An ad from the Obama campaign claims Massachusetts ranked No. 1 in state debt per person when Mitt Romney was governor. It’s true, but there’s less there than meets the eye. Massachusetts has historically been a high-debt state. Massachusetts has ranked either first or second in debt per capita in each of the past 11 years. It was second when Romney took office, not a far leap to first place. One could even argue that Romney slowed the growth rate of long-term debt compared with the four years before he took office.
A visually striking new ad from a Republican Senate candidate provides a stark image of the U.S. debt problem — and almost gets the numbers right.
The 30-second spot hit the airwaves in Wisconsin April 7. It shows GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde climbing up the foothills of an Everest-like graph depicting the soaring federal debt.
Hovde’s scary-looking chart is accurate. But as he speaks, he exaggerates both the degree of current borrowing, and how U.S.
Q: How much has the federal debt gone up under Obama?
A: During his first three years in office, it rose $4.7 trillion, an increase of 45 percent. Partisan graphics circulating via email and Facebook are both incorrect.
Michele Bachmann argued that “my facts are accurate” at the Dec. 15 debate, but a few days later, she got several facts wrong. On “Meet the Press” the presidential candidate had a couple of exchanges with host David Gregory over the validity of her statements on Social Security and the debt. Among the inaccuracies:
Bachmann said she didn’t support the payroll tax cut because “it denied $111 billion to the Social Security trust fund”and “put senior citizens at risk.”
Joe Biden mistakenly claimed Americans own 85 percent of U.S. Treasury securities during his visit to China. Americans own 54 percent of the U.S. public debt — that is, the amount of debt held by the public. They own 69 percent of the total debt, which includes money the U.S. government owes itself.
At several stops in China, Vice President Biden sought to reassure the Chinese that their investments in U.S. treasuries are safe.
President Obama's communications director said we’ve "never" been in danger of defaulting before. That's not true. Congress has come close to failing to raise the debt ceiling before defaulting more than once in recent years, under both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer appeared on CNN's "John King USA" on July 26, and he told guest-host Jessica Yellin that "in the 200-plus years of our country, we've never been in a situation where we have been in danger of defaulting on our obligations."