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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 14 – July 20

This week, readers sent us comments on our Web site redesign, health care and bogus e-mail rumors.

In the FactCheck Mailbag we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.


You’ve Got the Look

Congratulations. I just completed the new FactCheck tour, very impressive. Much, much easier to navigate subject matter for facts and other info. Great job of putting this together. I will visit FactCheck more often now that it’s more user friendly!

Jerry Goza
Midwest City, Okla.


I looked at your new web page and appreciated the new clean look and layout. Thanks to those who worked on it and made it look so good. 

Wendell Hendershott
Corvallis, Oregon


Have always been impressed with your non-partisan stance. The new format is wonderful because it makes the issues more accessible. Thank you.

Martha Baldoni
Perrysburg, Ohio


You’ve done a great job on the Web site remodel. Thanks for all your fabulous work. We really count on you.
Bob Dittell
Sun City, Arizona


You are to be commended for your outstanding work. It is reassuring to know I can always rely on you for factual verification given the profusion of (mis)information being slung about each day. Your Web site is a readily accessible, highly credible source that brings truth and fact to the forefront. Keep up your good work. There are multitudes relying on you.

Glenda Alexander
Caledonia, Wisc.


Reader Edits

Thank you for your continued efforts to sort through all of the garbage and present the clear facts without bias, letting the reader make their own informed decision.  However, I feel that you have neglected to stress a significant point in your analysis of contracts that were issued by Chris Christie’s office [See "Corzine on Christie: Contracts for Cronies?"]. The television ad not only gives the appearance that Christie acted unethically, but it gives the impression that the money that was paid in these contracts came out of the taxpayer’s pocket. You note towards the end of the story that these monies were paid directly by the firm that was being monitored, but I feel that it is important to include this information in your summary towards the top of the article for those that may not have the time to read all of the detailed and well researched analysis presented in the body of the article. Thanks. 

Paul Woitko
Cherry Hill, N.J.


Keep the Chain E-mail Stories Coming

In response to Charles G. of Atlanta, Ga.’s letter: I am one who truly appreciates your efforts to sort out all the erroneous e-mails that are floating around on the Internet. I seem to be surrounded by many folks who, although very intelligent, tend to believe every political e-mail that they receive as long as it supports their position/ideology.

I am one that does not associate myself with any one political party and therefore find the impartial stance of FactCheck to be the perfect tool to try and educate/enlighten those that are locked into party ideologies. Their reluctance to verify the facts stated in many of these zombie and bogus e-mails just amazes me. Even trying to send them to your site proves to be quite a task because they have convinced themselves that your site is politically biased towards the liberals, whatever that means.

Again, great work and please continue to help us keep the truth visible in the important issues that face every one of us these days.

Randy C.
Albuquerque , N.M.

Those Healthy CEO Salaries
Of course you are correct on profits & executive compensation, but I think you miss two important points [See "Recycled Health Care Ad"]. First, we waste 31% of all health care costs on administration (http://www.pnhp.org/publications/nejmadmin.pdf). Canada (for example) spends 16.7%. Now we take 15% of $2.2 trillion and we get $330 billion, which we could save each year by the elimination of private insurance with its high overhead and huge physician compliance costs.
Secondly, while the compensation of health care executives is not large in comparison with total health care costs, it is large for individuals. Thus these executives will lie, spin and run expensive PR campaigns to keep the facts from the public. I believe they are spending over a million dollars each and every day.
Len Charlap
Princeton, N.J.


Proud to Be Covered in Canada

Almost all Canadians are happy with their health care system. Many of us don’t understand why the U.S. doesn’t have a better system in terms of coverage, costs, life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. Today’s Globe and Mail says that by August Canada will have H1N1 vaccine for everyone in the country. Will the U.S.??

Michael Moore had a lot of it right.   

Bill Conkie
Vancouver, British Columbia


Economic Theory

The government’s health care plan is based upon a certain false assumption. If we raise taxes (on the rich, or on whomever), revenue will be generated to pay for the plan. Where did they get the idea that revenue depends upon taxes? Revenue depends upon the economy. If people are working in the private sector and making money, government revenue will have a basis to increase. If the economy slows down, which it is doing now, revenue will drop. The health care plan will harm the economy, and so government revenue will decrease.

A second reason is that as tax rates increase, the incentive to avoid paying taxes increases. Goldman Sachs pays very little taxes to the federal government. People and organizations do things to reduce the tax burden.

The Wall Street Journal discussed this at length during the campaign. The Democrats never addressed this issue. We must repeat this theme, advertise the message, and write letters and columns again and again. The government cannot depend upon increased taxes to increase government revenue for costly programs like health care.

Sanford Aranoff
Monroe Twp, N.J.


Conspiracy Theory Fatigue

I don’t expect a single response from any of you guys, considering how busy you folks normally are, but I like to state my opinion on something. I’m a moderate Republican who has become quite ashamed at how the current Republican Party has become. Because of the smear campaigns that John McCain and Sarah Palin started back in 2008 against Obama, many "Extreme" Republicans throughout the internet have been pushing around the rumor that Obama is not a U.S.-born citizen. This rumor has been annoying me for so long that I am probably going to re-register myself as a Democrat if this rumor goes too far. Since a U.S. Army major has refused to go to Afghanistan because he believes Obama is a "NON"-U.S.-born citizen, it’s starting to look as if my change in party membership is likely. You guys have now had to go as far as post the original birth certificate (warts and all) in high resolution and at different angle and lighting conditions so that you can prove to the world once and for all that Obama IS in fact a U.S.-BORN CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! [See "Born in the U.S.A."]

Jessy Corrales
Homestead, Fla.


Spreading the Word

I visited your site for the first time today, due to all the histrionics with respect to the health care debate. What a wonderful site you have! Thank you again. I plan to visit your site on a regular basis and tell friends about your site.

Cal Newkirk
San Antonio, Texas