A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Stimulus for Illegal Immigrants?

Q: Will 300,000 illegal immigrants get construction jobs through the stimulus package?
A: There’s no way of knowing how many illegal immigrants may or may not end up with a job from stimulus funds. But this inflated estimate comes from conservative groups concerned about the absence of employee verification requirements in the final bill.

Eminently Nonsensical

Every so often, we here at FactCheck.org get a slew of questions about some huge clandestine shadowy government conspiracy. Here’s the problem with those questions: If it’s a clandestine shadowy government conspiracy, it’s a little hard to confirm or deny absolutely. In fact, that’s what the people who generate these rumors count on. They can say anything they like, and when someone refutes it, they can come back with, "Well, that’s what they
want
you to believe."

Upstate Insults Continue…

Two days ago on our main site, we analyzed several ads in the special election to replace now-Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York’s 20th congressional district. But it looks like we missed some. Our Country Deserves Better PAC (a group we’ve chided in the past for an ad echoing claims found in false chain e-mails) has released a pair of TV spots in the district, attacking Democratic candidate Scott Murphy.
One ad says that Murphy has a "shameful record of attacking our military men and women":

The ad also says that Murphy "smeared our military in an editorial he co-wrote"

Upstate Insults

New York Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, a Republican, and businessman Scott Murphy, a Democrat, are battling to fill a House seat in New York’s 20th congressional district that was vacated when its occupant was appointed to the Senate. The special election is scheduled for March 31. Recent ads have …

Uninsured U.S. Citizens

Q: How many of the uninsured are U.S. citizens?
A: The vast majority of the uninsured are citizens from working families.

Debtor Nation

On "FOX News Sunday" on March 1, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona castigated Obama’s budget for expanding the country’s public debt. Obama’s budget certainly projects rapid growth in red ink. But Kyl’s attacks could use some context and correction.
 
Kyl: This budget adds more debt to our country’s future than all of the debt from 1789 when George Washington was president right up through Franklin Roosevelt and – and Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush.

Half of the Wealthy Own Small Businesses?

President Obama’s proposed budget calls for rolling back President Bush’s tax cuts for couples earning more than $250,000 (and individuals earning more than $200k). The increase would take effect in 2011. And, not so surprisingly, it has some Republicans up in arms. One of their main beefs: The move would hurt small businesses.
On "FOX News Sunday" on March 1, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin told host Chris Wallace that "more than half of the people who pay these higher taxes are the small businesses of America."

Bad Bankruptcy Stat, Repeated

Last week on our main site, we pointed out that President Obama used an incorrect statistic on bankruptcies caused by medical expenses in his address to Congress. And yesterday, he repeated it,
as Jake Tapper at ABC News noted
:

Tapper: "The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds," President Obama said at the opening of his White House forum on health care reform just now.

As we said then (and Tapper kindly links to us in his report): Last year,

The Fairness Doctrine

Q: Is the fairness doctrine coming back, and would it shut down conservative talk radio?
A: Obama has made it clear he opposes it. If it were revived, it probably would reduce the overall number of radio hours devoted to conservative talk shows.

Rahm Emanuel Property Taxes

Q: Does Rahm Emanuel pay property taxes?
A: The president’s chief of staff does pay taxes on his home. Failed attempts to find his records are the fault of shoddy research.