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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact Florida: Fact-checking Mitt Romney's visit to St. Petersburg

Mitt Romney visited St. Petersburg last week, hammering home the issues of fiscal responsibility and government efficiency.

PolitiFact Florida fact-checked two things Romney said during his appearance.

National debt has grown so large, Romney said,  that debt and unfunded liabilities together total $520,000 per household. We looked into the  eye-popping number and found a mixed picture. Romney is counting all government debts and promises going forward, including all future claims on Medicare. Our reporting explains why this isn't the most accurate way to account for public debt. We rated the statement Half True.

Romney also said that government is so inefficient that there are "49 different federal job training programs that report to eight agencies." We found Romney was mostly on track here. A smaller subset of programs account for most of the money spent and people trained, however. We rated his statement Mostly True

In an interview a few days after the St. Petersburg stop, Romney said that when he was governor of Massachusetts, "we didn’t just slow the rate of growth of our government, we actually cut it." We looked into the state's budget numbers, though, and found spending increased. We rated his statement False.

You can read all of our fact-checks of Mitt Romney and Barack Obama at

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 2:55pm]


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