Tuesday, June 14, 2011

More Lies From GOP Presidential Debate: Mitt Romney

More lies from GOP candidates at last night's debate:

Obama “didn’t create the recession, but he made it worse and longer. And now we have more chronic long-term employment than this country has ever seen before.”
--Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney

In the first part of this statement, Romney is reprising a line from his announcement speech, but we didn’t think it was accurate then. It is still not accurate now.

After all, National Bureau of Economic Research, the nonpartisan research organization that identifies recessions, last year declared that the recession ended in June 2009 — two years ago. So, with NBER saying the economy is now out of a recession, it is difficult to see how Romney can claim that Obama made it worse.

In the second part of his statement, Romney is riffing off a line from his new ad, which incorrectly asserted, “Long Term Employment Is Now Worse Than the Great Depression.”
That statement was based on an erroneous CBS News report which we debunked a few hours before the debate started. We awarded Romney two Pinocchios for using it.

Kudos to Romney for tweaking the wording so that it is somewhat more accurate. Long-term employment was surely worse in the Depression but there is no nationwide data to compare it with today. The percentage of people out of work for more than six months — about 45 percent — is the worst since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting data after World War II. So “ever seen” makes it ever so slightly technically correct.

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