January 27, 2012 11:01 am ET filed under Blog
December 12, 2011 12:11 pm ET filed under Fact Check
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.
November 28, 2011 9:24 am ET filed under Blog
November 28, 2011 9:19 am ET filed under Fact Check
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.
November 21, 2011 10:12 am ET filed under Blog
November 21, 2011 10:02 am ET filed under Fact Check
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.
August 10, 2011 3:03 pm ET filed under Blog
July 25, 2011 2:11 pm ET filed under Blog
July 25, 2011 10:20 am ET filed under Blog
July 25, 2011 10:12 am ET filed under Fact Check
This week's Sunday shows were largely about the struggle to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. On Fox News Sunday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blamed Obama's policies for "out of control" spending without noting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recession, and the Bush tax cuts are the primary drivers of debt and deficits. He also touted the deeply problematic balanced budget amendment. On CNN, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) claimed that the House-passed GOP budget eliminated all corporate loopholes when it really secures tax breaks for big oil, all while necessitating a middle-class tax hike. Price also minimized the very serious effects of the checks that won't get paid out if the debt limit isn't raised by August 2nd. Later, Tim Pawlenty falsely claimed that President Obama is responsible for tripling deficits within his term. On Face the Nation, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) wrongly said that spending alone is the problem driving deficits. Finally, on Meet the Press, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) justified the GOP's efforts to obstruct debt ceiling negotiations by distorting credit rating agencies' warnings, and then blamed Democrats for the GOP-driven politicization of a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill.
July 18, 2011 10:38 am ET filed under Blog
July 18, 2011 10:21 am ET filed under Fact Check
The looming default crisis dominated the Sunday talk shows, which meant Republicans were busy misrepresenting their own proposals, the polling about their proposals, and the policies that put us in this mess to begin with. On NBC, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) claimed the GOP's balanced budget amendment scheme is the only way to satisfy credit raters about U.S. creditworthiness, which is simply not true. On ABC, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) pretended that polling supports the GOP's anti-tax zealotry despite at least 21 polls this year that show broad opposition to their ideological stance. On Fox, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) falsely claimed the GOP's scheme doesn't require even steeper cuts to the safety net than the House 2012 budget and unfairly laid the blame for our debt entirely at President Obama's feet, and Herman Cain lied about who pays top-end income tax rates. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani misrepresented recent economic history and exaggerated his own budget accomplishments in New York City, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) misled viewers about Social Security.
June 28, 2011 1:42 pm ET filed under Blog
June 27, 2011 11:12 am ET filed under Blog
June 27, 2011 10:39 am ET filed under Fact Check
The last Sunday of June saw GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) dominate the airwaves, making the rounds on Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation. On both, Bachmann repeated lies about health care reform's effect on jobs and Medicare, sentiments echoed by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on This Week. Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) falsely stated that even if the debt ceiling weren't raised, the country would not go into default, something most economists disagree with. On Face The Nation Bachmann falsely called the stimulus a failure and continued to baselessly blame President Obama for high gas prices. Lastly, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), fresh off his departure from the debt ceiling talks, was on Fox News Sunday to falsely claim that tax increases would hurt the economy, a claim that the previous decade proves false.
June 23, 2011 1:27 pm ET filed under Blog
May 16, 2011 10:49 am ET filed under Blog
May 16, 2011 10:39 am ET filed under Fact Check
The Sunday political talk shows were full of conservatives spouting misinformation about everything from energy policy and taxes to the debt and recent economic history. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) falsely claimed the economy isn't creating jobs, despite 2.1 million new private-sector jobs added over 14 straight months of growth. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled on Social Security, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed the Bush tax cuts haven't hurt the national debt picture, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) exaggerated the spending cuts in the House GOP budget, which total a mere $155 billion after you factor in the deep tax cuts the plan offers to the wealthiest. Each of those three claimed that ending tax subsidies for oil companies would increase gas prices, but it won't — and Kyl had to blatantly misrepresent a Congressional Research Service report to support his claim. And in a statement that sums up GOP insincerity on a negotiated debt-reduction agreement, Ryan rewrote the last decade of Republican policy by claiming that "the whole reason we're running into this debt limit so soon is because of the spending spree that has occurred over the last two years."
May 04, 2011 3:00 pm ET filed under Blog
April 20, 2011 1:10 pm ET filed under Blog
March 30, 2011 2:34 pm ET filed under Blog
March 14, 2011 9:57 am ET filed under Blog
March 14, 2011 9:50 am ET filed under Fact Check
Natural disasters nearly crowded out political chatter on the Sunday talk shows, but conservative guests dutifully plugged talking points into the spaces between stories about leaking reactors and coastal devastation in Japan. Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) are still clinging to the notion that the Recovery Act didn't lead to the current economy recovery, and each man blamed President Obama for the spike in gas prices that's followed recent political turmoil in the Middle East. McConnell also claimed the government's done nothing to address entitlement costs, although the Affordable Care Act took a number of steps to reign in the health care spending that's darkening our fiscal horizon. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-TN) falsely insisted that tax cuts increase revenues on Fox News Sunday, while Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) misled Meet the Press viewers about Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) campaign rhetoric.
February 02, 2011 2:02 pm ET filed under Fact Check
Speaking on the Senate floor yesterday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) erroneously claimed that Gov. Jan Brewer's decision to cut Medicaid funding for certain kinds of transplant surgeries was somehow related to the Affordable Care Act, and went so far as to say that it's "a kind of rationing that's required by ObamaCare." But in fact, Gov. Brewer announced her plans to 'roll back' Medicaid coverage in her State of the State address in January 2010, well before the Affordable Care Act was even signed into law.
December 22, 2010 5:39 pm ET filed under Video
December 22, 2010 3:31 pm ET filed under Blog
December 20, 2010 5:25 pm ET filed under Blog
December 20, 2010 10:18 am ET filed under Blog
December 20, 2010 10:17 am ET filed under Fact Check
With "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the DREAM Act each put to bed, the Sunday shows shifted focus squarely to the New START arms-reduction treaty with Russia. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed that Condaleeza Rice wants the Senate to amend the treaty, but Rice actually called for changes to the resolution of ratification — a move more in keeping with the Senate's "advise and consent" role. Furthermore, Kyl's underlying concerns about missile defense are not grounded in fact. On CNN, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed the treaty's verification provisions for his decision to vote 'no,' and accused Democrats of "rushing" the process. But that's foolish — we've already gone more than a year without nuclear inspectors in Russia because the Senate is dragging its feet on START, and the vetting process that began in the spring has been unusually thorough compared to previous arms treaties. Elsewhere, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said the judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional got it right despite an error in his decision that one conservative legal expert called "obvious." And Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) ignored the Bush administration's terrible fiscal legacy in claiming that "every bit" of our debt problem comes from entitlements.
December 15, 2010 11:48 am ET filed under Blog