A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

DCCC Dials Wrong Number

Democrats make false and misleading claims about the impact of the House GOP budget plan on Medicare and the federal debt in automated phone calls placed in 13 districts. The robocalls, paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee …

In N.M., Wildlife Group Mislabels Pearce

This ad says Republican Steve Pearce was "named one of the most corrupt members of Congress." We find that’s a bum rap.
The ad also falsely attacks the former GOP congressman for voting in 2005 to give "big oil giants like BP … billions in tax breaks." Pearce’s vote actually resulted in a net increase in taxes for oil and gas companies.

The ad is by the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund. It first aired Aug.

Labor Falsely Attacks Lincoln. Again.

New TV spots from two labor unions try to paint Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas as a slick politician who has done the bidding of big-business donors, such as oil companies. But the claims just don’t stick. One ad claims Lincoln “helped George Bush and Dick Cheney give oil and gas companies …

Sunday Replay

This Sunday’s collection of morning talkfests produced a few points worth noting, including distortions of Rand Paul’s use of the term "un-American," a bit of cherry-picking on job growth numbers under President Obama, a false accusation that oil companies are making "record profits," and misleading innuendo that the White House has been slow to respond to the Gulf oil crisis because of the industry’s campaign donations.
A Bit of Flag-Waving
On "Fox News Sunday,"

Obama 68 Million Acre Boast

Obama was off the mark when he said that oil companies have “68 million acres that they’re not using.”
As we’ve pointed out previously, those 68 million acres of land are not producing oil, but they are not necessarily untouched. In fact, in 2006, the last year for which figures are available, there were a total of more than 15,000 holes that were being proposed, started or finished. These acres of land that these holes sit on are not counted as being “producing,”

Tax Cuts for Oil Companies?

McCain isn’t proposing a special tax break for oil companies, despite Joe Biden’s mention (more than once) of the $4 billion cut they’d get. As we’ve noted previously, McCain’s plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent — for ALL corporations, not just oil companies. It also would allow for immediate write-offs for companies buying new equipment and technology, and a tax credit of 10 percent of the amount companies spend on wages devoted to research and development.

2005 Energy Bill Deja Vu

Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 Energy bill, saying, “that’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.”
It’s a false attack Clinton used against Obama in the primary and McCain himself has hurled. It’s true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry.

Obama’s Overstatement

Summary

Obama released a TV spot saying McCain’s campaign got $2 million from "Big Oil" while McCain proposed "another $4 billion in tax breaks" for the industry.
The truth is that McCain’s campaign has received $1.33 million from individuals employed in the oil and gas industry, not $2 million. Obama himself has received nearly $400,000, according to the most authoritative figures available. We find the $2 million figure is based on a mistaken calculation.

Gasoline Tax Profits

Q: Does the government really make more in taxes from the sale of a gallon of gasoline than the oil companies do?
A: Possibly. Both taxes and profits account for a large share, but which is larger depends on too many unknown factors to allow for a clear answer.

Oil and Gas Company Tax Breaks

Q: What kind of tax breaks does the U.S. give to oil companies and to corporations that send jobs overseas?
A: Companies with overseas subsidiaries can keep their income untaxed by the IRS if they don’t transfer that revenue back to the U.S. Oil and gas companies received tax breaks and subsidies from a 2005 energy bill, but the bill led to a net tax increase for them.