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February 02, 2012 9:29 am ET

Meet Dutch Sheets, Another Gingrich Faith Adviser

Newt Gingrich's campaign announced last week that Dutch Sheets, a popular evangelical preacher, would co-chair the campaign's Faith Leaders Coalition. Like other members of the coalition, Sheets is a divisive and abrasive figure who has said in no uncertain terms that President Obama is a Muslim and that natural disasters and terrorist attacks in the United States are a consequence of turning away from Christianity.

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January 25, 2012 12:41 pm ET

Meet Michael Youssef, Gingrich's Divisive Faith Co-Chair

Michael Youssef, an Egyptian-born evangelical pastor, has endorsed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich for president. The Gingrich campaign has announced that Youssef, head of an Atlanta megachurch, will be the National Co-Chair of its Faith Leaders Coalition. Youssef's divisive views include the belief that democracy is not possible in any Muslim-majority country, and he has said that "socialists and leftists" try to "present Islamists and Jihadists as peace lovers." Youssef also advances the idea that there is a war against Christianity in America, yet he directs a share of his vitriol toward other Christians, particularly Presbyterians and Episcopalians.

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January 10, 2012 12:00 pm ET

Gingrich Denies Facts About Same-Sex Adoption In Massachusetts, D.C.

During an appearance on the January 10, 2012, edition of CNN’s Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien, GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich attempted to advance his claim that the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. had forced Catholic Charities and other religious institutions to put an end to their adoption services. O’Brien attempted to correct Gingrich by pointing out that, in both cases, Catholic Charities were simply being asked to abide by non-discrimination laws in order to receive public funding. Gingrich rejected O’Brien’s explanation, but her analysis was exactly correct.

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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 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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November 28, 2011 9:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 27, 2011

On the last Sunday of November, Republicans had a lot of airtime — and lots of lies. On Meet the Press, anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform regurgitated the false Republican talking point that Obama's stimulus plan "killed jobs." Freshman Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) made an appearance on This Week to claim the deficit is not a revenue problem, a statement disputed by historically low revenue intake. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) appeared on Fox News Sunday to hype the "Toomey Plan", claiming that it would have raised revenues while paying down the debt, leaving out that the plan trades regressive tax cuts for only small revenue increases. Lastly, Herman Cain appeared on State of the Union to claim that unemployment benefits shouldn't be extended because they are a 'distraction' from the real problem of a lack of economic growth. But the Congressional Budget Office has found that unemployment benefits are a "timely and cost-effective" way to spur on the economy.

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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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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 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 4:20 pm ET

The Facts About Texas' In-State Tuition Law

In 2001, Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed a law granting in-state tuition benefits to undocumented immigrants. Now that Perry is running for president, his critics, including GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney, are using Perry's support for the law to accuse him of being insufficiently tough on immigration. However, Texas' in-state tuition law is both good for the economy and legally sound. Given those facts, critics like Romney should explain why Perry's judgment about the best policy for Texas was wrong instead of simply pandering to anti-immigrant sentiment among GOP primary voters.  

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October 06, 2011 2:01 pm ET

The House GOP's Crusade Against Reproductive Rights

In September, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, initiated an investigation of Planned Parenthood's financial records looking for misappropriated federal funds and requesting paperwork going back over 13 years. This Republican vendetta against Planned Parenthood is part of a larger fight in which Republicans are trying to prevent women from being in control of their reproductive health. To that end, House Republicans introduced a multitude of bills and amendments since January that would chip away at women's reproductive rights by eliminating Title X funding, defunding Planned Parenthood, imposing harsh restrictions on funding for abortions, replacing sexual education programs with abstinence-only programs, redefining rape to limit abortion exceptions, reinstating the global gag rule, supporting crisis pregnancy centers and imposing harsher parental notification laws.

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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 01, 2011 2:00 pm ET

Botch-mann Watch

Long before she entered the presidential race, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) was known as an outspoken ideologue with a propensity for making embarrassing misstatements. When Bachmann recently accused President Obama of having "a lot of chutzpah" and mangled the pronunciation, it was fitting because her rendition of Yiddish applied to her own name would result in "Botch-mann" — an apt description of her error-prone ways. Since then, Bachmann has wished Elvis Presley a "happy birthday" on the anniversary of his death and fretted about the rise of the Soviet Union, among other misstatements. Bachmann's gaffes are likely to mount as long as she remains a candidate for the Republican nomination, so Political Correction decided to collect them all in one place. We'll update the list as the race moves forward.  

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August 23, 2011 2:56 pm ET

Rep. Cantor Distorts EPA Regulations And NLRB Enforcement In Dishonest Op-Ed

In a Washington Post op-ed, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) argues that President Obama's "anti-business, hyper-regulatory" agenda contributed to the downgrade in America's credit rating by stifling economic growth and exacerbating the debt problem. To support his case, Cantor cites three specific examples of allegedly regulation run amok: the Environmental Protection Agency's "Transport Rule," new standards for cement manufacturing, and the recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board to bring a case against Boeing's decision to move its plant to South Carolina from Washington state. Predictably, Cantor misleads on all three examples. Furthermore, Standard & Poor's based its downgrade decision largely on "political brinksmanship" by congressional Republicans, led by Cantor, who threatened to let the nation default on its debt.

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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 11, 2011 6:40 pm ET

GOP Social Security Schemes Would Only Harm Retirees

As the anniversary of Social Security nears, it's important to remember how Republicans have approached the program. Beginning with a Bush-era commission on Social Security reform and continuing up through Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's (R-WI) "Roadmap for America's Future," Republicans have sought over the last decade to disrupt the Social Security system via a variety of schemes. Their proposals, which have often included privatization plans and "progressive price indexing," would introduce uncertainty into retirees' lives by attaching payouts to the ups and downs of the market, and would amount to substantial benefit cuts for many Americans.

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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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July 29, 2011 10:22 am ET

Rep. Camp Blames Obama For Debt From GOP Policies Camp Supported

During a July 28 speech on the House floor, Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) produced a chart comparing the debt accumulated under the Obama and Bush administrations. According to Camp, "President Obama's actions" have led to "twice the debt in half the time" as his predecessor. However, Camp's wildly misleading assertion blames President Obama for a projected FY 2009 deficit that was already over $1 trillion when he took office, while ignoring the fiscal impact that Bush's policies are still having. Not surprisingly, Camp voted for the Bush policies that caused the deficit to explode.

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July 22, 2011 10:53 am ET

Sen. Hutchison Falsely Claims The Affordable Care Act Is "Why People Aren't Hiring"

This morning on MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) told host Chuck Todd that the she would favor any debt ceiling bargain that would curb the Affordable Care Act because "That's why people aren't hiring" and "the biggest thing that is hurting our economy right now." In fact, economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal and members of a right-leaning business association agree that the main reason for tempered hiring is uncertainty due to weak demand, not government policies.

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July 11, 2011 4:32 pm ET

Private-Sector Growth Cracks 1,000,000 Net Jobs Since Recovery Act Took Effect

Most of the statistics Republicans use to criticize President Obama's economic record rely on the same basic distortion: They begin counting in January 2009, when President Obama was sworn in, but months before any policy of his could have any cause-and-effect relationship with economic data. In 2010, economist Robert Shapiro wrote that economic statistics through July 2009 — "the first six months of the Obama presidency, before his policies could affect the economy" — should be blamed on (or credited to) the Bush administration's influence. Using that six-month buffer, and even debiting almost 300,000 lost jobs in July 2009 against Obama's account, the private sector has grown by over one million net jobs since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act took effect. Meanwhile, despite the chronic Republican claim that all Obama has done is grow the government, the public sector has shed nearly half a million net jobs over the same period.

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June 27, 2011 1:56 pm ET

House Republicans Have Tried To Eliminate Up To 6.7 Million Jobs In 2011

Since the Republicans took control of the House in January, they have made deficit reduction their top priority. However, while Republicans dutifully argue that slashing spending will create a positive "environment for job creation," their proposed budget cuts will cause significant job losses in the near-term. In just three bills this session, House Republicans have voted to eliminate between 4 and 5 million jobs, with some economists calling their estimates "conservative." Including proposed legislation that has not yet passed, House Republicans have attempted to eliminate up to 6.7 million jobs.

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June 27, 2011 11:28 am ET

Seriously Extreme: Rep. Bachmann's Journey To GOP Presidential Candidate

Today, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) formally announced that she is seeking the Republican presidential nomination at an event in Iowa. In a field of lackluster candidates, Bachmann is an unabashedly polarizing figure whose statements, agenda, and policy positions are not only often factually inaccurate but are also frequently imbued with extreme, hateful, homophobic and even violent rhetoric. The fact that she is considered a viable representation of the Republican party sends a stark message about the toxicity of the GOP in 2012. Often the Affordable Care Act's most apoplectic opponent, Bachmann has suggested that health care reform will result in "death panels" as well as "school-based sex clinics," and that it could allow a 13-year-old girl can be taken to an abortion clinic during a school day to "have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus that and dad are never the wiser." She has rallied those against the Affordable Care Act to stand together, saying, "What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing." She has used such extreme rhetoric to oppose other policies as well, calling the federal tax code a "weapon of mass destruction" and referring to Wall Street reform as "thuggish." Additionally, Bachmann has proposed eliminating the minimum wage and cutting billions from veterans' benefits. She also voted against a bill providing for 9/11 first responders' health care and then bragged about it, calling it "new spending." Michele Bachmann's increasing legitimacy as a presidential contender speaks volumes about the atmosphere within the Republican party today.

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June 27, 2011 10:39 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 26, 2011

The last Sunday of June saw GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) dominate the airwaves, making the rounds on Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation. On both, Bachmann repeated lies about health care reform's effect on jobs and Medicare, sentiments echoed by Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on This Week. Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) falsely stated that even if the debt ceiling weren't raised, the country would not go into default, something most economists disagree with. On Face The Nation Bachmann falsely called the stimulus a failure and continued to baselessly blame President Obama for high gas prices. Lastly, Sen.  Jon Kyl (R-AZ), fresh off his departure from the debt ceiling talks, was on Fox News Sunday to falsely claim that tax increases would hurt the economy, a claim that the previous decade proves false.

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June 10, 2011 12:52 pm ET

Rep. Ribble's Top Medicare "Facts" Are All Falsehoods

In an op-ed published yesterday in the Green Bay Press Gazette, Tea Party freshman Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI) claims that "there has been a vigorous and organized attempt to distort the Republican's fact-based plan to save Medicare." He then proceeds to vigorously distort facts by enumerating three lies regarding Medicare, including scare tactics related to rationing and the overall solvency of the program.

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June 03, 2011 3:52 pm ET

Republicans Suddenly Embrace Fact-Checkers Who Routinely Call Them Liars

In order to attack Democrats' credibility on the House-passed Republican budget proposal, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) have recently cited independent fact-checkers' analyses Democratic statements about the GOP plan to dismantle the Medicare system. But those same fact-checking organizations routinely point out Republicans' false claims — including their distortions about how their plan would affect Medicare. And while those organizations have taken issue with specific phrasing or excessive rhetoric from Democrats, it's well-established that the Republican plan would, in fact, turn Medicare into a voucher system that would shift rising health care costs onto future seniors rather than preserving the Medicare program as-is.

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June 03, 2011 3:28 pm ET

Debunking The Top Lies About The Republican Medicare Scheme

Contrary to polling, special elections, and town hall uproar, Republicans have decided their Medicare scheme is a political winner — it's just that Democrats are lying to people. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the plan's architect, expressed the GOP mentality in a Fox News interview on June 2, 2011, saying that Democrats are "distorting and demagoging" the plan and once people "realize they've been lied to," Democrats "are gonna be one the wrong end of that exchange with the American people." He then proceeded to misrepresent the GOP's "Path to Prosperity" budget in a half-dozen ways, capping the falsehoods with another whopper: "When people know the facts about what we proposed, they're extremely supportive," Ryan claimed. The facts, unfortunately for Republicans, say otherwise.

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May 26, 2011 4:50 pm ET

FLASHBACK: Since 1991, Speaker Boehner Has Voted To Cut More Than $800 Billion From Medicare

After losing a special House election in a solid red district in New York, Republicans are trying to go back on the offensive, with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) insisting that "The only people in Washington, DC who have voted to cut Medicare have been the Democrats." However, leaving aside the recently passed House Republican plan to privatize Medicare, Boehner's statement is far from true. As Political Correction previously documented, House Republicans have voted to cut over $1 trillion from Medicare since 1991. Boehner has personally voted to cut Medicare by a total of at least $814.3 billion.

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