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January 24, 2012 9:42 am ET

The 27 Republican Bills That Aren't About Jobs

From the House Republican Conference and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue, congressional Republicans and their conservative allies have touted 27 measures passed by the House of Representatives that they claim are "bipartisan jobs bills awaiting Senate action." But the bills are mostly highly partisan attempts to slash regulations that protect, among other things, public health, consumer rights, workplace safety and the environment. The GOP has also dishonestly included in its count a few viable measures with popular bipartisan support; one of these is being held up in the Senate by a Republican, and the others have been placed on the Senate calendar.

Jobs Idea #1: Hamper The EPA's Ability To Protect Public Health

Jobs Idea #2: Obstruct The Federal Government's Ability To Regulate Anything

Jobs Idea #3: Build An Oil Pipeline And Open Offshore Drilling

Jobs Idea #4: Blame Senate For Holding Up Measures The House Only Passed In Late 2011

Jobs Idea #5: An Expired Bill And A Measure Held Up By A Senate Republican

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January 12, 2012 6:04 pm ET

Five Facts And One Big Lie: A Closer Look At The Oil Lobby's Keystone XL Jobs Claims

With the 2012 presidential election rapidly approaching, the oil lobby is pushing harder than ever to frame the Keystone XL Pipeline (KXL) as a "job creator." However, TransCanada (the Canadian company behind the pipeline), the American Petroleum Institute (API), and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have used massively inflated statistics. In fact, KXL would create few permanent jobs.

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December 20, 2011 9:32 am ET

UPDATED: House Republicans Have Tried To Eliminate Up To 7.4 Million Jobs In 2011

Despite a promise to focus on job creation after taking the majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans have spent little time on legislation to create jobs or boost the economy. Instead, they've focused on bills to curb spending, many of which would eliminate jobs. Earlier this year, Political Correction published a report detailing the total number of jobs House Republicans have tried to eliminate. Since then, the House has passed the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. With that addition, measures passed or introduced by House Republicans would, if signed into law, potentially eliminate up to 7.4 million jobs.

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December 20, 2011 9:31 am ET

GOP In 2011: Anything But Jobs

Throughout the 2010 campaign cycle, Republicans capitalized on the struggling economy to bolster their case for election, promising to focus all their political efforts on job creation. Yet when the GOP assumed the majority in the House of Representatives, it quickly became clear that their "top political priority" — as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) admitted — was to "deny President Obama a second term." As such, the GOP, particularly in the House, has spent its legislative time on anything and everything but legislation to help the struggling economy get back on its feet or to spur job creation. Instead, they've introduced bill after bill on hot-button issues, particularly women's reproductive health; they've dragged the economy to the brink of disaster by playing political games with the debt ceiling; they've done their best to undermine the social safety net by proposing cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and food stamps; and they've tried over and over to repeal or deny funding to the landmark Affordable Care Act. Even worse, a number of the measures they've proposed would actually destroy jobs.

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December 19, 2011 9:24 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 18, 2011

This week on the Sunday political talk shows, topics of discussion ranged far and wide. On Fox News Sunday, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney advocated for block granting Medicaid despite the harm that would do to those who rely on the program. On This Week, House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) distorted the content of a CBO report on income inequality. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), appearing on Meet the Press, shared several false claims: that employers are concerned about "uncertainty," and that the Keystone pipeline would create 20,000 jobs. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), also on Meet the Press, did the same, falsely asserting that there's no evidence the payroll tax holiday created jobs and that Iran has threatened the U.S. and Israel with nuclear weapons.

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December 12, 2011 12:11 pm ET

Republicans: Payroll Tax Holiday Isn't "Stimulating" Enough

A prominent group of Republican lawmakers are opposing Obama administration efforts to extend a payroll tax holiday — due to expire on December 31 — that would continue putting more money in the pockets of working Americans. Opponents lean heavily on the argument that the current payroll tax holiday has not had a sufficiently stimulative effect on the economy, but experts disagree, arguing that the holiday has helped bolster the recovering economy.

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December 12, 2011 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 11, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a major focus on the debate over the payroll tax cut extension. On Face the Nation, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) attacked President Obama and "Newt Romney" — a name for Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney she came up with during Saturday's debate — over the payroll tax cut, saying there's no evidence the cut helped create jobs. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the tax cut an 'emergency measure' and said it wouldn't be necessary if President Obama's "failed" policies hadn't resulted in a higher deficit and jobless rates. McConnell, along with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), also pushed for the Keystone Pipeline using discredited job creation numbers.

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December 05, 2011 9:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 4, 2011

On the first Sunday of December, GOP presidential contender Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus each brought their share of falsehoods to the table. On CNN's State of the Union, Bachmann dismissed the economic significance of the payroll tax holiday even though economists explain that putting more money in the hands of workers would give an appreciable boost to the economy. She also appeared on Fox News Sunday, where she falsely claimed that businesses aren't hiring because they don't have enough money. During his appearances, Priebus did his best to attack the Obama administration's record, distorting the reasons behind November's unemployment rate drop on Meet the Press. He also tried to blame President Obama for deficits that are a legacy of Bush-era Republican policies and for a rising poverty rate that's the result of the recession.

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November 21, 2011 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 20, 2011

Sunday's political talk shows focused almost exclusively on the efforts of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, with a number of the committee's members appearing on separate shows. Democratic committee member Sen. John Kerry (MA) pointed out on Meet the Press that "we are not a tax-cutting committee. We're a deficit-reduction committee." However, that point doesn't seem to have gotten through to Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), all of whom complained that the only thing stopping a deal was a refusal by Democrats to extend the costly and regressive Bush tax cuts. For the second time in as many weeks, Hensarling argued that the Bush tax cuts were not one of the largest drivers of the debt, while Kyl claimed that not extending them would wreck the economy. Toomey went so far as to say that that the federal government does not have a revenue problem but only a spending problem.

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November 14, 2011 10:29 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 13, 2011

The Penn State sexual abuse scandal headlined the political talk shows on Sunday, but Republican leaders still found plenty of time to air dishonest talking points about conservative policies. GOP super committee members Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) misled viewers about the root of the debt problem the committee is trying to solve and what Republicans have proposed to address it. In particular, both lawmakers severely distorted the impact of the failed Bush tax cuts. Elsewhere, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared that Republicans want to "reduce taxes on every single American," ignoring the party leaders demanding that the poor pay higher taxes, and struggling presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) claimed that "what we need to win this war on terror" is the reinstatement of Bush-approved torture techniques.

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November 07, 2011 10:57 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 6, 2011

With much of the airtime on this week's Sunday political talk shows devoted to discussing the Herman Cain scandal and Gov. Rick Perry's (R-TX) antics, the substantive issues took a back seat. Yet a few key Republicans still managed to squeeze in a couple of standard GOP attacks. On This Week, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) claimed that the stimulus "has not worked," a falsehood echoed by presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Meet the Press. Boehner also found time to inflate the effect of a millionaires' surtax on small-business owners, and to deny that congressional Republicans have gone after America's social safety net. In fact, one major Republican initiative — the House-passed GOP budget plan — proposed to upend major safety net programs for children, the poor, and seniors.

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November 04, 2011 3:05 pm ET

GOP Responses To Jobs Report Ignore Main Obstacle To Growth

With the news this morning that the private economy added 104,000 jobs but the public sector shed 24,000, prominent Republicans had a chance to trot out the same tired, debunked explanation for slow economic growth they've been using throughout the Obama presidency. According to the GOP, job creators are not hiring because of regulations and high spending from Washington, D.C. But according to the job creators themselves, regulations, taxes and spending are not the issue — they simply don't have enough customers to justify expanding their workforces. The problem continues to be weak demand.

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October 31, 2011 10:24 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 30, 2011

This week's Sunday talk shows included several GOP presidential contenders who have figured out that ignoring facts is a winning formula among their party's voters. While all the candidates who appeared on the shows parroted the same points they've been making for the past several months, there were also several new allegations. On Face the Nation, GOP frontrunner Herman Cain, after having adjusted his 9-9-9 tax plan to avoid tax hikes on those living in poverty, claimed that the exemption was there all along and that his critics simply misreported his plan. That's unlikely given that Cain has been on record defending taxing the income of those living in poverty. On This Week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was called out for misrepresenting immigration statistics. Rather than acknowledge her mistake and move on, Bachmann claimed that she did not say what the video clearly showed her saying. And on Fox News Sunday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) repeated a slew of easily debunked economic talking points, including that President Obama had overseen the creation of "practically no jobs."

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October 25, 2011 10:51 am ET

GRAPHIC: A Timeline Of GOP Economic Sabotage

After leading his caucus in a record-breaking number of filibusters during 2009 and 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) declared in November 2010 that "our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term." Below is an infographic demonstrating some of the major episodes of Republican economic sabotage in the year since McConnell announced that top priority. These moments are the backdrop to our documentary, Sabotage: The Story Behind the Republican Party's Top Political Priority, in which economists Jared Bernstein (CBPP), Heather McGee (Demos), and John Irons (EPI) explain how Republicans have reversed their past support for various common-sense policies during this recovery to serve their political goals.

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October 24, 2011 9:40 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 23, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows focused primarily on national security, with the shows' Republican guests universally condemning the administration's announcement late last week that the remaining American troops would withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2011. In the process of trashing President Obama's record on foreign policy on Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) found time to suggest that trying terrorist suspects in civilian courts was unprecedented and dangerous, even though the Bush administration successfully prosecuted a number of prominent terrorists in federal courts, which tend to hand down stricter sentences than military commissions. Later on the same show, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) misrepresented President Ronald Reagan's legacy when she explained that her economic policy proposal "takes a page out of Ronald Reagan's blueprint," which she claimed created an "economic miracle" in the 1980s. On State of the Union, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) focused on economic falsehoods, attacking proposals to tax income over $1 million by inflating the number of small businesses affected and suggesting falsely that the American people don't support such a plan. He continued misinforming the audience, suggesting their biggest concern is over-reguation despite strong evidence that lack of demand is a much more pressing issue.

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October 21, 2011 9:45 am ET

Rep. Cantor's Class Warfare

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) is speaking at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School today (Update: Cantor's scheduled speech was canceled), where he plans to discuss how to bridge the gap between rich and poor in the United States. Given that Cantor has dedicated his political career to upholding this disparity, he has wealth of knowledge on the topic. Since becoming House Majority Leader, Cantor has done everything in his power to protect the wealthy from making the same sacrifices he's determined to force upon everyone else. Whether he's working to end Medicare for seniors, withholding relief from disaster victims to secure further spending cuts, or using the unemployed as political fodder while rejecting policies that will create jobs, Eric Cantor has proven that he is committed to making life easier for people who are already on top, even if it comes at the expense of those who are struggling.

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October 17, 2011 9:37 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 16, 2011

Republicans spent their Sunday morning TV appearances blaming Democrats for the economy and trying to convince Wall Street protesters to join them in their scapegoating. Contrary to what Herman Cain and Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed, the facts show that private firms, not government entities, inflated the subprime mortgage bubble, and Wall Street, not Democrats, turned those loans into an elaborate casino game that left the entire country on the hook for their bad bets. Similarly, Cantor and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) were wrong to suggest that Democratic policies on taxes and regulations are hurting the economy, and that Republican proposals will do more to create jobs than President Obama's proposed American Jobs Act. In addition, Cain claimed that his "9-9-9" tax plan won't hurt the poor and implied that Obama has cut defense spending, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) blamed the credit downgrade on the president, and Sen. McCain said that Obama never spoke up on behalf of Iranian protesters in 2009. In each case, the facts disagree.

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October 14, 2011 7:28 am ET

Private Wall Street Companies Caused The Financial Crisis — Not Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Or The Community Reinvestment Act

In the four years since the housing bubble burst, triggering a collapse in global financial markets whose value had been propped up through the repackaging and trading of home loans via complex financial instruments, there's been plenty of blame to go around. The Occupy Wall Street protests have called new attention to the root causes of the crisis, and led Republicans to reiterate their claim that government-backed lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the primary villains. The facts about the subprime mortgage market prove that claim false: Private firms dominated the subprime market boom of 2004-06, and were not even subject to the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act some Republicans vilify. Thanks to decades of financial deregulation, capped by President Bush's decision to appoint Wall Street regulators who believed their job was to help banks rather than curb banking abuses, financial giants were able to turn the mortgage market into a high-stakes casino. As investigative reporters and Congress' Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission have all shown, it was deregulation mixed with irresponsible and potentially illegal practices by private firms on Wall Street that caused both the bubble and the collapse.

Republicans Blame The Financial Crisis On Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, And Government Policy

Facts Show Private Lenders Who Were Not Subject To CRA, Not Government-Backed Ones Who Were, Drove The Subprime Mortgage Market

Deregulation Of Financial Markets And GOP-Appointed Absentee Regulators Paved The Way For The Subprime Bubble To Cause A Broad Collapse

"Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission" Expert Panel Found Wall Street Recklessness Caused The Crisis

Author Of Top Book On Financial Crisis Says There Is No Evidence For Blaming Either The CRA Or Fannie And Freddie

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October 11, 2011 10:31 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 9, 2011

Sunday's political talk shows were chock full of the misinformation that we've come to expect from conservatives. On CBS' Face The Nation, presidential hopeful Herman Cain told viewers that his 9-9-9 economic plan was revenue neutral and disputed the charge that it is regressive. However, his plan would cut taxes for the very wealthy and "disproportionately tax lower and middle income earners." Cain also appeared on CNN's State of the Union, where he claimed that 50 percent of taxpayers account for just 3 percent of all taxes. On NBC's Meet the Press, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed that businesses are not hiring because of regulatory uncertainty. That is not supported by the facts, however: Economists and business owners point to weak consumer demand, not uncertainty. And finally, Rick Santorum, another presidential contender, continued his homophobic ways by telling Fox News host Chris Wallace that being gay is a choice.

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October 03, 2011 10:20 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 2, 2011

On the first weekend in October, the Sunday talk shows saw a presidential candidate, two governors, and a former vice president's daughter. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) appeared on CBS and CNN to absolve President George W. Bush for the current economic situation while solely placing the blame on President Barack Obama. Not to be outdone by Barbour, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-VA) appeared on Meet the Press to lie about the president's previous statements on unemployment. Herman Cain, still riding high from his Florida straw poll victory, appeared on Fox News Sunday to falsely claim that his "9-9-9 plan" is actually fairer than the current progressive tax system. Lastly, Keep America Safe's Liz Cheney appeared on State of the Union to claim that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said that enhanced interrogation led us to Osama bin Laden. In fact, Panetta has said that the Bush-era torture program produced lies and misinformation about the identity of bin Laden's personal courier.

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September 26, 2011 9:50 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 25, 2011

This week's Sunday talk shows saw Republicans sloppily blaming President Obama wholesale for America's economic woes. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) used his bully pulpit to claim President Obama made "every problem" he inherited from Bush's failed economic polices "much worse." On Face the Nation, RNC Chair Reince Priebus took the same tack by claiming DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz couldn't "point to one economic statistic in this country that Barack Obama has made better." Graham also absurdly claimed that cuts to the defense department triggered if the super committee fails to reach a compromise would "destroy the Defense Department." And on State of the Union, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) struggled to absolve the Tea Party of blame for a third budgetary standoff in the House, instead accusing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) instead of 'manufacturing a crisis.'

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September 19, 2011 3:59 pm ET

The GOP's Favorite Lies About The Jobs Market

What should government do to spur job creation? That's the central question for American political leaders today, and as Republicans reject Democratic answers, it's important to hold their arguments accountable to economic facts. When it comes to the two central planks of the GOP's economic platform — that "uncertainty" about taxes and regulations is the cause of slow hiring, and that increasing high-end tax rates will hurt job-creating small businesses — the facts and the data disagree. According to businesses and economists alike, it is weak demand and not "uncertainty" that's preventing hiring. And when the GOP claims small businesses are in the crosshairs of top-end tax hikes, they are counting "pass-through" shell corporations used by authors, athletes, and industrial giants alike. In fact, just two percent of those who report business income on their individual tax returns are counted in the top federal income tax brackets.

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September 19, 2011 9:32 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 18, 2011

This week's Sunday political talk shows saw a litany of standard GOP untruths. On CNN, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) repeated the favorite false Republican talking point of late: that businesses aren't hiring because of "uncertainty." He was joined in his lie by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and presidential candidate Herman Cain, both of whom appeared on Fox News Sunday. Both Cain and Ryan also revived an old piece of misinformation — that raising taxes on top earners would disproportionately harm small businesses — which was echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). For his part, Graham misrepresented the public's opinion on taxing the wealthy, and absurdly claimed that "everything" — including unemployment — is worse because of President Obama's policies. Ryan dredged up some old lies about the House-passed GOP budget's effects on Medicare, which it would essentially destroy, and then falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act's Independent Payment Advisory Board puts bureaucrats in charge of "rationing."

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September 08, 2011 6:00 pm ET

Oversight Report Doubles Down On Stimulus Inaccuracy

Rep. Issa's (R-CA) House Oversight Committee has issued a extensively titled report, Doubling Down on Failure: Before Asking for a New Stimulus Package, Will the Obama Administration Admit that the First One Failed?, which cites a debunked study from Ohio State University to make the claim that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 "destroyed" one million private-sector jobs.

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September 07, 2011 4:47 pm ET

Correcting Mitt Romney's Mistaken Jobs Chart

Mitt Romney's jobs plan features a brazenly dishonest chart comparing job gains following recessions. "Figure 2" from page 16 of the proposal claims that in the 24 months after the recent recession officially ended, the American economy has shed 800,000 jobs. The figure labels this the "Obama Recovery," and the way the chart is arranged suggests Obama is to blame for the massive job losses that occurred under President Bush. Subliminal sloppiness aside, though, the number is flat wrong. The recession ended in June 2009, and in the subsequent 24 months the economy has gained 554,000 jobs on net. That would still stack up poorly next to some other 24-month recoveries from less severe recessions, but that's not because the private sector isn't creating jobs; it's because a half-million public-sector layoffs over the same two years hide the one million new private-sector jobs that have actually been created in the "Obama Recovery."

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August 22, 2011 11:15 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 21, 2011

This Sunday's talk shows echoed a quiet week in Washington, with newly-minted head of the Republican Governor's Association Bob McDonnell (R-VA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) regurgitating standard lines on the President Obama's economic policies. McDonnell also faulted President Obama for the country's current debt and deficits, rejecting the notion that President George W. Bush bears any responsiblity. Long-shot presidential candidate Rick Santorum joined him in misplacing blame for deficits, claiming that safety net programs like Medicaid and food stamps are "the core problem with our deficit," before wrongly suggesting that repealing the health care reform law would create jobs and increase growth. Fellow presidential contender Jon Huntsman trotted out his flat tax plan, glossing over the truth about its disproportionate effect on the lower and middle classes. He also blamed the fact that corporations aren't hiring on "uncertainty and confusion," when business leaders themselves point to weak demand, not government policies.

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August 18, 2011 3:51 pm ET

GOP Dissembling On Stimulus: Now In Exciting New Graphic Form!

Misrepresenting the effects of the Recovery Act has become a standard strategy for the GOP, which recently decided to spruce up its stale message with a fancy chart. The chart and accompanying blog post, which appear on House Speaker John Boehner's (R-OH) website, allege that the stimulus was a "failure" that "left us with 1.3 million fewer jobs and sky-high unemployment." But the truth about the Recovery Act boils down to a question of timelines: Republicans insist on examining the unemployment picture beginning the minute the Recovery Act passed into law, despite the fact that it's ridiculous to suggest that the funds and policies it authorized could immediately reverse the downward economic spiral that started before President Obama's election. A more honest way to count jobs is to look at when the Recovery Act began to affect the economy. Indeed, since June 2009, the economy has gained a net of over one million jobs while the private sector has added jobs for 17 consecutive months. Of course, the current unemployment picture is indeed worse than projected in 2009 — that's because the recession was far deeper than anyone realized.

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August 15, 2011 4:26 pm ET

Rick Perry's Texas: Not All It's Cracked Up To Be

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is quick to take credit for the Texas economy, boasting that his time in office has seen Texas lead the nation in growth. But the reality is that Texas' job growth has not kept up with its population growth, and as a result its unemployment rate throughout the recession has been comparable to that of other states. Moreover, Texan jobs come more from the natural blessings of location and resources that Texas enjoys than from Perry's policies.

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August 15, 2011 10:18 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 14, 2011

Following Saturday's straw poll in Ames, Iowa, this week's Sunday political talk shows had a whole lot of straw poll winner Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Bachmann was on all five shows misrepresenting the rationale behind Standard & Poor's decision to lower the United States' credit rating and repeating the false claim that no Republicans had been "threatening default." She also pushed the debunked claim that the stimulus caused government to grow while the private sector lost jobs. With Bachmann dominating the bulk of time on all the shows, few others got time to speak, leaving Bachmann the sole focus of this week's fact check.

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August 11, 2011 1:42 pm ET

GOP Scrambles To Blame S&P Downgrade On Democrats

When Standard & Poor's downgraded America's credit rating from AAA to AA+, they cited the tenuous reliability of our nation's political system. They even took the unusual step of calling out congressional Republicans for their absolute refusal to consider revenue increases as part of a debt-reduction solution. Yet the same Republicans who spent the months leading up to August 2nd playing a dangerous game of chicken with our nation's fiscal solvency are now trying to wash their hands of the outcome, deciding instead to blame President Obama and the Democrats for the downgrade. They're also arguing that the passage of a balanced budget amendment would have prevented the downgrade, even though a day after the announcement S&P Managing Director John Chambers stated without equivocation that a balanced budget amendment would hurt, not help, the government's ability to respond to the fiscal crisis.

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