A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Romney’s ‘Gross’ Exaggeration on ‘Obamacare’

Mitt Romney falsely claims government will “constitute … almost 50 percent” of the U.S. economy when the new federal health care law takes full effect. But Romney gets to 50 percent by erroneously counting all health care spending — private and public — as “effectively under government control once Obamacare is fully implemented,” as his spokesman put it.
That’s nonsense — just as it was two years ago, when Rep. Michele Bachmann made a similar bogus claim.

Boehner’s Big Stretch on Small Business

House Speaker John Boehner claimed that “small-business people” make up more than half of those who would be hit by a tax increase on “millionaires.” Not really. Only 13 percent of those making over $1 million get even as much as one-fourth of that income from small business, according to government tax experts.
Old Exaggerations
Republicans have for years greatly exaggerated the extent to which higher taxes on upper-income individuals would fall on owners of small businesses.

Sunday Replay

The first set of Sunday shows since the midterm elections featured a number of Republicans talking about how they’ll exercise their increased power. We’d just like to set the facts straight — on the budget, the health care law, taxes and other subjects. Democrats, too, weren’t immune from making a misleading statement or two.

Taxes and Revenues: Up and Up  
GOP Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana made a wildly false supply-side tax claim on ABC’s "This Week"

FactChecking ‘The Pledge’

The Republican “Pledge to America,” released Sept. 23, contains some dubious factual claims. It declares that “the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.” Not true. . . .

What’s a ‘Small Business’?

Politicians often talk about "small businesses." But how small is a small business? Fifty employees? One hundred? Two hundred?
Actually, it’s often much more than that. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. And that’s the standard politicians often use.
For example, President Barack Obama repeated a familiar claim on Aug. 19: that "small businesses … create two out of every three new jobs in this country."

Should Murray Worry?

An attack ad from a Republican-leaning group accuses Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of abusing "families" and "children" — but provides no support for those claims. The group’s website even criticizes Murray for casting a vote in favor of expanding health insurance to millions of children — a vote also cast by the group’s own CEO, former Republican Sen. Norm Coleman.

The ad by the American Action Network began airing July 13 in Washington state with an initial buy of more than $750,000.

Obama Wrong on GOP, Small Business Criticism

In his weekly address, President Obama blasted Republicans for using "procedural tactics to block a simple, up-or-down vote" on loan help for small businesses. But that’s false.
Democrats have proposed no such "simple, up-or-down vote" on the small business benefits alone. What Republicans have blocked are votes on extending unemployment benefits, something Democrats once packaged with one part of Obama’s proposals to benefit small business. (And a number of Republicans say they’re not opposed to extending unemployment insurance benefits —

DNC Steals Words Right Out of Steele’s Mouth

Props to Politico’s Ben Smith for spotting the latest misleading ad from the Democratic National Committee. The ad, called "On Their Side," uses selective editing to make it seem as though Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele gives "Wall Street" exclusive credit for creating jobs and building the economy. In fact, Steele was also praising "Main Street" and small businesses, but the DNC edited out those references.

The clip in the ad comes from a June 22 interview on CNBC,

U.S. Chamber: More Lawsuit Malarkey

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is running a false ad claiming that "52 percent of all lawsuits" target small businesses. The claim is contradicted by the very study the Chamber cites as its source, and it’s not even close to the truth. The study shows the true figure is somewhere between 5 percent and 8 percent.

A spokesman for the Chamber, Mark Szymanski, told us the ad began airing "nationally" in late December and will continue to air until the end of January.

Right Change Is Wrong


A conservative group called RightChange.com has spent $3 million running ads that largely criticize Obama and his tax plans. They’re false: 

Two ads say Obama would tax "small businesses" at a rate of "62 percent." He wouldn’t. That number is an inflated estimate of the very top tax rate, and it doesn’t represent what Obama has proposed.
That false figure includes an increased Social Security tax rate that Obama doesn’t support, plus the state income tax rate paid by people making more than a million dollars a year in California.