Ryan said Social Security and Medicare were going bankrupt. “These are indisputable facts,” he said. While most economists think that left unchanged, Medicare threatens to swamp all other government spending. Social Security, however, is nowhere near going bankrupt and can easily be fixed with changes such as raising the retirement age to 70, raising the caps on how much income is subjected to payroll taxes dedicated to Social Security and changing how benefits are indexed to account for inflation and wage growth.
Biden questioned whether Ryan had changed his view on abortion over time. Ryan, a conservative Catholic, has tried to scale back access to abortions or end it altogether. He previously said he would only allow abortion in cases when the life of the mother is at risk. But when he became Romney’s running mate, he said he was "comfortable" with the former governor’s view. Romney supports abortion rights in the case of rape and incest.
Obama and Biden supports abortion rights. Romney previously supported abortion rights, but now says states should make those decisions.
Biden repeated charges made earlier by Obama that the Romney-Ryan tax plan would add almost $5 trillion over 10 years to the deficit. While correct, Biden neglected to say that the report he cited by the non-partisan Tax Policy Center stressed that the $5 trillion number did not include the offsetting revenue gains from ending or scaling back popular tax deductions. The Romney-Ryan campaign has not said what deductions it would end or save.
Ryan said that his ticket could preserve Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, and then cut them by an additional 20 percent. These lost tax revenues would be offset by ending or scaling back a number of popular tax deductions. Ryan said the ticket would deny those loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers. That goes beyond what Romney has said. Romney has advocated having the rich get less of a deduction, but has not said the wealthy would be denied deductions for mortgage interest, state taxes and the like.
Hannah Allam, Matt Schofield, Tony Pugh and Kevin G. Hall contributed.