare will now go broke in 2016. Think about that. That means after all we won't have to wait until their voucher program kicks in, in 2023, to see the end of Medicare as we know it. They're going to do it to us sooner than we thought.
Now, folks, this is serious, because it gets worse. And you won't be laughing when I finish telling you this. They also want to block grant Medicaid and cut it by a third over the coming 10 years. Of course, that's going to really hurt a lot of poor kids.
But that's not all. A lot of folks don't know it, but nearly two-thirds of Medicaid is spent on nursing home care for Medicare seniors who are eligible for Medicaid.
It's going to end Medicare as we know it. [President Clinton's convention speech, 9/5/12, via The Washington Post]
Fox's Bolling: “No, Paul Ryan's Plan Won't Bankrupt Medicare, It Actually Saves It.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bolling stated: “No, Paul Ryan's plan won't bankrupt Medicare, it actually saves it.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: Paul Ryan's Plan Would Turn Medicare Into A Voucher Program And Shorten Its Viability
CBPP: Voucher Systems That Includes Medicare Option Could “Threaten Traditional Medicare's Long-Term Viability.”In a report titled, “Converting Medicare to Premium Support Would Likely Lead to Two-Tier Health Care System,” CBPP explained that “inadequate risk adjustment” could lead to healthier seniors abandoning traditional Medicare for private plans, leaving only the less healthy in the program, which could “drive up its costs and threaten traditional Medicare's long-term viability.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/26/11]
CBPP: Ryan Budget Medicaid Block Grant “Would Cut Medicaid By One-Third By 2022.” In a March 27 report, the CBPP explained that the block grants proposed in Ryan's budget would “cut federal Medicaid funding by 34 percent by 2022.” The CBPP report concluded:
[T]here can be no question that the block grant proposal would result in severe cuts in federal funding for state Medicaid programs. To compensate for funding cuts of this magnitude, states would have little choice but to institute deep cuts to eligibility, benefit coverage and/or provider payment rates. The almost inevitable result would be that millions more low-income individuals and families would end up uninsured or underinsured, with reduced access to needed medical care. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/27/12]
Jonathan Cohn: “Ryan Really Believes In Ending Medicare As We Know It.” Journalist Jonathan Cohn wrote that Ryan's plan would end Medicare in its current form by eliminating the program's guarantee of comprehensive medical benefits while raising the eligibility age and producing vouchers that will quickly prove inadequate to allow seniors to purchase the care they need:
The essential promise of Medicare, ever since its establishment in 1965, is that every senior citizen is entitled to a comprehensive set of medical benefits that will protect him or her from financial ruin. The government provides these benefits directly, through a public insurance program, although seniors have the right to enroll in comparable private plans if they choose. But the key is that guarantee of benefits, and it's what Ryan would take away. He would replace it with a voucher, whose value would rise at a pre-determined formula unlikely to keep up with actual medical expenses.
Ryan's early proposals had no safeguards to make sure the voucher was adequate. His most recent one has safeguards, a more reasonable spending line, and preserves the government-run plan as an option. But the safeguards are weak, at best, and the government-run program would struggle to survive. Over time, more and more seniors would find the voucher too small to buy the insurance they need. [The New Republic, 8/11/12]
For more analysis of Paul Ryan's Medicare proposals, click here
CLAIM: Obama Hasn't Moved People Off Welfare, He's Actually Driven A Record Number Of Americans Into Poverty
Clinton: “We Moved Millions Of People Off Welfare.” Referring to his own administration's welfare reform, Clinton said "[w]e moved millions of people off welfare. It was one of the reasons that ... we had 100 times as many people move out of poverty into the middle class than happened under the previous 12 years." From Clinton's speech:
CLINTON: This is personal to me. We moved millions of people off welfare. It was one of the reasons that, in the eight years I was president, we had 100 times as many people move out of poverty into the middle class than happened under the previous 12 years, 100 times as many. It's a big deal.
But I am telling you, the claim that President Obama weakened welfare reform's work requirement is just not true. But they keep on running ads claiming it. [President Clinton's convention speech, 9/6/12, via The Washington Post]
Fox's Bolling: “No, Barack Obama Hasn't Moved People Off Welfare, He's Actually Driven A Record Number Of Americans Into Poverty.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bolling stated: “No, Barack Obama hasn't moved people off welfare, he's actually driven a record number of Americans into poverty.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: Policies Passed Under Obama Have Saved Millions From Falling Into Poverty Following Recession
Economy Contracted By Nearly 9 Percent, Worst Economic Quarter In Decades. The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimated that gross domestic product declined by an annualized rate of 8.9 percent during the fourth quarter of 2008 -- the final quarter before President Obama took office. According to IHS Global Insight, GDP decline at the end of 2008 “represents the worst single-quarter decline in GDP since the 10.4 percent drop in the first quarter of 1958.” [“Latest GDP Report Shows U.S. Recession Was Deeper and Recovery More Anemic Than Previously Thought,” IHS Global Insight, 7/29/11]
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8/30/12]
Millions Of Jobs Were Lost In Only A Few Months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment decreased by 432,000 jobs in September 2008, 489,000 jobs in October 2008, 803,000 jobs in November 2008, 661,000 jobs in December 2008, and 818,000 jobs in January 2009 -- a total of 3.2 million jobs in five months. [Bureau of Labor Statistics, accessed 9/3/12]
[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 8/30/12]
CBPP: Federal Programs Implemented And Extended Under Obama Have Saved Millions From Poverty. In a statement, the CBPP president Robert Greenstein highlighted how federal programs have saved millions of Americans from falling into poverty. Greenstein stated: "[E]nactment of a significant federal jobs package, such as the proposals President Obama outlined on September 8, would likely help reduce poverty while the economy remains weak as well as bolster economic and job growth." [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 9/13/11]
Reuters: Analysts Say “The [Poverty] Numbers Would Have Been Worse,” If Not For “Extended Unemployment Compensation, Stimulus Spending And Obama's Health Reforms.” From Reuters:
Underlying the Census data was a rate of economic growth too meager to compensate for the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs from 2009 to 2010, as the recession officially ended but the jobless rate shot up from 9.3 percent to 9.6 percent.
“All of this deterioration in the labor market caused incomes to drop, poverty to rise and people to lose their health insurance,” said Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute think tank. “One of the immediately obvious issues this brings up is that there is no relief in sight.”
The numbers would have been worse, analysts said, but for government assistance programs including extended unemployment compensation, stimulus spending and Obama's health reforms, which appeared to reduce the number of uninsured young adults. [Reuters, 9/13/11]
For more about how anti-poverty programs have kept millions out of poverty, click here
CLAIM: Republicans Are Not Responsible For Our Massive Debt, Obama Is
Clinton: “Republican Economic Policies Quadrupled The National Debt Before I Took Office” And “Doubled The Debt In The Eight Years After I Left.” From Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention:
CLINTON: Or, three, in spite of all the rhetoric, they'll just do what they've been doing for more than 30 years. They'll go and cut the taxes way more than they cut spending, especially with that big defense increase, and they'll just explode the debt and weaken the economy, and they'll destroy the federal government's ability to help you by letting interest gobble up all your tax payments.
Don't you ever forget, when you hear them talking about this, that Republican economic policies quadrupled the national debt before I took office, in the 12 years before I took office...
... and doubled the debt in the eight years after I left, because it defied arithmetic. [President Clinton's convention speech, 9/5/12, via The Washington Post]
Fox's Bolling: “Republicans Are Not Responsible For Our Massive Debt, Your Pal, BHO, Happens To Be The MVP Of Debt.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, Bolling deflected from what Clinton actually said to claim: “No, Republicans are not responsible for our massive debt, your pal, BHO, happens to be the MVP of debt, thank him.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: Bulk Of Projected Debt Is Result Of Bush-Era Policies
CBPP: Bush-Era Tax Cuts And The Iraq And Afghanistan Wars Account For “Almost Half Of The $20 Trillion In Debt” Nation Will Owe In 2019. From CBPP:
Some lawmakers, pundits, and others continue to say that President George W. Bush's policies did not drive the projected federal deficits of the coming decade -- that, instead, it was the policies of President Obama and Congress in 2009 and 2010. But, the fact remains: the economic downturn, President Bush's tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years (see Figure 1).
The deficit for fiscal year 2009 -- which began more than three months before President Obama's inauguration -- was $1.4 trillion and, at 10 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the largest deficit relative to the economy since the end of World War II. At $1.3 trillion and nearly 9 percent of GDP, the deficit in 2010 was only slightly lower. If current policies remain in place, deficits will likely resemble those figures in 2011 and hover near $1 trillion a year for the next decade.
The events and policies that pushed deficits to these high levels in the near term were, for the most part, not of President Obama's making. If not for the Bush tax cuts, the deficit-financed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the effects of the worst recession since the Great Depression (including the cost of policymakers' actions to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term. By themselves, in fact, the Bush tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will account for almost half of the $20 trillion in debt that, under current policies, the nation will owe by 2019. The stimulus law and financial rescues will account for less than 10 percent of the debt at that time. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 5/10/11]
Ezra Klein: Bush Policies Responsible For Vast Majority Of Debt Increase Under Obama Administration. In a January 31 Washington Post column, Ezra Klein estimated that Obama's policies are responsible for $983 billion of the nearly $5 trillion increase in public debt over the course of his administration, while the remainder of the debt increase is attributable to Bush-era policies. From The Washington Post:
[I]f you're a deficit-obsessed voter, the clock doesn't answer the key question: How much has Obama added to the debt, anyway?
There are two answers: more than $4 trillion, or about $983 billion. The first answer is simple and wrong. The second answer is more complicated but a lot closer to being right.
When Obama took office, the national debt was about $10.5 trillion. Today, it's about $15.2 trillion. Simple subtraction gets you the answer preferred by most of Obama's opponents: $4.7 trillion.
But ask yourself: Which of Obama's policies added $4.7 trillion to the debt? The stimulus? That was just a bit more than $800 billion. TARP? That passed under George W. Bush, and most of it has been repaid.
There is a way to tally the effects Obama has had on the deficit. Look at every piece of legislation he has signed into law. Every time Congress passes a bill, either the Congressional Budget Office or the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the effect it will have on the budget over the next 10 years. And then they continue to estimate changes to those bills. If you know how to read their numbers, you can come up with an estimate that zeros in on the laws Obama has had a hand in. [The Washington Post 1/31/12; 1/31/12]
For more about Obama and the national debt, click here
CLAIM: Affordable Care Act Raises Taxes On The Middle Class
Fox's Andrea Tantaros: “Barack Obama Raised Taxes On The Middle Class With Obamacare.”On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Andrea Tantaros attempted to fact-check Clinton's speech, saying: “Barack Obama raised taxes on the middle class with Obamacare.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: ACA Will Provide Millions In Middle-Class Tax Cuts
Center For American Progress: “The Affordable Care Act Will Give Millions Of Middle-Class Families Large Tax Credits.” The Center for American Progress detailed how “the Affordable Care Act is a major tax cut for the middle class”:
Beginning in 2014, the Affordable Care Act will give millions of middle-class families large tax credits to make health insurance more affordable. In size and scope these tax credits far outstrip the shared responsibility payments paid by the tiny percentage of Americans who will voluntarily turn down affordable health insurance.
The bottom line is that the Affordable Care Act is a major tax cut for the middle class. [Center for American Progress, 7/5/12]
Factcheck.org: “A Large Majority Of Americans Would Not See Any Direct Tax Increase From The Health Care Law.” According to its fact-check of “Health Care Falsehoods,” Factcheck.org found the ACA would only “raise taxes on some Americans, particularly those with higher incomes”:
It's certainly true that the health care law would raise taxes on some Americans, particularly those with higher incomes. The law includes a Medicare payroll tax of 0.9 percent on income over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples, and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for those earning that much ... Some taxes, such as those on medical devices, may or may not be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, but a large majority of Americans would not see any direct tax increase from the health care law. [Factcheck.org, 6/28/12]
For more about taxes and the Affordable Care Act, click here
CLAIM: Health Care Reform Takes $800 Billion Out Of Medicare, Which Will Harm Benefits
Clinton: “There We No Cuts To [Medicare] Benefits At All, None.” From Clinton's speech:
CLINTON: First, both Governor Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the president for allegedly “robbing Medicare” of $716 billion. That's the same attack they leveled against the Congress in 2010, and they got a lot of votes on it. But it's not true.
Look, here's what really happened. You be the judge. Here's what really happened. There were no cuts to benefits at all, none.
What the president did was to save money by taking the recommendations of a commission of professionals to cut unwarranted subsidies to providers and insurance companies that were not making people healthier and were not necessary to get the providers to provide the service.
And instead of raiding Medicare, he used the savings to close the donut hole in the Medicare drug program. [President Clinton convention speech, 9/5/12, via The Washington Post]
Fox's Dana Perino: “On Health Care, It Is Fantasyland To Think That Taking $800 billion Out Of Medicare Is Not Going To Affect Some Providing. That Is Just A Fact.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, co-host Dana Perino attempted to fact-check Clinton's speech, saying: “On health care, it is fantasyland to think that taking 800 billion dollars out of Medicare is not going to affect some providing. That is just a fact.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: Health Care Reform Does Not Cut $716 Billion In Benefits From Medicare
PolitiFact: “The $716 Billion Represents Reductions In Future Medicare Spending, Not Cuts To Benefits Or The Program's Current Budget.” In the fact-check of Clinton's speech, PolitiFact rated both of Clinton's Medicare claims as “True”:
Clinton also touched on recent claims about Medicare, saying “both Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan attacked the president for allegedly robbing Medicare of $716 billion.” That's also one we've checked before. What we found: the $716 billion represents reductions in future Medicare spending, not cuts to benefits or the program's current budget. The Ryan attack rating: Mostly False.
Clinton also noted that Ryan attacked Obama for “the same amount of Medicare savings that (Ryan) had in his own budget.” Clinton is correct that the Ryan budget plan included cost savings that were part of the health care law, and we rated the statement True. [PolitiFact, 9/5/12]
LA Times: “Obama's $716 billion In Cuts In The Projected Growth Of Medicare Have No Direct Effect On The Benefits That Patients Receive.” In an article reviewing a Romney stump speech in Florida, the Los Angeles Times reported that the cuts “have no direct effect on the benefits that patients receive”:
Obama's $716 billion in cuts in the projected growth of Medicare have no direct effect on the benefits that patients receive. The savings, instead, come from such areas as lower government reimbursement rates for hospitals and nursing homes.
Romney also skirted another nettlesome issue: His running mate's budget proposal relies on the same $716 billion in Medicare cuts. Restoring the cuts, as Romney advocated Wednesday in a CBS interview, would swell the federal deficit in kind. Romney, who has named deficit reduction as a top priority, said nothing about how he would cover the expense. [Los Angeles Times, 8/16/12]
For more about the Affordable Care Act, click here
CLAIM: Obama Has Not Cooperated With Republicans Or Democrats
Clinton: “We All Know That [Obama] Also Tried To Work With Congressional Republicans On Health Care, Debt Reduction, And New Jobs.” From Clinton's speech:
CLINTON: President Obama's whole record on national security is a tribute to his strength, to his judgment, and to his preference for inclusion and partnership over partisanship. We need more of it in Washington, D.C.
We all know that he also tried to work with congressional Republicans on health care, debt reduction, and new jobs. And that didn't work out so well.
But it could have been because, as the Senate Republican leader said, in a remarkable moment of candor, two full years before the election, their number-one priority was not to put America back to work. It was to put the president out of work.
[President Clinton's convention speech, 9/5/12, via The Washington Post]
Fox's Andrea Tantaros: Obama “Hasn't Cooperated, Not Just With Republicans But His Own Party.” On the September 6 edition of Fox News' The Five, Tantaros claimed, “The most funny was when he said President Obama has really cooperated. With who? He hasn't cooperated, not just with Republicans but his own party.” [Fox News, The Five, 9/6/12]
FACT: GOP Has Made It Clear Its Primary Goal Is To Defeat Obama
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “The Single Most Important Thing We Want To Achieve Is For President Obama To Be A One-Term President.” In an October 23, 2010 interview with the National Journal, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” [National Journal, 10/23/10]
GOP Senators Made Clear They Didn't Intend To Negotiate With Democrats In Good Faith On Health Care Reform
- Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): “If We're Able To Stop Obama On This It Will Be His Waterloo. It Will Break Him.” During a July 17, 2009 conference call organized by the anti-health care reform group Conservatives for Patients Rights, Senator Jim DeMint said “If we're able to stop Obama on this it will be his Waterloo. It will break him” while discussing health care reform. [Media Matters, 11/8/10]
- Sen. Jon Kyl (AZ): “Almost All Republicans” Will Oppose Democratic Health Care Reform Efforts. Sen. John Kyl reportedly admitted on August 18, 2009, that “almost all Republicans” will oppose Democratic health care reform efforts, regardless of the compromises Democrats might make in attempting to win their support. [Media Matters, 11/8/10]
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA): The “Government-Run Plan” Could Decide “If You're Going To Pull The Plug On Grandma.” Senate Finance Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley during an August 2009 town hall meeting told the audience they “have every right to fear” the end-of-life counseling provision in the House bill, adding that the “government-run plan” could decide “if you're going to pull the plug on grandma.” During an August 2009 interview, Grassley also admitted he wouldn't vote for his own bill if the GOP remained opposed. [Media Matters, 11/8/10]
GOP Engaged in Historic Obstruction Of Obama Judicial Nominees. In June, Senate Republicans announced they “are shutting off the bipartisan spigot when it comes to confirming President Barack Obama's nominees to the nation's top courts and will present a unified front against his circuit court picks through November.” [Roll Call, 6/14/12]
Republicans Refused To Negotiate On The Federal Deficit. As The Economist reported, “The opposition by Mr Ryan and his two fellow House Republicans” to a bipartisan agreement on spending, taxes, and the federal deficit “more or less guaranteed the plan would die.” [The Economist, 1/7/11]
Republican Obstruction Blocked Immigration Reform. In 2010, Senate Republicans blocked Obama's attempt to pass the DREAM Act -- which would allow certain undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children to stay. The DREAM Act passed the House. But as ABC News reported, the Republicans killed the DREAM Act in the Senate when it “failed to win the 60 votes needed to break a GOP filibuster.” [Media Matters, 8/30/12]