Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fact-checking the second presidential debate

Last night's town-hall presidential debate in Nashville didn't touch on rural issues, but rural voters are no less concerned with the issues that were discussed -- and as usual, both candidates mangled the truth. We believe news outlets of all sizes should help inform voters of the facts, as delivered by organizations such as PolitiFact.com, The Washington Post's The Fact Checker and FactCheck.org, which you can cite simply with proper credit. Here is beginning of the latter's truth-squadding of the debate:

McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it's not Sen. Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.

Both candidates oversimplified the causes of the financial crisis. McCain blamed it on Democrats who resisted tighter regulation of federal mortgage agencies. Obama blamed it on financial deregulation backed by Republicans. We find both are right, with plenty of blame left over for others, from home buyers to the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Obama said his health care plan would lower insurance premiums by up to $2,500 a year. Experts we’ve consulted see little evidence such savings would materialize.

McCain misstated his own health care plan, saying he’d give a $5,000 tax credit to “every American” His plan actually would provide only $2,500 per individual, or $5,000 for couples and families. He also misstated Obama’s health care plan, claiming it would levy fines on “small businesses” that fail to provide health insurance. Actually, Obama’s plan exempts “small businesses.”

McCain lamented that the U.S. was forced to “withdraw in humiliation” from Somalia in 1994, but he failed to note that he once proposed to cut off funding for troops to force a faster withdrawal.

Obama said, “I favor nuclear power.” That’s a stronger statement than we've heard him make before. As recently as last December, he said, “I am not a nuclear energy proponent.”

1 comment:

movie fan said...

The candidates have a major difference in their leadership styles: McCain tends to say, "Follow me because the other guy can't get it done" while Obama says, "Follow me because I can get it done." Ideally, the candidates should say, "Follow me because i will help you get it done" ... in any case, of the two of them Obama demonstrates a better leadership mentality