A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Jobless Rate and Unemployment Benefits

Q: Does the official jobless rate fail to count people who have no unemployment benefits?
A: They are counted, too. The rate is based on a huge survey and counts those who are out of work whether they get benefits or not.

Congressional Black Caucus for Blacks Only?

Q: Is the Congressional Black Caucus racially exclusive?
A: Yes. It has never had a white member in its 36-year history. However, its stated mission is to work for "America’s neglected citizens," whatever their color.

Military Deaths Under Clinton and Bush

Q: Did more soldiers die during Bill Clinton’s term than have died fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan?
A: Actually, even counting non-combat fatalities, more military personnel died during the first six years of George Bush’s tenure than during the entire eight years that Bill Clinton was in office.

Defining an ‘Earmark’?

Q: What is an earmark?
A: Earmarks are government funds that are allocated by a legislator for a particular pet project, often without proper review.

Defining the ‘Middle Class’

Q: Is there a standard, accepted definition of what constitutes the "middle class"?
A: No, there isn’t. "Middle class" means different things to different people – and politicians.

The Florida Recount of 2000

Q: When the votes were recounted in Florida, who won the 2000 presidential election?
A: Nobody can say for sure who might have won. A full, official recount of all votes statewide could have gone either way, but one was never conducted.

Clinton Passed on Killing bin Laden?

Q: Did Bill Clinton pass up a chance to kill Osama bin Laden?
A: Probably not, and it would not have mattered anyway as there was no evidence at the time that bin Laden had committed any crimes against American citizens.

U.S. Intelligence on WMDs in Iraq

Q: What was known to U.S. intelligence and Congress about WMDs in Iraq before the vote to go to war?
A: Senior U.S. intelligence officials believed, incorrectly, that Iraq had stockpiles of chemical and germ weapons and was developing nuclear weapons. They also agreed Saddam Hussein wouldn’t give such weapons to terrorists unless attacked. Few members of Congress read the full 92-page report with all its qualifications and dissents.

The Impact of Tax Cuts

Q: Have tax cuts always resulted in higher tax revenues and more economic growth as many tax cut proponents claim?
A: No. In fact, economists say tax cuts do not spark enough growth to pay for themselves.

More Money Doesn’t Guarantee Nomination

Q: Does the person with the most money ALWAYS win the presidential nomination?
A: No. The biggest money-raisers are beaten fairly regularly. Just ask Howard Dean.