A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

$42,000 a year

McCain has claimed yet again that Sen. Obama “voted twice for a budget resolution to increase taxes on individuals making $42,000 a year.” As we’ve reported, a single taxpayer making more than $41,500 would have seen a tax increase, but a couple filing jointly would have seen no increase unless they made at least $83,000, and for a couple with two children the cut-off would have been $90,000. Regardless, the increase that Obama once supported as part of a Democratic budget bill is not part of his current tax plan.

The Whoppers of 2008

Summary
Normally we post a “Whoppers” compilation the week before Election Day. This time we’ve already seen such a large number of twisted facts, misleading claims and outright falsehoods that we are doing that now.
It’s not just Sarah Palin’s claim about killing the bridge project that she had supported until it became a national laughingstock and Congress turned against it. That’s just the whopper that got the attention of many news organizations earlier this month.

More on the Phantom 62 Percent

In our recent article “Sliming Palin,” we addressed the pervasive rumor that Gov. Palin slashed funding for special needs education. She didn’t. Instead, she increased funding. Here’s more detail on how an increase got mistaken for a 62 percent decrease.
The evidence that’s been cited to support the false decrease claim:

The special schools component of the education budget for fiscal year 2007, before Palin was governor, was $8.3 million.
The special schools budget for 2008 was $3.2 million.

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.

The Budget According to McCain: Part I

McCain’s big promise is that he can balance the budget while extending Bush’s tax cuts and adding a few of his own. He likes to leave the impression that this can be done painlessly, for example, by eliminating “wasteful” spending in the form of “earmarks” that lawmakers like to tuck into spending bills to finance home-state projects. We found that not only is this theory full of holes, it’s not even McCain’s actual plan. In this story we examine the spending-cut side of McCain’s budget program. In Part II, we’ll look at what McCain has said about taxes.

The Budget and Deficit Under Clinton

Q: During the Clinton administration was the federal budget balanced? Was the federal deficit erased?
A: Yes to both questions, whether you count Social Security or not.

More Mitt Missteps

Mitt Romney has been boasting of accomplishments as governor, while also outlining foreign policy proposals. But Romney sometimes alters the past, exaggerates his record and traffics in ambiguous language.

Don’t Veto the Truth

In an ad, Mitt Romney said he “vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as governor.” What he doesn’t mention is that over 700 of his vetoes were overturned by the Massachusetts Legislature.

Supply-side Spin

John McCain has said that the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 have “increased revenues.” He also said that tax cuts in general increase revenues. That’s highly misleading.

Counter-rotating Tax Spin

Summary
The Democrats’ proposed 2008 budget is being spun by both sides. Democrats claim it will not raise taxes by even a penny, while Republicans say it will impose the largest or second-largest tax increase in history.
Obviously, the budget can’t be the largest tax increase in history and zero tax increase simultaneously. So which is it? The answer depends on a couple of questions: What constitutes an increase? And an increase compared with what?