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Fact Checking Bubba!


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http://factcheck.org/2012/09/our-clinton-nightmare/

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Former President Bill Clinton’s stem-winding nomination speech was a fact-checker’s nightmare: lots of effort required to run down his many statistics and factual claims, producing little for us to write about.

Republicans will find plenty of Clinton’s scorching opinions objectionable. But with few exceptions, we found his stats checked out.

Overselling ‘Obamacare’

The worst we could fault him for was a suggestion that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act was responsible for bringing down the rate of increase in health care spending, when the fact is that the law’s main provisions have yet to take effect.

Clinton said that “for the last two years, health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years.” That’s true, as reported by the journal Health Affairs in January of this year. But Clinton went too far when he added: “So let me ask you something. Are we better off because President Obama fought for health care reform? You bet we are.”

Actually, the major provisions of the 2010 law — the individual mandate, federal subsidies to help Americans buy insurance, and big reductions in the growth of Medicare spending — haven’t yet taken effect. Experts mainly blame the lousy economy for the slowdown in health care spending. As a report by economists and statisticians at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported last year, for example (as quoted in the Washington Post): “Job losses caused many people to lose employer-sponsored health insurance and, in some cases, to forgo health-care services they could not afford.”

And this year, the New York Times also reported:

New York Times, April 28, 2012:
The growth rate mostly slowed as millions of Americans lost insurance coverage along with their jobs. Worried about job security, others may have feared taking time off work for doctor’s visits or surgical procedures, or skipped nonurgent care when money was tight.

The Times also quoted experts who said consumers’ and physicians’ behavior may be changing, and the “anticipation of the health care overhaul” could be a reason. Said the Times: “Many health care experts said they believed that the shift toward publicizing medical error rates and encouraging accountable care seemed to be paying dividends — and that providers were making changes in anticipation of the health care overhaul, which further emphasize accountable care.” But that would explain only part of the slowdown, if it’s truly a factor at all.

Other Exaggerations

Other exaggerations and missteps were minor by comparison.

Clinton claimed Medicare will “go broke in 2016″ if Romney is elected and repeals the federal health care law. Medicare will not “go broke,” but a part of it — the hospital insurance trust fund — would not be able to pay full benefits for hospital services. Physician and prescription drug benefits, financed separately out of general tax revenues and premiums, wouldn’t be affected.

As we explained in our Aug. 22 article, “A Campaign Full of Mediscare,” the Medicare hospital trust fund is on pace to be exhausted by 2024 — or by 2016 if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. But Medicare would still collect payroll taxes sufficient to pay most hospital bills that would come due. Medicare trustees estimate the fund could pay 87 percent of its costs. The funding gap would continue to grow, and by 2050 the fund could cover only 67 percent of its bills. That’s a serious situation to be sure, but it’s not as though Medicare itself would suddenly halt all payments.

Clinton also exaggerated when he said Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill “cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people.” That’s too high. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit cut taxes temporarily for about 95 percent of workers — those with “earned income.” But it didn’t benefit pensioners or the unemployed, for example. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated in 2010 that it benefited 76 percent of all families and single individuals.

Clinton was substantially correct when he said oil imports were at “a near 20-year low.” He referred to a recent prediction that U.S. dependence on imported oil would fall this year to 42 percent, which Bloomberg News reported would be “the lowest level in two decades.”

But Clinton’s point was that the president’s energy policies were “helping” to bring that about. Bloomberg, however, gave credit to “a boom in oil production from the shale formations of North Dakota and Texas,” made possible by a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing.

And plenty of other Clinton statistics checked out as accurate. For example, he said that since 1961, when John F. Kennedy took office, 42 million private-sector jobs had been added while Democrats held the White House, compared with 24 million while Republicans were in office. And that’s exactly what Bloomberg News reported in a May 8 story.

He also accused Republicans of blocking 1 million potential new jobs, but that checked out, too:

Clinton:
Last year the Republicans blocked the president’s job plan, costing the economy more than a million new jobs.

Two independent economists — Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics and Joel Prakken of Macroeconomics Advisers — had estimated that Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act would add more than 1 million jobs. Zandi claimed it would add 1.9 million jobs; Prakken 1.3 million. Senate Republicans blocked the $447 billion measure, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denounced it as “a charade that’s meant to give Democrats a political edge” in 2012.

Oh yes — technically, Clinton’s speech was to nominate Obama. When he finished, convention delegates made it official: President Obama is the Democratic Party’s candidate for president in 2012.

– Lori Robertson, with Eugene Kiely, Brooks Jackson and Robert Farley

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There literally isn't enough time in this day to fact check and rewrite the actual facts from that Blowhards speech. The women close by him need to be very wary when he sticks that finger out. He's an impeached sexual predator, lost his law license and couldn't be trusted with the baby sitter and the Libs love him.

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http://www.washingto...og.html?hpid=z2

Former president Bill Clinton, quoting Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse

Whew. In a previous life, The Fact Checker covered the Clinton White House and always marveled at Bill Clinton’s speechifying, his apparent command of policy and his sometimes slippery use of the facts. We are going to offer an initial take on some of his claims — and those of other Democrats — and then may come back to others in the coming days. Everyone needs to get some sleep.

“He [Obama] has offered a reasonable plan of $4 trillion in debt reduction over a decade. For every $2.5 trillion in spending cuts, he raises a dollar in new revenues, 2.5 to 1. And he has tight controls on future spending. That’s the kind of balanced approach proposed by the Simpson-Bowles commission, a bipartisan commission. … It passes the arithmetic test.”

— Former president Bill Clinton “President Obama’s plan uses the bipartisan commission’s balanced approach. It reduces the deficit by more than $4 trillion.”

The repeated claim that Obama’s budget reduces the deficit by $4 trillion is simply not accurate.

By the administration’s math, you have nearly $3.8 trillion in spending cuts, compared to $1.5 trillion in tax increases (letting the Bush tax cuts expire for high-income Americans). Presto, $1 of tax increases for every $2.50 of spending cuts.

But virtually no serious budget analyst agreed with this accounting. The $4 trillion figure, for instance, includes counting some $1 trillion in cuts reached a year ago in budget negotiations with Congress. So no matter who is the president, the savings are already in the bank.

Moreover, the administration is also counting $848 billion in phantom savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the administration had long made clear those wars would end.

In other words, by projecting war spending far in the future, the administration is able to claim credit for saving money it never intended to spend. (Imagine taking credit for saving money on buying a new car every year, even though you intended to keep your car for 10 years.)

Rather than good arithmetic, independent budget analysts called the maneuver “a major budget gimmick.”

The administration also counts $800 billion in savings in debt payments (from lower deficits) as a “spending cut,” which is a dubious claim. We didn’t realize that debt payments were now considered a government program.

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.

Meanwhile, both Clinton and Van Hollen claim Obama’s budget has the “balanced approach” of the Simpson-Bowles deficit commission proposal. But the Simpson-Bowles plan is actually quite different, calling for tough spending cuts and substantial tax reforms — not the faux proposals contained in the president’s budget.

“We could have done better, but last year the Republicans blocked the president’s job plan, costing the economy more than a million new jobs. So here’s another job score. President Obama: plus 4.5 million. Congressional Republicans: zero.”

— Clinton

Obama’s jobs plan was more of a rhetorical device, aimed at Republicans, rather than a real plan. He even used the same $1 trillion in previously-agreed savings with Republicans, mentioned above, that was supposed to be in his budget in order to pay for this plan. The jobs plan also would be paid for with the imaginary money from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (The administration argued that the budget had never passed, so the money could be used again.)

Get the picture? Clinton praises Obama both for his sound budget math and for his jobs plan, even though the money to fund the budget and the jobs plan is used twice. That certainly doesn't pass the Arkansas 2+2=4 test.

We have noted the problems with Obama’s claim that 4.5 million private sector jobs have been created. (It is a cherry-picked figure.) As for whether 1 million jobs would be created through Obama’s jobs plan, that is merely a fuzzy and optimistic projection. Bloomberg News surveyed 34 economists and found that the median estimate was that the plan would add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls.

“During this period, more than 500,000 manufacturing jobs have been created under President Obama. That’s the first time manufacturing jobs have increased since the 1990s.”

— Clinton

Clinton is referring to the period since February 2010, the administration’s preferred date for counting employment figures. If you count from the beginning of Obama’s term, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that manufacturing jobs have declined by more than 500,000. Manufacturing jobs have been on a long steep decline since the middle of Clinton’s term, with some 2 million jobs lost during the recession that started at the end of George W. Bush’s term.

“More than 3 million young people between 19 and 25 are insured for the first time because their parents’ policies can cover them.”

— Clinton

Interestingly, Clinton frames this more accurately than President Obama. The Department of Health and Human Services in June reported that more than 3 million young adults would not have health insurance without the health-care law.

Obama prefers to cite a private survey, published by the Commonwealth Fund, that showed that 6.6 million young adults “stayed on or joined their parents’ health plans” in 2011. Not all of those people were uninsured; some simply joined their parents’ plans for other reasons.

“For the last two years, after going up at three times the rate of inflation for a decade, for the last two years, health care costs have been under 4 percent in both years for the first time in 50 years."

— Clinton

Clinton tried to attribute this decline in health costs to the health-care law, but much of it has not yet been implemented. Most economists say the slowdown is more likely because of the lousy economy.

“It’s tempting to think that provider initiatives are truly denting costs, but it’s hard for changes in provider behavior to influence costs before they occur,” said a recent article in Modern Healthcare magazine. “Instead, the drop in healthcare cost growth is primarily attributable to the Great Recession’s impact on employment, private health insurance, government revenues and budgets.”

Indeed, government actuaries in June published an article in Health Affairs predicting health-care costs would begin to spike as the health-care law was implemented. “For 2011 through 2021, national health spending is projected to grow at an average rate of 5.7 percent annually, which would be 0.9 percentage point faster than the expected annual increase in the gross domestic product during this period,” the article said.

“Soon the insurance companies — not the government, the insurance companies — will have millions of new customers, many of them middle-class people with preexisting conditions who never could get insurance before.”

— Clinton

Actually, the original Congressional Budget Office estimate is that 16 million people would end up in private coverage and 16 million would end up on Medicaid. But the Medicaid number may shrink as a result of the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to opt out of the expansion of the program.

“The administration agreed to give [welfare] waivers to those governors and others only if they had a credible plan to increase employment by 20 percent, and they could keep the waivers only if they did increase employment.”

— Clinton

We have written previously how the Romney campaign is exaggerating the immediate effect of the change in welfare rules, while at the same time it appears clear the Obama administration issued this notice without much consultation with Republicans in Congress. Something fishy may be going on.

The subject is worthy of a longer fact check in the future, but it is worth noting that prominent critics of the shift have raised interesting questions about this supposed 20-percent requirement. Clinton used this figure as a defense of the administration’s move, but there may be less to this than meets the eye.

Edited by Dirtybirdn@tion
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You had my interest for a mere moment man.

Actually I have him on ignore.

I am trying not contribute to the dooshbaggery.

I just happen to see what he said because of the quote which is factually wrong as always.

And since there is ZERO use debating him with rational thought I choose to make diaper jokes because at least that entertains me. :)

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Clinton is referring to the period since February 2010, the administration’s preferred date for counting employment figures. If you count from the beginning of Obama’s term, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that manufacturing jobs have declined by more than 500,000. Manufacturing jobs have been on a long steep decline since the middle of Clinton’s term, with some 2 million jobs lost during the recession that started at the end of George W. Bush’s term

Manufacturing over the last 2 years or so have actually increased.

Companies are moving manufacturing back to the S because the cost advantage they once had in places like China are quickly being eroded.

http://americancity.org/daily/entry/u.s.-manufacturing-up-reasons-for-outsourcing-down

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-21/small-u-dot-s-dot-manufacturers-give-up-on-made-in-china

http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-05-01/economy/31509363_1_ism-index-new-orders-index-manufacturing-sector

So Clinton was absolutely correct with what he is saying....... Manufacturing is growing here.

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Actually I have him on ignore.

I am trying not contribute to the dooshbaggery.

I just happen to see what he said because of the quote which is factually wrong as always.

And since there is ZERO use debating him with rational thought I choose to make diaper jokes because at least that entertains me. smile.png

Some guys here don't get it. You have someone like me who has left the Democratic Party. I'm listening to all sides and finding huge flaws in all. I mean HUGE. I see something that catches my eye, one of the most plausible I have seen in a LONG while. Then I remember why I left. The "in-fighting" between political parties. Where does it stop?

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Clinton is referring to the period since February 2010, the administration’s preferred date for counting employment figures. If you count from the beginning of Obama’s term, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that manufacturing jobs have declined by more than 500,000. Manufacturing jobs have been on a long steep decline since the middle of Clinton’s term, with some 2 million jobs lost during the recession that started at the end of George W. Bush’s term

Manufacturing over the last 2 years or so have actually increased.

Companies are moving manufacturing back to the S because the cost advantage they once had in places like China are quickly being eroded.

http://americancity....utsourcing-down

http://www.businessw...n-made-in-china

http://articles.mark...acturing-sector

So Clinton was absolutely correct with what he is saying....... Manufacturing is growing here.

Hey I keep hearing we have yet to make up for the TOTAL jobs lost during this recession and your saying that's not true?

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Hey I keep hearing we have yet to make up for the TOTAL jobs lost during this recession and your saying that's not true?

What I am saying what they said that

"Manufacturing jobs have been on a long steep decline since the middle of Clinton’s term"

Is categorically false

And I provided 3 different sources as to why it is is false.

Manufacturing is actually growing and is not in a decline right now.

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Hey I keep hearing we have yet to make up for the TOTAL jobs lost during this recession and your saying that's not true?

I see you trying to condemn this man's group, but wasn't it your group who actually made the problem in the first place? From what I see, neither group has their heads on straight about the seriousness. Your group even less so. In fact your group has no interest whatsoever in the job situation for any other purpose than control of the Oval Office and trying to use this mess to upend the other. So much so that you'll take the first guy who looks presidential enough to put him in the forefront.

Before you start this mess, I'd be careful. Romney has struck my family before. Next time it won't be isolated to a handful. I don't trust the guy and your party is just as accountable for the raping of America.

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I see you trying to condemn this man's group, but wasn't it your group who actually made the problem in the first place? From what I see, neither group has their heads on straight about the seriousness. Your group even less so. In fact your group has no interest whatsoever in the job situation for any other purpose than control of the Oval Office and trying to use this mess to upend the other. So much so that you'll take the first guy who looks presidential enough to put him in the forefront.

Before you start this mess, I'd be careful. Romney has struck my family before. Next time it won't be isolated to a handful. I don't trust the guy and your party is just as accountable for the raping of America.

What do you mean "My Group"

And to answer you question ....

http://www.npr.org/t...oryId=130272396

A Searing Look At Wall Street In 'Inside Job'

You'd be surprised at who actually "the big players were/are" ....

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What do you mean "My Group"

And to answer you question ....

http://www.npr.org/t...oryId=130272396

A Searing Look At Wall Street In 'Inside Job'

You'd be surprised at who actually "the big players were/are" ....

I would not be surprised. You'd be surprised what I know and why I left the Dems and dislike the Republicans even more. Neitehr team is worth the rhetoric they vomit.

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I would not be surprised. You'd be surprised what I know and why I left the Dems and dislike the Republicans even more. Neitehr team is worth the rhetoric they vomit.

This kind of describes where I'm at right now. Grew up in a semi-repub household, so naturally that's what I thought it was. Went to college and studied politics, then went to law school and became a democrat over that period of time. Now I'm sitting here 2 years later trying to figure out what other options, if any, are available. Both sides are equally wrong for different reasons, but we as a country have created this "two party" system. When we all kind of know that when it comes down to it, we're gonna get screwed by the people with the money either way.

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