A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Who are the 47 Percent?

In a secretly recorded video at a May fundraiser, Mitt Romney told donors that 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income tax and are “dependent upon the government.” Who are the 47 percent? Deputy Managing Editor Robert Farley explains on WCBS radio that most of them are working people who simply do not earn very much money.
For our article on Romney, see “Dependency and Romney’s 47 Percenters.”

Romney’s Bogus ‘Apology’ Claim

FactCheck.org Director Brooks Jackson talks to WCBS radio about a false claim that Mitt Romney repeatedly made after the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the U.S. embassy in Cairo, Egypt.
Romney said the Obama administration issued an “apology for American values” after the attacks. That’s not true. Romney was referring to a statement issued before mobs attacked either in Egypt or Libya. Furthermore, the word “sorry” or “apologize” doesn’t appear in the statement.

How Much Is the Mandate Tax?

On Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Managing Editor Lori Robertson explains how much individuals will pay if they refuse to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The minimum tax will be $695 per person, but no more than $2,085 per family in 2016. But that amount can be higher, depending on the taxpayer’s income.
For more on the health care law’s mandate penalty, see our June 28 Ask FactCheck, “How Much Is the Obamacare ‘Tax’?“

Medicare’s Finances

The Romney campaign has claimed that reductions in Medicare spending that are part of the Affordable Care Act hurt Medicare’s finances. But as Managing Editor Lori Robertson explains on Connecticut Public Broadcasting, the opposite is true. And such claims falsely imply that Medicare is losing this money and won’t get it back.
For a full explanation on how Medicare Part A’s trust fund works, see our Aug. 24 article “Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank.’ “

GOP Platform on Abortion

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform calls for a ban on abortion, but is silent on exceptions — leaving that decision up to Congress and the states. However, as FactCheck.org Director Brooks Jackson tells WCBS radio, the Obama campaign falsely claims the GOP platform calls for banning abortions even in cases of rape or incest.
See “Another Abortion Falsehood from Obama’s ‘Truth Team‘” for more information about what the Republican platform says about abortion.

Cutting Medicare?

The Romney campaign says that President Obama’s health care law has cut $716 billion out of Medicare. But that’s a reduction in the future growth of spending over 10 years, not a slashing of the current Medicare budget. And the reduction extends the life of the Medicare trust fund.
Read more about Medicare’s woes and both campaigns’ plans to reduce spending in our Aug. 22 article, “A Campaign Full of Mediscare.”

Distorting Obama’s Economic Plan, Ryan’s Medicare Plan

Both sides are playing loose with the facts in a couple of new TV ads. As FactCheck.org Deputy Director Eugene Kiely explains on WCBS radio, a pro-Romney super PAC takes President Obama’s comment about his second-term economic plan out of context, and an Obama TV ad provides false information about Rep. Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan.
Read more about both ads in our Aug. 13 item “Pro-Romney Super PAC Twists Obama’s Words” and our Aug. 14 item,

Ryan’s Medicare Plan

Now that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is Mitt Romney’s running mate, the claims about Ryan’s Medicare plan are flying. We give the details on what the plan will do, and debunk Democratic claims that it would raise seniors’ costs by $6,000. That pertains to an outdated plan.
See “Outdated Attacks on Ryan” (Aug. 14) for more on misleading claims about his past proposals.

Gutting Welfare-to-Work?

The Romney campaign says the Obama administration has adopted “a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.” But FactCheck.org Deputy Director Eugene Kiely tells WCBS radio that the administration’s plan does no such thing.
Read more about the president’s welfare changes in our Aug. 9 article, “Does Obama’s Plan ‘Gut Welfare Reform?‘”

Could Kansans ‘Opt-Out’ of ‘Obamacare’?

A conservative group wrongly claimed that a failed state proposal would have given Kansans the right to “opt-out” of the federal health care law’s mandate to have health insurance. But the measure would have been meaningless. Federal law is the “supreme Law of the Land,” according to the U.S. Constitution.
For more on the mailers, which attacked moderate Republican state lawmakers and praised conservative members of the party, see our Aug. 3 story “Mailers Mislead on ‘Obamacare’ Opt-Out Amendment.”