A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center
FactCheck.org is celebrating 15 years of holding politicians accountable.

Student Lenders’ Slippery Jobs Numbers

Would overhauling the student loan program really "jeopardize more than 30,000 private sector jobs," as claimed by those who oppose it? We find that figure to be a stretch. A widely quoted, independent expert says any job loss is likely to be much less, and that it’s possible no jobs will be lost at all.
The student-loan overhaul — under which the federal government would become the sole lender, ending the role of banks and other private sector lenders in this government program —

All Those in Favor…

Keeping up with ads about the pending health care overhaul legislation, pro and con, is like trying to fill one’s glass from the proverbial fire hose. Today, we bring you three ads from groups that are urging passage of the bill, each of which needs a little context or correction.
First up is one from Americans for Stable Quality Care, which is an agglomeration of pro-overhaul organizations such as the American Medical Association, the Service Employees International Union and the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers Association.

Ad Serves Up a Dose of Exaggeration

The Washington Post reported on March 9 that Employers for a Healthy Economy, a coalition of business groups that includes the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, plans to spend up to $10 million running an ad about the effects of health care legislation on the economy.

The ad, which portrays workers and businesses going through difficult times, says that "health care costs will go even higher" and that this will "[make] a tough economy even worse." These claims need context.

Counting Conundrum

We’ve been questioning the Obama administration’s claim that the stimulus bill would "save or create more than 3.5 million jobs" since the president began saying it. In February, we pointed out that although several economists made such a projection, they all said there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding these estimates. Late last year, the administration’s effort to count actual stimulus-created (or saved) jobs was plagued by the reporting of jobs in nonexistent congressional districts. And now,

Obama’s Economic Speech

We’re always alert for signs that the president (any president) is overselling his programs. Here’s what we heard in President Obama’s speech on Tuesday announcing new efforts to create jobs: He highlighted a Congressional Budget Office estimate that “up to” 1.6 million jobs …

Stimulus Jobs, Re-revisited

Reports from journalists and the Government Accountability Office last month about problems with the data on Recovery.gov cast doubt on the site’s claim that more than 640,000 jobs had been created or saved by the Obama administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Meanwhile Obama upped the ante, putting the figure at more than 1 million. On Nov. 12, for example, in announcing this month’s jobs summit, he said that the stimulus had “created and saved more than a million jobs.”

Recovery Stats Get Rougher

We reported yesterday that the federal government’s Recovery.gov Web site, which purports to track jobs created or saved with stimulus money, was citing new jobs in nonexistent congressional districts. Today a new report from the Government Accountability Office brings news that phantom districts aren’t the only problem.
GAO found almost 4,000 reports that showed jobs created or saved but no money received or expended. Those reports represented more than 50,000 jobs. Recovery.gov’s total job count is 640,329.

Real Jobs, Fake Districts?

The Obama administration’s Recovery.gov Web site is supposed to compile data on actual, real-life jobs filled by companies and states that have received real money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the stimulus). But the site claims that jobs exist in congressional districts that don’t.
This is a site, by the way, that says it "allows for the reporting of potential fraud, waste, and abuse."
ABC News reported the discrepancies Nov. 16, pointing out that 39 jobs were supposedly created in imaginary districts in Iowa,

Health Care and the Economy

Would the House-passed health care bill make a tough economy worse and wipe out more jobs, as claimed in a TV ad from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Or would it help small business and encourage economic growth, as claimed in an ad sponsored by a big labor union …

Cap-and-trade: “Green Jobs” or Job Killer?

A TV ad sponsored by business groups claims a bill to curb carbon emissions “will cost up to 2.4 million U.S. jobs” if enacted. That directly contradicts claims by President Obama and his allies who say the bill would create jobs – 1.7 million of them according to one TV spot …