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6/5/11

Associated Press 'Fact Check' Lies About Romney Economy Remarks

Romney said: "When [Barack Obama] took office, the economy was in recession. He made it worse. And he made it last longer." AP spun the facts to back up Saint Obama:

(AP) The gross domestic product, the prime measure of economic strength, shrank by a severe 6.8 percent annual rate before Obama became president. The declines eased after he took office and economic growth, however modest, resumed. The recession officially ended six months into his presidency. Unemployment, however, has worsened under Obama, going from 7.8 percent in January 2009 to 9.1 percent last month. It hit 10.1 percent in October 2009. A case can be made for and against the idea that Obama's policies made the economy worse than it needed to be and that the recession lasted longer than it might have under another president. Such arguments are at the core of political debate. But Obama did not, as Romney alleged, make the economy worse than it was when he took office.

So a little economic growth recently means Obama didn't make the recession longer?? Newsbusters gives the facts:

Woodward and Kuhnhenn themselves note that the unemployment rate has gone from 7.8% in January 2009 to May's just-reported 9.1%. Except for those who value sloth, that's a 1.3-point, 17% change in a "worse" direction.

The civilian labor force has shrunk by 492,000, even though the civilian 16-plus population has increased by almost 4.6 million. Baby Boomer Social Security retirements don't explain that away.

The labor force participation rate has dropped 1.5 points to 64.2%, the lowest rate in 27 years, while the employment-population ratio has fallen 2.2 points to 58.4% -- and it's not because there's been a sudden surge of voluntary housewives and househusbands.

2.42 million fewer people are working than were in January 2009, while 199,000 fewer are working compare to when the recession ended. Remember, this is per the Household Survey; the Establishment Survey's comparable numbers are -2.52 million since January 2009 and +550,000 since the recession ended. Here's a task for Woodward and Kuhnhenn: Figure out why there is such a post-recession disparity between the two surveys -- and for heaven's sake, do a better job that Paul Wiseman's pitiful effort on Thursday, where he compared numbers coming from the different surveys as if they came from the same data source.

13.9 million Americans, 1.93 million more than in January 2009, are counted as unemployed.

6.23 million Americans, over 530,000 more than in January 2009, say they are "not in the labor force, (but) want a job now."

Of the 550,000 jobs added since the recession ended per the Establishment Survey, 90%, or 495,000 of them, have been added at temporary help services. Seriously. Again per the Establishment Survey, temp employment is up by 277,000 since January 2009, while total employment is down by 2.52 million (i.e., non-temp employment is down by 2.8 million). If this took place during a conservative or GOP administration, "The Temping of America" would have been an hour-long documentary topic at every establishment media broadcast outlet by now.

AP is livid over Romney's criticism of Obama's "apology tour:"

(AP)Obama has not apologized for America. What he has done, in travels early in his presidency and since, is to make clear his belief that the U.S. is not beyond reproach... But there has been no formal - or informal - apology. No saying "sorry" on behalf of America.

Here are Obama's top 10 apologies about America to foreign nations. Are these not apologies, AP?

“In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe‘s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

“My job to the Muslim world is to communicate that the Americans are not your enemy. We sometimes make mistakes. We have not been perfect.”

“While the United States has done much to promote peace and prosperity in the hemisphere, we have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms.”

“I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions.”

“Unfortunately, faced with an uncertain threat, our government made a series of hasty decisions. I believe that many of these decisions were motivated by a sincere desire to protect the American people. But I also believe that all too often our government made decisions based on fear rather than foresight, that all too often our government trimmed facts and evidence to fit ideological predispositions.”

“In dealing with terrorism, we can’t lose sight of our values and who we are. That’s why I closed Guantanamo. That’s why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices. I don’t believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term that will make you less secure.”

“The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution. Our country still struggles with the legacies of slavery and segregation, the past treatment of Native Americans.”

“Too often, the United States has not pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors. We have been too easily distracted by other priorities, and have failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

“Don’t be discouraged that we have to acknowledge potentially we’ve made some mistakes.”

“There is also no question that Guantanamo set back the moral authority that is America’s strongest currency in the world.”

Romney said that foreclosures are "still at record levels" and that home prices are still falling. AP admits that home prices are falling but claims that rates of foreclosures fell. Yes, they fell a little bit recently, but they are still at record levels. If you count more than just the last year, AP, you will find that they are still at record levels. And sales of foreclosed homes are falling still. AP's defense is ridiculous.

AP is angry that Romney said Obama "raises their taxes, piles on record-breaking mounds of regulation and bureaucracy and gives more power to union bosses." AP gives a long list of sorry excuses for tax breaks that Obama supported, most of them Republican proposals. AP falsely claims that Obama gave "ambitious tax-cutting" measures. Not true, at all.

The U.S. deficit... prompted calls by some in President Barack Obama's administration, Congress and a bipartisan commission to limit tax breaks for home mortgage interest, charitable contributions, municipal bonds and retirement contributions....

In 2013, top earners also face additional levies on unearned income and wages to help pay for health care reform.

Mr. Obama has proposed raising income tax rates to as much as 39.6%, from 35%, for couples making more than $250,000 annually or individuals earning at least $200,000. Capital gains and dividends would be taxed at a top rate of 20%, up from 15%.

The highest earners face an additional 3.8% tax on unearned income such as realized capital gains, plus a 0.9-percentage-point rise in the Medicare payroll tax on wages starting in 2013 as part of the health care bill passed in March 2010.

For a married couple with two children in Connecticut, which has the third-highest state and local tax burden in the United States, the increase in rates that Mr. Obama has proposed, along with levies from health care reform, means their tax bill would increase 12.5% to $142,160 in 2013, from $126,410 this year, according to an analysis that Mr. Fleming ran for Bloomberg News.

The scenario includes interest payments of 5% on a $400,000 mortgage, he said. If the mortgage deduction is eliminated, the family's tax bill will increase to $150,080 in 2013, a 19% hike from this year, according to the analysis. -(http://www.investmentnews.com)

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