Claim: A new advertisement endorsed by Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney that is airing on KLAS-TV Channel 8 includes an excerpt from the first presidential debate. Romney states: "Look at the evidence of the last four years. We got 23 million people out of work or stopped looking for work. They're suffering in this country. The president would prefer raising taxes."
Verdict: Partially true and partially misleading. Data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics for September, the latest available, included the following breakdown: 12.1 million people were unemployed; 8.6 million were working part time because their hours were reduced or they couldn't find full-time jobs; and 2.5 million were considered marginally attached to the workforce but had stopped looking for jobs. That's 23.2 million people.
But the only evidence the ad provides to back Romney's claim that President Barack Obama "would prefer raising taxes" is a graphic sourced to the American Enterprise Institute. The graphic reads: "Under President Obama: $4,000 tax hike on middle-class families." The institute, a conservative think tank, is hardly neutral since it has been advocating on behalf of Republicans for decades. The graphic is based on an institute study, released Oct. 2, on the potential impact mounting national debt under Democrat Obama could have on taxpayers. The study's authors conceded that debt can be serviced by reducing spending instead of by raising taxes. That means the potential tax hit is mere speculation.
Secondly, Obama has said he would allow Bush-era tax cuts to expire only for the wealthiest Americans. He has never said he would prefer raising taxes on all Americans.
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