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Republican debate takes liberties with fact

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Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015 9:39 PM

The Republican candidates met once again, and Fact Check found several claims worthy of a closer look.

Here are some of the highlights from the debate:

Former CEO Carly Fiorina claimed that 92 percent of the job losses in President Barack Obama’s first term belonged to women, but women – and men – gained jobs by the end of Obama’s first term.

Women have gained about 3.5 million jobs between January 2013 and September 2015. That accounts for 49 percent of the overall job gains during Obama’s second term.

Businessman Donald Trump disputed CNBC’s Quick that he had criticized Sen. Marco Rubio and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for supporting H-1B visas.

In fact, Trump’s immigration plan, posted on his website, is critical of both of them. Quick also said that Trump has called Rubio Zuckerberg’s “own personal senator,” which Trump again denied, claiming “I never said that. … Somebody’s doing some really bad fact-checking. I never said that.” But Trump’s own immigration plan, posted on his website, appears to criticize both Zuckerberg and Rubio, and does contain the line Quick mentioned. Trump also claimed his campaign was 100 percent self-funded, but more than half of the money his campaign has raised came from supporters’ contributions.

Fiorina blamed the Affordable Care Act for a large disparity in firm closings versus openings every year. But closings outnumbered firm births by the widest margin in 2009, a year before the law was enacted.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said it was “total propaganda” to say he was involved with a controversial nutritional supplement company, but he appeared in promotional videos for the company, touting its products.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said that Social Security would be insolvent in seven to eight years. But even after the trust funds are exhausted – estimated to be in 14 to 19 years – the program can still pay out 73 percent of benefits for several decades.

Sen. Ted Cruz said women’s wages have declined under Obama, when in fact the latest figures show their wages have increased. Even adjusted for inflation, current women workers’ median wages increased by more than 1 percent from 2008, in which inflation-adjusted wages for men remained flat.

Rubio claimed CNBC’s John Harwood was wrong that a Tax Foundation analysis of his tax plan found those in the top 1 percent of earners would get nearly twice the gain as those in the middle.

Harwood was right.

The Tax Foundation concluded that Rubio’s plan, when scored “dynamically” to account for expected economic growth, would result in an after-tax income increase of nearly 28 percent for those in the top 1 percent, while those in the middle income deciles – 40 percent to 50 percent and 50 percent to 60 percent – would see their after-tax income rise by 15.7 percent and 15.3 percent, respectively. People with incomes in the lowest 10 percent would see the greatest percentage gains, nearly 56 percent.

Looking at the plan on a “static basis,” which does not assume that tax cuts in the plan would spur economic growth, the Tax Foundation said the average gain in after-tax income would be 3.9 percent. But the biggest winners – on a percentage basis – would be those at the bottom and top of the income scale. For example, the analysis stated, the gain would be 11.4 percent for the 10 percent to 20 percent decile, 11.5 percent for the highest 1 percent, but only 1.7 percent for the 50-60 percent decile.

Chip Tuthill lives in Mancos. Website used: www.factcheck.org.

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