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The seven things we learned from the Democrats

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The morning after the televised Democratic debate, we took a look at seven facts from the event.

1. “It’s not a critique for me to say that Donald Trump’s policies have hurt millions of people.”

During the debate, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand made a surprisingly unsubtle swipe at Donald Trump. “We’ve spent more money trying to stop him than in trying to protect people from getting poisoned,” she said.

The real estate mogul has been criticized for his proposal to block sales of a particular measles vaccine at gunpoint. He has also said that millions of people are living in a “bubble” because of their religion.

On the latter claim, there is no evidence that people are refusing to vaccinate their children out of political convictions. But they are, a little, refusing to vaccinate themselves.

2. “For example, the tax cuts passed in the last Congress benefitted only the wealthiest one percent of the American people.”

That, apparently, was the point of the answer on taxes. On taxes, many of the Democrats who spoke during the debate supported the border adjustment tax, which would hit wealthy people but not low- and middle-income people.

“There is no big benefit to working families,” said former Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Some of the Republican tax cut is targeted at low-income people, but much of it is for corporations and the wealthy.

3. “I will stop giving billions and billions of dollars every year to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.”

How would Gillibrand do that? No one knows.

Investigations are underway about whether AT&T paid Apple and other companies too little in taxes. Apple has announced plans to move some operations to Ireland and possibly shut down a number of manufacturing plants.

4. “We have a huge trade deficit with China, the largest ever recorded by any country. And yet, we also have no tariffs on Chinese products that are coming in here. How does that make sense?”

Gillibrand’s summary is accurate, but the numbers she is citing do not cover the whole $500 billion trade deficit between the United States and China. It’s an indicator of the impact of Chinese imports, not necessarily how many there are.

5. “The number of prisoners who’ve come out of prison who have been convicted of murder, have been convicted of rape.”

That’s a stretch. On a popular website used by crime-prevention organizations, there were nearly 400,000 people who were on death row in the United States, as of September. Fifty-six states have the death penalty, and not every person on death row is convicted of murder or rape.

The other 3,300 or so people are convicted of murder or rape. Yet, according to the website, less than 400 are convicted of either rape or murder. About 40 percent of people on death row are innocent. Many, maybe most, are never put to death.

6. “This war on coal is the biggest, most destructive thing that we’ve done since the Great Depression.”

This didn’t change anyone’s mind. In fact, it seemed to bolster Gillibrand’s argument that the economy could use some improvement. That wasn’t the message from the other candidates.

7. “I will fight for Dreamers every single day.”

This was just another recognition that Donald Trump is among the most aggressive opponents of immigrants. The name Dreamers is not actually a federal government program, but instead, it is a reference to a concept in the “DREAM Act” — the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

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