Political Facts
       Political Facts - 2012
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Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated October 12, 2012
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Commentary
This entry was posted on Thursday, October 11, 2012 and is filed under Keeba’s Commentary    
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Keeba Smith is a published writer and desired screenplay artist.  She is the author of “Shades of Bright Pale,” and many other
unacquainted writings. Please visit  
www.Keeba.org to find out more about Keeba Smith, read additional critiques and her
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© 2012
  • Social Security: If you are a social security recipient, you are in luck - for right now.  Yesterday, Wednesday,
    October 10, 2012, it was announced that recipients would receive a 2% cost of living raise.  On the other hand,
    depending who is president, that raise may be delayed.

  • The claim that we spend far more on corporate welfare than "entitlement" welfare is true and those government
    savings do not help small bushiness.  Instead, it influences the tax code to further enrich large corporations.  Thus,
    this hurts social security and social welfare programs.

  • One of the candidates claim that 47 percent of the American public are "dependent on government," "believe that
    they are victims" and "believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."  He also claimed that the 47
    percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes are strong supporters of his opponent because they are
    so dependent on government benefits that his opponent freely provides.
  • According to PolitiFact:






  • The claim that the tax cut loopholes give incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas is true.  Firms
    with international operations can take advantage of tax loopholes that domestic firms can not.  The value of these
    is in the billions.  Such tax laws might not be the deciding factor for companies to locate in foreign countries, but
    they make that choice more lucrative.

  • The claim that Romney’s plan will raise taxes on Social Security benefits on senior to $460 is true, unless some
    numbers are heavily tweaked.  If not, middle-class taxpayers would end up paying more.

  • The claim that under Obama, taxes on families are at their lowest point in 50 years is true.  According to both the
    CBO and Politifact, average tax rates are in fact lower than most years in the past five decades for three income
    groups.

  • If you are an avid news watcher, you would have heard that at first Romney says his health care plan covers
    preexisting conditions, and then he would later admit that it does not.  However, later, he will again say that it does
    and later go back and admit that it does not.  Well, according to PolitiFact, it does if the person is already insured -
    meaning that Romney's plan does not cover those who currently do not have insurance.
* NOTE: They must remain insured.

  • The claim that stimulus money was spent to purchase electric cars from Finland as a payback is false.

  • According to the Office of Management and Budget and Tax Policy Center, the claim that tax revenues are the
    lowest they have been since World War II is true.

  • The claim that the President has not outlined his plan to reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion, is not true.  Instead,
    in a 80-page report issued in September 2011 and again in the President’s budget proposal released in February,
    the Obama administration has laid out detailed proposals and dollar amounts for how to achieve more than $4
    trillion in savings over the next decade.

  • Education: The claim that Romney plans to end Pell Grants for 84,000 students is true.  The Department of
    Education estimated that 84,000 students -- 1.6 percent of Pell Grant recipients -- would lose eligibility for the
    program.

  • The claim that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer is true.  Well, at least we know for a fact
    that the rich is definitely getting richer.  A study from Capgemini and Bank of America Merrill Lynch showed that
    the world's population of high-networth individuals (HNWI), with $1 million or more in investable assets, jumped
    8.3% over the last year to a total of 10.9 million people. That number is up from the 2007 tally of 10.1 million
    tycoons.  According to Forbes, there are more rich people today than there were before the credit crisis destroyed
    Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns and nearly crippled the world's financial industry.  "Not only are there more
    rich, but they're also richer.  Their financial wealth jumped 9.7% over the last year to $42.7 trillion.  Meanwhile,
    the U.S. GDP grew 1.9% in the first quarter of 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce."  These
    may or may not be inflation adjusted, but they are facts.  Now read on…

  • Unemployment or unemployed: If you have ever wondered who controlled the unemployment rate, consider
    large companies such as those owned by David Siegel, Richard Lacks and John Schnatter.  These people have
    publicly said that they will hurt their employee's way of living if their choice candidate is not elected president.  I
    don’t know about you, but I cannot help but to wonder how many others have made this claim.  I have no doubt
    there are more companies that feel this way it’s just that we haven't heard about them - yet.

  • The claim that since President Barack Obama took office, "2 million more Americans are out of work" is not true.  
    According to the BLS, CBO and Politifact: The economy lost 2.5 million jobs between January 2009 and May
    2011, according to employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The economy gained 1 million jobs in
    the year claim was made.  Also, from October 2009 to December 2011, the economy gained jobs. Nonfarm
    payrolls actually rose by about 2.4 million. Unemployment dropped from 10 percent to 7.5 percent.

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Wednesday in its “Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary”
    (JOLTS) that the number of U.S. job openings in August was 3.6 million, essentially unchanged from July. The
    number of openings was little changed in all industries except accommodation and food services, where the
    number decreased.  The number of job openings in August 2012 increased year after year for total jobs and total
    private-sector jobs, but was little changed for the public sector. Job openings increased since August 2011 for non-
    durable goods manufacturing, wholesale trade, finance and insurance, and federal government, with the latter
    balanced out by decreasing job openings at other levels of government.  In August, what JOLTS calls the “quits
    rate” was unchanged for total jobs, total private-sector jobs, and government jobs. Quits are generally voluntary
    separations initiated by the employee, which means that the quits rate can serve as a measure of workers’
    willingness or ability to leave jobs and thus a measure of the jobs market.

  • Romney claims that 90 percent of cities saw unemployment rise in June, but that is not true.  According to
    PolitiFact, "even the highest seasonally adjusted calculation we made is just half the size of the 90 percent cited in
    the ad. And excluding volatile month-to-month figures by looking at a full year-long comparison actually leads to
    the exact opposite conclusion from the one drawn in the ad: Better than 90 percent of metro areas saw
    unemployment drop, not rise, over the previous year.

  • Political Economist, Robert Reich says that indeed the poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer.  He
    said, "All Americans used to be in roughly the same economic boat", but that has all changed.  He described large
    company's habits of moving overseas to lower production costs to increase their profit margin.  It used to be that
    the little guy had a chance to make it but today that has changed as the rich can get a better profit if they can find
    a way to make their goods cheaper.  And the cheaper way to make cheaper goods, is to get them made overseas.  
    Profits over people seem to be the norm and a better way for the rich to keep their money.  Of course the middle
    and lower class suffers, but…  Anyway, this has something to do with regulations.

  • The claim that Romney has money invested in China's businesses is true and the Romney campaign confirms this.  
    In particular, news reports show as recently as this year that Romney had money invested in funds that owned
    shares in two Chinese firms.  The amount is not likely to be large, certainly relative to Romney’s sizeable assets,
    and might be minor in absolute terms as well, due to the dilution that comes with funds with multiple investors and
    multiple investments.

  • Romney says that Florida's housing woes is due to Obama, but according to the CBO and PolitiFact, the problems
    in Florida began well before Obama was elected.  Analysts say they have been driven by a natural and inevitable
    market correction much more than by any government policies.  The decline in home values happened on Bush’s
    watch, and in the last year Florida housing has again begun to appreciate.

  • The claim that the Republican Party platform says "pull back even more of the rules on campaign finance
    reform get rid of McCain-Feingold" is true.  While the Democratic Party platform says "we want to find a way
    to put more fair rules on campaign finance reform."  It also states, "we support campaign finance reform, by
    constitutional amendment if necessary."  The GOP platform states: "we support repeal of the remaining
    sections of McCain-Feingold."  Campaign finance reform refers to super PAC money.  The Republicans want
    endless spending while the Democrats want it to be limited.
  • And just how much money is being spent on campaign ads?  Try $544 million dollars.

  • Some have questioned and/or claimed whether the economy is worse under Obama: Well, it depends on who you
    ask.  Well simply put, according to the Wall Street Journal, owned by Republican Rupert Murdoch, it polled
    Americans and tallied the following:
     October 2011 - 21% of Americans believed the economy was improving
     July 2012 - 27% of Americans believed the economy was improving
     August 2012 - 36% Americans believed the economy was improving
     September 2012 - 42% Americans believed the economy was improving
     October 2012 - 44% Americans believed the economy was improving
  • Additionally, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, they found that the economic stimulus
    Obama signed into law added -- in the 4th quarter of 2009 -- between 1 million and 2 million employed workers and
    boosted the GDP between 1.5% to 3.5% higher than it would have been without the stimulus.  In addition, a more
    recent CBO study -- for the second quarter of 2011 -- found that the stimulus raised real GDP between 0.8% and
    2.5% and lowered the unemployment rate between 0.5 and 1.6 percentage points, compared with what would have
    occurred without it.  And another analysis, by economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, estimated that the stimulus
    raised 2010 real GDP by 3.4%, held the unemployment rate about 1.5 percentage points lower, and added nearly
    2.7 jobs to U.S. payrolls.  Looking solely at quarterly Gross Domestic Product, it's gone from -6.7% in the first
    quarter of 2009 and -0.7% in the second quarter of '09, to positive territory ever since -- including 2.8% the past
    quarter.  And looking at monthly payroll statistics, the numbers have gone from a loss of 818,000 jobs in Jan. 2009
    -- when Obama took office -- to 16-straight months of positive job growth, including a preliminary gain of 243,000
    jobs in Jan. 2012.

  • Obama claims that Romney's plan would add "trillions" to the deficit.  Well, as of today, the independent analysts
    say that Romney's plan is so vague that it's difficult to know how his plan will impact the federal budget. What are
    missing are the politically sensitive details on which programs he would cut and which tax breaks he would reduce.
    "What we do know indicates his plan could drive up deficits, potentially a great deal."  As Jon Stewart says, only if
    Romney is a wizard that his plan would not increase the deficit.

  • The claim that Obama has the worst record on female labor force participation, is not true.  Instead, the increases
    for presidents between 1948 and the late 1980s are largely due to broader social trends beyond the control of any
    president, so saying that Obama did worse than them is a red herring. Meanwhile, other cuts at the data paint a
    different picture. Under Obama, the decline in workforce participation for women was actually smaller than it was
    for men, and calculating the data using slightly different age groups shows that George W. Bush had a slightly
    worse record.

  • During the Vice Presidential debate with V.P. Joe Biden, Congressman Paul Ryan requested that he not be
    referred to as "Congressman Ryan" but simply as "Mr. Ryan."
  • In my opinion, he did this to remove himself from the failing Congress.














  • Housing Market: In most districts reported strengthening in existing home sales, while prices were described as
    steady to increasing, with declining inventories noted in the Boston, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Dallas and San Francisco
    Districts.” Multifamily construction, in particular, was described as robust in a number of districts, and residential
    rental markets continued to be strong, even in the New York and Atlanta Districts, where rents increased
    somewhat less strongly this time around than in recent months.  Commercial real estate, on the other hand, was
    “mixed.” Some office markets—especially in the Northeast—showed signs of softening, while other districts were
    more mixed or even stable. “Industrial markets showed some strength in the New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland
    and Atlanta Districts, while softer conditions were noted in Richmond,” the report noted.

  • The debt ceiling was raised five times when George W. Bush was president.
  • 2011 - new CBS tracking poll:
  • Congress remains exceedingly unpopular, with just 16 percent approving of the job Congress is
    doing. That roughly matches where Congress' job approval rating stood last May, before the
    midterm elections. Last month, Congress' approval rating was at 21 percent.  Seventy-five percent of
    Americans - three in four - say they disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That's up from 66
    percent last month.

  • November 2011:
  • Last month, a New York Times poll found that Congress' approval rating fell to an all-time low of 9
    percent. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll found that 11 percent of people found polygamy "morally
    acceptable." Additionally, 30 percent of Americans expressed approval of pornography.
...But the polls and income tax data don't back this up.  Currently, Obama gets substantial support from
people earning more than $50,000 -- and 90 percent of them, or more, do pay taxes. And Romney gets lots
of support from seniors, many of whom have no income tax liability. We rate the claim False.
(PolitiFact)
The following may be concerning to you and/or any of your love ones:

     Cuts in Medicare
     Cuts in Social Security
     Raising taxes on seniors receiving social security
     Cutting the Affordable Care Act
     Women's health
     Tax cuts for the rich or tax cuts for the 99%
     Cuts to military spending
     Growing or slowing the deficit
     Corporate welfare spending
     Jobs sent over seas and its benefits
     Government subsidies and the number of recipients who receive government assistance
     Stimulus money
     Cuts to Education
     Unemployment

If the above effects you, then please read and share.

As most of you know, I am a news junkie and after my daily rituals, I am watching and/or
listening.  (Yes, Robert, I am healed and am back.)

Anyway, I wanted to tell you all that although it may be wrong to try to sway your vote, I just want
to make sure you get the facts.  Facts that I hear from the candidates themselves and media news
outlets.

First, let me TRY not to sound as if I'm being partial for one candidate or the other, but here it
goes:
  • One candidate says things on his campaign trail that is a total opposite than what he has
    said during the debate or during interviews with "Meet the Press", "60 Minutes" or other
    news shows.

  • One candidate wants to cut Medicare, but so far Medicaid is safe.  (I have yet  heard
    either candidate say anything about Medicaid).

  • According to the news pundits on MSNBC and CNN, the Affordable Care Act will
    indeed cut $716 billion from Medicare.  However, according to the CBO
    (Congressional Office of Budget Control) that is only partially true.  The CBO states:
  • The spending reductions were mainly aimed at insurance companies and hospitals, not
    beneficiaries. The law made significant reductions to Medicare Advantage, a subset of
    Medicare plans run by private insurers. Medicare Advantage was started under President
    George W. Bush, and the idea was that competition among the private insurers would
    reduce costs. But the plans have actually cost more than traditional Medicare. So the health
    care law scales back the payments to private insurers.  Hospitals, too, will be paid less if
    they have too many re-admissions, or if they fail to meet other new benchmarks for patient
    care.
  • So what this means, (according to the CBO) the cuts are not against beneficiaries (you) but
    to the insurance companies and hospitals.  Therefore, this is a good thing for you.

  • Sometimes one of the candidates has said that if elected, he plans to repeal the Affordable
    Care Act but during interviews, he has said that he will not. However, on more than one
    occasion, he has said that he "will only repeal parts of it."  He has also said that he will
    repeal Planned Parenthood.
  • If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, women will no longer receive these free* Well-
    woman visits, Screening for gestational diabetes, Human papillomavirus testing, Counseling
    for sexually transmitted infections, Counseling and screening for human immune-deficiency
    virus, Contraceptive methods and counseling, Breastfeeding support, supplies, and
    counseling, Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence services.
*NOTE: These are free and are covered with no cost sharing for new health plans.

  • Cuts to military spending is based on how much money the pentagon has asked for.  Thus,
    this alleviates any unnecessary spending.
*NOTE: although the pentagon requested a certain amount, there are still reserves just in case
additional funds is needed.

  • Obama has never apologized to the world for the actions of the U.S. nor has he ever
    apologized to terrorist.

  • During the debates, one of the candidates said that his opponent "doubled" the deficit, but
    the final Congressional Budget Office baseline report showed a fiscal year 2009 deficit of
    $1.19 trillion.  That figure does not account for any spending initiatives, such as the stimulus
    bill.  The fiscal 2009 deficit rose to $1.41 trillion and has remained above $1 trillion annually
    ever since.  But compared to what was inherited, the annual deficit has gone down slightly.
    CBO projects that for fiscal 2012, which has just ended, the fiscal 2012 deficit will be $1.09
    trillion. The deficit has instead been reduced by about 8 percent.

  • During the debates, one of the candidates said that his opponent's health care law would
    cause people to "lose their insurance" as the Affordable Care Act "goes into effect next
    year."  Fact is, they will not, but that an estimated 3 million people will reject their
    employers’ offer of insurance and turn instead to another source, such as the health
    insurance "exchanges" created under the Affordable Care Act.  Health Obama health care
    law. In many cases, they will do this because they consider the employer’s offering to be
    unaffordable or lacking too many features they need.
  • Created more private sector jobs in 2010 than Bush was able to do throughout his entire 8 years in office.
  • Appointed first Latino to the US Supreme Court
  • Promoted social responsibility through creation of serve.gov, a national database of volunteer opportunities
  • Implemented the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009: a $789 billion economic stimulus plan.
  • Although some Republicans have publicly ridiculed Obama for this, there are multiple photos of Republican
    Governors and Senators holding up those large checks they so graciously received and cashed.  The money has
    also been proven to have helped lower the unemployment rate in several of those Republican ran States.
  • Launched recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, providing transparency and allowing the public
    to report fraud, waste, or abuse
  • Developed stimulus package, which includes approx. $18 billion for non-defense scientific research and
    development
  • Reversed 'global gag rule', allowing US aid to go to organizations regardless of whether they provide abortions
  • Appointed more openly gay officials than any other president in US history
  • Signed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the
    manufacturing, marketing, and sale of tobacco for the first time
  • Cut prescription drug cost for Medicare recipients by 50%
  • Provided $12.2 Billion in new funding for Individuals With Disabilities Education Act
  • Extended Benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees
  • Congress has implemented tax cuts on 5% of Americans, but has not asked for tax cuts for the majority of
    Americans.
  • Implemented the Affordable Care Act and has so far been beneficial to 5 million families who are able to keep
    their children on their insurance plan until the age of 26 year old.  Additionally, the Affordable Care Act pays for
    women to receive preventive care such as Pap-Smears and Mammograms.  It also covers preexisting conditions.
  • Although these are all good things for The People, Congress has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more
    than 200 times.
  • (I do not know how much money is spent trying to reverse it.)
  • According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, unemployment is currently 7.8%.
  • Ford caps 2009 with 33% sales increase.  A first full year market gain since 1995.
Former governor Mitt Romney
MSNBC
CNN
President Barack Obama
Fox and Friends
(Disclaimer: I have only watched Fox & Friends once, but heard pieces of their show from another news outlet)
Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
Meet the Press
60 Minutes
PolitiFact
Bret Baier
(Disclaimer: I have never watched Bret Baier's show, but only heard pieces of his show from another news outlet)
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Shep Smith
(I truly enjoy Shep and the "G-Block")
Insure.com
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)
Tax Policy Center
Forbes Magazine
Political Facts are Based on the Sources Below
What President Barack Obama Has Done