In our last installment we looked at McCain’s pronouncements on spending cuts to help balance the budget. In Part II, we examine what he’s said on a subject that might be more pleasing to many Americans: lowering taxes. We found exaggerations and distortions here, as well.
McCain says in a new TV ad: “Let’s give every American family a $5,000 refundable tax credit” to buy health insurance. Sounds good. But McCain failed to mention how existing employer-sponsored health benefits would be affected.
Q: Does the government really make more in taxes from the sale of a gallon of gasoline than the oil companies do?
A: Possibly. Both taxes and profits account for a large share, but which is larger depends on too many unknown factors to allow for a clear answer.
I’ve noticed that chain e-mails, particularly those about politics, have a lot of things in common: urgent and frightening messages; spelling errors; a tendency to blame mainstream media for not […]
Q: Is it true that even though John McCain calls himself a Republican, he has sided more with the Dems than with the Repubs?
A: Not true at all. He voted in support of President Bush 95 percent of the time last year, for example.
Q: Are violent crimes more or less common in areas where handgun ownership is higher?
A: Some studies have found that murder rates (not crime rates in general) are higher where guns are more prevalent. But social scientists have not found a direct causal relationship between the two factors.
Barack Obama’s campaign is distributing a mailer in Ohio that plays upon anti-NAFTA feelings in the Buckeye State. But the flier is misleading: Obama is quoted as saying that “one million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio.” But those figures are highly questionable and from an anti-NAFTA source. Other economic studies have concluded the trade deal resulted in much smaller job losses or even a small net gain.
Q: What is the difference between GDP and GNP?
A: GDP is the market value of everything produced within a country; GNP is the value of what’s produced by a country’s residents, no matter where they live.
In television ads, Clinton’s campaign says her health care plan is the only one that will provide universal coverage, while Obama says his plan will cover all Americans, too. We find: Obama is being misleading when he says his proposal would “cover everyone.” It would make coverage available to all, but experts we consulted estimate that 15 million to 26 million wouldn’t take it up unless required to do so.
Summary On the eve of the crucial Florida GOP primary, John McCain is attacking Mitt Romney with some out-of-context or misleading statements on radio and the Internet: A Web ad […]