A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Facing Facts on Fiscal Cliff

The U.S. faces the possibility of another recession — the third in 11 years — if President Obama and Congress cannot find a way to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The one-two combination of massive tax increases and spending cuts …

Did FEMA Create a Youth Army?

Q: Did the Department of Homeland Security create a “standing army of government youth” known as FEMA Corps.
A: No. FEMA Corps is a civilian operation within AmeriCorps, a federal community service program. FEMA Corps prepares and responds to disasters. Its members, ages 18 to 24, carry no weapons.

Durbin (Again) Denies Social Security’s Red Ink

Sen. Richard Durbin says that “Social Security does not add one penny to our debt.” That’s false. It was wrong 21 months ago, when Durbin said it once before, and it’s even more off the mark now.
The federal government for the first time in its history had to borrow money in 2010 to cover Social Security benefits to retired and disabled workers — a trend that worsened in 2011 and will not change at any point in the future unless changes are made.

Group’s ‘Obamacare Tax Form’ Evades Facts

A conservative group misleads taxpayers on the Affordable Care Act and the Internal Revenue Service’s future role in enforcing it. Americans for Tax Reform posted a “projected” IRS tax form on its website that claims to “help families and tax specialists prepare” for new tax provisions under the health care law. But ATR makes several false claims:

The group claims taxpayers will have to disclose “personal identifying health information” to the IRS to prove they have insurance.

Is Obama to Blame for Lockheed’s 123,000 ‘Layoffs’?

Q: Is Lockheed Martin going to lay off 123,000 workers because of President Obama’s downsizing of the military?
A: No. Lockheed gave a “very rough” estimate of 10,000 potential layoffs (not 123,000) due to automatic spending cuts triggered by a 2011 bipartisan deficit-reduction bill. Obama and Congress are negotiating to avoid the cuts.

Our Subscribers Speak

Once again, FactCheck.org’s subscribers tell us they find our articles to be clear, unbiased, accurate and useful. The results of our latest post-election survey are similar to those from surveys we conducted after the presidential elections …

Facts Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff

In press conferences on the so-called fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner greatly exaggerated the negative effect on the economy of raising taxes on upper-income individuals.

Boehner erred when he said that “the problem with raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans is that more than half of them are small-business owners.” That’s incorrect. Boehner’s spokesman said the speaker simply misspoke, but Boehner is a repeat offender with this bogus claim.
Boehner repeatedly cited an Ernst &

Health Care Claims Still Viral

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson discusses the resurgence of old, viral email claims about the Affordable Care Act. Bogus emails claim the law would deny dialysis to Medicare patients, or have a government committee decide what treatment anyone can receive. That’s not true.
For more on viral claims about the federal health care law, see our April 20, 2012, Ask FactCheck, “ ‘Death Panels’ Redux” and our Aug. 28, 2009, article, “Twenty-six Lies About H.R.