Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 4, 2010

April 05, 2010 10:04 am ET

Easter Sunday was a light day for political talk shows, but Republican misinformation still found a home on Fox News Sunday. Sen. Jon Kyl continued the Republican effort to misrepresent public opinion of health care reform and repeated the false claim that the stimulus failed to create jobs.  Meanwhile, Rep. Kevin McCarthy wrongly claimed that Democrats haven't focused on job creation.

Fox News Sunday

CLAIM: Sen. Jon Kyl Falsely Claimed The Recovery Act Had "Very Little Effect."

SEN. JON KYL: In terms of stimulus, I think what Republicans will do is look very carefully at any more spending plans because, as it turns out, we have spent hundreds of billions of dollars to very little effect. 

FACT: The Recovery Act has created up to 2.4 million jobs and put America on the road to recovery.

CBO: The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Has Created Up To 2.4 Million American Jobs. According to CNN: "The Congressional Budget Office attributes between 800,000 to 2.4 million jobs and 1.2 to 3.1 percentage points of economic growth to stimulus." [CNN, 1/13/10]

  • Top Economic Research Firms Agree That The Recovery Act Created Jobs. As reported by the New York Times, "Just look at the outside evaluations of the stimulus. Perhaps the best-known economic research firms are IHS Global Insight, Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Economy.com. They all estimate that the bill has added 1.6 million to 1.8 million jobs so far and that its ultimate impact will be roughly 2.5 million jobs. The Congressional Budget Office, an independent agency, considers these estimates to be conservative." [New York Times, 2/16/10; emphasis added]

CBO: The Recovery Act "Added Between 1.0 Million and 2.1 Million" Jobs In the Fourth Quarter Of 2009.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, "CBO estimates that in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2009, ARRA added between 1.0 million and 2.1 million to the number of workers employed in the United States, and it increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by between 1.4 million and 3.0 million." The CBO added that the Recovery Act, "[l]owered the unemployment rate by between 0.5 percentage points and 1.1 percentage points." [Congressional Budget Office, February 2010]

One Year After The Recovery Act, America Is On The Road To Recovery.  Below is a graph prepared by the Speaker's office showing job losses per month:

[Office of the Speaker, 4/2/10]

CLAIM: Sen. Jon Kyl Wrongly Asserted That "Every Poll" Showed The American People Opposed Health Care Reform.

SEN. JON KYL: Every poll showed significant opposition to the health care legislation.  By 2 to 1, the American people said stop it from passing.

FACT: Polls show the American people closely divided, but most Americans either support the Affordable Care Act or wish it went further.   

Gallup Poll: 49% To 40%, Americans Support Passage Of Health Care Reform.  According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll, when asked whether they thought the House passage of health care reform was a "good thing" or a "bad thing," 49% of Americans said "good thing," 40% said "bad thing," and 11% had "no opinion."  [Gallup.com, 3/23/10]

CNN Poll: 52% Of Americans Support Health Care Reform Or Wish It Went Further.  According to a CNN poll, when asked about their opinion of the health care reform package: 39% of Americans supported it, 13% opposed it because it wasn't liberal enough, 43% opposed it because it was too liberal, and 5% had no opinion.  Therefore, 52% of Americans either support health care reform or wish it went even further.  [CNN.com, 3/22/10]

March Kaiser Poll: Americans Support The Current Health Care Reform Package.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation: "The March Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the public still divided on health reform legislation, with 46 percent of Americans backing the reform proposals on Capitol Hill, 42 percent opposing them and 12 percent saying they aren't sure. Six in 10 Americans say they have heard little or nothing about budget reconciliation. And many people continue to struggle with health costs, with nearly one in five saying cost increases have caused them or their employer to switch to a less comprehensive health plan." [Kaiser Family Foundation, March 2010]

CLAIM: Rep. Kevin McCarthy Said That Democrats Aren't Focused On Job Creation

REP. KEVIN MCCARTHY: They shoved down health care without the American people being for it...they continue to not focus on job creation.

FACT: In addition to the Recovery Act, which created up to 2.4 million jobs, Congress passed a jobs bill in March.

President Obama Signed Jobs Bill Into Law In March.  As reported by the Associated Press: "President Barack Obama has signed into law a package of tax breaks and spending designed to give the nation a jobs boost. In a sunny Rose Garden ceremony, Obama said the legislation will help the private sector start hiring again. It is the first of several jobs measures promised by Democrats this year. Obama called it essential but 'but by no means enough.' The legislation includes about $18 billion in tax breaks and $20 billion into highway and transit programs." [Associated Press, 3/18/10]

  • Rep. McCarthy Voted Against The HIRE Act. On March 4, 2010, Rep. Kevin McCarthy voted against the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. [HR 2874, Vote #90, 3/4/10]