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10/12/2004

Learn the facts before the tomorrow's debate

Tomorrow night’s presidential debate will focus on such key working family issues as good jobs, overtime pay, health care and education. The president may repeat some claims of accomplishments we’re just not feeling in our pockets and that don’t square with the realities working families face every day.

CLAIM: President Bush has created 1.7 million new jobs.
FACT: America has lost a net 1.6 million private-sector jobs since January 2001, according to the government’s own statistics. Yes, we’re beginning to gain jobs, but we’ve lost even more. We haven’t even seen enough new jobs created to keep up with population growth. In reality, Bush is the first president since Herbert Hoover to preside over a net loss of jobs.

CLAIM: Unemployment is down.
FACT: It’s down from its highest point because so many unemployed workers have given up looking for jobs. If they were still looking, Krugman says, the unemployment rate would be a whopping 7.4 percent.

CLAIM: The recession and terrorist attacks caused today’s budget deficit.
FACT: The president’s massive tax cuts for the rich are responsible for about two-thirds of the federal deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office. President Bush inherited a $230 billion budget surplus and in less than four years turned it into a $422 billion deficit that our children still will be paying off years down the road.

CLAIM: Tax cuts have created jobs and helped working people.
FACT: The president’s tax cuts have been a bonanza for the rich, not the middle class. Most of the tax benefits went to the wealthiest, with one-third lining the pockets of people whose incomes exceed $1 million a year.

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