A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

About Those ‘Republican Cuts’

Q: Would a “list of Republican budget cuts” by the “new Republican House” slash $2.5 trillion from federal spending over 10 years?
A: The list is real. But so far, there has been no action on the bill, which was sponsored by 33 conservative GOP House members.

Medicare’s Finances

The Romney campaign has claimed that reductions in Medicare spending that are part of the Affordable Care Act hurt Medicare’s finances. But as Managing Editor Lori Robertson explains on Connecticut Public Broadcasting, the opposite is true. And such claims falsely imply that Medicare is losing this money and won’t get it back.
For a full explanation on how Medicare Part A’s trust fund works, see our Aug. 24 article “Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank.’ “

Spin Detectors: Help Us Monitor the Conventions

Political conventions are like shopping malls of political spin — one-stop bazaars brimming with suspect claims from politicians. And we want you to do a little window-shopping for us this year.
Spin Detectors is asking readers to help us monitor both political parties in Tampa and Charlotte.
Robert Farley, FactCheck.org’s deputy managing editor, is on the scene in Tampa. And Managing Editor Lori Robertson will be covering the Democratic convention in person in Charlotte. So, you don’t have to be there.

Winning? Super PAC Compares Republican to Charlie Sheen

In a new TV spot called “Tiger Blood,” a Democratic super PAC compares a Florida Republican Senate candidate to party boy actor Charlie Sheen. Winning? Not really.
The video ties together a shocking list of allegations against Connie Mack IV, and most are true. But when closely examined, there’s less here than meets the eye.

The ad says Republicans call Mack “the Charlie Sheen of Florida politics.” One Republican said that. And he was one of Mack’s primary opponents and later dropped out of the race.

GOP Platform on Abortion

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform calls for a ban on abortion, but is silent on exceptions — leaving that decision up to Congress and the states. However, as FactCheck.org Director Brooks Jackson tells WCBS radio, the Obama campaign falsely claims the GOP platform calls for banning abortions even in cases of rape or incest.
See “Another Abortion Falsehood from Obama’s ‘Truth Team‘” for more information about what the Republican platform says about abortion.

Again with the Wheelchair

First the Republicans claimed President Obama’s health care law taxes “sick puppies,” and now Mitt Romney’s campaign claims the law taxes “wheelchairs.” Wrong again.
At issue is a new 2.3 percent excise tax on certain medical devices. The tax is set to kick in next year to help offset the cost of expansion of health coverage for the uninsured in the new health care law. According to the Romney ad, the law will mean “taxing wheelchairs and pacemakers.”

GOP Attack on Tim Kaine’s ‘Shortfall’ Falls Short

A conservative group claims former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine “left us with a $4.2 billion shortfall.” Not exactly. The state did face a $4.2 billion gap in the biennial 2010-2012 budget, but Kaine submitted a balanced budget proposal days before leaving office, as required by law.
And the last budget Kaine signed into law ended with a surplus. In fact, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell praised Kaine for making “tough cuts” in state spending and relying on “conservative”

Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank’

Republicans claim the president’s $716 billion “cuts” to Medicare hurt the program’s finances. But the opposite is true. These cuts in the future growth of spending prolong the life of the Medicare trust fund, stretching the program’s finances out longer than they would last otherwise.
Mitt Romney has claimed that President Barack Obama has “robbed” Medicare. Rep. Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate, said Obama “turned Medicare into a piggy bank to fund Obamacare,” promising to “stop the raid on Medicare.” And the Republican National Committee is promoting on its website a feature it calls “Obama’s Countdown to Medicare’s Bankruptcy,”

Another Abortion Falsehood from Obama’s ‘Truth Team’

The Obama campaign is falsely accusing the Republican Party’s platform of calling for banning abortions even in cases of rape or incest. That’s not true. The 2012 platform is silent on exceptions — leaving that decision up to Congress and the states — just as it was in 2008 and in previous presidential election years.
To make matters worse, the latest falsehood comes from the president’s “Truth Team.” An Aug. 20 posting on the “Truth Team’s”