Surprise, surprise! The RNC generated a lot of discussion last week when independent fact checkers slammed the claims of some of the convention’s speakers. Turns out, the Democratic National Convention isn’t off to a very good start itself with regard to factual fealty, proving that the two parties can cross the aisle to get at least one thing right – getting things patently wrong.
Independent fact checkers spent the first day of the DNC making sure that the claims of the convention’s speakers add up and finding where they don’t (the same treatment afforded to speakers at the RNC last week). Unfortunately for partisan rhetoric, FactCheck.org did indeed find “a number of dubious or misleading claims,” spoken from the convention floor last night.
Particularly under fire were claims made by the DNC keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. Claims that the GOP opponent Mitt Romney will raise taxes on the middle class were found to be unwarranted, a claim made by several of last night’s speakers. Furthermore, “Democrats base their claim on a study that doesn’t necessarily lead to that conclusion.” Castro also said that Obama has created 4.5 million jobs throughout his administration, while fact checkers say that the Obama administration “regained only 4 million of the 4.3 million jobs lost since Obama took office.” CNN’s fact check ranks that number dismally lower, saying that the Obama administration can only count a net gain of 300,000 jobs, and that those jobs aren’t really even worth as much as the ones that were lost.
Claims that Romney actually left his post as Governor with Massachusetts numbering 47 out of 50 in job growth were also disputed. From Romney’s first year to his final year, job growth went from the bottom 50 to 28.
Many speakers also repeated a claim that he Romney/Ryan Medicare plan would cost seniors $6,400 a year. That’s actually a dated figure, applied to Ryan’s 2011 budget plan. The current one, embraced by Romney, “is far more generous.”
The Washington Post‘s fact check concurred with most of FactCheck.org’s conclusions, but also highlighted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s speech, and a comment that highlighted his continued crusade in the so-called Romney “tax scandal.” Said Reid: “We learned that he [Mitt Romney] pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families.”
But actually: “For all the rhetoric about high taxes in the United States, most Americans pay a relatively small percentage of their income in taxes. Romney had an effective rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.4 percent in 2011. That gives him a higher rate than 80 percent of taxpayers if only taxes on a tax return are counted and puts him just about in the middle of all taxpayers if payroll taxes paid by employers are included.”
Vote for whoever you want, come November. But do it on policy and on the issues, don’t fall for the false rhetoric of the conventions.