On Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry gave his first major economic policy address in Washington. While he declined to weigh in on issues involving Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or even his ideal corporate tax rate, the former Texas governor and did make some concrete claims about the economy. Bloomberg decided to fact-check some of them.
One-quarter of African Americans live under the poverty line
True: Census figures show about 27 percent of Americans who identify as "black alone" lived below the poverty line as of 2013. Perry also said that number has increased under President Obama, which is also true: Since 2008, the poverty rate for blacks rose about 2.5 percentage points, although increases also occurred among whites. Poverty rates declined for Asian Americans.
Texas has recently had the highest high school graduation rate for African Americans, 13 points above national average
High school grads make 50 percent more than non-high school grads
Understatement: Actually, Perry seems to have low-balled the impact of a high school diploma. Median weekly earnings for the first quarter of 2015 average $885 for those who graduated high school or got even more education, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median is $478 for those with less than a high school diploma. That's an 85 percent disparity.
“A four-year degree at the typical private university in this country costs $170,000”
Hard to say: There aren't a lot of good measures of tuition costs, and it's unclear which he's using. If you take the College Board's estimate, it would come out to just under $125,000. However, the College Board's numbers don't factor in most room and board and other costs that could actually put the right number over $170,000.