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Press Release: Obama's Top Five Lies & Exaggerations: Debate Night Edition

October 03, 2012


An Irritated President Obama Fibs, Flubs His Way Through Debate

NUMBER 1: President Obama Claimed To Have A $4 Trillion Deficit Reduction Plan — But His Plan Is Full Of Gimmicks And Relies Heavily On Tax Hikes:

President Obama Said He Has A Plan For $4 Trillion In Deficit Reduction. OBAMA: "Now, we all know that we've got to do more. And so I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan. It's on a website. You can look at all the numbers, what cuts we make and what revenue we raise. And the way we do it is $2.50 for every cut, we ask for a dollar of additional revenue, paid for, as I indicated earlier, by asking those of us who have done very well in this country to contribute a little bit more to reduce the deficit." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)

The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler: "The Repeated Claim That Obama's Budget Reduces The Deficit By $4 Trillion Is Simply Not Accurate. ... Virtually No Serious Budget Analyst Agreed With This Accounting."(Glenn Kessler, "Fact Checking Bill Clinton's Speech And Other Democrats At The Convention In Charlotte," The Washington Post's "The Fact Checker," 9/6/12)

  • "In Effect, Most Of Obama's Claimed Deficit Reduction Comes From His Proposed Tax Increases." "There are a number of other games being played, so fake money is being used to pay for real spending projects. In effect, most of Obama's claimed deficit reduction comes from his proposed tax increases."(Glenn Kessler, "Fact Checking Bill Clinton's Speech And Other Democrats At The Convention In Charlotte," The Washington Post's "The Fact Checker," 9/6/12)

Co-Chairs Of President Obama's Fiscal Commission Erskine Bowles And Alan Simpson, On Obama's $4 Trillion Target: "Unfortunately, His Proposal Falls Short Of This Goal ..." "We are encouraged that President Obama has embraced the goal of stabilizing the debt and the target of achieving at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction. Unfortunately, his proposal falls short of this goal by counting war savings that were already planned; and while it does (barely) stabilize the debt, it does so at a dangerously high level and with no margin for error. We are disappointed, too, that the president did not address the long-term solvency of Social Security."(Alan Simpson And Erskine Bowles, Op-Ed, "Go Big, Be Bold, Be Smart," The Washington Post, 10/2/11)

NUMBER 2: President Obama Claimed He's Protected Medicare — But He Implemented Disastrous Medicare Cuts That Will Increase Costs And Jeopardize Benefits:

President Obama Claimed Obamacare Strengthens Medicare. OBAMA: "$716 billion we were able to save from the Medicare program by no longer overpaying insurance companies, by making sure that we weren't overpaying providers. And using that money, we were actually able to lower prescription drug costs for seniors by an average of $600, and we were also able to make a -- make a significant dent in providing them the kind of preventive care that will ultimately save money through the -- throughout the system. So the way for us to deal with Medicare in particular is to lower health care costs." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)

According To The Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, Obamacare Cuts $716 Billion From Medicare. (Congressional Budget Office, Letter To Speaker John Boehner, 7/24/12)

  • President Obama's Senior Campaign Aide Has Bragged That President Obama "Achieved" $700 Billion In "Cuts In Medicare." CUTTER: "Well, you know ask the wealthy to pay a little bit more. Cut waste from the government. Reform Medicare. More than $300 billion in savings from Medicare. On top of the savings we've already achieved. You know I heard Mitt Romney deride the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that the president achieved through health care reform." (CBS's "Face The Nation," 8/12/12)

Obamacare's Cuts Will Cause Enrollment In Medicare Advantage To "Plummet By About 50 Percent" And Leave Seniors With "Higher Out-Of-Pocket Costs." "In addition to flagging provider cuts as potentially unsustainable, the report [HHS] projected that reductions in payments to private Medicare Advantage plans would trigger an exodus from the popular alternative. Enrollment would plummet by about 50 percent. Seniors leaving the private plans would still have health insurance under traditional Medicare, but many might face higher out-of-pocket costs." (Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, "Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More," The Associated Press, 4/23/10)

  • The Medicare Trustees Project These Cuts Will Drive 4 Million Seniors Out Of Medicare Advantage Plans By 2018. (Medicare Trustees Report, 4/23/12)

52 Percent Of Doctors Say Obamacare Will Compel Them To Close Or Significantly Restrict Their Practices To Medicare Patients.(Merritt Hawkins, "Health Reform and the Decline of Physician Private Practice," The Physicians Foundation, October 2010)

NUMBER 3: President Obama Claimed Mitt Romney's Medicare Plan Will Raise Costs By $6,000 — A Claim That Fact Checkers Have Repeatedly Criticized:

President Obama Said Mitt Romney's Medicare Plan Will Raise Costs For Seniors By $6,000. OBAMA: "The problem is that because the voucher wouldn't necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about $6,000 a year." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)

The Washington Post: "It's Only An Estimate" And Based On An "Earlier Version" For Medicare Reforms. "But there are some problems with that figure. First of all, it's only an estimate. Second of all, it's for the year 2022. But a bigger problem is that this dollar figure is an estimate for an earlier version of Ryan's plan. He's since changed it significantly to address some of the loudest complaints." (Glenn Kessler, "Factcheck: Sebelius' $6,400 Number Has Issues," The Washington Post, 9/4/12)

Factcheck.Org: "The Ryan Plan, Now The Romney-Ryan Plan, Doesn't 'End Medicare,' And The Claim About Seniors Paying $6,000 More Under The Proposal Is Outdated."(Lori Robertson, "A Campaign Full Of Mediscare," FactCheck.org, 8/22/12)

The Washington Post Headline: "No, Romney-Ryan Wouldn't Increase Medicare Costs By $6,400" (Sarah Kliff, "No, Romney-Ryan Wouldn't Increase Medicare Costs By $6,400," The Washington Post's "WonkBlog," 9/4/12)

NUMBER 4: President Obama Claimed Americans Can Keep Their Insurance Plans Under Obamacare — But As Many As 20 Million Americans Could Lose Their Plans:

President Obama Said Obamacare Allows People To Keep Their Health Care Plans. OBAMA: "Number one, if you've got health insurance it doesn't mean a government take over. You keep your own insurance. You keep your own doctor." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)

President Obama's Pledge That Obamacare Will Allow Americans To Keep Their Own Health Care Plans "Isn't True" For Many Americans. "President Barack Obama promised over and over during the health care debate that 'if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.' It turns out that, for a lot of people, that isn't true." (David Nather, "Health Care Reform: 4 Inconvenient Truths," Politico, 3/16/12)

Obamacare Could Cause As Many As 20 Million Americans To Lose Their Employer-Provided Coverage. "A Congressional Budget Office report issued this week says that 3 million to 5 million people could move from employer-based health care plans to government-based programs as the Affordable Care Act takes effect. And in the worst-case scenario, it could be as many as 20 million." (David Nather, "Health Care Reform: 4 Inconvenient Truths," Politico, 3/16/12)

NUMBER 5: President Obama Claimed Mitt Romney Wants To Hike Middle-Class Taxes — A Claim That Has Been Proven False By Nonpartisan Sources:

President Obama Said Mitt Romney's Tax Plan Raises Taxes On The Middle Class. OBAMA: "And the fact is that if you are lowering the rates the way you describe, Governor, then it is not possible to come up with enough deductions and loopholes that only affect high-income individuals to avoid either raising the deficit or burdening the middle class. It's -- it's math. It's arithmetic." (President Barack Obama, Presidential Debate, Denver, CO, 10/3/12)

An American Enterprise Institute Study Noted That Some Of The "Specific Assumptions That TPC Made" In Its Calculations Of Mitt Romney's Plan Are "Highly Questionable." "Some of the specific assumptions that TPC made in its analysis of Romney's tax plan are also highly questionable. By reconsidering just three components of the TPC's analysis, the conclusions it draws get turned upside down." (Alex Brill, "The Romney Tax Plan: Not a Tax Hike on the Middle Class," American Enterprise Institute, 10/1/12)

AEI, After Re-Analyzing Dubious Assumptions Made By The Tax Policy Center: "Just Like That, The Democrats' Attacks That Romney Wants To Raise Taxes On The Middle Class Become False." "Even modest economic growth makes a difference. And finally, the important factor that I discussed above. Based on Table 3-1 of the "Analytical Perspectives" report by the president's Office of Management and Budget, I compute that if the economy were to grow just 0.1 percentage point faster per year as a result of the reform, the additional revenue in 2015 would be approximately $13 billion. The result: A $12 billion tax increase on the middle class actually becomes a tax cut. And just like that, the Democrats' attacks that Romney wants to raise taxes on the middle class become false." (Alex Brill, "The Romney Tax Plan: Not a Tax Hike on the Middle Class," American Enterprise Institute, 10/1/12)

  • TPC's Conclusions Are Entirely Based On Dozens Of Unproven Assumptions. The word "assume," "assumption," or a variant thereof appears 68 (sixty-eight) times in the study and its footnotes. ("On the Distributional Effects of Base-Broadening Income Tax Reform," Tax Policy Center, 8/1/12)
  • "Hundreds If Not Thousands Of Assumptions..." "[A]ny complicated tax model like TPC's has a margin of error. Hundreds if not thousands of assumptions must be made, and each time you make one you accept the hopelessness of capturing reality." (Matt Jensen, "The Tax Policy Center Updates Its Romney Plan Analysis," American Enterprise Institute, 8/17/12)

The Romney Tax Plan Will Lower Tax Rates For Every American, Provide Tax Relief For Middle-Class Families, And Reform The Outdated Tax Code To Make It Flatter And Fairer. "Mitt Romney has proposed comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform that will lower tax rates for every American, provide certainty for job creators, and get our economy back on track. This plan will maintain the current progressivity of the tax code and it includes tax relief for middle-class families, small businesses, and millions of Americans penalized by outdated and inefficient tax laws. It will not raise taxes." (Jonathan Burks, "Pro-Growth Tax Reform Is Critical To A Real Recovery," Romney For President, Accessed 9/27/12)

And It's President Obama's Agenda That Will Actually Hit Middle-Class Families With Higher Taxes — His Looming Debt Amounts To $4,000 Per Year In Higher Taxes On The Middle Class. "In a new paper, AEI's Matt Jensen looks at the real annual cost of servicing the debt for households at various levels of income — including a potentially higher tax burden. As the table below illustrates, a household making between $100,000 and $200,000 a year could find its tax liability higher by roughly $2,400 every year. Over ten years, that works out to $24,000. And when you add in the debt already accrued the past four years under President Obama (the second table), that's another $1,600 a year. So now we are now talking about $4,000 a year, $40,000 over ten years." (James Pethokoukis, "Study: Obama's Big Budget Deficits Could Mean A $4,000 A Year Middle-Class Tax Hike," American Enterprise Institute, 10/2/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release: Obama's Top Five Lies & Exaggerations: Debate Night Edition Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/303213

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