A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Wind Power Puffery

Summary
A McCain ad shows pictures of wind-driven turbines while the narrator says: "Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that's John McCain." But, in fact, his energy plan doesn't specify any new federal spending for renewable energy and says only that he'd "rationalize" existing tax credits to provide incentives. In the past, however, he's opposed extending such tax credits when paid for by tax increases elsewhere.
The ad also insinuates that Obama would bring "higher taxes"

Idealistic on Energy

Summary
Obama’s ad responding to McCain’s latest attacks on him includes the claim that his energy plan will "break the grip of foreign oil." We’re not sure what "break the grip" translates into in terms of cuts in U.S. oil imports, but we’re sure that Obama’s proposals don’t guarantee it.
Analysis
The Democrats’ presumed nominee Barack Obama is fighting back against the latest negative ad from rival John McCain with an ad that attacks McCain for,

Tax Tally Trickery

Summary
The McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee both claim that Obama has voted 94 times “for higher taxes.” We find that their count is padded. After looking at every one of the 94 votes that the RNC includes in its tally, we find:

Twenty-three were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all; they were against proposed tax cuts.
Seven of the votes were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many,

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.