A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Making Sense of Stimulus Spending

With the economy continuing to shed hundreds of thousands of jobs per month, Republicans are stepping up attacks on President Obama. They claim that the massive “stimulus” spending isn’t working very well. A Republican Party Web site classifies as “fiction” the president’s repeated claim that the spending already has “saved …

Tax Cut Ads Clip Some Details

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced on June 1 a radio ad and robo-call campaign against several congressional Republicans for voting against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. the stimulus bill). However, the attacks don’t tell the whole story.
For instance, the ad aimed at Republican Rep. Peter King claim that he "opposed an $800 tax cut and opposed creating or saving 215,000 New York jobs." But King, like many Republicans, never said that. Rather,

Fantasy Jobs?

At President Obama’s April 29 news conference, he claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has "already saved or created over 150,000 jobs." Wait a minute. Isn’t the number of jobs actually plummeting?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy lost more than 1.3 million jobs in the two months after he took office, and it has probably lost at least another half-million in April. The day after Obama spoke, the Department of Labor announced that another 631,000 workers (seasonally adjusted) had filed new claims for unemployment insurance the previous week.

Government-Run Health Care?

A group called Conservatives for Patients’ Rights began airing a television ad this week that criticizes government-run health care and falsely suggests Congress wants a British-style system here in the U.S. The ad neglects to mention that President Obama hasn’t proposed a government-run plan and, in fact …

100 Days of Spin

After 100 days in office, we find President Obama is sticking to the facts – mostly. Nevertheless, we find that the president has occasionally made claims that put him and his policies in a better light than the facts warrant. He has claimed that private economists agreed with the forecast in …

Congress and Progress

Americans United For Change, a liberal labor-funded group, has released a new ad accusing congressional Republicans of opposing "progress."

The ad accuses Republicans of voting against children’s health insurance, equal pay for women, economic recovery, middle-class tax cuts and a budget that would lead to "long-term prosperity." We’ve called this group out before for unfounded claims about the Republican agenda, but this ad sticks closer to the truth. Democrats did push through bills on expanding the Children’s Health Insurance Program and guaranteeing equal pay for women,

First Salvo of 2012?

On Friday, the Democratic National Committee released an ad attacking Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina for not accepting $700 million in stimulus funds. Sanford is considered a potential Republican candidate for president in 2012.

The ad is correct to say that Sanford is "turning down millions in recovery act funds." Sanford has said that he would rather use the money available at his discretion through ARRA to pay down the state’s debt, and he requested a special waiver from the White House to do so.

Stimulus for Illegal Immigrants?

Q: Will 300,000 illegal immigrants get construction jobs through the stimulus package?
A: There’s no way of knowing how many illegal immigrants may or may not end up with a job from stimulus funds. But this inflated estimate comes from conservative groups concerned about the absence of employee verification requirements in the final bill.

Liberal Groups Criticize GOP Over Stimulus, Redux

The liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change (along with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees labor union) released a new ad attacking Republicans for not supporting President Obama’s economic stimulus plan. Here is our review of an earlier ad from Americans United for Change. Here is the new one:

The main message of the ad is that Republicans said "no" to Obama’s plan, and, therefore, said "no" to "3.5 million jobs" and "no"

Money on the Table

Before he gave the Republican rebuttal to Tuesday night’s presidential address, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal was making headlines by saying he would leave some of President Obama’s stimulus funds on the table. Other southern GOP governors, such as Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Mark Sanford of South Carolina, said they may follow his lead.
Jindal announced last week, and reiterated Feb. 22 on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” that he would not be applying for some unemployment insurance funding available to his state through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,