A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Cruz, Paul: A Menagerie of Misinformation

Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul got laughs at the federal government’s expense at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, but the facts don’t jibe with the jokes.

Cruz accused the EPA of “trying to use a lizard to shut down oil and gas production” in West Texas to set up a one-liner about lizard boots. But the jab — an old campaign joke — no longer has any basis in fact. The federal government decided against listing the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as “endangered”

Palin’s Constitutional Stretch

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said that the Senate was “in violation of Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of our U.S. Constitution” by failing to “pass a budget.” She’s referring to a budget resolution. But that constitutional clause doesn’t mention a budget or a budget resolution, which was not required of the Senate until the 1974 Congressional Budget Act. The responses to Palin’s interpretation from constitutional scholars ranged from “completely invalid” to “kind of a stretch.”

Charting Ryan’s Debt Exaggeration

Rep. Paul Ryan exaggerates future growth of the federal debt in a chart contained in his newly released budget plan.
The chart relies on Congressional Budget Office projections from last year that do not account for actions taken since then to reduce federal deficits by nearly $2 trillion over 10 years. The chart also projects debt levels out to 2060, although CBO warns that such long-term projections are “highly uncertain.”
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee,

GOP Budget Revives ‘Obamacare’ Claims

The release of the House GOP budget by Rep. Paul Ryan has sparked a resurgence of false and misleading claims about the Affordable Care Act, which the budget seeks to largely repeal. On the Sunday talk shows, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the head of the Democratic National Committee, and Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, each distorted the facts regarding revenues raised in the health care law. And Ryan wrongly said the law would take money away from Medicare and ration benefits for seniors.

Pelosi Stretches an Old McConnell Quote

Rep. Nancy Pelosi seized on an old talking point, miscasting a now-famous quote by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2010 about the goal of making Obama a “one-term president.”
On CNN’s “State of the Union” on March 10, host Candy Crowley asked the leader of the House Democrats if President Barack Obama’s stated commitment to helping return the House to Democratic power, with Pelosi at the helm, wasn’t the same as McConnell’s comment about his goal of making Obama a one-term president.

Mark Sanford Falsely Accused in TV Ad

John Kuhn, one of 16 Republicans seeking his party’s nomination in South Carolina’s special House election, falsely claims former Gov. Mark Sanford “supported a massive earmark spending bill.” Sanford in fact vetoed the bill, saying it was packed with “politically-driven, pork barrel spending,” including some at Kuhn’s request.
The ad also says Kuhn “opposed that bill and fought to stop wasteful spending.” But that claim only goes so far. It’s true that Kuhn filibustered the bill in 2003,

Underselling the Sequester Cuts

An ad from a fiscally conservative group makes a true but misleading claim that the sequester only amounts to “a 3 percent cut in federal spending.” A majority of federal spending is exempt from the sequester cuts, so the parts that are not will be cut much more deeply than that. For example, defense spending (other than for military personnel) will be cut by 8 percent across the board, and nondefense discretionary spending will be cut by between 5 percent and 6 percent.

Biden Exaggerates Aid to Israel

Vice President Joe Biden incorrectly told a pro-Israel group that President Obama’s $3.1 billion request for military aid to Israel last year was “the most in history.” The record was set in fiscal 2000, when the Clinton administration secured $3.12 billion for Israel — which is not only slightly more in nominal dollars but much more in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Biden is also taking credit for a level of spending that was set by the Bush administration as part of a 10-year,