The Republican presidential hopefuls squared off in Milwaukee on Tuesday night for the fourth GOP debate, but in an event branded as an economic policy forum, not all of the candidates’ remarks were on the money. Here’s how accurate some of the candidates’ claims checked out to be from the Fox Business Network debate:
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson: “Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases.”
In some cases over the years, Carson’s statement held up, but it was not, in fact, the rule as there were times when the federal minimum wage was raised and employment rates increased. Politifact found that from 1978 to 2009, of the 11 times the minimum wage was raised, it resulted in job growth six times and job losses five times. However, to Carson’s credit, economists in general are split over whether increasing wages leads to employment rate growth.
Businessman Donald Trump: “Let me just tell you that Dwight Eisenhower, good president, great president. … Moved 1.5 million illegal immigrants out of this country.”
The deportation operation that Trump is referring to is “Operation Wetback,” which sent undocumented immigrants to Mexico on cargo boats, leaving them in obscure locations.
“Donald Trump's model for deporting undocumented immigrants 'warmly and humanely' is an unabashedly racist program in which nearly a million human beings were terrorized by our government and treated with less dignity than farm animals,” Rolling Stone said.
Trump’s figure of 1.5 million is also off, according to the Texas State Historical Association.
“It is difficult to estimate the number of people forced to leave by the operation. The INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] claimed as many as 1.3 million, though the number officially [counted] did not come anywhere near this total," the association said. "The INS estimate rested on the claim that most undocumented immigrants, fearing apprehension by the government, had voluntarily repatriated themselves before and during the operation.”
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas claims his “simple” 10 percent flat-tax rate plan would “cost less than virtually every other plan people have put up here, and yet it produces more growth.”
The Tax Foundation took a look at all of the Republican candidates’ plans and found that Cruz’s would likely not produce more growth. Two other plans from Sen. Marco Rubio and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal would result in more gross domestic product growth in the next decade. The GDP under Cruz’s plan would grow by an estimated 13.9 percent in the next 10 years while Jindal’s plan would grow the GDP by 14.4 percent, and Rubio’s plan would increase the GDP by 15 percent.
Rubio “For the life of me, I don't know why we stigmatize vocational education. Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders than philosophers."
Rubio’s remarks on the financial prospects of welders created some of the most social media buzz of the night, but Salary.com showed his claims were not accurate. The median annual salary for philosophy instructors came in at around $42,000 while an intermediate-level welder rakes in about $41,000. There's an even larger disparity when advanced-level workers in each profession are compared. Philosophy professors' incomes average $90,000 while a senior welder makes around $50,000.