A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

‘Outrageous’ Exaggerations

Republican presidential candidate John McCain cites three absurd-sounding examples of pork-barrel spending in a recent ad. But he appears to have chosen these three because they’re easy to mock, not because he had significant involvement in removing them from the budget.

What is a Civil Union?

Summary

When politicians say they support civil unions but not marriage for people of the same sex, what do they mean? We find three main differences between civil unions and marriage as it’s traditionally viewed:

The right to federal benefits. States that allow some type of same-sex union are able to grant only state rights. The Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 prohibits same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage rights and benefits.
Portability.

Counter-rotating Tax Spin

Summary
The Democrats’ proposed 2008 budget is being spun by both sides. Democrats claim it will not raise taxes by even a penny, while Republicans say it will impose the largest or second-largest tax increase in history.
Obviously, the budget can’t be the largest tax increase in history and zero tax increase simultaneously. So which is it? The answer depends on a couple of questions: What constitutes an increase? And an increase compared with what?