A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

The Final Push: Trump

With the presidential election just a few days away, we offer a sampling of the misleading claims made by Donald Trump during speeches this week.

Hagel Shifts Sequester Blame to Congress

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel blames Congress — and absolves President Obama — for the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester. But Obama supported and signed the bill that triggered the cuts.

GOP Hits Turbulence with FAA Claim

A number of Republicans are using misleading numbers when they say the Federal Aviation Administration should cut consultants and travel before resorting to furloughs that are causing airport delays.

Underselling the Sequester Cuts

An ad from a fiscally conservative group makes a true but misleading claim that the sequester only amounts to “a 3 percent cut in federal spending.” A majority of federal spending is exempt from the sequester cuts, so the parts that are not will be cut much more deeply than that. For example, defense spending (other than for military personnel) will be cut by 8 percent across the board, and nondefense discretionary spending will be cut by between 5 percent and 6 percent.

The Sequester Blame Game

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner emerged from their White House meeting on sequestration blaming each other for the automatic spending cuts and misrepresenting the other side’s position:

Obama’s remarks left the false impression that Boehner has reneged on a GOP plan to raise $800 billion by limiting tax breaks for the wealthy. Boehner offered that plan in December as an alternative to raising income tax rates. But that plan was dropped when Obama and Republicans agreed to raise rates,

Boehner’s Revenue Reach

House Speaker John Boehner claimed the federal government will take in more revenue this year than any other year in history. That’s true in nominal dollars, but not as a percentage of gross domestic product — a measure preferred by most economists that accounts for growth in population, inflation and earnings.
In fact, as a percentage of GDP, revenues this year are actually lower than the historical average since World War II.
In an interview on CBS Evening News on Feb.

The ‘Obamaquester’

This Republican talking point aims to blame President Obama for more than $1 trillion in automatic, across-the-board cuts in domestic and defense spending that — without action by Congress — are scheduled to take effect on March 1. But the reality is that the pending cuts would not be possible had both Democrats and Republicans not supported the legislation that included them. …