5 Dubious Claims From the GOP Debate

Fact-checkers say welders don't make more than philosophers
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2015 5:19 AM CST
5 Dubious Claims From the GOP Debate
Donald Trump, left, talks to Ben Carson during a commercial break at the Republican presidential debate at the Milwaukee Theatre on Tuesday in Milwaukee.   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

As long as politicians keep speaking, fact-checkers will have work to do—and Tuesday night's Republican debate kept them as busy as ever. Some of the more dubious claims from the candidates, via the AP, the Washington Post, and the New York Times:

  1. Marco Rubio: "Welders make more money than philosophers." This is way off, according to PayScale. The pay analysis firm says philosophy majors have starting salaries of around $40,000, which is close to the median for welders throughout their careers, the Times notes. But by the time the philosophy grads are mid-career, they're taking in an average of $81,200.
  2. Ben Carson, talking about Syria: "You know, the Chinese are there, as well as the Russians, and you have all kinds of factions there." The Carson campaign declined to clarify this statement to the Post, but there have been no reports of Chinese troops active in Syria.
  3. Donald Trump: "I will tell you, I don't have to give you a website because I'm self-funding my campaign. I'm putting up my own money." Trump is no longer self-funding his campaign: According to his most recent campaign finance filing, he gave his campaign $100,000 in the most recent quarter. It received another $3.8 million in unsolicited donations.
  4. Carson again: "Every time we raise the minimum wage, the number of jobless people increases." Economists are split on whether raising the minimum wage to $15 will be a job-killer, the Times reports, and six of the 11 minimum-wage hikes since 1978 were followed by job growth, according to a PolitiFact analysis.
  5. Jeb Bush: "We have to recognize that small businesses right now, more of them are closing than are being set up." That statistic is out of date now, and it was out of date when Marco Rubio used it in the last debate, the Post notes. A Brookings Institution report in 2014 found that more businesses closed than opened between 2008 and 2011, but the trend started to reverse in 2012.
Click to read about who analysts think won—and lost—the debate. (More Republican debate stories.)

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