The first debate: sorting out fact from fiction
Published: Friday, October 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 16:10
Instead of spending last Wednesday evening with his wife on their 20th anniversary, President Barack Obama stood in a room with Gov. Mitt Romney discussing his vision for the United States for the past, present and future.
One of the most crucial issues of the night was the economy, and to preface that debate, the president once again addressed the economic crisis he took on at the beginning of his term. He said the government had to take some “emergency measures” to ensure the country did not slip into a bigger depression.
“Let’s make sure that we are cutting out those things that are not helping us grow,” said Obama.
Looking toward the future, Obama said he has proposed a $4 trillion deficit reduction plan. For every $2.50 the government cuts, it will ask for $1 of revenue from the people who he says "have done very well in this country.” This refers to his policy of taxing higher-income citizens, which he has always advocated for in office.
The president also emphasized the importance of education in an economic context. He stressed that it is the backbone for a strong economy and attacked the notion that students should have to borrow money from their parents to attend college.
Obama also spent a good portion of the debate defending his health care plan called the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare” as it is more commonly known, and rehashed the values that inspired him to pass the very controversial plan.
“It wasn’t just that small businesses were seeing costs skyrocket … it was families who were worried about going bankrupt if they got sick,” said Obama.
To him, the health care plan is not a “government takeover.” He said it simply says that insurance companies cannot push citizens around and allows those without insurance to benefit from a group insurance plan.
“This is part of making sure that middle class families are secure in this country,” said Obama.
Obama also added that “the irony is that we’ve seen this model work really well in Massachusetts,” claiming there is a conflicting viewpoint on Romney’s part.
However, some of Obama’s claims throughout the debate were not entirely accurate. According to FactCheck.org, he incorrectly claimed that his policies were responsible for only adding 10 percent to the deficit from the last four years.
His stimulus plan and tax cuts in 2009 have actually contributed to almost a third of the deficit. In response to the fact check, the Obama administration said he was actually referring to a Treasury analysis of 2002-2011.
Additionally, the website stated that Obama “oversold his health care law.” While health care spending has gone up slower than any time in the last 50 years, the same cannot be said for health care premiums like Obama maintained.