A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Voting Conspiracies

Q: Is it true that there were more votes than voters in Wood County, Ohio, and St. Lucie County, Fla., and that Obama lost every state with photo ID laws?
A: No. A viral email that makes those claims is bogus. It fabricates Ohio and Florida results. Also, Obama won four of the 11 states with photo ID laws.

Do Assault Weapons Sales Pay NRA Salaries?

A Connecticut Democrat didn’t get his facts straight when he claimed NRA executives “pay their salaries” by taking “a cut” of assault weapons sales.
In arguing that the NRA “represents gun manufacturers” and not “gun owners anymore,” Sen. Christopher Murphy discounted NRA membership dues as “less than half” of NRA funding and instead elaborated on how the NRA makes “tens of millions of dollars off of the purchases of guns.” He said, “They pay their salaries off of these gun purchases.”

‘Death Spiral’ States?

Q: Do 11 states now have more people on welfare than they have employed?
A: A viral email making this claim is off base. It distorts a Forbes article that compares private-sector workers with those “dependent on the government,” including government workers and pensioners, and Medicaid recipients — not just “people on welfare.”

Haggling Over Hagel’s Record

An ad from a pro-Israel group oversimplifies Chuck Hagel’s foreign policy positions in an attempt to portray Obama’s choice for secretary of defense as soft on Iran.

The ad claims Hagel voted against sanctions on Iran. It’s true that Hagel opposed unilateral U.S. sanctions, but he has voiced support for multilateral sanctions, such as those imposed by the United Nations.
The claim that “Hagel voted against labeling Iran’s revolutionary guard a terrorist group,” is also accurate,

McConnell Fudges Fiscal Facts, Too

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell twisted some fiscal facts in his appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit:

McConnell said the Obama administration has “driven spending as a percentage of our economy from 21 percent up to almost 25 percent.” But it was already projected to be almost 25 percent — actually 24.9 percent — in fiscal year 2009 even before Obama took office.
He also said “99 percent of Americans will not see their taxes go up”

Fudging on the Fiscal Cliff Deal

In a Web video, President Barack Obama leaves out some key facts about the fiscal cliff deal, possibly leaving the wrong impression about its impact on taxpayers and the deficit:

Obama boasts that “middle-class families” will not have to “pay upwards of $2,000 more in taxes this year.” That’s accurate for income taxes, but Obama doesn’t mention that the deal allowed a payroll tax cut to expire. About 77 percent of taxpayers will pay more in taxes this year —

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Dec. 25-31

This week, readers sent letters of appreciation to our former director, Brooks Jackson.
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.