Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Truth-O-Meter tests claims by Jon Runyan, Cory Booker

Newark Mayor Cory Booker delivers a speech at a May 4 event. Go to 1:00:00 to hear his comments on New Jersey's prison population.

Claims by a Republican and Democrat hit opposite ends of the Truth-O-Meter this weekend.

In case you missed it, Republican Jon Runyan’s claim about Medicare disappearing in eight years if nothing is done to shore up solvency concerns earned a False on Sunday. Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a  Democrat, earned a True on Monday for his claim that nearly two-thirds of New Jersey’s prison population is black even though blacks represent just 13 percent of the state’s total population.

Runyan claim

Runyan, who represents parts of southern New Jersey, made his comments during a May 4 interview with Michael Aron on NJTV’s "On the Record."

Runyan spokesman Drew Fasoli said the congressman meant to say that "‘Medicare as we know it’ would be gone and that as a consequence (there) could be a drop in the level of coverage" if its solvency isn’t addressed.

PolitiFact New Jersey found that one of Medicare’s two trust funds is set to run out of assets in 2024, but incoming tax revenues would still cover more than 60 percent of projected costs for decades to follow, according to estimates released in April by the trustees overseeing the funds. The second trust fund would remain solvent indefinitely, the trustees said.

Booker claim

The mayor made his claim in a May 4 speech he gave at a forum held by the American Federation for Children, a group that advocates for school choice.

We found that Booker’s numbers are accurate, based on data from the state corrections department and U.S. Census Bureau.

Data from the state corrections department shows New Jersey housed 23,810 people in all of its correctional facilities as of Jan. 3. Of those, 61 percent or 14,469 people are black. Data from the census bureau shows that 13.7 percent of the state's population is black.

To comment on this story, go to NJ.com.