Getting facts, policies straight with presidential candidates

Jacob Ennis, Managing Editor

There are some claims about Obama and Romney that may be true, may be false or may just be confusing.

Romney said “Obama hasn’t even passed a budget”

This is somewhat true, since the President doesn’t pass a budget, Congress does. What Romney was referring to with this statement is the fact that Obama’s FY2013 budget hadn’t been passed by Congress yet.

According to 31 U.S.C. 1105 the President must submit their budget to Congress no later than the first Monday in February every year. This budget contains budget numbers for the coming fiscal year, along with the four years after. Once passed by Congress, the budget takes place in October of that year.

So in October of 2009 is when the FY2010 budget began – the Obama Administration’s first budget.

Speaking of budgets, Romney has made claims about out of control government spending

With the most up-to-date numbers from the FY2013 mid-session review taken from the Office of Management and Budget, government spending actually went down with the Obama Administration’s first budget. The last time this happened was with the 1955 budget.

• 2010 spending fell 1.8 percent.

• 2011 spending rose 4.1 percent.

• 2012 latest numbers show a 1.4 percent increase.

• 2013 latest numbers show a 2.7 percent increase.

When compared to inflation numbers taken from the Congressional Budget Office, government spending actually has decreased while the Obama Administration’s budgets have been in effect.

• 2009 – 2.63 percent

• 2010 – 1.63 percent

• 2011 – 2.93 percent

• 2012 as of Aug. 1 – 1.69 percent

While it’s true that the deficit is currently running at over a trillion dollars, it was at its highest with the Bush Administration’s last budget in FY2009 when it increased by just under $1 trillion from FY2008. Government spending for the same time period also increased by 15.34 percent.

Obama said that Romney is calling for a $5 trillion tax cut

This number comes from taking the 20 percent tax cut Romney has promised, along with extending the 2001-2003 tax cuts, and adding it all up over 10 years. Also, according to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, Romney’s tax plan calls for the top income-earning tax bracket to be reduced from 35 to 25 percent, which is a 3 percent larger cut than the rest of the five tax brackets.

While a 20 percent tax cut sounds great, it leaves the question of how the lost tax income will be made up. Romney’s plan calls for cutting back tax preferences, but no specific ones are mentioned except the ones in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which is the 2009 stimulus. These include education credits, earned-income credits and child credits – credits that will affect low and middle-income earning families.

It’s important to make an informed vote.