A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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

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

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

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”

White House Displays ‘Washington Monument Syndrome’

The White House misleadingly suggests that the Republicans’ plan to pay for a payroll tax cut would result in “forcing cuts to things like education and medical research.” The bill passed by House Republicans mentions no such cuts. And while the bill may or may not require cuts to discretionary spending, there’s no reason those cuts would have to come from popular programs like education or medical research.
The White House’s nearly six-minute “white board” video,

FactChecking Obama’s Budget Speech

President Barack Obama misrepresented the House Republicans’ budget plan at times and exaggerated its impact on U.S. residents during an April 13 speech on deficit reduction. Obama claimed …

Stockman’s Fiery Rhetoric

David Stockman claims that discretionary spending is "out of control."  But it’s up just 1.6 percent this year.
The former Reagan administration budget director caught our attention with an incendiary quote to The Fiscal Times news site, where he urged fellow Republicans to shut down the government if necessary to achieve spending reductions:

David Stockman: It’s time for the Republicans to man-up and let it burn! Discretionary spending is out of control, and if the GOP doesn’t force a big roll-back,

Dems’ ‘Halfway’ Hustle

Democrats claim their $10.5 billion in proposed cuts are "halfway" to the GOP’s $61 billion. We give that arithmetic an "F."
President Barack Obama claimed during his March 5 radio address that "my administration has already put forward specific cuts that meet congressional Republicans halfway." And White House Chief of Staff William Daley repeated the "halfway" claim during his appearance on "Meet the Press." Earlier, Gene Sperling, director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters: "The White House has been willing to move halfway to where they are."

Dems, GOP Exaggerate Spending ‘Cuts’

Senate Democratic leaders, under pressure from Republicans to cut the budget, have been misleading the public by claiming they already have "cut" spending by $41 billion.
The fact is that the Democrats haven’t "cut" any spending. Congress hasn’t passed a budget for fiscal year 2011, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says federal spending continues to rise.
First a little background: House Republicans passed legislation in the early morning of Feb. 19 that would fund the federal government for fiscal year 2011.

Obama Bungles Budget Line

President Barack Obama messed up one of his favorite talking points about his 2012 budget proposal at a small business forum in Cleveland.
The president claimed that “I’ve designed a budget that freezes spending for five years and will help reduce the deficit by $400 billion over the next decade to the lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower was president.” That’s not even close to being true.
According to the fiscal year 2012 budget unveiled on Feb.