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Obama’s Supporters Take to the Small Screen

The ink is still drying on the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, and the government’s corresponding Web site for tracking its progress is still being programmed. But Americans United for Change, a liberal group, already is airing an ad that lauds President Obama for its passage and extols its benefits.

FactCheck.org has reviewed dubious ads from Americans United for Change before, when the group was attacking then-President Bush and other Republicans. This ad repeats the Obama claim that the stimulus will keep or save 3.5 million jobs.

Stimulus Bill Bravado

In recent weeks, in his pitches to Congress and the public on the need to pass the economic stimulus bill, Obama has made several claims about what it would do. (Republicans, too, have made stimulus boasts of their own.) But these pronouncements are not a sure thing. Obama repeatedly said …

When Economists Disagree, Part II

In a post last week, we explained some of the difficulties involved in trying to determine whether or not the stimulus package will work. As we said at the time:
Well, for one thing, economists have very little data with which to work. There are plenty of theoretical models out there, but those models are largely untested. … [O]ur long period of relative prosperity means that economists haven’t been able to plug a lot of real-world situations into their models to see how well those models hold up.

Will the Stimulus Work?

A lot of readers have asked us to sort through the various arguments about whether or not the stimulus bill (which, at the moment, is actually two different bills, one in the House and one in the Senate) will actually work. But we just don’t know the answer to this one. For that matter, even the experts don’t know. On one side, Nobel laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz argue that the only problem with the stimulus bill is that it needs more spending and fewer tax cuts.

Obama’s Speech and Those Frivolous Earmarks

President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, and we caught several factual errors and misstatements in his remarks. See our full story on FactCheck.org for all the details. Here’s just one item we found:
Obama exaggerated a bit in describing the Children’s Health Insurance Program that was recently reauthorized by Congress:

Obama: When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11 million American children whose parents work full time.

Loss of Automaker Jobs?

Q: Would 3 million jobs be lost if U.S. automakers go under?

A: The 3-million-jobs figure is based on doomsday assumptions that are unlikely to materialize. Independent economists put the job loss in the hundreds of thousands if GM and Chrysler go under. Ford has said it can survive on its own for now.

Health Care Bill Bankruptcies

Q: What is the percentage of total personal bankruptcies caused by health care bills?
A: A Harvard study published in 2005 found that about half of those who filed for bankruptcy said health care expenses, illness or related job-loss led them to do so. Twenty-seven percent cited uncovered medical bills specifically, and 2 percent said they had mortgaged their home to pay what they owed.

Our Disinformed Electorate

We saw more aggressive fact-checking by journalists in this election than ever before. Unfortunately, as a post-election Annenberg Public Policy Center poll confirms, millions of voters were bamboozled anyway.

More than half of U.S. adults (52 percent) said the claim that Sen. Barack Obama’s tax plan would raise taxes on most small businesses is truthful, when in fact only a small percentage would see any increase.

More than two in five (42.3 percent) found truth in the claim that Sen.

Auto Worker Salaries

Q: Do auto workers really make more than $70 per hour?
A: No. That figure is derived from what the auto companies pay in wages, health, retirement and other benefits, and includes the cost of providing benefits to retirees.

You Ask, We Answer

That’s the idea behind our Ask FactCheck feature on themain site.
This week, we looked into a suspicious quote allegedly from President-elect Barack Obama, speaking about urgent gun policy changes. The reader who sent it to us wasn’t convinced it was legitimate, and our reporting showed it was almost certainly a fabrication. The quote claims Obama told a "VPC Fund Raiser" in 2007 that "[i]n the first year, I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law,