Fact checking the third presidential debate

Fact checking the third presidential debate

Posted by at 12:45 AM ET, 10/23/2012

(This is an expanded version of material that originally appeared in the Oct. 23 print edition of The Washington Post.)

Foreign policy is generally a difficult area to fact check — differences can be more of opinions than numbers — but that did not stop President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney from making questionable claims.

“Just a few weeks ago, you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now…. You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day.”

— Obama

“There was an effort on the part of the president to have a status of forces agreement, and I concurred in that, and said that we should have some number of troops that stayed on. That was something I concurred with.”

— Romney Continue reading “Fact checking the third presidential debate”

Federal pay losing ground compared to private sector, report finds

Federal pay losing ground compared to private sector, report finds


The pay gap between government employees and private-sector workers grew by about 8 percent this year in favor of private-sector workers, the Federal Salary Council announced Friday.

FSC, which assesses the locality pay program annually, concluded federal employees earn 34.6 percent less pay on average than their private sector counterparts. In 2011, that number was 26.3 percent.

The council attributes the growing gap to the continued federal pay freeze as well as a new formula the Bureau of Labor Statistics uses to track employment and salary figures. Continue reading “Federal pay losing ground compared to private sector, report finds”

Durbin: Don’t Let ‘Bainport’ Be Future of U.S. Manufacturing


Durbin: Don’t Let ‘Bainport’ Be Future of U.S. Manufacturing

10/17/2012; Mike Hall

Photo of Bainport courtesy of peoplesworld Flickr photostream.

Mitt Romney won’t come to “Bainport” and meet with the workers whose jobs are being shipped overseas by Sensata Technologies. Sensata is owned by outsourcing pioneer Bain Capital, where Romney was a founder and former CEO.

But Tuesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) visited the tent city set up across the street from the Freeport, Ill., Sensata plant that will shut down as soon as the rest of the equipment follows the 170 middle-class jobs on the way to China—where Sensata workers earn about 99 cents an hour.

“This should not be the future of manufacturing jobs in the United States,” said Durbin. “We can do better.” Durbin spoke with the workers—many of whom were forced to train the Chinese workers who will take their jobs. Durbin says executives at companies like Romney’s Bain are: Continue reading “Durbin: Don’t Let ‘Bainport’ Be Future of U.S. Manufacturing”

The Government Does Make Jobs and I Wish Everyone Could Take One

The Government Does Make Jobs and I Wish Everyone Could Take One

By Kim Z Dale, Wednesday at 12:35 pm

One of the recurrent issues in the presidential race is the question of who does and should make jobs. Mitt Romney has repeatedly said, “Government does not create jobs.” I’m sorry, Mr. Romney. The government does create jobs. They are good ones, and our democracy would be stronger if everyone took a government job for a while.

I got a master’s degree under the CyberCorps Scholarship for Service program. Yes, that means that tax dollars paid for me to go to school. I await your angry comments. However, this was not an outright gift. I needed to do a 10 week internship with a government agency during my program then work for at least 6 months for every semester of school. For me that ended up being two years at the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

While I was still working on my degree, former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill spoke at my school. He talked about being inspired as a kid hearing President Kennedy‘s call to service. You know the one: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” He credited that speech with inspiring him to do community service and eventually accept a job in government. Continue reading “The Government Does Make Jobs and I Wish Everyone Could Take One”

Fact checking the second presidential debate

Fact checking the second presidential debate

Posted by at 02:24 AM ET, 10/17/2012

(This is an expanded version of material that originally appeared in the Oct. 17 print edition of The Washington Post.)

We heard some oldies but goodies in Tuesday night’s feisty debate between President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney. Here are some factual highlights — or lowlights:

“When Governor Romney said we should let Detroit go bankrupt, I said we’re going to bet on American workers.”

— Obama

“He said that I said we should take Detroit bankrupt. And that’s right. My plan was to have the company go through bankruptcy like 7-Eleven did and Macy’s and Continental Airlines and come out stronger. And I know he keeps saying, you want to take Detroit bankrupt. Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did.”

— Romney

“What Governor Romney said just isn’t true. He wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open. And we would have lost a million jobs.”

— Obama

This interesting exchange is drawn from a headline — “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” — on an opinion article written by Romney for the New York Times. But he did not say that in the article. (He repeated the line, however, on television.) Continue reading “Fact checking the second presidential debate”

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