2011's Top Five Immigration Myths

December 19, 2011 11:19 am ET

As the 2012 GOP presidential primary race continues and as fallout over state-based anti-immigrant laws occurs, anti-immigration rhetoric has heated up on both the state and national level, with public figures perpetuating a number of myths that previously circulated primarily among xenophobic organizations. Political Correction has rounded up this year's top five myths about immigration, which focus on immigrant voter fraud, prosecutorial discretion, in-state tuition laws, building a border fence, and mass deportations. A closer look at these myths shows what you might expect — that they're based in expedient political rhetoric and not on facts.

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Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 18, 2011

December 19, 2011 9:24 am ET

This week on the Sunday political talk shows, topics of discussion ranged far and wide. On Fox News Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney advocated for block granting Medicaid despite the harm that would do to those who rely on the program. On This Week, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) distorted the content of a CBO report on income inequality. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), appearing on Meet the Press, shared several false claims: that employers are concerned about "uncertainty," and that the Keystone pipeline would create 20,000 jobs. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), also on Meet the Press, did the same, falsely asserting that there's no evidence the payroll tax holiday created jobs and that Iran has threatened the U.S. and Israel with nuclear weapons.

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Republicans: Payroll Tax Holiday Isn't "Stimulating" Enough

December 12, 2011 12:11 pm ET

A prominent group of Republican lawmakers are opposing Obama administration efforts to extend a payroll tax holiday — due to expire on December 31 — that would continue putting more money in the pockets of working Americans. Opponents lean heavily on the argument that the current payroll tax holiday has not had a sufficiently stimulative effect on the economy, but experts disagree, arguing that the holiday has helped bolster the recovering economy.

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Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 11, 2011

December 12, 2011 9:59 am ET

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a major focus on the debate over the payroll tax cut extension. On Face the Nation, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) attacked President Obama and "Newt Romney" — a name for Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney she came up with during Saturday's debate — over the payroll tax cut, saying there's no evidence the cut helped create jobs. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the tax cut an 'emergency measure' and said it wouldn't be necessary if President Obama's "failed" policies hadn't resulted in a higher deficit and jobless rates. McConnell, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also pushed for the Keystone Pipeline using discredited job creation numbers.

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Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 4, 2011

December 05, 2011 9:52 am ET

On the first Sunday of December, GOP presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus each brought their share of falsehoods to the table. On CNN's State of the Union, Bachmann dismissed the economic significance of the payroll tax holiday even though economists explain that putting more money in the hands of workers would give an appreciable boost to the economy. She also appeared on Fox News Sunday, where she falsely claimed that businesses aren't hiring because they don't have enough money. During his appearances, Priebus did his best to attack the Obama administration's record, distorting the reasons behind November's unemployment rate drop on Meet the Press. He also tried to blame President Obama for deficits that are a legacy of Bush-era Republican policies and for a rising poverty rate that's the result of the recession.

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Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 27, 2011

November 28, 2011 9:19 am ET

On the last Sunday of November, Republicans had a lot of airtime — and lots of lies. On Meet the Press, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform regurgitated the false Republican talking point that Obama's stimulus plan "killed jobs." Freshman Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) made an appearance on This Week to claim the deficit is not a revenue problem, a statement disputed by historically low revenue intake. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News Sunday to hype the "Toomey Plan", claiming that it would have raised revenues while paying down the debt, leaving out that the plan trades regressive tax cuts for only small revenue increases. Lastly, Herman Cain appeared on State of the Union to claim that unemployment benefits shouldn't be extended because they are a 'distraction' from the real problem of a lack of economic growth. But the Congressional Budget Office has found that unemployment benefits are a "timely and cost-effective" way to spur on the economy.

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Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 20, 2011

November 21, 2011 10:02 am ET

Sunday's political talk shows focused almost exclusively on the efforts of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, with a number of the committee's members appearing on separate shows. Democratic committee member Sen. John Kerry (MA) pointed out on Meet the Press that "we are not a tax-cutting committee. We're a deficit-reduction committee." However, that point doesn't seem to have gotten through to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), all of whom complained that the only thing stopping a deal was a refusal by Democrats to extend the costly and regressive Bush tax cuts. For the second time in as many weeks, Hensarling argued that the Bush tax cuts were not one of the largest drivers of the debt, while Kyl claimed that not extending them would wreck the economy. Toomey went so far as to say that that the federal government does not have a revenue problem but only a spending problem.

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"Pro-Legal Immigration" Sen. Rubio Channels Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups

November 17, 2011 1:46 pm ET

Last month, freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has asserted that the Republican Party "cannot be the anti-illegal immigration party. We have to be the pro-legal immigration party." However, despite preaching a tolerance for immigrants and immigration, Rubio has often agreed with and pushed for policies that are bolstered by extremist and racist anti-immigrant voices. Many of the comments he has made echo those made by anti-immigration activists and Southern Poverty Law Center-labeled hate groups.

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Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 13, 2011

November 14, 2011 10:29 am ET

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal headlined the political talk shows on Sunday, but Republican leaders still found plenty of time to air dishonest talking points about conservative policies. GOP super committee members Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) misled viewers about the root of the debt problem the committee is trying to solve and what Republicans have proposed to address it. In particular, both lawmakers severely distorted the impact of the failed Bush tax cuts. Elsewhere, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared that Republicans want to "reduce taxes on every single American," ignoring the party leaders demanding that the poor pay higher taxes, and struggling presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that "what we need to win this war on terror" is the reinstatement of Bush-approved torture techniques.

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Ain't That A Shame: Pat Boone And 60 Plus Attack Sen. Sherrod Brown With Recycled Health Care Lies

November 09, 2011 10:56 am ET

In a new ad from the 60 Plus Association, renowned Top 40 crooner Pat Boone misrepresents the role, responsibilities, and powers of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) set up by the Affordable Care Act to slow the dangerous rise of health care costs. But Boone, whose cover of Fats Domino's "Ain't That A Shame" was a No. 1 hit in 1955, is behind the times. It's been well established for a year now that IPAB doesn't have the power to ration care or change Medicare benefits, and the board's members have to be confirmed by the Senate. Furthermore, while Boone claims IPAB's savings will "fund more wasteful spending" and accuses Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) of "ignoring the problem" with Medicare's finances, the changes in the health care law actually extended the life of Medicare. Boone leaves one golden oldie about $500 billion in Medicare cuts to the narrator — but it's still not true.

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