August 08, 2011 10:01 am ET filed under Blog
August 08, 2011 9:46 am ET filed under Fact Check
The highlight of yesterday's Sunday political talk shows was Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) deceptive performance on Fox. Ryan misled on a range of topics, from the causes of the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, to the drivers of that debt, to President Obama's policy positions, to the reasons businesses aren't expanding today, with plenty of stops in between. By comparison, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) dishonesty about Afghanistan and Social Security, Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) bogus economic statistics, and Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) deceit on deficits under President Bush and Democrats' willingness to cut spending were barely even blips on the radar.
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.
July 11, 2011 11:30 am ET filed under Blog
July 11, 2011 11:09 am ET filed under Fact Check
This week's Sunday political talk shows focused largely on the looming default crisis, with a chorus of Republican leaders singing the GOP talking points on the negotiations. In the wake of Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) reported rejection of President Obama's proposal of trillions in deficit reduction for an increase in the debt ceiling, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) dishonestly told Fox News Sunday viewers that "Nobody is talking about not raising the debt ceiling." Also on Fox, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) defended his demand for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution by misleadingly stating that 49 states are required to balance their budgets every year. On CNN, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) misrepresented Senate Democrats' proposal for lowering the debt and wrongly claimed that federal revenues went up as a result of the Bush tax cuts. And on NBC's Meet the Press, presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty unleashed a series of false attacks on President Obama's economic record.
July 05, 2011 9:36 am ET filed under Blog
July 05, 2011 9:35 am ET filed under Fact Check
The pre-Fourth of July Sunday shows featured a lot of talk about America's involvement overseas, particularly in Afghanistan and Libya, but the GOP lawmakers found time to squeeze in some tired misinformation about the economy as well as a few new falsehoods. On CNN's State of the Union, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) claimed that the American people "don't want compromise" on the budget and debt ceiling, but polling shows Americans are amenable to combinations of tax increases and spending cuts. He also minimized the dangers of a default, even though economists and the financial sector warn that even a short default could prove economically catastrophic. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) spent much of his airtime bashing President Obama, claiming that the president ignored his own bipartisan fiscal commission's report in his State of the Union address and that Obama hasn't put forward a debt reduction plan of his own. Both of these are false. In addition, Cornyn blamed "the president and his party" for the unemployment rate even though the Recovery Act has helped slowly begin to turn the unemployment picture around from a place where it was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month.
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 20, 2011 10:10 am ET filed under Blog
June 13, 2011 10:01 am ET filed under Blog
June 13, 2011 9:43 am ET filed under Fact Check
Sunday saw multiple GOPers blaming President Obama for job losses that are rightly blamed on President Bush's recession and pretending that Obama policies haven't started to turn the job market around. Republicans have never stopped misleading people about the impact of the Recovery Act, but ignoring two million new private-sector jobs since February 2010 is shameless. Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) each offered one jobs lie or another. Pawlenty claimed that tax cuts pay for themselves (they don't), that President Obama is "out of ideas" on economic and entitlement issues (false), that we "have to" cut Social Security (nope), that the Affordable Care Act cut $500 billion from Medicare (wrong again), and that he didn't really leave a $6 billion deficit behind at the end of his term as Governor of Minnesota (nice try). Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) falsely claimed on CBS that the GOP Medicare plan doesn't affect current seniors, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told CNN that ending oil subsidies will increase gas prices, and Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) told CNN that the debt ceiling deadline isn't real because "the global economy will understand" if we default.
June 06, 2011 10:34 am ET filed under Blog
June 06, 2011 10:09 am ET filed under Fact Check
The first Sunday in June saw potential GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) dominating the misinformation in the Sunday talk shows. On Fox News Sunday, Palin distorted the truth about the economic recovery, blasting the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing efforts as ineffective and claiming that we've "hit a brick wall," when in fact economists agree that rounds of bond-buying easing helped stabilize the economy and that May's jobs numbers are merely a road bump. She also lied about the source of April's positive job-creation numbers, left out some key information about the U.S.'s corporate tax rate, and distorted Moody's warning about raising the debt ceiling. Palin and Barbour both had lots to say about the Republican budget proposal — all of it false. They both suggested that no one but Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has offered a viable plan to save Medicare, even though the Democrats have discussed building on reforms in the health care law in order to contain costs and save the program. Palin claimed the GOP plan will "save" Medicare (but it won't) and that it doesn't affect current seniors (but it does). Barbour repeated the old falsehood that the GOP plan will give seniors options just like those of Congress (which it won't). He also attacked the Obama administration with claims that it has helped Wall Street at the expense of Main Street; that President Obama is responsible for high gas prices; and that health care reform discourages job creation. The facts do not support those claims either.
May 31, 2011 11:02 am ET filed under Blog
May 31, 2011 10:39 am ET filed under Fact Check
The Sunday political talk shows cranked out their usual smorgasbord of misinformation and talking points this weekend. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled NBC viewers about the relationship between President Bush's tax cuts and our current national debt, and implied that President Obama has raised taxes when the opposite is true. On CBS, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed the House GOP's "Path to Prosperity" budget will "save" Medicare (though it would in fact replace the entire program with undervalued health care vouchers) and deflected all criticism of the GOP's plan by claiming that "Democrats have not put forward any plan whatsoever," even though that's not true. Cantor capped his appearance by exaggerating the debt reduction in the GOP plan by about $6 trillion. 2012 hopeful Tim Pawlenty told ABC viewers the president is "doing nothing" on Medicare, even though that program's trustees say President Obama's signature health care law extended the life of the program by eight years. And on Fox, freshman Rep. Allen West (R-FL) falsely claimed that 'only Democrats' have voted to cut Medicare.
May 23, 2011 11:18 am ET filed under Blog
May 23, 2011 10:52 am ET filed under Fact Check
The absurd ginned-up right-wing outrage over President Obama's reiteration of a long-standing tenet of mainstream Middle East peace plans continued on Sunday morning, even as the president drew applause from the crowd at AIPAC for repeating his call for a Palestinian state based on "the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps." Newt Gingrich, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) each misrepresented the president's words in order to attack him. Honest conservatives were no easier to find on domestic policy issues either. McConnell joined Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in claiming the House GOP budget 'saves Medicare' (although it in fact replaces the program with something utterly different) and that the White House would ration seniors' care (another falsehood). McConnell also claimed tax cuts aren't driving the debt and lied about President Obama's position on the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, Ryan claimed the Republican Medicare scheme polls better when you explain the details (nope), insisted Democrats haven't put forth any debt reduction plans (wrong again), and said his plan cuts $6 trillion in spending when on net it only cuts $155 billion. On CBS, Gingrich repeated an exaggeration of his record as Speaker of the House. And, not to be outdone, pizza magnate Herman Cain misled Fox viewers about the Fair Tax and claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling would increase "market confidence," even though the market is saying the opposite.
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 09, 2011 10:19 am ET filed under Blog
May 09, 2011 9:51 am ET filed under Fact Check
The right wing deployed its war-on-terror heavy hitters to Sunday's political shows to proclaim that waterboarding — or "enhanced interrogation" — was what got us to Osama bin Laden. Former Vice President Dick Cheney (R) said those methods got us "the early leads" while his daughter Liz claimed CIA Director Leon Panetta credits the bin Laden intelligence to harsh interrogations, Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) insisted they played "a significant role," and former Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld (R) said "it's clear" that the interrogation program "worked." But the pro-torture right protests too much; there's no evidence "enhanced interrogation" led us to bin Laden, and Panetta's comments were not so clear-cut as Liz Cheney claimed. Meanwhile, on CNN, former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) misled viewers about Democratic debt-reduction plans and claimed — wrongly — that the Bush tax cuts haven't helped the wealthy or hurt the rest of us.
May 02, 2011 10:25 am ET filed under Blog
May 02, 2011 10:03 am ET filed under Fact Check
Hours before President Obama announced U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama bin Laden, more pedestrian and partisan news ruled the Sunday morning airwaves. On Fox, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) falsely blamed $4 trillion of debt on President Obama and then incorrectly claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling wouldn't be a big deal. On ABC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) tried to defend his budget by claiming people don't like it because there is "misinformation" swirling around and not because it dismantles the social safety net. Elsewhere on Sunday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) each claimed that the U.S. needs a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, an idea rejected by experts on both sides of the aisle. And on NBC, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) dishonestly claimed that the Ryan Budget would increase funding to Medicare, while criticizing the Affordable Care Act for cutting Medicare, a claim which is also untrue.
April 25, 2011 9:35 am ET filed under Blog
April 25, 2011 9:32 am ET filed under Fact Check
On Easter Sunday, two Republicans expressed the same dangerous, sweet-sounding idea about the debt limit. According to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), we needn't worry about raising the limit because the Treasury can still make interest payments without borrowing further. That may be music to voters' ears, but economists say that such a move would undermine the recovery and wipe out investor confidence in the U.S., causing the economy to spiral downward. Coburn went on to falsely claim that the president has not included entitlement reform in his debt-reduction plans. Elsewhere on Sunday, would-be 2012 candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) told Fox that the GOP's Medicare plan is "identical" to the Affordable Care Act and wouldn't cost seniors anything extra, while Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AL) told CBS that the plan does not replace traditional Medicare with a voucher system. None of these claims is true.
April 18, 2011 10:07 am ET filed under Blog