A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Debtor Nation

On "FOX News Sunday" on March 1, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona castigated Obama’s budget for expanding the country’s public debt. Obama’s budget certainly projects rapid growth in red ink. But Kyl’s attacks could use some context and correction.
 
Kyl: This budget adds more debt to our country’s future than all of the debt from 1789 when George Washington was president right up through Franklin Roosevelt and – and Lyndon Johnson and George W. Bush.

Liberal Groups Criticize GOP Over Stimulus, Redux

The liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change (along with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union) released a new ad attacking Republicans for not supporting President Obama’s economic stimulus plan. Here is our review of an earlier ad from Americans United for Change. Here is the new one:

The main message of the ad is that Republicans said "no" to Obama’s plan, and, therefore, said "no" to "3.5 million jobs" and "no"

Social Security for Illegal Immigrants?

Q: Is Congress about to give Social Security to illegal immigrants?
A: Congress hasn’t voted on any measure to pay benefits to illegal immigrants, and has no plans for any such vote.

Money on the Table

Before he gave the Republican rebuttal to Tuesday night’s presidential address, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was making headlines by saying he would leave some of President Obama’s stimulus funds on the table. Other southern GOP governors, such as Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, said they may follow his lead.
Jindal announced last week, and reiterated Feb. 22 on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that he would not be applying for some unemployment insurance funding available to his state through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,

Obama’s Supporters Take to the Small Screen

The ink is still drying on the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and the government’s corresponding Web site for tracking its progress is still being programmed. But Americans United for Change, a liberal group, already is airing an ad that lauds President Obama for its passage and extols its benefits.

FactCheck.org has reviewed dubious ads from Americans United for Change before, when the group was attacking then-President Bush and other Republicans. This ad repeats the Obama claim that the stimulus will keep or save 3.5 million jobs.

Special Election Season Begins

Since President Obama plucked at least three advisers and cabinet members from elected positions, and some of those positions were then filled by other elected officials, we have a spate of special elections to watch as these empty posts are filled. Of particular note is the 20th House district in New York that was vacated when Kirsten Gillibrand was appointed to replace Hillary Clinton as senator. The district had traditionally trended Republican before Gillibrand’s win in 2006,

A Cool Reaction to Warming Trend

Americans For Prosperity, a conservative group, has found a unique way to attack Democrats for the recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: global warming alarmism.
The group notes that the stimulus package calls for “spending billions of dollars” for “green energy.” That much is certainly true. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill did include $16.8 billion for energy efficiency and renewable energy, and as we’ve previously discussed there was an additional $11 billion for a so-called smart grid.

Still on the Prowl Against Palin

The Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund is keeping the heat on Alaska Gov. (and former VP candidate) Sarah Palin for supporting “aerial hunting” of wolves in Alaska. As part of a new advocacy campaign on Palin’s environmental record, the group has enlisted actress Ashley Judd to narrate a Web video that echoes an attack ad from this past election. The new video has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube in a week and was even shown on today’s episode of ABC’s “The View.”

Children’s Clothing Resale

Q: Is the government outlawing the resale of children’s clothing?
A: Not explicitly. A recently passed law won’t ban resale, but it will hold resellers responsible for selling items with lead content that exceeds new limits. Some resellers are fearful this will force them out of business.

Blair House

Q: Why did the Obamas stay at a hotel instead of Blair House?
A: The family wanted the daughters to start school in early January, much earlier in the month than recent presidents have taken up residence there. The Bush administration said the guest house was unavailable, and a former Australian prime minister stayed there Jan. 12.