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Fact Checker: The Presidential debate

By Kyle Benjamin, Weekend Anchor, kbenjamin@keci.com
Published On: Oct 04 2012 05:27:20 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 05 2012 09:34:46 AM MDT
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The first Presidential debate had claims and accusations flying in Denver.

President Obama: "I've put forward a specific $4 trillion deficit eduction plan."
That's true if you combine the 10-year impact of already approved cuts with the 10-year impact of his budget.

But the President is also counting $1 trillion in savings by drawing down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nonpartisan budget experts call this a bookkeeping gimmick, because the government borrowed money to pay for those wars.

Governor Romney: "I'm not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut, that's not my plan. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit."

Romney has proposed making the Bush-era tax cuts permanent for everyone, plus slashing all rates an additional 20 percent, repeal the alternative minimum tax, and permanently repeal the estate tax.

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center says Romney's plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years.

Romney says his plan would be paid for by closing loopholes and getting rid of deductions but he hasn't given specifics.

President Obama: "Are we going to double down on the top-down economic policies that helped to get us into this mess, or do we embrace a new economic patriotism that says America does best when the middle class does best?"

Governor Romney: "The people who are having the hard time right now are middle- income Americans. Under the President's policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. They're just being crushed. Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300."

But that's not entirely right. The census reflects the decline in median household income. During the presidents first three years it was $2,492, and that number even adjusts for inflation.

President Obama: "So if you're -- if you're 54 or 55, you might want to listen 'cause this -- this will affect you. The idea, which was originally presented by Congressman Ryan, your running mate, is that we would give a voucher to seniors and they could go out in the private marketplace and buy their own health insurance. the problem is that because the voucher wouldn't necessarily keep up with health care inflation, it was estimated that this would cost the average senior about $6,000 a year."

The President used an old cost from Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan's original Medicare proposal, but left out information from a more recent Ryan proposal that ties the size of the voucher to the second-cheapest medicare exchange plan around.