A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Breakdown of Government Revenue

Q: What’s the percentage breakdown of the government’s tax revenue stream?
A: Nearly half of federal revenue came from income taxes on individuals last year, and another one-third came from social insurance taxes, mainly for Social Security.

McCain and Public Financing

Q: Did John McCain borrow money using public financing as collateral?
A: Lawyers for McCain and Fidelity & Trust Bank say he did not. The DNC says he did and should not have been allowed to withdraw from public financing during the primaries. The Federal Election Commission may have the final word.

Drilling Off the Coast of Cuba

Q: Are the Chinese drilling off the coast of Cuba?
A: No. George Will and Vice President Cheney got that wrong. But Cuba has allowed for exploration by at least six other non-Chinese firms in the region and onshore testing and exploration by China’s Sinopec.

Distorting Obama

Summary

McCain released a Web ad that distorts Obama’s positions on clean-energy innovation and nuclear power.

The ad portrays Obama as saying "no" to energy "innovation" and to "the electric car." In fact, Obama proposed a $150 billion program of research into a wide variety of clean-energy technologies last year, long before McCain proposed to award a $300 million prize for developing a commercially viable battery package capable of powering automobiles.
The ad also has Obama saying "no"

Blanket Pardons

Q: Can a president issue a blanket pardon to an individual for crimes that may have been committed in the past but have not yet been discovered?
A: Yes. That’s just what Gerald Ford did when he granted “a full, free, and absolute pardon” to Richard Nixon for crimes he “has committed or may have committed” while in office.

Obama Polishes His Resume

Summary
Obama has released his first post-primary ad, a 60-second spot that’s airing in 18 battleground states. In effect, "Country I Love" is Obama’s first ad of the general election campaign, and as such it invites scrutiny. (FactCheck will address McCain’s first general election ads in a separate article.) We don’t find this ad egregiously misleading, but it paints a picture of Obama’s accomplishments that could leave viewers with a misimpression or two.
 

McCain’s Power Outage

Summary

McCain has spent the week focusing on energy policy, making some surprising, and inaccurate, statements.
Among them:

He said that ending a moratorium on offshore oil drilling "would be very helpful in the short term in resolving our energy crisis." But according to a government report, offshore oil wouldn’t have much of an impact on supply or prices until 2030. Update, June 24: At a town hall event on June 23, McCain didn’t claim that offshore drilling would lower prices in the short term,

Obama and European Affairs Subcommittee

Q: Does Obama chair a Senate subcommittee that oversees the war in Afghanistan?
A: He chairs the Senate’s Subcommittee on European Affairs, which has some oversight in Afghanistan through NATO.

Obama’s Lame Claim About McCain’s Money

Summary

Obama announced he would become the first presidential candidate since 1972 to rely totally on private donations for his general election campaign, opting out of the system of public financing and spending limits that was put in place after the Watergate scandal.
One reason, he said, is that "John McCain’s campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs."
We find that to be a large exaggeration and a lame excuse.

Polar Bear Population

Q: Are there three times as many polar bears in the Arctic now as there were in the 1970s?
A: The population of polar bears today is larger than it was in the 1970s, due mainly to legislation banning polar bear hunting, but exact numbers are unclear. We couldn’t find any figures showing that the population had tripled.