A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

A False Accusation About Energy

Summary
A new ad from the Republican National Committee claims Barack Obama proposes "no new solutions" for the energy and climate crises. In fact, the Illinois senator has proposed $150 billion in spending over 10 years for biofuels, plug-in hybrids, low-emission coal plants and the rapid commercialization of other new, clean energy technologies. The ad also recycles the misleading claim that Obama has said "no" to nuclear. Obama said he is open to nuclear if it is clean and safe.

Errors en Espanol

Summary
McCain’s new radio ad, in Spanish, aims to show Florida would benefit from the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which he supports. But every number in the ad is wrong, except one, a prediction of job gains taken from a group favoring the trade deal. And even that number is rounded upward so generously as to flunk third-grade arithmetic.
Analysis
Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is a longtime advocate of free trade.

The $32,000 Question

Summary

The McCain campaign claims that Obama voted to raise income taxes on individuals who earn as little as $32,000 per year. That’s wrong.

The resolution Obama voted for would not have increased taxes on any single taxpayer making less than $41,500 per year in total income, or any couple making less than $83,000. The $32,000 figure is approximately the taxable income of a single person making $41,500 per year, after all deductions and exclusions.

NAFTA’s Impact on Employment

Q: How many U.S. jobs have been lost since the inception of the North American Free Trade Agreement?
A: Actually, nearly 25 million jobs have been gained. Nearly all economic studies say NAFTA's net effect on jobs was negligible.

Tax Tally Trickery

Summary
The McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee both claim that Obama has voted 94 times “for higher taxes.” We find that their count is padded. After looking at every one of the 94 votes that the RNC includes in its tally, we find:

Twenty-three were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all; they were against proposed tax cuts.
Seven of the votes were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many,

Obama’s Work Claim

Summary
Obama’s latest ad repeats an often-stated claim, saying he "worked his way through college and Harvard Law.” We know Obama took out loans to get himself through school. But the campaign at first provided information on just two jobs Obama had in those years, and they were both in the summer.
The ad also says he "passed a law to move people from welfare to work, slashed the rolls by 80 percent." Actually,

Fuel Efficient Freight Trains?

Q: Can a freight train really move a ton of freight 436 miles on a gallon of fuel?
A: Yes, and some do even better. The figure used in the rail industry's advertising is a national average.