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FACT CHECK: One-sided accounts of Romney's record in latest Republican debate
WASHINGTON (AP) ' Newt Gingrich said Mitt Romney raised taxes as Massachusetts governor. Romney countered he cut taxes 19 times. Both were basically right, but decidedly one-sided, in the Republican presidential debate Monday night.
A look at some of the claims in the debate and how they compare with the facts:
GINGRICH: Romney "raised taxes."
ROMNEY: "We reduced taxes 19 times."
THE FACTS: Romney largely held the line on tax increases but there were notable exceptions. The state raised business taxes by $140 million in one year with measures mostly recommended by Romney. As well, the Republican governor and Democratic lawmakers raised hundreds of millions of dollars from higher fees and fines ' taxation by another name. Romney himself proposed raising nearly $60 million by creating 33 new fees and increasing 57 others. Romney won praise from anti-tax advocates by firmly backing income tax cuts ' and criticism over the business taxes and fees.
ROMNEY: "Three years into office, he doesn't have a jobs plan"
FACT CHECK: Like them or not, Presidential Barack Obama actually has proposed several plans intended to spur the economy and create jobs. The most well-known was his stimulus plan, introduced in February 2009, which included about $800 billion in tax cuts and spending.
At the end of 2010, Obama struck a deal with GOP congressional leaders on a package intended to stimulate hiring and growth. The deal cut the Social Security payroll tax, which provided about an extra $1,000 a year to an average family. It also extended an unemployment benefits program that provided up to 99 weeks of aid.
And in September, Obama introduced his most recent jobs plan, rolling it out in a speech to the full Congress in which he urged Congress to "pass it right away." It included $450 billion in tax cuts and new spending, including greater cuts to payroll taxes and tax breaks for companies that hire those who've been out of work for six months or more. The proposal also would have spent $50 billion to upgrade schools and included other infrastructure spending. Almost none of it has been passed into law.
ROMNEY: "We invested in well over 100 different businesses. And the people have looked at the places that have added jobs and lost jobs and that record is pretty much available for people to take a close look at."
THE FACTS: Romney's record as a venture capitalist at Bain Capital has been presented by his campaign highly selectively; namely, by detailing several big success stories and ignoring the job losses that resulted from Bain-owned plants and companies that closed or shrank their workforce. His overall record is not even close to being known, because it is so complex, many of the companies are private without the public disclosure requirements that big corporations have and his campaign has not released details.
Under scrutiny, Romney has stepped back from claiming that he created more than 100,000 jobs overall with his Bain investments. That claim was never substantiated. In the debate, he named four successful investments in companies that now ' a decade after he left Bain ' employ about 120,000 people, a more measured and accurate statement, but one that still does not account for losses elsewhere.
Associated Press writer Christopher S. Rugaber contributed to this report.