A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Crossroads & Unions

Crossroads GPS greatly exaggerates the earnings of unionized government workers in a new TV ad attacking unions and Democrats, including President Obama.
The ad claims that government workers who belong to unions are paid “42 percent more than non-union workers.”  But the very study cited by the ad says the gap is only 10 percent, once geographic differences are accounted for.

The 60-second spot was launched March 9 and is set to run nationally on CNN,

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of March 1-7

This week, readers continued to lambaste us over Social Security, and one sent a comment on New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
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.

Our Angry Readers

We’d like to respond to readers who disliked our article on Social Security’s red ink.
We’ve received dozens of complaints and criticisms, expressing disappointment and sometimes outright anger at our finding that Social Security is in fact contributing to the federal deficit, and that some Democrats are making a false claim when they assert it doesn’t contribute "one penny." ("Democrats Deny Social Security’s Red Ink," Feb. 25.)
Readers accused us variously of being stupid, ignorant, misleading,

No Secret: Bachmann Gets It Wrong

Rep. Michele Bachmann's claim that Democrats "secretly" hid $105 billion in health care spending is way off base. It's true that the new health care law contains many billions in future spending, but there was no secret about that.
The Minnesota Republican told "Meet the Press" host David Gregory that "secretly, unbeknownst to members of Congress, over $105 billion was hidden in the Obamacare legislation to fund the implementation of Obamacare." But the truth is that much,

Dems’ ‘Halfway’ Hustle

Democrats claim their $10.5 billion in proposed cuts are "halfway" to the GOP’s $61 billion. We give that arithmetic an "F."
President Barack Obama claimed during his March 5 radio address that "my administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway." And White House Chief of Staff William Daley repeated the "halfway" claim during his appearance on "Meet the Press." Earlier, Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters: "The White House has been willing to move halfway to where they are."

Walker’s Tax Cuts

It’s not true that Gov. Scott Walker’s tax cuts are the cause of Wisconsin’s current budget deficit — a false claim widely spread by MSNBC‘s Rachel Maddow and repeated in numerous e-mails to us since we wrote about the state’s budget problems earlier this week. In fact, the state’s nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates the tax cuts won’t add a penny to the current year’s $137 million deficit.
Here’s a typical question that we have fielded since our article ran:

Q: How do the $140 billion [sic] in tax breaks that Walker gave out in January 2011 affect the Wisconsin deficit?

Wisconsin’s Baffling Budget Battle

The budget battle in Wisconsin has generated much confusion and misinformation, as we have seen in e-mails from our readers in recent days: The state is not on track to end this fiscal year with “a slight surplus.” It is facing a $137 million deficit …

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Feb. 22-28

This week, readers deluged us with comments about Social Security and the federal deficit, and continued to e-mail us about our new FactCheck Quiz.
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.