A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Impact of Capital Gains Tax on the Middle Class

Q: Would raising the capital gains tax rate hit the middle class?
A: More than 80 percent of all capital gains income went to those making more than $200,000 a year in 2006. Very few making under $50,000 would be affected by any increase in the top capital gains rate.

DNC vs. McCain

Summary

The Democratic National Committee has produced two TV ads against McCain, hoping to soften him up while the party figures out who its own presidential nominee will be.

One ad shows selected portions of McCain’s comments that a 100-year U.S. presence in Iraq would be "fine with me." The ad uses dramatic images of war and violence, and omits any mention that McCain was speaking of a peaceful presence like that in Japan or Korea.

N.C.’s African American Population

Q: What percentage of North Carolina’s population is African American?
A: In 2006, African Americans made up 21 percent of North Carolina’s total population. As of April 28, they also represent 21 percent of the state’s registered voters and 38 percent of registered Democrats.

Not Enough Delegates?

Q: What happens if neither Clinton nor Obama wins enough delegates to secure the nomination?
A: A brokered convention would result in the very unlikely event that neither sews up the nomination beforehand. We have no idea what would happen then.

“Reprehensible Misrepresentation”

Summary
Conservative activist Floyd G. Brown, who had a hand in the 1988 "Willie Horton" attack ad, is seeking funds to show a new spot accusing Obama of being "weak" on Chicago gang killers in 2001 and suggesting he’d be weak on terrorism, too.  Brown bases the claim on Obama’s vote against a bill to make gang killers automatically eligible for the death penalty.
 
We find that the ad misses the mark. The anti-gang activist who sponsored the death-penalty bill tells FactCheck.org that she doesn’t consider Obama weak on crime despite his opposition to her proposal.

Counting Obama’s and Clinton’s Delegates

Q: Which is the correct delegate count for Obama and Clinton?

A: There’s no official count. Different news organizations and Web sites come up with slightly different estimates because the job is complex and involves a bit of guesswork.

Obama and the National Anthem

Q: Did Obama say the National Anthem conveys a “war-like message” and should be swapped for something such as “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”?

A: No. That’s false. The quote was one conservative writer’s idea of a joke, which has been picked up and repeated as though it were true in a chain e-mail.

PAC-ing Heat

Summary

In their most recent TV ads Clinton and Obama attempt to convince Pennsylvania voters that the other is financed by lobbyists and special interests. Both ads miss the mark.

Clinton’s ad accuses Obama of insincerely promising to accept no money from PACs and current lobbyists for his presidential campaign. But she cites money he took years ago as a candidate for the Illinois state Senate and U.S. Senate, before he swore off such funds.

Misleading Pennsylvania Voters

Summary

Clinton and Obama twisted facts unmercifully as they strained to make Pennsylvania voters believe the other is offering a flawed health care plan.

An anti-Obama ad by a pro-Clinton group says her plan would "help every American" and implies his would not. In fact, Obama proposes to offer subsidized coverage, just as Clinton does.
An Obama TV ad claimed his plan would save families more money than Clinton’s, but one independent expert sees "zero credible evidence"

Americans Making More than $250,000

Q: What percentage of the U.S. population makes more than $250,000 per year?

A: Roughly one in 50 households will take in more than $250,000 next year.