Let’s face it: Political jargon isn’t always easy to follow. One of the toughest parts during the first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney on Wednesday night (October 3) was trying to figure out which candidate had his facts straight on the issues that matter to you most.
As part of MTV’s Power of 12, we live-tweeted the debate with help from the non-partisan experts over at FlackCheck.org, who helped us suss out the accuracy of Romney and Obama’s talking points — all in real time. When either of the candidates made a statement that wasn’t entirely accurate, we called it out and kept them honest.
Here are the most interesting findings posted by FlackCheck and MTV:
Romney: Running on Empty
The former Massachusetts governor said gas prices have doubled under Obama. Did they? According to FlackCheck, they did — but only because gas prices were unusually low when Obama was inaugurated due to the recession and financial crisis. The current average price for regular gasoline is $3.78, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a bit more than double the $1.84 average on the week Obama was sworn in. But the average exceeded $4 a gallon for seven weeks during summer 2008, and it has never reached $4 under Obama.
Obama: Money-Back Guarantee?
The president said nearly 13 million Americans will get a rebate from insurance companies through the Affordable Care Act, but FlackCheck says most rebates will go to employers, not individuals. Health and Human Services says closer to 4 million people in the individual market would get a rebate under the plan. In addition to a check or credit, the rebates could come in the form of a reduction in premiums or through an employer providing some type of rebate to employees, so don’t wait patiently by the mailbox for that windfall.
Romney and Obama: Health Care v. Health Care
Obama called Romney and running mate Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan a “voucher” system. Not exactly, FlackCheck says. In fact, the Romney/Ryan plan is structured the same as the system Obama’s health care law set up for subsidizing private insurance for people under age 65. Meanwhile, Romney said health insurance premiums have gone up by $2,500 under Obama, while FlackCheck reports that the actual increase has been $1,700, most of which was absorbed by employers and only a small part of which is attributable to Obama’s new health care law.
Stick with MTV’s Power of 12 throughout the 2012 election season.