Friday, October 03, 2008
The web site Factcheck.org analyzed the VP candidates' statements from last night's debate, and uncovered several obfuscations, misstatements, and outright lies. Behold:
Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.
* Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.
* Biden incorrectly said “John McCain voted the exact same way” as Obama on a controversial troop funding bill. The two were actually on opposite sides.
* Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount, but a family of four would not have been affected unless they made at least $90,000 a year.
* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain “voted the exact same way” as Obama on the budget bill that contained an increase on singles making as little as $42,000 a year. McCain voted against it. Biden was referring to an amendment that didn't address taxes at that income level.
* Palin claimed McCain’s health care plan would be “budget neutral,” costing the government nothing. Independent budget experts estimate McCain's plan would cost tens of billions each year, though details are too fuzzy to allow for exact estimates.
* Biden wrongly claimed that McCain had said "he wouldn't even sit down" with the president of Spain. Actually, McCain didn't reject a meeting, but simply refused to commit himself one way or the other during an interview.
* Palin wrongly claimed that “millions of small businesses” would see tax increases under Obama’s tax proposals. At most, several hundred thousand business owners would see increases.
For full details on these misstatements, and on additional factual disputes and dubious claims, please read on to the Analysis section.