A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

McCain’s Gitmo Exaggeration

Sen. John McCain exaggerated when he claimed that about 25 percent of prisoners released from Guantanamo have returned to terrorist activities in “leadership positions.”

Obama’s Numbers (Quarterly Update)

Reviewing some key statistical measures of Barack Obama’s presidency so far, we find: The economy has added more jobs since Obama took office than it did in his predecessor’s entire eight years in office. Despite the improved economy, the number of people receiving food-stamp assistance has continued to grow …

Ted’s Twisted History

In Sen. Ted Cruz’s twisted vision of economic history, Ronald Reagan cured double-digit unemployment by cutting spending and reducing the federal debt, and Jimmy Carter was guilty of “out-of-control regulation.”
In the real world:

Total federal spending soared during Reagan’s deficit-plagued first term, and the national debt nearly doubled. His budget director later resigned and wrote a book criticizing Reagan’s failure to cut spending.
And Carter signed landmark bills freeing airline, railroad and trucking rates from federal regulation,

FactChecking Obama’s SOTU

President Obama put a rosy spin on several accomplishments of his administration in his 2013 State of the Union address. The president claimed that “both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion.” But that’s only an estimate of deficit reduction through fiscal year 2022, and it would be lower …

Reid Twice Wrong on $2.6 Trillion ‘Cuts’

Sen. Harry Reid was doubly wrong when he claimed that Congress already has cut $2.6 trillion from projected future deficits by reducing “non-defense programs” alone.
In fact, legislation he refers to applied to both security and non-security spending. Furthermore, a good chunk of the deficit reduction came from tax increases, not spending cuts.
Reid made the claim — twice — on ABC’s “This Week” on Feb. 3, in support of his argument that further deficit reduction should include more tax increases and cuts in military spending.

Firefighters, Fact-Checking and American Journalism

When I came to Annenberg and launched FactCheck.org in December 2003, I had a single research assistant and practically no competition. Now, nine years later, FactCheck.org has an excellent staff, and so many other journalists are fact-checking politicians that one media critic calls it “the ever-growing factchecking industry.” So I think …

Chained Explained

Using a more accurate cost-of-living adjustment for federal benefit payments and tax brackets would cut the federal deficit by perhaps $300 billion over the next 10 years. But it faces opposition from both right and left. Economists generally agree …

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 …

Obama’s Numbers, Updated

In the interest of timeliness and accuracy, we are issuing an updated version of “Obama’s Numbers,” our collection of key measures of the president’s time in office. A few things have changed since we published our original version Oct. 8 — some for better, and some for worse.

The number of jobs has increased substantially with the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example. There are now about 580,000 more people employed than when Obama took office,

Obama’s Inflated Jobs Claim

In a new TV ad, President Obama makes an inflated claim to have added 5.2 million new jobs. The total added during his time in office is actually about 325,000.
In the ad, the president says “over 5 million new jobs” while the figure “5.2 million” appears on screen. But that’s a doubly misleading figure.

Viewers would need to pay close attention to the on-screen graphic to know that the ad refers only to employment gains starting in March 2010,