Some Facts Adrift In Vice Presidential Debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facts went adrift on taxes, deregulation and more Thursday when Republican Sarah Palin and Democrat Joe Biden clashed in the vice presidential debate.

Some examples:

PALIN: Said of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: "94 times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction."

THE FACTS: The dubious count includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by factcheck.org found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year.

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BIDEN: Complained about "economic policies of the last eight years" that led to "excessive deregulation."

THE FACTS: Biden voted for 1999 deregulation that liberal groups are blaming for part of the financial crisis today. The law allowed Wall Street investment banks to create the kind of mortgage-related securities at the core of the problem now. The law was widely backed by Republicans as well as by Democratic President Clinton, who argues it has stopped the crisis today from being worse.

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PALIN: "Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell."

THE FACTS: Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska led an effort in 2005 to tighten regulation on the mortgage underwriters — McCain joined as a co-sponsor a year later. The legislation was never taken up by the full Senate, then under Republican control.

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BIDEN: Warned that Republican presidential candidate John McCain's $5,000 tax credit to help families buy health coverage "will go straight to the insurance company."

THE FACTS: Of course it would, because it's meant to pay for insurance. That's like saying money for a car loan will go straight to the car dealer.

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PALIN: Claimed she has taken on the oil industry as Alaska governor.

THE FACTS: Palin pushed to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and distributed the proceeds to the state's citizens to offset rising energy costs. However, she has also sided with the industry on a number of issues. She sued the Interior Department over its designation of polar bears as an endangered species. That puts her on the same side as the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's chief trade association. She also supports the industry's desire to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — a position at odds with McCain.

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BIDEN: Said McCain supports tax breaks for oil companies, and "wants to give them another $4 billion tax cut."

THE FACTS: Biden is repeating a favorite saw of the Obama campaign, and it's misleading. McCain supports a cut in income taxes for all corporations, and doesn't single out any one industry for that benefit.

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PALIN: Said the United States has reduced its troop level in Iraq to a number below where it was when the troop increase began in early 2007.

THE FACTS: Not correct. The Pentagon says there are currently 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 17,000 more than there were before the 2007 military buildup began.

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BIDEN: "As a matter of fact, John recently wrote an article in a major magazine saying that he wants to do for the health care industry — deregulate it and let the free market move — like he did for the banking industry."

THE FACTS: Biden and Obama have been perpetuating this distortion of what McCain wrote in an article for the American Academy of Actuaries. McCain, laying out his health plan, only referred to deregulation when saying people should be allowed to buy health insurance across state lines. In that context, he wrote: "Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation."

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PALIN: Said Alaska is "building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America's largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets."

THE FACTS: Not quite. Construction is at least six years away. So far the state has only awarded a license to Trans Canada Corp., that comes with $500 million in seed money in exchange for commitments toward a lengthy and costly process to getting a federal certificate. At an August news conference after the state Legislature approved the license, Palin said, "It's not a done deal."

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PALIN: "Barack Obama even supported increasing taxes as late as last year for those families making only $42,000 a year."

BIDEN: "The charge is absolutely not true. Barack Obama did not vote to raise taxes. The vote she's referring to, John McCain voted the exact same way."

THE FACTS: The vote was on a nonbinding budget resolution that assumed that President Bush's tax cuts would expire, as scheduled, in 2011. If that actually happened, it could mean higher taxes for people making as little as about $42,000. But Obama is proposing tax increases only on the wealthy, and would cut taxes for most others. In the March 14 budget resolution supported by Obama and Biden, McCain actually did not vote.


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  • by $$$ on Oct 4, 2008 at 10:11 AM
    I think it is funny how you republicans look back at other Presidents when slaming the Demacrats. When WE point a fingger at Bush you all jump to his defence. Don't say WE are wrong when we point a fingger at Bush because that my friends is just not true.
  • by Kitty on Oct 4, 2008 at 09:53 AM
    To Devil Dog, How much money did you give to charities in 2007? Don't bother telling me because I would not believe a word you said. It is a shame that people like to play the blame game. I am truly sorry that WE are not able to post our true opinions of Palin on here, "TRUST ME THEY WOULD NOT BE PRETTY AND NETHER IS SHE" She looks like a fancy woman lol.
  • by VBush Location: MHCY on Oct 4, 2008 at 06:28 AM
    Devil Dog; Biden is really a generous soul when it comes to our money. That is typical of liberals. They talk the talk, but don't walk the walk. It is easy for them to give someone else's money away. I guess all that 'fairness' that he was preaching about the other night only applies to everyone else. Typical.
  • by Devil Dog Location: New Bern on Oct 4, 2008 at 02:38 AM
    I want McCain to "hammer" on Fannie/Mae, Freddie/Mac and Countrywide and the people involved. I want names of the members of CONGRESS, who were briefed from 2001 to 2007, on these financial problems. I want names of people who actively support ACORN who are now out trying to steal an election. I want the name of the current congressman from Florida (WEXLER), who for ten years lived in Maryland, and doesn't even have a residence in Florida. I want you to tell how compassionate BIDEN is by his "chump change" donation of $321.00 to charities in 2007. Let it all hang out.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane, NC on Oct 3, 2008 at 03:31 PM
    Come on people, ploiticans always miss quote and miss state facts, the thing is many of you beleive them and you also belive the news of the mainline media, hollywood stars, and other celebs like Opra Obama.
  • by Rusty Dog Location: Doghouse on Oct 3, 2008 at 01:28 PM
    Its OK there LOL, I seem to notice you post a lot of the same things. I actually see Red State post interresting information that are factual instead of liberal party, moveon stuff. I did not see this as being a tie score. Media reporting today has declared Palin as a clear winner with popularity soaring. This makes democrats very nervous and even has moveon.org posting emails to me all day. Most say how marvelous Biden did but I saw the same thing everybody else saw. She was confident, intelligent and even called him "Joe" when she had to get he point accross. Witn did a great story of fairness on this mater and glad the posted the misfacts we normally get from the commercials. They converted the democrat to vote for both of them. I just don't like the media forcing Obama in front.
  • by LOL on Oct 3, 2008 at 11:45 AM
    To Red State, That is ok you say the same thing all the time anyway :)
  • by Red State Location: Washington Co. on Oct 3, 2008 at 09:53 AM
    Just to be clear and fair, that last post to Steve was me. I must have forgotten to fill out the name tag.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 3, 2008 at 09:04 AM
    Steve - speaking of the Dems Socialistic tendencies, that is exactly why we're in this financial mess with Fannie & Freddie. They want everyone to own a house, whether they can afford it or not. So much that they threatened lending institutions with action if they did not make risky loans to individuals who couldn't pay them back. Now the rest of us will pay to get them out of hock. In last night's debate, Biden even said they want to go back and not just lower the interest rates, but also lower the principle amount. They want to let people pretend that those houses didn't even cost what they cost. I hope I get that deal when they start going around. It won't be for me though because I pay taxes.
  • by Red State Location: Washington Co. on Oct 3, 2008 at 08:53 AM
    The tie goes to Palin. She wasn't expected to be able to hold her own against someone with 30 yrs in the Senate to her 5 weeks in national politics. She did well.
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