A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Howard Dean Overstates Cost of Tax Cuts

Howard Dean falsely claimed that "60 percent of the deficit is due to the Bush tax cuts." Last year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said that allowing the tax cuts to expire at the end of 2010 would decrease the deficit from $1.3 trillion in 2010 to $1.07 trillion in 2011. That's a 17.7 percent drop. It's sizable. But it's not 60 percent.
Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman, made his claim on CBS'

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Aug. 2-8

This week, readers continued to send us comments on our articles about the debt limit, as well as letters on Ray LaHood's incorrect job numbers, the National Review and the importance of critical thinking.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

More Mediscare

Newspaper ads from a conservative group make the disputed claim that "Obama's Medicare Plan Will Increase Medicare Premiums." The "plan" it refers to is actually designed to produce lower prices for low-income Medicare Part D beneficiaries and taxpayers. And whether drug companies would increase prices to others in response is a matter of conjecture, not fact. Experts have differing views. And the sponsor of the ad — whose sister organization produced a study supporting the claim —

Top 20 White House Raises

Q: Is a chart claiming to show the "top 20 raises" to White House staffers accurate?
A: It's misleading. The salary increases for 19 of the 21 employees listed resulted from promotions. Average pay for White House staff actually declined.

Romney’s Windy Web Video

A Mitt Romney online video overstates the growth of Chicago's unemployment rate under President Obama. The ad says that Chicago's unemployment is up 48 percent, which is true since November 2008. But Obama didn't take office until Jan. 20, 2009, and the city's unemployment rate has increased 26.7 percent since then. That's still a large jump, to be sure, but not nearly as high as the video claims.
The Web video — titled "Obama Isn't Working: Chicago"

Reid Wrong on Bush’s Economic Record

Sen. Harry Reid falsely claimed that 8 million jobs were lost during the Bush administration. To the contrary, there was a net gain of 1 million jobs under President George W. Bush. It's true that more than 8 million jobs were lost as a result of the recent recession — from the job peak to trough — but only about half of those were lost under Bush.
The Nevada Democrat also falsely claimed that Bush turned a projected surplus of $7 trillion over 10 years into a $14 trillion debt.

Bachmann’s Histrionics on Health Care

Michele Bachmann incorrectly claimed the new health care law is "the largest spending and entitlement program ever passed in our nation's history." The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the health care provisions of the law will cost roughly $169 billion in fiscal year 2016, the first year of full implementation. But that's far less than what Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid each will cost that same year.
The Minnesota Republican and presidential candidate made her claim during a July 28 speech at the National Press Club.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 26 – Aug. 1

This week, readers sent us comments about the debt limit debate.
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.