A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Biden’s Whopper in Flint, Mich.

Joe Biden falsely claimed on multiple occasions that the number of reported rapes in Flint, Mich., has skyrocketed since 2008 — providing different accounts at different events that do not square with FBI data. He started at a 152 percent increase, and since then has said rapes in Flint have tripled and even “quadrupled.” But FBI data show the number of rapes in Flint has gone down 11 percent, from 103 in 2008 to 92 in 2010.

Biden Bungles Talking Point on Debt

Joe Biden mistakenly claimed Americans own 85 percent of U.S. Treasury securities during his visit to China. Americans own 54 percent of the U.S. public debt — that is, the amount of debt held by the public. They own 69 percent of the total debt, which includes money the U.S. government owes itself.
At several stops in China, Vice President Biden sought to reassure the Chinese that their investments in U.S. treasuries are safe.

Spinning the Stimulus

Vice President Joseph Biden and House Republican Leader John Boehner both put their partisan spin on the effects of the administration’s economic stimulus spending. But Biden exaggerated, and Boehner got it wrong, according to a report issued later in the day by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Upbeat Biden; Downbeat Boehner
Biden gave a relentlessly upbeat speech in Washington, D.C., declaring that the administration’s "investment" was planting "seeds" of future economic prosperity;

Sunday Replay

We found a larger-than-usual number of deceptions on the Sunday shows this week, from whoppers to cherry-picked statistics, on subjects as diverse as immigration, the Reagan tax cuts and the new health care law. Here’s our rundown.
A Tax Hike for 50 Percent of Small-Business Owners?
On CNN’s "State of the Union," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was wrong when he said that letting the Bush tax cuts expire for upper-income earners would affect "the income of 50 percent of small businesses."

Dick Cheney vs. Joe Biden

Vice President Biden and former V.P. Cheney have been slugging it out publicly over the proper way to prosecute suspected terrorists. Biden went so far as to accuse Cheney of being “factually, substantively wrong.” So we took a look, and found both men have been straining the facts …

Health Care Bill Bankruptcies

Q: What is the percentage of total personal bankruptcies caused by health care bills?
A: A Harvard study published in 2005 found that about half of those who filed for bankruptcy said health care expenses, illness or related job-loss led them to do so. Twenty-seven percent cited uncovered medical bills specifically, and 2 percent said they had mortgaged their home to pay what they owed.

A Little Ditty ‘Bout Taxes and Trade

The Obama-Biden campaign has released a radio ad in Indiana featuring favorite native son John Mellencamp. In the ad, Mellencamp says, “John McCain will keep giving tax breaks to companies shipping American jobs overseas.”
Mellencamp is referring to an aspect of the tax code that allows companies to skirt paying U.S. corporate taxes on profits they make overseas and leave overseas. But economists have consistently said this tax provision isn’t a major reason jobs are being sent abroad.

Constitutional Queries about the VP Debate

Hundreds of readers have written us asking why we didn’t point out Joe Biden’s confusion of Articles I and II of the Constitution during his debate with Gov. Sarah Palin on Oct. 2. We should have. While his rambling response was generally correct in describing the constitutional role of the vice president, he did make a small error. And in the interest of clearing up previous debate matters before tonight’s final face-off between John McCain and Barack Obama,

The $79 Billion Iraqi Surplus, Reconsidered

We’ve criticized both Barack Obama and Joe Biden several times now for claiming that the U.S. is spending $10 billion a month to Iraq while that nation is sitting on a $79 billion surplus. We wrote that the $79 billion figure was out of date because Iraq had since passed a $22.3 billion supplemental spending bill. Our criticism was based on a report from the Government Accountability Office. But we misread the report. The figure that Obama and Biden use is probably still too high,

Biden on Hezbollah, and other late debate goodies

In today’s Washington Post, Michael Dobbs, a.k.a. The Fact Checker, writes about a few more stumbles from the debate, including a couple items that we didn’t have in our story on Friday.
Dobbs, a former diplomatic reporter, says Sen. Joe Biden was wrong when he said the U.S. and France “kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon.” He was correct in saying that there was talk of sending NATO forces to the country in 2006.