A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Group Blows Fuse With Electric Bill Claim

A conservative group goes too far in TV ads that claim a new EPA regulation on coal power plants will make Ohio’s electric bills “skyrocket.” Utility officials say it’s too soon to determine how big the impact will be.
Nationally, projections from the Energy Information Administration show only a slight fluctuation in the residential price of electricity over the long run. The EIA factored in the regulation in its projections.
There’s reason to believe there might be more of an impact in price in Ohio,

DCCC Calls Latham Out on TARP

A Democratic robocall in Iowa accuses GOP Rep. Tom Latham of “looking out for himself” by profiting from legislation he actually opposed.
The Des Moines Register reports that the call from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee charges Latham with “only looking out for himself, not the middle class,” for having stock in a bank holding company that took Troubled Asset Relief Program funds in 2009.
The problem with that claim is that Latham actually voted against the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that created TARP back in 2008.

Sununu’s Out-of-this-World Outsourcing Claim

John Sununu claimed President Obama “outsourced a major portion of the U.S. space program to the Russians.” But it was President Bush who set NASA on a path eight years ago to retire the Space Shuttle and rely on the Russians for space travel.
“[Bush] Administration policy is to retire the shuttle in 2010 and purchase crew transport from Russia,” as then-NASA Administrator Michael Griffin once explained.
To be sure, Obama ended the Space Shuttle program,

Romney’s Bain Years: New Evidence, Same Conclusion

New reporting cites strong evidence that Mitt Romney wasn’t actively managing Bain Capital while he was running the Olympics, despite what the Obama campaign (and some news reports) would have voters believe.
Dan Primack, a senior editor at Fortune Magazine, reports on previously confidential “offering documents” that Bain circulated to potential investors in June 2000, September 2000 and again in January 2001. And he says that in each of those three documents Romney’s name is conspicuously absent from lists of senior investment managers at Bain.

Tax Facts: Lowest Rates in 30 Years

Politicians talk about the burden of taxes incessantly. Now comes a rare chance to check the facts. And the fact is that federal tax rates had fallen to the lowest in 30 years when President Barack Obama took office — and fell again in his first year in office.
This news comes from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which just issued the latest update of its invaluable series on “Distribution of Household Income and Federal Taxes,”

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 3-9

This week, readers sent us more letters about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital and the federal health care law. There were some letters of encouragement, too.
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.

Obama, Romney Surrogates Spin Jobs Data

A lackluster jobs report for June generated a flurry of false and misleading statements on the Sunday talk shows by surrogates for Obama and Romney:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, falsely claimed U.S. automakers “had a record June … 7,000 auto jobs created.” It’s true that 7,000 automotive jobs were created, but it’s not a record for June or any other month.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley challenged Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s statement that the U.S.

Biggest Tax Increase in History?

Q: Is the new health care law “the biggest tax increase in history”?

A: In raw dollars, perhaps. But several tax increases just since 1968 were larger as percentages of the economy, or in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Twisting Romney’s Abortion Stance

An Obama campaign ad twists Mitt Romney’s stance on abortion, claiming Romney “backed a law that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.”
During a 2007 debate, Romney was asked if he would sign legislation to ban “all abortion” — assuming, hypothetically, that Roe v. Wade had been overturned. He said he’d be “delighted to sign it,” if there was a national consensus for it. But, he said, “that’s not where America is today.”