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Sunday Replay

On this week’s Sunday talk shows, we found false claims on the debt, discretionary spending, foreign-funded attack ads and polling data.
Wrong on Debt
On ABC’s "This Week," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made a false claim about the federal debt — a claim that we debunked in January, when Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, made a similar statement. The debt situation has worsened since then, but not enough to make this GOP talking point true.

What’s a ‘Small Business’?

Politicians often talk about "small businesses." But how small is a small business? Fifty employees? One hundred? Two hundred?
Actually, it’s often much more than that. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy defines a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. And that’s the standard politicians often use.
For example, President Barack Obama repeated a familiar claim on Aug. 19: that "small businesses … create two out of every three new jobs in this country."

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."

‘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.