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Boehner’s Revenue Reach

House Speaker John Boehner claimed the federal government will take in more revenue this year than any other year in history. That’s true in nominal dollars, but not as a percentage of gross domestic product — a measure preferred by most economists that accounts for growth in population, inflation and earnings.
In fact, as a percentage of GDP, revenues this year are actually lower than the historical average since World War II.
In an interview on CBS Evening News on Feb.

Sequester Spin

The Sunday talk shows included exaggerated claims from both sides about the debate over automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1:

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said “as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs.” But that assumes the entire $2.8 billion in looming DOE cuts would come from teacher salaries. Duncan himself testified there would be cuts elsewhere — including cutting “more than 70,000 students from grant and work study programs”

Paying People to Play Video Games

House Speaker John Boehner tweets that the Obama administration is spending $1.2 million “paying people to play video games.” That’s misleading. The government did pay $1.2 million for university research that includes the study of how video games can stimulate the cognitive abilities of seniors. A fraction of that cost went to compensate seniors who participated in the study, researchers say.
Boehner was one of several prominent Republican congressmen who sent out a flurry of tweets – hashtag #cutwaste – distorting the research.

SEIU Distorts Halvorson’s Record in Illinois Race

A radio ad from the Service Employees International Union grossly distorts the voting record of former Rep. Debbie Halvorson in the final days of the Democratic primary to fill the House seat left vacant by Jesse Jackson Jr.’s resignation. The union claims:

Halvorson “voted against extending unemployment benefits for millions of Americans.” That’s false. Congress extended or expanded the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program seven times while Halvorson was in the House, and she voted to approve each bill.

Obama’s and Rubio’s Health Care Claims

Managing Editor Lori Robertson tells Connecticut Public Broadcasting about President Barack Obama’s and Sen. Marco Rubio’s health care claims in the State of the Union address and Republican response. Obama said the Affordable Care Act “is helping to slow the growth of health care costs.” Experts say it has helped, but the slower growth began before the law was passed and is due to the down economy, as well. Rubio said that “now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with,”

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Feb. 12-18

This week, readers sent us letters about health care costs, gun bans and a national gun registry.
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’s Preschool Stretch

President Obama exaggerates the potential benefits of his ambitious plan for universal preschool, as he first outlined in the State of the Union and repeated elsewhere since then: Obama says every dollar invested in “high quality” preschool can return “seven dollars later on” but that is based on an economic analysis of a small, two-year program that targeted disadvantaged youth …

The ‘Obamaquester’

This Republican talking point aims to blame President Obama for more than $1 trillion in automatic, across-the-board cuts in domestic and defense spending that — without action by Congress — are scheduled to take effect on March 1. But the reality is that the pending cuts would not be possible had both Democrats and Republicans not supported the legislation that included them. …