Fact Check

The Romney campaign ad says Obama’s policies are a $4,000 tax hike on the middle class. But their evidence is a study from the American Enterprise Institute that looks at public debt. The campaign makes a giant leap when it assumes the debt will be serviced with increased taxes on all income levels. Politifact doesn’t know how the tax code will spread around the pain of paying for the debt.

Obama is proposing tax increases only on higher income households. Finally, debt payments would rise even if Romney wins the presidency. If you accept the Romney’s logic, then you’d have to accept that Romney too plans tax increases for the middle class. The campaign distorts the meaning of the study to score political points.

After getting criticized for saying that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent on government” and “believe the government has a responsibility to care for them,” Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign fired back by accusing President Barack Obama of supporting redistribution of wealth. Reasonable people can disagree about the wisdom of it, but redistribution has been a basic principle of the U.S. tax system and many federal programs, including some such as veterans benefits that have long attracted support from Republicans.

A Romney ad says that if Obama is reelected “the debt will grow from 16 trillion to 20 trillion dollars.” Under the Ryan Budget as embraced by Romney, the total debt would still hit $19 trillion. That would be $1.3 trillion less than current projection by Obama’s OMB, if all of Ryan’s unspecified spending cuts could be identified and implemented.

Romney claims that “20 million Americans could lose their employer-based health care.” That’s grossly misleading. Under its “baseline” projection — the one it considered most probable — CBO figured 3 million to 5 million fewer persons would have employer-sponsored health care. Some would simply choose to turn down health coverage through their employer to “instead choose to obtain coverage from another source,” such as federally-subsidized policies purchased through new exchanges.

Romney claims that “energy prices will continue to go up” if Obama is elected. Possibly, but FactCheck has no ability to predict the future, but neither does Romney. His campaign bases this claim on the recent history of gasoline prices. The fact is that oil prices are set on world markets.The reason prices are soaring is “mainly geopolitical,” according to noted authority Daniel Yergin, chairman of IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates and author of several books on world oil markets.

Romney claims Obama supports “$716 billion in Medicare cuts that hurt current seniors.” That’s a reference to the 10-year total of cuts contained in the Affordable Care Act in the future growth of spending, not an actual cut below current spending levels. Most would be reductions in the future growth of payments to hospitals and other providers (not physicians). Romney fails to note that his running mate, Ryan, proposed to keep those same cuts.

Mitt Romney repeated a false claim Thursday night that Chrysler Group may move all Jeep vehicle production to China. Gualberto Ranieri, Chrysler’s vice president of communications, criticized those stories Thursday saying “Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China.” Chrysler is investing $500 million at its Toledo North Assembly Plant and plans to add 1,105 new workers by the third quarter of 2013 to build an all-new SUV that will replace the Jeep Liberty.