FactCheck.org is, as such groups go, one of the less obviously dishonest “watchdog” groups, but their knocks on Rudy Giuliani from the latest debate include some howlers. First, they attack Rudy for saying that Hillary proposed giving $5,000 to every baby born in the country when
Clinton told the Congressional Black Caucus on Sept. 28, “I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time, so that when that young person turns 18 if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college or maybe they will be able to make that down payment on their first home.” A campaign spokesman told The Associated Press that Clinton’s comment was not a policy proposal “but an idea under consideration.”
Note: this was an idea nobody else, to my knowledge, had proposed or asked her about; Hillary made this statement unprompted out of her own mouth, and did so clearly after giving it some thought. Simply because she backed away when the trial balloon attracted harsh criticism doesn’t immunize her from having floated it in the first place.
Then, they call Rudy a liar for saying of Hillary’s 401(k) giveaway proposal, “this one costs $5 billion more than the last one.” On what basis?
Giuliani also exaggerated when he said Clinton’s new proposal would cost $5 billion more than the $5,000-per-baby idea. She estimates that the new retirement plan proposal would cost about $20 billion to $25 billion each year, an amount she would finance by freezing the estate tax at its 2009 level. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 4,289,000 live births in the U.S. during the 12 months ending in February, the most recent year on record. The cost of giving each of those kids a $5,000 bond is $21.4 billion, which is actually more than the low end of Clinton’s estimate for her new plan.
In other words, Rudy’s a liar because he does not bow before the towering integrity of Hillary Clinton’s self-serving estimates of the costs of her own proposals? Paul Krugman would be proud. I file these under Crank’s First Law of Government Financial Forecasts: they are always, always wrong. (Also, even if her numbers are right, the high-end $25 billion estimate is nearly $4 billion larger than $21.4 billion, so we’re not talking a large discrepancy here with what Rudy said).
FactCheck also takes Rudy to task for saying that Hillary called the free market “destructive” when the words she really used (in a quote) were “the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation”.