Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Ted’s Twisted History

Ted’s Twisted History

In Sen. Ted Cruz’s twisted vision of economic history, Ronald Reagan cured double-digit unemployment by cutting spending and reducing the federal debt, and Jimmy Carter was guilty of “out-of-control regulation.”
In the real world:

Total federal spending soared during Reagan’s deficit-plagued first term, and the national debt nearly doubled. His budget director later resigned and wrote a book criticizing Reagan’s failure to cut spending.
And Carter signed landmark bills freeing airline, railroad and trucking rates from federal regulation,

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,

Paying People to Play Video Games

Paying People to Play Video Games

House Speaker John Boehner tweets that the Obama administration is spending $1.2 million “paying people to play video games.” That’s misleading. The government did pay $1.2 million for university research that includes the study of how video games can stimulate the cognitive abilities of seniors. A fraction of that cost went to compensate seniors who participated in the study, researchers say.
Boehner was one of several prominent Republican congressmen who sent out a flurry of tweets – hashtag #cutwaste – distorting the research.

McConnell Fudges Fiscal Facts, Too

McConnell Fudges Fiscal Facts, Too

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell twisted some fiscal facts in his appearances on the Sunday talk show circuit:

McConnell said the Obama administration has “driven spending as a percentage of our economy from 21 percent up to almost 25 percent.” But it was already projected to be almost 25 percent — actually 24.9 percent — in fiscal year 2009 even before Obama took office.
He also said “99 percent of Americans will not see their taxes go up”

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 …

Facing Facts on Fiscal Cliff

Facing Facts on Fiscal Cliff

The U.S. faces the possibility of another recession — the third in 11 years — if President Obama and Congress cannot find a way to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. The one-two combination of massive tax increases and spending cuts …

Durbin (Again) Denies Social Security’s Red Ink

Durbin (Again) Denies Social Security’s Red Ink

Sen. Richard Durbin says that “Social Security does not add one penny to our debt.” That’s false. It was wrong 21 months ago, when Durbin said it once before, and it’s even more off the mark now.
The federal government for the first time in its history had to borrow money in 2010 to cover Social Security benefits to retired and disabled workers — a trend that worsened in 2011 and will not change at any point in the future unless changes are made.

The ‘Facts’ According to Obama and Romney Ads

The ‘Facts’ According to Obama and Romney Ads

In dueling ads, the Obama and Romney campaigns claim the factual high ground on deficits and taxes while, ironically, distorting the facts.

An Obama ad uses a truncated quote that makes NBC’s Andrea Mitchell seem to contradict Romney’s statement that his tax plan doesn’t amount to a $5 trillion cut. In fact, she went on to say Romney “said again tonight that his plan would be paid for.”
A Romney ad claims Obama is “adding almost as much debt as all 43 previous presidents combined.”

Obama’s Numbers

Obama’s Numbers

For more than a year, we’ve been pointing out on a regular basis how President Obama, his allies and his critics all misuse or even fabricate statistics to give voters a skewed picture of reality. This time we’ll just offer the accurate numbers. Here — in a graphic …

Romney, Obama Court Moms, Distort Facts

Romney, Obama Court Moms, Distort Facts

Mitt Romney and President Obama each distort the facts in TV ads aimed at young mothers:

Romney’s ad falsely attributes the nation’s $16 trillion debt all to Obama when it says “your share of Obama’s debt is over $50,000.” The total public debt was $10.6 trillion when Obama took office, and he inherited a $1 trillion-plus deficit in his first year.
Obama’s ad claims Romney’s tax plan “could take away middle-class deductions for child care, home mortgages and college tuition,”