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FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Aug. 10-Aug. 16

This week, readers sent us comments about Social Security privatization, Medicare competitive bidding and our supposedly rightward tilt.

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.

Privatization Battles

You could not be further from the truth in regard to President Obama’s statements about Social Security ["Obama’s (Latest) Social Security Whopper," Aug. 16]. Every single state I have traveled throughout this summer has shown ads on TV supporting the ultra-conservatives spewing garbage about ending Social Security and trying to have people invest their money in unsafe markets.

President Obama’s remarks stem from all of the complaints he has received to such ads from the ultra-conservative ads on television nationwide. We also have a huge number of billionaires running for office this year who are Republicans. I’m guessing by your name that you come from a long line of Southern Republicans.

I guess you pushed this article through without doing your research.

Diane Riley
West Palm Beach, Fla.

The problem with this is that the TEA PARTIERS DO want to do away with SS AND Medicare. The Republicans have been trying to repeal the new deal since FDR passed it. And I don’t TRUST the Republicans to do anything that’s GOOD for ordinary citizens, Their track record is DISMAL. So this is not such a whopper as far as I’m concerned (I live off SS.)

Suzanne Miller
Pomona, Calif.

You persist in biased reporting about issues. If you think that the Republicans aren’t planning to privatize Social Security you surely have not been reading all the baloney they are putting out and what Republican and libertarian candidates are saying and what Republican mouthpieces have been repeating ad nauseum. . . .

Don’t try to tell us that Republicans have no intention of cutting, weakening or privatizing Social Security. They’ve been on that track for years and show no tendency to drop it UNLESS they are called on the issue as Obama has appropriately done. Check out the backflips recently by Sharron Angle, running against Harry Reid. She went so far as to strip her website of her previous lies and pronouncements on Social Security when she was called out on it.

I won’t contribute anything to FactCheck. There’s obviously no need for me to do so as you are getting ample corporate funding for push the corporate agenda.

Mary Bell Lockhart
Alpine, Texas

FactCheck.org responds: We don’t accept any money from business corporations. Nor do we take funds from labor unions, partisan organizations or advocacy groups. You can find out about the rest of our funding on our About Us page. We currently have a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, which is a charitable foundation, to monitor the accuracy of corporate- and union-funded campaign ads in the 2010 election.


Greene’s Misleading Ad on Seniors

Nice job of trying to sort out the fact v. fiction. One thought regarding the post, “Democrat-on-Democrat TV Attacks in Florida" [Aug. 3]:

The suggestion that Rep. Meek “lobbied against seniors” is simply preposterous. The popular, bipartisan bill in question, HR 3790, requires deep cuts to home medical equipment reimbursements (which means LOWER copayments for seniors!) and the bill preserves the homecare delivery infrastructure. Disability and patient groups FAVOR this legislation, and they include local cerebral palsy associations, the ALS Association, the American Association for Respiratory Care, the American Association of People with Disabilities, International Ventilator Users Network, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Emphysema/COPD Association, National Spinal Cord Injury Association, and Post-Polio Health International, among many others.

Moreover, to suggest that the AARP is the single, monolithic voice for seniors and all issues related to older Americans is misleading. I worked in the senior lobby for many years (National Council on Aging). The AARP doesn’t always have its facts straight, and this is a perfect example: their reason for opposing the bill is not just baseless, it’s completely backward.

Michael Reinemer
Vice president, communications and policy
American Association for Homecare
Arlington, Va.


FactCheck Now a Bastion of Conservatism

It doesn’t sound to me like the union’s ad is misleading since the politician clearly is calling for a 23 percent value added tax which is mislabeled a "fair tax." ["AFSCME’s Misleading Tax Attack" Aug. 12.] Fair to whom? It isn’t incumbent on the union to detail the politician’s plans.

You are a known right wing organization but it usually doesn’t show this clearly!!

Steve Heckart
Yellow Springs, Ohio

Sad to say, I am about to unsubscribe. I am of the belief that both major parties deceive, manipulate, etc. but lately opening your emails finds nothing but the focus on Obama and Democrats. I want you to do that; however it’s been a bit much lately (i.e., Andy Griffith – which was not spot on; and now the GOP SS privatization whitewash you’ve provided.

Please try to be fair in your focus. As of this moment, you seem to be an arm of the GOP.

Kathleen Vaughn
Doylestown, Pa.

And this is why I like FactCheck.org: they don’t care whose ox is being gored. They’re equal opportunity pains in the ass to politicians.

Cynthia Johnson
Lincoln, Neb.