A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Medicare Misrepresentation

The liberal group Patriot Majority distorts a Republican plan to change Medicare, claiming the GOP proposal says “no to Medicare, no to seniors.”
The plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would radically change Medicare, but it wouldn’t put an end to government health care for seniors. Instead, it proposes a new program starting in 2022.
The attack comes in two ads airing in Montana and Missouri and designed to counter ads launched by the conservative Crossroads GPS.

Obama Inflates Defense ‘Cut’

President Obama's claim "that we've already cut" $400 billion in defense spending is misleading. The president was referring to a Defense Department report that identified $178 billion in "efficiencies" over five years — which the administration says will save $400 billion over 10 years. But only $78 billion of the $178 billion represents actual cuts; the rest of the identified efficiencies will be reinvested in other Pentagon programs.
The president more than once has claimed he cut defense spending by $400 billion,

Barrasso’s Subsidy Speculation

Sen. John Barrasso engaged in wild speculation in claiming that lower-income subsidies will cost $900 billion a year under the federal health care law. He assumes that all employer-based insurance in the United States will disappear.
In an op-ed for Roll Call, the Wyoming Republican and orthopedic surgeon said that "incentives in the health care law will encourage businesses to drop insurance coverage," adding that those employees will join state-based exchanges, increasing the cost of subsidies:

Barrasso,

Pawlenty Not ‘Ashamed’ Now

Tim Pawlenty's repeated claim that he "won" Minnesota's 2005 government shutdown is inconsistent with his view at the time. Shortly after the state budget crisis had been resolved, Pawlenty — then governor of Minnesota — said that "anybody who tries to spin this as a partisan victory should be ashamed of himself."
Pawlenty, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, has boasted he "won" the 2005 shutdown in two TV ads — most recently in "The American Comeback,"

Did Obama ‘Enact’ DREAM Act?

Q: Did President Obama “enact” the DREAM Act by executive order to give “amnesty” to 20 million illegal immigrants?
A: No. But the administration in 2011 adopted a policy of giving “particular care” before deporting students, military veterans and others deemed to be low risk. In 2011, it issued a new policy to allow certain illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to apply for two-year work permits.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 12-18

This week, readers sent us compliments and comments about our fact-check of Washington's fiscal mess.
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.

Did Lugar ‘Bail Out’ NYC?

Club for Growth exaggerates when it claims Sen. Richard Lugar voted to bail out New York City "back in the 1970s" at a cost of $9.4 billion. Lugar was mayor of Indianapolis when Congress passed the famous 1975 New York City bailout. He did vote for a 1978 bill that provided the city with $1.65 billion in federal loan guarantees — but it cost federal taxpayers $0.
The main point of the ad is also exaggerated.

Fiscal FactCheck

Washington’s spending has recently been higher as a percentage of the nation’s economic output than at any time since World War II. But by the same measure, Washington’s revenues are the lowest in more than 60 years. …