Fact Checking the Candidates: Bill Flores and Timothy Delasandro

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Bill Flores

During an interview with KBTX Channel 3, Bill Flores made the following claim:

Claim: On cap and trade legislation Edwards could have “stood up in several committee sessions and said that we need to not let this get out of committee.”

Check: The American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454), was passed by House of Representatives in June of 2009, and has yet to be voted on by the Senate. Before being voted on by the House, HR 2454 was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committees on Foreign Affairs, Financial Services, Education and Labor, Science and Technology, Transportation and Infrastructure, Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Ways and Means. Congressman Edwards service on the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water, Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans' Affairs, and the House Committee on Budget. HR 2454 was not referred to any of the committees that Edwards is a member of, so it is doubtful that Edwards had any opportunity to object to the cap and trade legislation during a committee hearing.

Timothy Delasandro

During an interview with KBTX Channel 3, Timothy Delasandro made the following claims:

Claim: He is the only candidate that believes that the United States should withdraw from the United Nations.

Check: According to the campaign literature, none of the other four candidates has made withdrawing the United States from the United Nations an issue. Is criticizing the United States' membership in the United Nations a successful political strategy? According to a recent Gallup poll, only 26% of Americans feel that the UN is doing a “good job” compared to the 65% that believe it is doing a “poor job.” However, when asked if the United States should give up its membership in the United Nations only 13% believed that it should. Criticizing the UN might be good politics, but the United States leaving the UN is not a significant issue to most Americans.

More Below the Fold…Claim: Almost half of all health care dollars are spent through Medicare and Medicaid.

Check: According to one study, in 2008 government spending accounted for between 45% and 56.1% of health care spending in the United States. However, while it would be fair to say that half of all care dollars are spent by government programs it would be unfair to say that amount was spent exclusively by Medicare and Medicaid. According to a study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies, national health expenditures in 2008 totaled $2.3 trillion, or 16.2 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product. Medicare accounted for $469 billion and Medicaid accounted for $344 billion, which actually accounts for about 35% of all health care spending.

Claim: The stimulus has “not been helpful to the economy.”

Check: According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is keeping large numbers of Americans out of poverty in states across the country. In addition to boosting economic activity and preserving or creating jobs, the recovery act is softening the recession's impact on poverty by directly lifting family incomes. The American Enterprise Institute concluded in a recently published report that the economic stimulus worked and prevented the worsening of the recession, finding that the stimulus added about 4 percentage points to U.S. growth and that the economy would have contracted at about a 1 percent annual rate during the second half of 2009 without the stimulus. The claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was not helpful to the economy is factually inaccurate.

Claim: Fair tax would “reinvigorate the economy and bring jobs back from overseas.”

According to a report commissioned by the Bush Administration, in order to generate enough revenue the sales tax that would needed to be levied would be 34%, and this tax would need to be included on purchasing new homes, rent, doctors bill, utility bills; essential everything that the consumer needs to purchase. This tax would place the largest tax burden on the working class and middle class, which is not the way in which to reinvigorate the economy. According to studies by the Economic Policy Institute, most of the jobs that have been outsourced overseas are due to trade policies and not to tax policies.

Political and Social Thought…

to the Left of College Station

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  1. cap and trade
    You're right about Edward's poor ability to step up and stop cap and trade in committee hearings.  

    Flores' point was that Edwards didn't speak against cap and trade on the floor of the house, and Edwards didn't attempt to implement procedural hurdles to prevent the house bill from being passed.

    It's a silly distinction, but that's how modern politics operates.

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