FACT CHECK: You can’t have it all, sorry
By CALVIN WOODWARD, Associated Press –
WASHINGTON (AP) — Is there any impulse greater in politics than to promise people the sun and the moon?
Each in their own way, the Republican candidates heading into Super Tuesday primaries are telling Americans they can have “it all” — plentiful energy without pain at the pump, jobs without deeper debt, thriving factories like the days of yore, a renaissance at every dusty turn.
Call it the can-do spirit or, as Barack Obama liked to put it, “Yes we can.”
No independent economist believes manufacturing will come rushing back against the global economic tide if the government merely backs off on taxes and regulations. The vastly complex energy market is not a Norman Rockwell painting that a president can create with brush strokes. Taps on a cold calculator tell a different story than the rosy accounts of balanced budgets just ahead.
In promising to unleash an energy production boom leading America to the promised land of cheap fuel, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich (who promises a moon colony) routinely ignore that the nation is already experiencing such a boom — apparently without making a dime’s worth of difference at the gas station.
Energy has become a prime source of contortions and distortions in the campaign as Republicans hold out false hopes to pressed consumers and Obama takes too much credit for developments that are beyond any president’s influence. But there are other sources of have-it-all promises, too.
A look at some of those promises and how they stack up against the facts:
ROMNEY: “I’m going to deliver on more jobs, less debt, and smaller government. … He (Obama) raised the national debt. I will cut, cap, and balance the budget. He passed Obamacare. I’ll repeal it. He lost our AAA credit rating; I’ll restore it.”
THE FACTS: Romney’s tax-cut and spending plans fall far short of balancing the budget or making much of a dent, if any, in the national debt, … Read More