Biden dominated the first half of the debate, conveying aggression, passion and conviction. He called Ryan's argument about reducing the defense cuts "malarkey" and used the word "stuff," instead of cursing Ryan out in a discussion on foreign policy. Biden brought his A-game and heated things up so much, that Ryan continuously took sips of water to stay cool.
However, there were a few incidences during the debate where the candidates went blow-for-blow in verbatim about a particular fact on the issues of healthcare, public education, unemployment and taxes.
Just in case you weren't sure, we did some fact checking to distinguish the fact from the fiction.
Healthcare: Will Obamacare cause 20 million people to lose health insurance?
During the debate, Ryan claimed that 20 million people will lose health care coverage once President Obama's Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" is implemented, but Biden adamantly denied this claim. The Congressional Budget Office's nonpartisan report revealed that 29 million more people will actually have health care by 2019 and that about 3 to 5 million workers will switch from employer-based plans to other forms of healthcare once the law is executed.
The New York Times reports:
[Ryan] was referring to a report the nonpartisan budget office put out in March on how the law would affect the number of people getting health insurance through their employer. But the report’s baseline estimate was that between three and five million fewer people, net, would get coverage through their job each year from 2019 through 2022 than would have been the case under prior law. And the report said that some of those people would choose to stop getting insurance through their employer, to take advantage of new federal subsidies that will help people with incomes up to four times the poverty level buy private insurance through new state- or federally-run marketplaces called exchanges.
The baseline projections in the report assume that many others, even if their employer stopped offering coverage due to the law, would also qualify for the new subsidies or for Medicaid, which will expand to cover more low-income people.
The report did predict that as many as 20 million fewer people could get employer-sponsored insurance under the law. But it was the most drastic of four possible scenarios it predicted, based on a range of assumptions.
Whose plan would leave seniors paying more out-of-pocket costs?
Both candidates accused each other of changing the Medicare system in a way that would hurt seniors. Ryan's plan would place limits on the amount of care and spending seniors can put forth by privatizing the system and offering what Democrats call "vouchers." According to the Congressional Budget Office, the monetary value of the voucher would erode, thus placing the burden of out-of-pocket costs on seniors.
The NYT reads:
Critics also warn that under Mr. Ryan’s plan, private insurers would try to sign up the healthiest seniors, leaving the sickest, most-expensive-to-cover elderly to enroll in the government program. That would boost the government’s costs and steeply erode the value of those recipients’ vouchers.
Education: Would Ryan's budget plan cut early childhood education for 200,000 children?
Biden accused Ryan's budget proposal of slashing major funding for the public education system and cutting early childhood education for 200,000 children. According to the secretary of education, Arne Duncan, the Republican congressman's plan would hurt minorities and low-income children by reducing spending by $2.7 billion. It would also put 38,000 teachers and aide's jobs at risk and jeopardize 30,000 special education teacher positions.
The Times reports:
Mr. Duncan estimated that that the Ryan budget could reduce spending on education for low-income, minority, rural and tribal children by $2.7 billion in 2014. He said that could affect 9,000 schools serving more than 3.8 million students, and jeopardize the jobs of as up to 38,000 teachers and aides. He said that aid to help students with disabilities could face $2.2 billion in cuts, which he said would translate to the loss of nearly 30,000 special education teachers, aides and other staff. And he said that some 200,000 children could lose access to Head Start.
Jobs: What's the status update on the unemployment rate?
During the debate, Ryan charged that the Obama administration has left 23 million Americans out of work. Biden quickly shut Ryan's claim down and accused him of not being up-to-date on the unemployment stats.
In actuality, when Ryan says 23 million people are jobless, he is referring to people working part time for economic reasons, people that are marginally attached to the labor force and job seekers that have not looked for a job in the past month, in addition to the number of unemployed Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Taxes: Who's tax plan would hurt the middle class?
The Vice President Joe Biden accused the conservative candidate's tax plan of benefiting the wealthy at the expense of the middle class. He said, "The only way you can find $5 trillion in loopholes is cut the mortgage deduction for middle-class people, cut the health care deduction for middle-class people, take away their ability to get a tax class people, take away their ability to get a tax break to send their kids to college."
The HuffPo reports:
According to a study by The Tax Policy Center, the math for the Romney/Ryan tax plan only really works if popular middle class tax cuts are eliminated. Still, the study has come under scrutiny because it was based on a variety of assumptions about the plan that the Romney campaign has yet to specify.
So there you have it - politicians may lie, but numbers and facts don't!