A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s Inflated Health ‘Savings’

Summary

Obama says his health care plan will garner large savings – $120 billion a year, or $2,500 per family – with more than half coming from the use of electronic health records. And he says he’ll make that happen in his first term. We find his statements to be overly optimistic, misleading and, to some extent, contradicted by one of his own advisers. And it masks the true cost of his plan to cover millions of Americans who now have no health insurance.

Katrina Kerfuffle

Summary
McCain was asked by a New Orleans reporter why he voted twice against an independent commission to investigate the government’s failings before and after Hurricane Katrina, and he incorrectly stated that he had "voted for every investigation."
 
McCain actually voted twice, in 2005 and 2006, to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have set up an independent commission along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. At the time of the second vote,

Seating Florida’s and Michigan’s Delegates

Q: What’s going on with Florida’s and Michigan’s delegates to the Democratic convention?
A: The DNC rules committee will meet May 31 to come up with a solution to seating the delegates.

The Budget According to McCain: Part II

In our last installment we looked at McCain’s pronouncements on spending cuts to help balance the budget. In Part II, we examine what he’s said on a subject that might be more pleasing to many Americans: lowering taxes. We found exaggerations and distortions here, as well.

McCain’s $5,000 Promise

McCain says in a new TV ad: “Let’s give every American family a $5,000 refundable tax credit” to buy health insurance. Sounds good. But McCain failed to mention how existing employer-sponsored health benefits would be affected.

Gasoline Tax Profits

Q: Does the government really make more in taxes from the sale of a gallon of gasoline than the oil companies do?
A: Possibly. Both taxes and profits account for a large share, but which is larger depends on too many unknown factors to allow for a clear answer.

McCain Voting With Democrats More Than GOP?

Q: Is it true that even though John McCain calls himself a Republican, he has sided more with the Dems than with the Repubs?

A: Not true at all. He voted in support of President Bush 95 percent of the time last year, for example.

Violent Crimes and Handgun Ownership

Q: Are violent crimes more or less common in areas where handgun ownership is higher?
A:
Some studies have found that murder rates (not crime rates in general) are higher where guns are more prevalent. But social scientists have not found a direct causal relationship between the two factors.

More NAFTA Nonsense

Barack Obama’s campaign is distributing a mailer in Ohio that plays upon anti-NAFTA feelings in the Buckeye State. But the flier is misleading: Obama is quoted as saying that “one million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio.” But those figures are highly questionable and from an anti-NAFTA source. Other economic studies have concluded the trade deal resulted in much smaller job losses or even a small net gain.