A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

‘Record Revenues’

Republicans claim the federal government will “collect more revenue in 2013 than ever before.” But that’s only true in raw dollars, not as a percentage of gross domestic product, which accounts for growth in population, inflation and earnings.

The Sequester Blame Game

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner emerged from their White House meeting on sequestration blaming each other for the automatic spending cuts and misrepresenting the other side’s position:

Obama’s remarks left the false impression that Boehner has reneged on a GOP plan to raise $800 billion by limiting tax breaks for the wealthy. Boehner offered that plan in December as an alternative to raising income tax rates. But that plan was dropped when Obama and Republicans agreed to raise rates,

Boehner’s Revenue Reach

House Speaker John Boehner claimed the federal government will take in more revenue this year than any other year in history. That’s true in nominal dollars, but not as a percentage of gross domestic product — a measure preferred by most economists that accounts for growth in population, inflation and earnings.
In fact, as a percentage of GDP, revenues this year are actually lower than the historical average since World War II.
In an interview on CBS Evening News on Feb.

Paying People to Play Video Games

House Speaker John Boehner tweets that the Obama administration is spending $1.2 million “paying people to play video games.” That’s misleading. The government did pay $1.2 million for university research that includes the study of how video games can stimulate the cognitive abilities of seniors. A fraction of that cost went to compensate seniors who participated in the study, researchers say.
Boehner was one of several prominent Republican congressmen who sent out a flurry of tweets – hashtag #cutwaste – distorting the research.

The ‘Obamaquester’

This Republican talking point aims to blame President Obama for more than $1 trillion in automatic, across-the-board cuts in domestic and defense spending that — without action by Congress — are scheduled to take effect on March 1. But the reality is that the pending cuts would not be possible had both Democrats and Republicans not supported the legislation that included them. …

Dueling Fiscal Cliff Deceptions

A fog of misinformation has settled on the fiscal cliff, as both House Speaker John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have traded conflicting, misleading and false statements in recent days on the president’s deficit-reduction plan:

Geithner falsely claimed on “Fox News Sunday” that the president’s proposals to slow Medicare growth are “not shifting costs to seniors.” There are four proposals that would increase costs to some seniors by $32.9 billion over 10 years, beginning in 2017,

Facts Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff

In press conferences on the so-called fiscal cliff, House Speaker John Boehner greatly exaggerated the negative effect on the economy of raising taxes on upper-income individuals.

Boehner erred when he said that “the problem with raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans is that more than half of them are small-business owners.” That’s incorrect. Boehner’s spokesman said the speaker simply misspoke, but Boehner is a repeat offender with this bogus claim.
Boehner repeatedly cited an Ernst &

White House Spins Women’s Health

Republicans are right: The White House is greatly exaggerating when it says that “women, in particular,” benefit from a prevention fund that the House GOP proposes to repeal. The truth is that the fund in question wasn’t set up specifically for women’s health programs, and we could find no concrete evidence that it has paid anything to gender-specific health programs so far.
For example, the fund has paid for programs to discourage tobacco use, encourage physical fitness,

The Whoppers of 2011

Despite what you may have heard in 2011: The new health care law won’t cost many jobs (and they’ll be poorly paying jobs at that). Republicans aren’t proposing to “end” Medicare (and Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden has signed onto a modified version …

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.