Skip to comments.The Third Debate
Posted on 10/14/2004 12:54:06 PM PDT by TruthFactor
Spinning facts and figures is as old as politics itself, but last night, Sen. John Kerry marshaled a mountain of distortions in his indictment of the Bush administration.
Heres the rundown, reserved for purposes of clarity and brevity to the areas of economy and jobs, health care, and college costs:
Economy and Jobs
- Kerry claimed that during the Bush administration, 1.6 million jobs [were] lost. In truth, the figure is half that. Only 800,000 net jobs have been lost, and even that figure is widely expected to be revised downward to 600,000. Considering that 9/11 wiped out 1 million jobs right away, and 1.5 million within a yearall coinciding with the inherited recession and the stock market correcting its irrational exuberanceBushs record on this count is, in fact, impressive.
- Kerry: Hes the only president to have incomes of families go down for the last three years. According to official U.S. Commerce Department figures, per-capita after-tax income is up 6 percent since December 2000and thats not even counting the results from the economic growth of 2004.
- Repeating a populistand untrueline from his stump speeches, Kerry said, The jobs the president is creating pay $9,000 less than the jobs that were losing. This sounds like a devastating indictment, and it plays right into the urban legend that disappearing manufacturing jobs are replaced by burger-flippers. According to the nonpartisan FactCheck.org, Higher-paid occupations, like managers (who can be in any industry) and health professionals, are growing faster. This claim is largely based on Federal Reserve of Chicago study released last month.
- In perhaps the most flagrant lie of the night, Kerry charged, Under President Bush, the middle class has seen their tax burden go up and the wealthiests tax burden has gone down. Now thats wrong. No, Kerrys wrong. The average family of four earning $40,000 has seen an average reduction of $1,900 (Bush said $1,700 in the debate). Either way, that constitutes a staggering 90 percent reduction from their previous income tax burden. And with the creation of the new 10 percent bracket, every person paying income taxes has received a tax cut. With respect to the other side of the class warfare argument, the top 1 percent now pays a slightly greater share of the overall tax burden than before.
- Kerry stated flatly, I have a plan to cover all Americans. The nonpartisan Lewin Group (which was cited by Bush) calculated that Kerrys plan would cover only 25.2 million out of 45 million uninsured Americans. As President Bush noted during the debate, the Lewin Group also found that the 10-year price tag would be $1.2 trillion, roughly double the cost estimated by the Kerry campwhich would cover barely half the number of people Kerry claims it would.
- Without batting an eyelash, a dour Kerry pronounced, Health-care costs for the average American have gone up 64 percent. Its not entirely clear what constitutes health care costs, but it is clear that health insurance premiums have not risen anywhere near that amount. The worst-case statistic, as calculated by the ultra-liberal Families USA (an organ of Big Labor), health insurance premiums have risen by 36 percent since 2000.
- Pulling a page from the Clinton handbook, Kerry said, Five million Americans have lost their health insurance in this country. In fairness to Kerry, this is an accurate statisticbut also incredibly misleading. Because of population growth, the percentage of the population that is uninsured is the same as it was in 1996 (15.6%), and below the level it was in 1998 (16.3%).
- Although not challenged by Bush afterward, Kerry threw out an eye-poppingand grossly exaggeratedfigure. The Massachusetts liberal, when discussing the provision in the Medicare prescription drug bill that prohibits Medicare from negotiating with the drug companies, charged that this would cause a $139 billion windfall profit to the drug companies coming out of your pockets. The accountants behind the Academy Awards, Price Waterhouse Coopers, found that the impact on drug companies profits would be negligible or even negative.
- In rattling off a litany of problems allegedly caused by Bush, Kerry claimed, tuitions have gone up 35 percent. Actually, theyve gone down. From a June 28 cover story in USA Today: What students pay on average for tuition at public universities has fallen by nearly one-third since 1998.
- In one of the unintentionally funniest moments of the debate, Kerry countered what he himself had said earlier about Pell Grants. First, he said, Theyve cut the Pell Grants and the Perkins loans to help kids be able to go to college. After Bush called him on the fib by pointing out that the number of kids getting Pell Grants has gone up, Kerry admitted, [T]he Pell Grants have gone up in their numbers. He quickly added that this was because more people qualify for them because they dont have money. Actually, the real reason is that eligibility rules have been loosened in order to allow more kids to qualify.
Whether or not most voters will see the real John Kerrys come Election Day remains to be seen. May these facts aid them in the process.
Is a populist the same thing as a socialist?
the third Debate is coming down to two words.
It's dominating the news today.
Mary Cheney = Al Gore's sighs.
I never understood the line of reasoning that blames the president for job loss or job growth.
Unless the president opens a business and hires people, how is he responsible for putting people to work?
Wow!! That is an amazing litany of inaccuracy. It is hard to imagine that it was all unintentional, even if you put your most non-partisan hat on.
I wonder if there is any way the mainstream media will cover this. Ok, ok, I'm dreaming.
Have any of the Democrat operatives been asked how Kerry "plan's" to increase the size of the Military?
Bottom line: Kerry lies. He lies with ease, and without conscience. He makes things up as he goes. He'll say anything to bolster himself. He does this because no one in the MSM calls him on it.
Kerry still lost the debate despite prevaricating. It puts W. in a nice position for the home stretch.
This was Bush's best performance. It still seems part lunancy that a great leader and patriot like our President has to "debate" issues with a man who either lies with ever pronouncement, or whose opinion on a given subject will change by the next morning.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.