Questioning the candidates

As the 2016 election quickly approaches, it is hard to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying.

As the presidential hopefuls spew out promise after promise for when they plan to take office, one must wonder how much of this is actually true.  Some candidates will twist the truth for their own benefit, and some will continue to lie time and time again.  Between the six presidential hopefuls, two Democratic and four Republican, many promises and statements have been made, but how many of them are actually true? Politifact provides several sources that set the bar straight.  

A popular topic among the Republican party is the deportation of illegal immigrants from Mexico, “back to their country.”  Donald Trump has suggested that he would build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and that it will be done easily and inexpensively.  However, that is not the case.  It would cost $16 million per mile, and the U.S.- Mexico border is almost 2,000 miles long.  Donald Trump claims that he would make the Mexican government pay for the wall, but in reality the U.S. government would have to pay for it.  It would cost the U.S. $750 million per year to build the wall, according to CNBC.  That is just the price tag to demarcate the border, never mind deporting approximately eleven million illegal immigrants residing in the U.S..

Like other mass deportations in the U.S., such as the Trail of Tears, the U.S. will likely have to deploy the military to find the illegal citizens, transfer them to holding camps, and then find a mode of transportation to remove them from the country.  This would cost the United States government about half a trillion dollars.  The question for Donald Trump and the rest of the the Republican candidates is, where do they plan to find the money and the time to deport 11.2 million people and to build a wall on the 2,000 mile border?  

Donald Trump has been known to deceive people and slander thousands of individuals just in one statement.  He continues to make promises, but some promises either cannot be fulfilled, or they are just flat out lies.  During  his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary, Trump claimed that unemployment is at 42 percent, when in reality, it was at 4.9 percent in January 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  There are even lies in Trump’s TV ad showing illegal immigrants from Mexico “swarming over the border,” but it is actually footage from a Spanish enclave in Morocco.  I guess that Mexico and Morocco are easy to get mixed up, right?      

Ted Cruz agrees with Trump in that he would also deport 11.2 million illegal immigrants, and he also supports Trump’s idea to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  No matter which candidate you look at, their ideas are still unrealistic and will cost the United States trillions of dollars.

Cruz has also claimed that Obamacare is the nation’s “biggest job killer”.  However, according to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that claim is completely wrong.  Not only have jobs increased since Obamacare passed the number of unwilling part timers has decreased.  The month after Obamacare passed, April 2010, unemployment was at 9.9%, as of December 2015, unemployment is at 5%.  In  2010, unwilling part timers was at 9,178, in 2015 it was 6,022.    

Cruz also claimed that Obama could admit Syrian refugees to the United States without a background check, but that is also false.  According to David Bier, the director of immigration policy, the immigration bill directly stated that all refugees would be subject to background checks.  The average screening time for a refugee is a year to a year and a half and it involves background checks, interviews and confirmations from several federal agents.

On the Democratic side of the presidential race, there is a sharp contrast in the amount of lies told by the candidates.

At one of Clinton’s rallies, she questions opponent Bernie Sanders’ authority on discussing health care and claims that she “has no idea” where Sanders was while she was trying to pass a health care reform in 1993 and 1994.  However, a video shows Sanders standing right behind Clinton as she introduced her health care reform.

 Clinton also claims that not one Republican candidate backs the idea of immigrants becoming citizens.  The only candidate who is still in the race that has in fact claimed this is Ted Cruz, but at the time Clinton stated this, Chris Christie, Ben Carson and Jeb Bush all supported a route to citizenship. 

Bernie Sanders claims that not one Republican will recognize climate change.  However, when he made this accusation, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio all recognized that climate change is a problem in the modern world.  Bush, Christie, Fiorina and Kasich have all called for a plan to combat climate change.

 Sanders has also claimed that Americans work the longest hours in the world; this is false because although we work more than most, we do not work more than all other nations.  According to the International Labour Office the US ranked eighth out of twenty eight nations for the longest work hours.  Topping the list was Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Mexico, Iceland and Italy.  On average, U.S. citizens work 1,792 hours per year, and although the average is higher than most other countries, it is not the highest.      

There are lies being told in both parties, some being bigger lies than others.  Each presidential hopeful continues to tell lies to get more supporters on their side.  No matter the party, people need to be aware of the truth behind the lies that the candidates tell.  Politifact offers great sources and fact checks for truthful or false statements that the candidates say.