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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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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 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 17, 2011 1:46 pm ET

"Pro-Legal Immigration" Sen. Rubio Channels Anti-Immigrant Hate Groups

Last month, freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has asserted that the Republican Party "cannot be the anti-illegal immigration party. We have to be the pro-legal immigration party." However, despite preaching a tolerance for immigrants and immigration, Rubio has often agreed with and pushed for policies that are bolstered by extremist and racist anti-immigrant voices. Many of the comments he has made echo those made by anti-immigration activists and Southern Poverty Law Center-labeled hate groups.

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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 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 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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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 21, 2011 10:36 pm ET

What Happened To The Republican Consensus On Climate Change?

In May right-wing activist Marc Morano said Republican candidates "can believe in the science of global warming ... if you keep your mouth shut about it and you advocate no quote-unquote solution to the problem." By contrast, the following statements show that in previous years, prominent Republicans spoke about both the robust body of evidence indicating that human activities are changing the climate and the need to address the problem. While the political discourse has since regressed, the scientific consensus has not.

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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 06, 2011 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 4, 2011

The Labor Day editions of the Sunday political shows featured a would-be president lying about energy policy and a so-called "Tea Party kingmaker" lying about safety net programs. On CBS, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) defended her promise that as president she would bring gas prices below $2 per gallon by claiming that President Obama has put American energy resources "off limits." Actual energy experts have said repeatedly that government policies aren't behind rising gas prices, which were "inevitable" in light of the artificially low prices brought about by the economic collapse. And the statistics don't back up Bachmann's accusations about Obama's policies. Meanwhile, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) told ABC viewers that Social Security is bankrupt (even though it isn't) and claimed on CNN that unemployment benefits don't create jobs (even though they do).

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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 08, 2011 9:46 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 7, 2011

The highlight of yesterday's Sunday political talk shows was Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) deceptive performance on Fox. Ryan misled on a range of topics, from the causes of the S&P downgrade of U.S. debt, to the drivers of that debt, to President Obama's policy positions, to the reasons businesses aren't expanding today, with plenty of stops in between. By comparison, Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) dishonesty about Afghanistan and Social Security, Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R-SC) bogus economic statistics, and Sen. Jeff Sessions' (R-AL) deceit on deficits under President Bush and Democrats' willingness to cut spending were barely even blips on the radar.

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August 05, 2011 10:59 am ET

"Where Are The Jobs?" Republicans Cut Them

After pushing through a debt-ceiling increase deal comprised entirely of spending cuts, Republicans have returned to their "Where are the jobs?" messaging campaign. It is an ironic message given that Republicans have spent the 112th Congress insisting on spending cuts that will further undermine job creation. Following in the tradition of putting ideology ahead of the economy, Republicans threatened to let the United States default until they got a debt deal that included only spending cuts. The cuts in the bill could cost Americans another 1.8 million jobs next year and continue to hurt economic growth. Ultimately, when Republicans ask, "Where are the jobs?" they should ask themselves first.

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August 03, 2011 12:17 pm ET

After Passing Debt Deal, Sen. McConnell Returns To Bunk Social Security, Medicare Talking Points

Last night on Fox News' On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — fresh off avoiding government default — took the opportunity to return to familiar and incorrect talking points about Medicare and Social Security. After repeating his previously debunked claim that the Affordable Care Act cut "Medicare by half a trillion dollars," he then claimed that Medicare would be insolvent in five years, with Social Security following soon after. Both programs, however, will be solvent for far longer than five years, and in the case of Medicare, the Affordable Care Act is partially responsible for extending solvency.

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August 01, 2011 9:45 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 31, 2011

Sunday's political talk shows focused exclusively on a possible debt ceiling increase deal being negotiated between the White House and congressional Republicans. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who appeared on two separate shows, repeated the false claim that the federal government does not have a revenue problem. In fact, revenues are at an all-time low. McConnell also made the misleading charge that corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world. On both State of the Union and Face the Nation, McConnell proposed adding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, a provision that was included in a package passed by House Republicans last week. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), the third-highest ranking Republican in the House, also defended the balanced budget amendment on Fox News Sunday, arguing that if a similar effort during the 1990s had been successful, the country would not be having a debt problem. McCarthy pointed to the fact that almost all states have an amendment or statute that requires them to balance their budgets. He failed to mention, however, that many states have been able to balance their budgets or deal with other shortfalls due to assistance from the federal government. Most importantly, a balanced budget amendment such as the one proposed by Republicans will make the task of balancing the budget more difficult by limiting the ability of legislators to increase revenue in the event of shortfalls.

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July 25, 2011 10:12 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 24, 2011

This week's Sunday shows were largely about the struggle to reach an agreement to raise the debt ceiling. On Fox News Sunday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) blamed Obama's policies for "out of control" spending without noting that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the recession, and the Bush tax cuts are the primary drivers of debt and deficits. He also touted the deeply problematic balanced budget amendment. On CNN, Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) claimed that the House-passed GOP budget eliminated all corporate loopholes when it really secures tax breaks for big oil, all while necessitating a middle-class tax hike. Price also minimized the very serious effects of the checks that won't get paid out if the debt limit isn't raised by August 2nd. Later, Tim Pawlenty falsely claimed that President Obama is responsible for tripling deficits within his term. On Face the Nation, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) wrongly said that spending alone is the problem driving deficits. Finally, on Meet the Press, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) justified the GOP's efforts to obstruct debt ceiling negotiations by distorting credit rating agencies' warnings, and then blamed Democrats for the GOP-driven politicization of a Federal Aviation Administration funding bill.

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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 18, 2011 10:21 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 17, 2011

The looming default crisis dominated the Sunday talk shows, which meant Republicans were busy misrepresenting their own proposals, the polling about their proposals, and the policies that put us in this mess to begin with. On NBC, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) claimed the GOP's balanced budget amendment scheme is the only way to satisfy credit raters about U.S. creditworthiness, which is simply not true. On ABC, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) pretended that polling supports the GOP's anti-tax zealotry despite at least 21 polls this year that show broad opposition to their ideological stance. On Fox, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) falsely claimed the GOP's scheme doesn't require even steeper cuts to the safety net than the House 2012 budget and unfairly laid the blame for our debt entirely at President Obama's feet, and Herman Cain lied about who pays top-end income tax rates. Meanwhile, Rudy Giuliani misrepresented recent economic history and exaggerated his own budget accomplishments in New York City, and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) misled viewers about Social Security.

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July 05, 2011 9:35 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 3, 2011

The pre-Fourth of July Sunday shows featured a lot of talk about America's involvement overseas, particularly in Afghanistan and Libya, but the GOP lawmakers found time to squeeze in some tired misinformation about the economy as well as a few new falsehoods. On CNN's State of the Union, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) claimed that the American people "don't want compromise" on the budget and debt ceiling, but polling shows Americans are amenable to combinations of tax increases and spending cuts. He also minimized the dangers of a default, even though economists and the financial sector warn that even a short default could prove economically catastrophic. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) spent much of his airtime bashing President Obama, claiming that the president ignored his own bipartisan fiscal commission's report in his State of the Union address and that Obama hasn't put forward a debt reduction plan of his own. Both of these are false. In addition, Cornyn blamed "the president and his party" for the unemployment rate even though the Recovery Act has helped slowly begin to turn the unemployment picture around from a place where it was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs each month.

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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 20, 2011 10:00 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 19, 2011

The war in Libya took center stage on the Sunday political talk shows, as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) both attacked fellow Republicans for criticizing the Obama administration's controversial military campaign in the country. But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) stepped up to deliver the usual dose of partisan misinformation. During an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, McConnell claimed that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act only helped "government employees" and "didn't do any good" as a whole. That's patently false; the Recovery Act has created and protected millions of jobs, and it included hundreds of billions in tax cuts. McConnell also disparaged the U.S. civilian justice system by suggesting that military commissions are more effective in prosecuting suspected terrorists. In fact, when it comes to sentencing convicted terrorists, civilian courts have issued longer sentences than military courts.

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June 13, 2011 9:43 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - June 12, 2011

Sunday saw multiple GOPers blaming President Obama for job losses that are rightly blamed on President Bush's recession and pretending that Obama policies haven't started to turn the job market around. Republicans have never stopped misleading people about the impact of the Recovery Act, but ignoring two million new private-sector jobs since February 2010 is shameless. Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) each offered one jobs lie or another. Pawlenty claimed that tax cuts pay for themselves (they don't), that President Obama is "out of ideas" on economic and entitlement issues (false), that we "have to" cut Social Security (nope), that the Affordable Care Act cut $500 billion from Medicare (wrong again), and that he didn't really leave a $6 billion deficit behind at the end of his term as Governor of Minnesota (nice try). Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) falsely claimed on CBS that the GOP Medicare plan doesn't affect current seniors, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) told CNN that ending oil subsidies will increase gas prices, and Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) told CNN that the debt ceiling deadline isn't real because "the global economy will understand" if we default.

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May 31, 2011 10:39 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 29, 2011

The Sunday political talk shows cranked out their usual smorgasbord of misinformation and talking points this weekend. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled NBC viewers about the relationship between President Bush's tax cuts and our current national debt, and implied that President Obama has raised taxes when the opposite is true. On CBS, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed the House GOP's "Path to Prosperity" budget will "save" Medicare (though it would in fact replace the entire program with undervalued health care vouchers) and deflected all criticism of the GOP's plan by claiming that "Democrats have not put forward any plan whatsoever," even though that's not true. Cantor capped his appearance by exaggerating the debt reduction in the GOP plan by about $6 trillion. 2012 hopeful Tim Pawlenty told ABC viewers the president is "doing nothing" on Medicare, even though that program's trustees say President Obama's signature health care law extended the life of the program by eight years. And on Fox, freshman Rep. Allen West (R-FL) falsely claimed that 'only Democrats' have voted to cut Medicare.

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May 23, 2011 10:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 22, 2011

The absurd ginned-up right-wing outrage over President Obama's reiteration of a long-standing tenet of mainstream Middle East peace plans continued on Sunday morning, even as the president drew applause from the crowd at AIPAC for repeating his call for a Palestinian state based on "the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps." Newt Gingrich, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) each misrepresented the president's words in order to attack him. Honest conservatives were no easier to find on domestic policy issues either. McConnell joined Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in claiming the House GOP budget 'saves Medicare' (although it in fact replaces the program with something utterly different) and that the White House would ration seniors' care (another falsehood). McConnell also claimed tax cuts aren't driving the debt and lied about President Obama's position on the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, Ryan claimed the Republican Medicare scheme polls better when you explain the details (nope), insisted Democrats haven't put forth any debt reduction plans (wrong again), and said his plan cuts $6 trillion in spending when on net it only cuts $155 billion. On CBS, Gingrich repeated an exaggeration of his record as Speaker of the House. And, not to be outdone, pizza magnate Herman Cain misled Fox viewers about the Fair Tax and claimed that failing to raise the debt ceiling would increase "market confidence," even though the market is saying the opposite.

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May 16, 2011 10:39 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 15, 2011

The Sunday political talk shows were full of conservatives spouting misinformation about everything from energy policy and taxes to the debt and recent economic history. Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) falsely claimed the economy isn't creating jobs, despite 2.1 million new private-sector jobs added over 14 straight months of growth. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled on Social Security, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed the Bush tax cuts haven't hurt the national debt picture, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) exaggerated the spending cuts in the House GOP budget, which total a mere $155 billion after you factor in the deep tax cuts the plan offers to the wealthiest. Each of those three claimed that ending tax subsidies for oil companies would increase gas prices, but it won't — and Kyl had to blatantly misrepresent a Congressional Research Service report to support his claim. And in a statement that sums up GOP insincerity on a negotiated debt-reduction agreement, Ryan rewrote the last decade of Republican policy by claiming that "the whole reason we're running into this debt limit so soon is because of the spending spree that has occurred over the last two years."

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May 11, 2011 4:25 pm ET

Sen. Sessions: "American People Do Not Favor More Taxation" For The Wealthy

This morning on Fox News, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) repeated the right-wing talking point that the 2010 election gave the GOP a mandate to pass essentially anything they want in the name of the American people, including additional tax cuts for the wealthy. Sessions explicitly claimed the American people reject any Democratic plan that includes a tax increase on the rich when, in fact, most Americans favor upper-income tax increases as a responsible way to get our fiscal house in order.

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