posted 2012-10-24 13:01:03

Digging Through the Rhetoric

Fact-checking the first debate    

Melissa Nezhnik

Contributing Writer

On Oct. 3, 2012, if you were to turn on your television, you would’ve seen President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney battling at the Presidential debate. Let’s be honest, who really watches those things to get a better sense of who they want their future leader to be? We’re there to watch a gory battle of expressions, forced smiles and awkward pleasantries. Both candidates lied, both men skewed statistics and both seemed overly eager to have the last word. In the end, it all comes down to showmanship and presentation. Throughout the whole debate, it appeared as though Governor Romney was lecturing the president, all the while asserting himself. So it’s worth delving deeper, in order to truly see what these two men lied about or glazed over.

Besides wanting to defund poor Big Bird and making demeaning references to the “47%,” what does Mitt Romney stand for? For starters, it’s difficult to give an in-depth overview of Governor Romney’s plan for issues, such as the economy, because Romney has never fully outlined what exactly his plan is. Instead, all we receive are small tidbits of details, but never are we made to see the full picture. Nevertheless, when it comes to taxes, Obama repeatedly asserted that Romney wants to impose a $5 trillion tax cut. Of course, Governor Romney refuted the statement. His denial actually might have be considered truthful, bearing in mind the fact that no one knows how Romney would be paying for the $5 trillion. But taking a second look at Romney’s campaign, it appears as though he also desires to implement “Bush tax cuts” as permanent measures.

What this means is that federal income tax would be lowered for everyone: lowered capital gains tax, lowered tax

rate on dividends, and so forth. Although that may sound like something positive, Obama says that this is exactly why the United States has had its budget deficit sky rocket. President Obama believes that the extra tax revenue would’ve helped close the deficit gap. Personally, Romney’s desire to enforce the “Bush tax cuts” appears to solely serve rich investors. The wealthy are always getting the upper hand when it comes to Republicans and tax cuts. Likewise, when it comes to corporations, Romney wishes to lower the tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. However, Governor Romney promises the economy won’t be losing revenue; how is that possible? That wasn’t a rhetorical question. How can the math possibly add up? If you know, then you must be some kind of psychic, because the answer seems to be locked somewhere in Mr. Romney’s head.
Furthermore, President Obama kept raising the issue of Romney wanting to cut back funds for education. We witnesses Romney say that was all a lie and the he would never plan on cutting back the funding for education. However, once you go deeper, it can be found from past statements that Romney has said that he would in fact cut back on the education budget. Of course, we don’t know how these cut-backs would affect any of the federal programs implemented today, such as grants for us college students.

On the flip side, Obama had made some positive statements on his behalf. Obama stated, “over the last 30 months, we’ve seen five million jobs in the private sector created.” Doing some fact checking, it appears as though in reality over four million jobs were created, but what he didn’t include was that when he first took office, millions of jobs were lost. So yes, more jobs were created by the end of President Obama’s term, but the actual
gain was somewhat over 100,000 new jobs. On another note, Romney accused Obama of cutting over $700 billion from Medicare for the current retirees. Although this isn’t totally false, it is not worded correctly. Obamacare does plan to take away $716 billion from Medicare, but from spending rather than from the beneficiaries. The money instead will be given to hospitals over a ten-year period. On the topic, Obama charged Romney with the notion that the Republican Medicare plan would cost a senior over $6,000 more a year. However, what wasn’t mentioned was that this plan was an older idea from Paul Ryan, which has been changed for some time now.

Throughout the debate, countless accusations were thrown back and forth and in the end, Romney came out on

top, even though he told inflated lies all the while. But Obama wasn’t squeaky clean either, considering his skewed and outdated material. Neither of the candidates were innocent, and truth came to be loser that night, but we knew that, didn’t we? Instead, what we should focus on is which one of the two men could lead this country further away from debt, and restore our economy to the glory it saw in the late 90’s.