A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Spotlight On: John Heath


John Heath said he’s skeptical of claims that portray the government as incompetent.

So, he was suspicious of a recent Web video produced by Arkansas Rep. Tim Griffin. The video depicts a program that subsidizes phone service for very low-income persons as a government giveaway that is costing taxpayers billions.

Heath, 28, uploaded the video to Spin Detectors. We found the video goes too far in its portrayal of the program, calling it “taxpayer funded” when it’s not, and highlighting fraud in the program while ignoring significant recent changes designed to address the abuses.

Heath, a graphic designer, lives outside Griffin’s district in Marion, Ark. He said a friend emailed him the video. Heath describes himself a “pragmatic liberal” who shares the same views as President Barack Obama.

“I understand there is waste in the program,” Heath said. “But I think it’s a well-intentioned program. The political hay that’s being made over it is counterproductive.”

– Ben Finley

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