A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

‘Bailout’ Baloney

This campaign season, “bailout” is a dirty — and often misused — word. It’s no longer being used just in reference to Wall Street banks and the rescue of the financial industry. Candidates, corporations and special interest groups increasingly use “bailout” even when no government financial assistance is being proposed. …

Sunday Replay

The Father’s Day political talk shows contained a stretch here, an exaggeration there, misimpressions left everywhere. Here’s what we found.
All Studies Don’t Agree
On CNN’s "State of the Union," Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Independent, bragged about the supposed benefits of the climate-change bill he has introduced with Democratic Sen. John Kerry:

Lieberman: And, look, our comprehensive bill, according to all of the independent studies will create half a million new jobs a year,

McConnell and Part D Premiums

This week, while President Barack Obama was touting the $250 rebate checks the government would begin sending to seniors to cover some prescription drug costs, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was warning that many more seniors would be paying higher premiums.
It’s true, as McConnell says, that many seniors will see higher premiums for Part D (that’s the prescription drug coverage) as a result of the increased benefits in the program. How much higher? Monthly premiums vary widely,

Sunday Replay

We found a few claims worthy of comment on the Sunday political talk shows.
On NBC’s "Meet the Press," Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama said that President Obama was being "misleading" when he boasted about General Motors and Chrysler repaying the government:

"Meet the Press" host David Gregory: The president was boasting yesterday that GM and Chrysler have paid off their debts, not completely, but, but, but way ahead of schedule. TARP is now $186 billion back.

The Bailout Bill?

Does the financial regulatory bill put an end to taxpayer-funded bailouts? Or does it "institutionalize" them? Viewers of the Sunday political talk shows and recent C-SPAN clips from the Senate floor might well be wondering, as Democrats (the "end of bailouts" crowd) and some Republicans (the "institutionalize" camp) have made these contradictory claims.
No piece of legislation can guarantee that a future Congress won’t allow the federal government to prop up a failing financial institution. But claims that this bill makes taxpayer-funded bailouts a permanent fixture are misleading,

Sunday Morning Stumbles

A lot of talking gets done on the Sunday morning shows, so it's no surprise that a verbal mishap or two might turn up.
For instance, yesterday on CNN's "State of the Union with John King," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky dissed the Democratic health care overhaul bills, saying the American people don't like them either.

McConnell, Jan. 31: We know the public is overwhelmingly against the bill. In the NPR poll last week,

Bluegrass Gasoline Blues

Summary
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is running an ad blaming his opponent for contributing to high gasoline prices in the state. We find that’s a big exaggeration. At most, prices are 12.1 cents per gallon higher as a result of the 1980 tax change that was favored by Democratic candidate Bruce Lunsford. That’s less than 3 percent of gas prices today, and actually less than the rise in general inflation since 1980.