A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Charting Ryan’s Debt Exaggeration

Charting Ryan’s Debt Exaggeration

Rep. Paul Ryan exaggerates future growth of the federal debt in a chart contained in his newly released budget plan.
The chart relies on Congressional Budget Office projections from last year that do not account for actions taken since then to reduce federal deficits by nearly $2 trillion over 10 years. The chart also projects debt levels out to 2060, although CBO warns that such long-term projections are “highly uncertain.”
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who chairs the House Budget Committee,

Reid Twice Wrong on $2.6 Trillion ‘Cuts’

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.

Fiscal Cliff Air Wars

Fiscal Cliff Air Wars

The presidential election ended last month, but the partisan air wars continue with competing fiscal cliff ads from the conservative Crossroads GPS and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Most of what is in the ads falls into the realm of opinion, but we found a couple points to quibble with in each.

The DCCC ad claims “tea party House Republicans are holding the middle class hostage to get more tax cuts for millionaires,” but nearly six out of seven who would face tax increases under President Obama’s plan do not earn $1 million a year.

Chained Explained

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 …

Romney’s Economic Exaggerations

Romney’s Economic Exaggerations

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claims that his plan would balance the federal budget in eight to 10 years. But so far, he has not made public the details on how he would be able to do that, and one neutral budget expert calls it “an unrealistic goal.”
Also, Romney and running mate Paul Ryan exaggerate when they say “five different studies” prove that all of the stated goals of Romney’s revenue-neutral tax plan could be accomplished without raising taxes on middle-income taxpayers.

About Those ‘Republican Cuts’

About Those ‘Republican Cuts’

Q: Would a “list of Republican budget cuts” by the “new Republican House” slash $2.5 trillion from federal spending over 10 years?
A: The list is real. But so far, there has been no action on the bill, which was sponsored by 33 conservative GOP House members.

GOP Attack on Tim Kaine’s ‘Shortfall’ Falls Short

GOP Attack on Tim Kaine’s ‘Shortfall’ Falls Short

A conservative group claims former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine “left us with a $4.2 billion shortfall.” Not exactly. The state did face a $4.2 billion gap in the biennial 2010-2012 budget, but Kaine submitted a balanced budget proposal days before leaving office, as required by law.
And the last budget Kaine signed into law ended with a surplus. In fact, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell praised Kaine for making “tough cuts” in state spending and relying on “conservative”

Romney Fundraising Pitch Skews Stats

Romney Fundraising Pitch Skews Stats

In a March fundraising letter to Floridians, Mitt Romney skews economic statistics under President Barack Obama. Among the letter’s claims:

Romney says the numbers for unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures are “soaring.” That’s simply not true. They all started rising sharply under Bush, continued to rise for a time under Obama, but then peaked and are currently declining.

Romney claims Obama stood over “the greatest job loss in modern American history.” But more jobs were lost under his predecessor.

Spotlight On: John Totten

Spotlight On: John Totten

John Totten said he often looks out for his friends and family by emailing them FactCheck.org articles.
When he came across a conservative group’s TV ad about North Carolina’s budget battle, Totten thought of a cousin who lives in that state and uploaded the video to Spin Detectors.
We found that Americans for Prosperity omitted some important information in its ad attacking the Democratic governor and praising the Republican-controlled state legislature. For example, the ad says the legislature added state funding for “2,000 more teachers” and that its budget “adds teachers.” But the legislature’s increased funding didn’t make up for the loss of federal money and discretionary state funds that local districts use to hire teachers.

Obama’s Trillion-Dollar Exaggeration

Obama’s Trillion-Dollar Exaggeration

President Obama has repeatedly and falsely claimed that “right now, we’re scheduled to spend nearly $1 trillion more” in tax cuts for the “wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.” That’s simply not true. The Bush tax cuts — which Obama and Congress extended for two years — expire at the end of this year, so any plans to “spend” beyond Dec. 31, 2012, would require Congress to act again.
The White House told us that the president is referring to the $968 billion that “we save”