The first Democrat debate started on Wednesday, gathering 10 out of 20 candidates who were seeking the support for the presidential elections in 2020. Let’s compare their statements with how things actually stand.
Fast Fact Check on Some Things Stated in the Democrat Debate
The candidates tackled some of the burning issues from the economy to climate change and the disastrous immigrant policy of the current president.
Although they stuck to the general tone, most of the time when they went into specifics, they didn’t make serious factual mistakes. However, we are going to focus on some claims Democrat candidates made that didn’t check out.
Misconceptions About Climate Change Effects
The Washington governor stated answering the climate change question. He said that they were the first generation to feel the horrifying effects from climate changes, and they would be the last one capable of making a difference.
Not quite true. The president is elected every five years, meaning that Governor Inslee presumed the deadline for fighting climate change is at best case was 2030, when the future president would leave the White House after completing their second mandate.
Things are not so radical, though. This is one of the misinterpretations of the U.N. report on climate change, focused on the year 2030, mentioned in the Paris Agreement. While experts warned that things would get worse with every half a degree Celsius over the years, nobody said that the Earth’s climate would be destroyed beyond repair after that date.
One of the scientists who worked on the report claimed that no one could say for sure that the climate was going to go wild if we didn’t do anything to alleviate the harsh consequences of climate change. On the other hand, there was no way to predict that we would be out of danger beyond 2030.
Former Texas Senator, O’Rourke, went one step further saying that if people did all they could and managed to lower the temperature for 2 degrees, the American government would keep its promise and live up to the nation’s expectations.
Unfortunately, this candidate got it all wrong. According to the Paris agreement, the two-degree decrease goal referred to the pre-industrial era when the Earth didn’t warm at this pace. Nowadays, this goal is lowered to one degree Celsius — the fact O’Rourke clearly wasn’t aware of.
Equal Pay Debate Full of Factual Mistakes
There were many false or semi-true statements on this topic too. So we are going to try to address these claims.
Julian Castro, a high ranking official in Obama’s administration, said he would do anything in his power to implement equal pay for all. He pointed out that women should be paid as men for identical work. The fact is that the Equal Pay Act already exists and it has been in action since1963.
Tim Ryan focused on the vast discrepancy between the rich and the poor, saying that over 60% of the working population didn’t get the raise in almost forty years. The privileged 1%, on the other hand, held 90% of the national wealth. Facts show a different picture. The stats show that 80% of the lowest-paid workers in America had a salary raise of 32% since 1973. This is still lower than the doubling income increase the top-paid 5% have experienced during the same period. We have to notice also that the wealthiest one percent of the population holds 32% of the national wealth.
O’Rourke stated that the economy worked in favor of the richest and the corporations, giving the example of the enormous tax cuts of $2 trillion, pointing out that we lived in the time of extreme inequality.
The tax cut isn’t that huge actually. The economy experts expect the tax income to decrease by $1.5 trillion in the next decade. There is some truth, though, in O’Rourke’s claim about the wealthiest being the most pampered by Trump’s economy. The individuals rather than corporations will get the most of these tax cuts.