A lot of readers have asked us to sort through the various arguments about whether or not the stimulus bill (which, at the moment, is actually two different bills, one in the House and one in the Senate) will actually work. But we just don’t know the answer to this one. For that matter, even the experts don’t know. On one side, Nobel laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz argue that the only problem with the stimulus bill is that it needs more spending and fewer tax cuts.
President Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, and we caught several factual errors and misstatements in his remarks. See our full story on FactCheck.org for all the details. Here’s just one item we found:
Obama exaggerated a bit in describing the Children’s Health Insurance Program that was recently reauthorized by Congress:
Obama: When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for 11 million American children whose parents work full time.
During the 2008 campaign, we repeatedly called out then-candidate Barack Obama for complaining that the U.S. was spending billions in Iraq while the Iraqi government sat on a projected $79 billion surplus. We said that Obama’s projection didn’t account for updates to the Iraqi budget. But things were slightly more complicated than we originally thought: On paper, Iraq’s budget showed a surplus of up to $57 billion, but the U.S. Government Accountability Office pointed out that the Iraqi government had shown little ability to spend all that it had budgeted.
President Barack Obama made one factual error in his first speech in office when he said, immediately after being sworn in:
Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.
It is true that Obama is counted as the 44th president, but he’s only the 43rd person to take the oath. Grover Cleveland is counted as both the 22nd and the 24th president.
Cleveland took the oath the first time in 1885, served four years and then was defeated by Benjamin Harrison in 1888.
During his last press conference with White House reporters yesterday, President Bush defended his administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina, saying, “don’t tell me the federal response was slow when there was 30,000 people pulled off roofs right after the storm passed.” He even repeated the statistic three times.
The performance of the Coast Guard in response to the natural disaster has been commended by many, but that statistic is a bit inflated, according to the Guard’s own records.
Someone whose work we criticized a fair bit in 2004 and 2006 explains why, perhaps, so little was heard from MoveOn.org and other groups in 2008 in this piece fromNational Public Radio. Money was scarce, but other factors — such as the presence of factcheckers — may have had an impact.
That’s the idea behind our Ask FactCheck feature on themain site.
This week, we looked into a suspicious quote allegedly from President-elect Barack Obama, speaking about urgent gun policy changes. The reader who sent it to us wasn’t convinced it was legitimate, and our reporting showed it was almost certainly a fabrication. The quote claims Obama told a "VPC Fund Raiser" in 2007 that "[i]n the first year, I intend to work with Congress on a national no carry law,
In recent weeks, we’ve posted two articles on our main site on the misleading ad war being waged on Georgia airwaves. The Senate run-off election is set for tomorrow (Dec. 2) to determine whether Republican Saxby Chambliss holds onto his seat or challenger Jim Martin, a former state representative, adds to the Democratic majority.
Before the votes are tallied, we wanted to give Georgians the low-down on one last suspicious claim we hadn’t addressed. A Chambliss ad says that Martin "tried to raise property taxes 150 percent"
Of all the nutty rumors, baseless conspiracy theories and sheer disinformation that we’ve dealt with at FactCheck.org during campaign 2008, perhaps the goofiest is the claim that Barack Obama is not a “natural-born citizen” and therefore not eligible to be president under the constitution.
This claim was first advanced by diehard Hillary Clinton supporters as her campaign for the party’s nomination faded, and has enjoyed a revival among John McCain’s partisans as he fell substantially behind Obama in public opinion polls.
Sen. Barack Obama has said several times that he has proposed cuts that pay for “every dime” of his spending proposals, a claim we’ve called “misleading.” The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis, for one, found that “without substantial cuts in government spending” Obama’s plan – and McCain’s, too – “would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.”
Obama repeated his claim in his half-hour commercial that aired Wednesday night on major networks and cable television,