Every once in a while bogus emails get revised, recycled – and widely recirculated. That is happening now with a viral email that purports to list income tax increases that take effect this year.
Q: Can members of Congress retire and receive their full pay after serving one term?
A: No. Only senators are eligible for a pension after one term, but it won’t be their full salary.
Q: Is Charles Roots a cousin of the late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, and did he write the “true story” about Stevens’ death?
A: No. Roots is not related to Stevens, and he says he is “disgusted” by a story attributed to him about Stevens’ death.
Q: Does the Affordable Care Act require Medicare beneficiaries over age 75 to be admitted to the hospital by their primary care physician?
A. No. There is no such requirement in the law.
Q: Is Russia providing 15,000 troops to help the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide security for the U.S.?
A: No. A renewed agreement between the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry and FEMA only allows for the exchanging of emergency management experts, not security or military personnel.
Q: Is it true that there were more votes than voters in Wood County, Ohio, and St. Lucie County, Fla., and that Obama lost every state with photo ID laws?
A: No. A viral email that makes those claims is bogus. It fabricates Ohio and Florida results. Also, Obama won four of the 11 states with photo ID laws.
Q: Do 11 states now have more people on welfare than they have employed?
A: A viral email making this claim is off base. It distorts a Forbes article that compares private-sector workers with those “dependent on the government,” including government workers and pensioners, and Medicaid recipients — not just “people on welfare.”
We’ve long warned our readers to make good use of the delete key when emails spreading sketchy claims pop up in their inboxes. But we’ve found that old viral emails, unfortunately, never die — and new ones spread like a highly contagious disease. These overwhelmingly anonymous messages are, by and large, bogus.