A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Upstate Insults

New York Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, a Republican, and businessman Scott Murphy, a Democrat, are battling to fill a House seat in New York’s 20th congressional district that was vacated when its occupant was appointed to the Senate. The special election is scheduled for March 31. Recent ads have …

Bad Bankruptcy Stat, Repeated

Last week on our main site, we pointed out that President Obama used an incorrect statistic on bankruptcies caused by medical expenses in his address to Congress. And yesterday, he repeated it,
as Jake Tapper at ABC News noted
:

Tapper: "The cost of health care now causes a bankruptcy in America every thirty seconds," President Obama said at the opening of his White House forum on health care reform just now.

As we said then (and Tapper kindly links to us in his report): Last year,

Ride into the Danger Zone

The Air Force’s much-criticized F-22 has been a favorite subject of much of the blogosphere, particularly since Mark Bowden’s feature article praising the fighter appeared in the March issue of The Atlantic . Tuesday night the discussion went mainstream, with Obama’s oblique reference to “Cold War weapons we don’t use.” As we said in our article over on the main site, Obama is right to describe the F-22 this way. Development on the fighter began in 1981,

ARRA Under Attack, Again

The belated attacks on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 keep on coming. For the second time in less than a week, the American Issues Project has released a television ad criticizing the stimulus legislation recently signed by President Obama. In our article "GOP Stimulus Myths," we discussed the group’s first anti-stimulus ad that contained misleading claims about "pork and pet projects" in the legislation, as well as a one-sided characterization of a Congressional Budget Office analysis.

When Economists Agree

We’ve been telling you for the last couple of weeks how economists are divided over the virtues of the stimulus bill. But, as former chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and current Harvard Professor Greg Mankiw reminds us, we shouldn’t get too carried away with our skepticism of economists. While they might have differing views of macroeconomics, there are still a lot of areas where they agree. Mankiw provides us with a list of principles that most economists accept,

GOP Stimulus Myths

Do some of the Republican claims you’ve heard about the stimulus bill sound too awful to be true? We find a few that are wildly exaggerated or downright false. It’s not true that the bill contains spending for “golf carts.” It has $300 million to buy fuel-efficient vehicles, some …

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.