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April 25, 2011 9:32 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 24, 2011

On Easter Sunday, two Republicans expressed the same dangerous, sweet-sounding idea about the debt limit. According to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), we needn't worry about raising the limit because the Treasury can still make interest payments without borrowing further. That may be music to voters' ears, but economists say that such a move would undermine the recovery and wipe out investor confidence in the U.S., causing the economy to spiral downward. Coburn went on to falsely claim that the president has not included entitlement reform in his debt-reduction plans. Elsewhere on Sunday, would-be 2012 candidate Rick Santorum (R-PA) told Fox that the GOP's Medicare plan is "identical" to the Affordable Care Act and wouldn't cost seniors anything extra, while Rep. Tim Griffin (R-AL) told CBS that the plan does not replace traditional Medicare with a voucher system. None of these claims is true.

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April 18, 2011 9:45 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 17, 2011

On Sunday morning, first-year Tea Party Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) almost managed to upstage her party's budget chairman by wrongly insisting on ABC that the GOP's "Path to Prosperity" budget is not a voucher program, works just like the insurance benefits for members of Congress, and would be sufficient to cover the cost of medical care for seniors. But Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) still offered the biggest whopper of the morning, claiming on CBS that the GOP budget doesn't cut taxes for the rich. None of these claims is true. The Republican plan slashes income taxes for the wealthy to Herbert Hoover levels while eliminating the capital gains tax. For the non-rich, the plan would end Medicare as we know it, leaving the typical 65-year-old with over $20,000 in annual medical costs by the year 2030. Meanwhile, freshman Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) claimed President Obama hasn't helped grow the economy, which is demonstrably false, and Walsh joined Rep. Allen West (R-FL) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in calling for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution that would in fact cripple Congress' ability to control spending and address recessions.

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April 11, 2011 10:13 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 10, 2011

With a government shutdown narrowly averted this weekend, the Sunday shows focused naturally on spending issues. On CBS, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) made the absurd assertion that government spending caused the recession (and not rampant fraud on Wall Street), and falsely claimed that a balanced budget amendment would help our fiscal situation. On Fox, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) repeated a favorite GOP lie about entitlement programs — that they "are not gonna be there for me when I retire" unless voters allow conservatives to rip holes in the safety net. And on NBC, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) misled viewers about his budget proposal that would undo safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps while cutting taxes for the richest Americans and protecting special interest tax loopholes for Big Oil. Meanwhile on ABC, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) seemed to have forgotten that he voted in February to eliminate all Title X funding for family planning services.

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March 28, 2011 10:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 27, 2011

The situation in Libya dominated Sunday's political talk shows in advance of President Obama's address to the nation this evening. However, while the usual posturing on domestic issues fell by the wayside, the serious nature of the conflict did not prevent conservatives from misinforming viewers about foreign policy. On Fox News Sunday, presidential aspirant Newt Gingrich brazenly denied that he reversed his stance on U.S. intervention in Libya, despite indisputable evidence that he has shifted positions and contradicted himself on multiple occasions. Meanwhile, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promoted his new book on ABC's This Week, where he distorted the legacy of the Bush administration's engagement in the Middle East.  

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March 14, 2011 9:50 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 13, 2011

Natural disasters nearly crowded out political chatter on the Sunday talk shows, but conservative guests dutifully plugged talking points into the spaces between stories about leaking reactors and coastal devastation in Japan. Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) are still clinging to the notion that the Recovery Act didn't lead to the current economy recovery, and each man blamed President Obama for the spike in gas prices that's followed recent political turmoil in the Middle East. McConnell also claimed the government's done nothing to address entitlement costs, although the Affordable Care Act took a number of steps to reign in the health care spending that's darkening our fiscal horizon. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-TN) falsely insisted that tax cuts increase revenues on Fox News Sunday, while Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) misled Meet the Press viewers about Gov. Scott Walker's (R-WI) campaign rhetoric.

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March 07, 2011 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - March 6, 2011

For the first time in weeks, the Sunday political shows didn't touch on GOP union-busting efforts in Wisconsin and elsewhere, choosing instead to focus on national economic issues. That meant a series of tired talking points from familiar Republican faces. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) implied Democrats have raised taxes, when in fact they've cut taxes by hundreds of billions. Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN) ignored economic growth and 1.5 million new private sector jobs in the past year to attack President Obama's economic policies. Bachmann also misled NBC viewers about the Affordable Care Act and the partisan nature of the Tea Party. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed the administration has protected government workers at the expense of private sector jobs. On less familiar topics, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) dishonestly insisted American Muslims don't cooperate with law enforcement despite much evidence to the contrary, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) foolishly claimed that Apple electronics are manufactured in America. Somebody should tell that to the Chinese factory workers who built your iPhone.

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February 28, 2011 10:12 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 27, 2011

This week's Sunday political chatter was focused on two very, very different places: Wisconsin and Libya. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) defended his union-busting efforts on Meet the Press by arguing that union contract agreements in recent weeks prove public workers aren't being honest when they say they'll accept his pension and health insurance demands, but that's disingenuous; the agreements he referenced had been in the works long before his power grab. Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) joined Walker in suggesting that collective bargaining is to blame for state budget troubles, but the facts don't bear that out. Meanwhile on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) asserted that public employees are overpaid (before absurdly claiming that the Bush tax cuts worked) and Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) told ABC viewers that Walker is simply fulfilling a campaign promise.  None of these claims is true. On other topics, Mike Huckabee (R-AR) lied about the national debt on Fox News and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) falsely asserted that President Obama never showed support for Iranian protesters in the summer of 2009.

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February 22, 2011 10:21 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 20, 2011

With nearly 70,000 protestors out in Madison, WI to reject Gov. Scott Walker's (R) attempt to break the state's public employees unions on Sunday, the morning shows focused almost exclusively on labor disputes — meaning there was plenty of misinformation flying about Wisconsin workers. Former RNC chair Ed Gillespie told Meet the Press that "we're not talking about eliminating collective bargaining," even though that's precisely what Gov. Walker wants to do (he even said as much in his own Sunday morning interview). Former Rep. Harold Ford (D-TN) falsely claimed that Wisconsin public employees don't pay anything toward their health insurance. Meanwhile on Face the Nation, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) claimed the fight in Wisconsin is about "modest shared sacrifice," even though the governor has rejected such "modest" compromises in his drive to bust the unions. Elsewhere, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) joined Rep. Ryan in distorting spending figures, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed there's no reason to think world opinion of the U.S. has gone up in the Obama era.

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February 14, 2011 9:54 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 13, 2011

With Valentine's Day looming, the Sunday shows provided a timely reminder of the GOP's love for false talking points. While Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) wrongly claimed that President Obama "refused to support" pro-democracy protestors in Iran in 2009, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) confined themselves to stale misinformation about the economy. On Fox, Ryan implied that government workers have benefited most from Democrats' economic policies, alleged that President Obama tried to raise taxes by $2 trillion last year, and claimed that the president has increased spending by 84 percent. Meanwhile on NBC, Speaker Boehner told viewers that Obama's policies "destroy jobs." No matter how many times Republican leaders say these things, the facts continue to demonstrate that they're just not true.

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February 07, 2011 9:12 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - February 6, 2011

Nearly all the major Sunday morning political shows dedicated their airtime to the ongoing mass protests in Egypt, save for Fox News Sunday. The network, apparently worried that Americans might forget it was Super Bowl Sunday, dedicated the entire hour of its flagship news program to host Chris Wallace yukking it up with Terry Bradshaw, Joe Buck, Roger Goodell, Lynn Swan, and other newsworthy NFL personalities. So it was not until afternoon that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) appeared on Fox News to flat-out lie about the recent right-wing attempt to smear Planned Parenthood. Cuccinelli's claim that Planned Parenthood is "happily willing to aid and abet" the "sex trafficking of minors" is utterly false; weeks before these heavily-edited videos surfaced, the organization actually contacted the FBI about the conservative pranksters who told clinic staffers they were running a child sex ring.

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January 24, 2011 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 23, 2011

On the Sunday shows, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) showed why they hold leadership roles in the modern GOP: they are maestros of misinformation. Appearing on Fox News, McConnell dissembled about everything from corporate taxes to the Recovery Act. He even suggested that the private sector isn't growing right now (although 1.3 million new jobs in the past year make the claim laughable) and claimed that "nobody's talking about" voting against the debt ceiling, despite well over a dozen prominent Republicans who are on record opposing the debt vote. For his part, Cantor told NBC viewers that the entitlement program cuts in Rep. Paul Ryan's "Roadmap" are not "draconian," but the reality is that Ryan's plan would effectively dismantle the social safety net provided by Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Later on Meet the Press, former Bush adviser Karen Hughes told a whopper about job losses during President Obama's tenure.

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January 18, 2011 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 16, 2011

With the multiple murders in Tucson still casting a long shadow over the political landscape, much of the Sunday talk shows were given over to discussions of gun control policy and political rhetoric. On NBC, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) pointed out that the Tucson shooter would not have been able to get a gun if he had been "taken under [psychiatric] care." Indeed, that is what the law says — but in reality, weak cooperation between states and the FBI on mental health records means the database used by gun sellers includes just half the mental health information it should. Despite the focus on political violence, Coburn was also asked about health care reform, and he falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act eschews "market forces" in favor of a 'takeover' of health care. Meanwhile, on Fox News, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) claimed a voucher system would do a better job of expanding access to insurance than the Affordable Care Act. Pawlenty and Coburn each said the landmark bill will not drive down insurance costs, but they are wrong.

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January 03, 2011 9:55 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - January 2, 2011

The first Sunday political shows of 2011 continued the grand tradition of conservatives casually tossing off fact-free, up-is-down talking points in order to demonize Democrats. On CNN, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) brazenly claimed the Recovery Act didn't actually create any jobs, and the Affordable Care Act didn't really reform the health care system. On Fox News, anti-tax Senator-elect Mike Lee (R-UT) was chagrined that cutting taxes by $800 billion over the next two years will cost approximately $800 billion. In a similarly fact-averse appearance on CBS, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) falsely claimed that the Affordable Care Act is increasing health care costs. Meanwhile on NBC, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) claimed that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac caused the sub-prime mortgage meltdown that sabotaged the economy in 2007. That's a more complicated issue, but even experts who despise Fannie and Freddie say that private lenders, and not the government-backed mortgage giants, are responsible for the bad-mortgage bubble.

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December 20, 2010 10:17 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 19, 2010

With "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the DREAM Act each put to bed, the Sunday shows shifted focus squarely to the New START arms-reduction treaty with Russia. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) claimed that Condaleeza Rice wants the Senate to amend the treaty, but Rice actually called for changes to the resolution of ratification — a move more in keeping with the Senate's "advise and consent" role. Furthermore, Kyl's underlying concerns about missile defense are not grounded in fact. On CNN, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blamed the treaty's verification provisions for his decision to vote 'no,' and accused Democrats of "rushing" the process. But that's foolish — we've already gone more than a year without nuclear inspectors in Russia because the Senate is dragging its feet on START, and the vetting process that began in the spring has been unusually thorough compared to previous arms treaties. Elsewhere, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said the judge who ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional got it right despite an error in his decision that one conservative legal expert called "obvious." And Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) ignored the Bush administration's terrible fiscal legacy in claiming that "every bit" of our debt problem comes from entitlements.

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December 13, 2010 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 12, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan was the sole Republican elected official to appear on this week's Sunday political programs. In discussing the estate tax, Ryan suggested that Democrats want a massive tax levied against people who have the nerve to die wealthy. In fact, the Democratic proposal — a 45 percent rate and an exemption for estates up to $3.5 million for an individual or $7 million for a couple — amounts to a 20-percentage-point cut from what Republicans wrote into law for 2011. Ryan went on to celebrate the current zero percent estate tax without acknowledging that the Bush tax cuts used a one-year repeal gimmick to make repealing the tax package more difficult politically.

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December 06, 2010 9:43 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - December 5, 2010

The lame duck session may be young, but lame Republican arguments on Sunday morning talk shows are a tradition in this town. This week, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) deceived Fox News viewers about the Affordable Care Act's impact on the cost of health care; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich labeled Democrats' tax proposal "class warfare," when the data show tax breaks for the wealthy are bad for the economy (and worse for the debt); and Gingrich suggested that business owners aren't hiring because of tax uncertainty, but that doesn't explain the decade of economic stagnation that followed the "certainty" of the Bush tax cuts. Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) claimed Democrats are "just spending, spending, spending and taxing, taxing, taxing," despite the fact that Democrats passed 25 separate tax relief measures in 2009 alone. Hatch and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) each claimed that "700,000 small businesses" will be affected by higher tax rates on the wealthy, a number that counts athletes, authors, and Wall Street giants as "small." Finally, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) flagrantly misrepresented a recent Gallup poll showing Americans want Bush's tax giveaways to the rich to end.

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November 29, 2010 10:03 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 28, 2010

The political talk shows were relatively uneventful yesterday, but Arizona's two Republican senators both took time out of their holiday weekend to spread dishonest conservative talking points. On CNN's State of the Union, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) defended his widely ridiculed stance on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," wrongly insisting that the military's ban on gay and lesbian troops "is working." On NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) argued that the Senate does not have time to ratify a nuclear arms treaty in the lame duck session because they have to prevent "the largest tax increase in history," which is a bald-faced lie. Pressed on his position, Kyl eventually explained that he cannot support New START right now because of concerns about "modernization" and missile defense — a sentiment that Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) echoed on Fox News Sunday — even though the general in charge of missile defense said the treaty will make his job easier and President Obama increased the budget for modernizing our nuclear arsenal. Kyl also repeated the debunked talking point that allowing upper-income tax cuts to expire would disproportionately hurt small businesses.

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November 22, 2010 9:37 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 21, 2010

On Meet the Press, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) accused the Obama administration of coddling terrorists when in fact we have killed nearly 30 Taliban and al Qaeda leaders since the president took office, and military commissions have produced weaker results than did the much-discussed civilian trial of Ahmed Ghailani last week. Jindal rounded out his performance by dipping into dishonest right-wing rhetoric about Obama seeking to "apologize for America." Meanwhile, on Fox News Sunday, another southern Republican governor told some very different tall tales. Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) repeated his claim that Social Security amounts to "a Ponzi scheme," and when host Chris Wallace pointed out the basic dishonesty of Perry's rhetoric — far from a massive fraud, Social Security is a long-successful and honest system that is in some long-term trouble because of changing demographics — Perry smiled and claimed Wallace had just proven the program is a criminal enterprise.

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November 15, 2010 9:58 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 14, 2010

This week's Sunday shows were all about ducks and pork. The fight over pork-barrel earmark spending is largely a matter of opinion, though, so the falsehoods were limited to the tax and spending fights expected in the lame duck session that starts this week. On Fox, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) repeated long-discredited talking points about "small businesses" and tax cuts, and exaggerated the tax rates American companies actually pay. On NBC, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) suggested keeping tax breaks for the rich would help the economy despite the evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, Rand Paul (R-KY) and Newt Gingrich each claimed that government workers are overpaid because they make more on average than private sector workers, but neither man acknowledged that the pay gap reflects differences in skills and education levels between the two groups. And on ABC, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he can't vote for the New START Treaty because of concerns about "modernization" and missile defense systems, even though President Obama upped the budget for modernizing our nuclear arsenal, and the general in charge of missile defense says the treaty will actually make his job easier.

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November 08, 2010 11:19 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - November 7, 2010

The Sunday shows were crowded with naked falsehoods yesterday. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) claimed on Fox News that President Obama "has killed jobs" despite the fact that a resurgent private sector has added 1.1 million jobs so far this year. On CBS, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that 750,000 small businesses pay income taxes in the top two brackets, but that number only works if you include massive corporations like Bechtel and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which play accounting games to avoid corporate tax rates, in your definition of "small businesses." Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) absurdly claimed on NBC that Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) entitlement-slashing debt reduction plan requires more sacrifice from bureaucrats than from average Americans. Worst of all, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) claimed on ABC that tax cuts for the wealthy are good for the economy and don't increase the deficit. In the real world, of course, Pence is wrong on both counts.

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October 31, 2010 5:35 pm ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 31, 2010

Republicans' appearances on the Sunday shows this Halloween were as predictable as any mediocre horror movie, with the lone "twist" coming from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on ABC's This Week. Cornyn lied about President Obama's stump speech, claiming that Obama wants to make Republicans "sit in the back of the bus." That's a Glenn Beck-inspired race-baiting twist on Obama's months-old metaphor about Republicans wanting the keys to the car after they drove it into a ditch, and Cornyn should know better. Meanwhile on CNN, Michael Steele pretended that Republicans are principled deficit hawks, despite turning surpluses into trillions in debt under President Bush. On Face the Nation, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty claimed that higher taxes on the wealthy would neuter the nascent economic recovery despite overwhelming evidence that the rich don't spend more when we give them tax breaks. Most predictable of all, Sarah Palin told Fox News Sunday viewers three different lies about taxes in just a few short paragraphs.

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October 25, 2010 10:01 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 24, 2010

Sunday's political talk shows featured former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie lying to ABC viewers about voter attitudes toward outside groups like his brainchild, American Crossroads, and then misleading about jobs and the economy. In fact, over 70 percent of respondents in this month's NBC/Wall Street Journal poll are concerned about outside spending making lawmakers "beholden" to outside groups. On Face the Nation, Gillespie's colleague Karl Rove claimed conservatives are only just catching up to liberals in outside spending, when it's been a dead heat for a couple cycles now, and studies show conservative groups are less likely to disclose donors than their liberal counterparts. Meanwhile, on Fox News Sunday, Republican senate candidate Pat Toomey (PA) forgot that American companies pay less tax than our statutory corporate tax rates, and forgot that President Reagan raised taxes 11 times between the famous 1981 tax cut and the rampant economic growth for which Reagan is remembered.

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October 18, 2010 9:46 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 17, 2010

This Sunday's political chatter featured Liz Cheney lying on Face the Nation about what President Obama has said about foreign money, the Chamber of Commerce, and political advertising. Obama made a point about the lack of disclosure from outside spending groups that included a reference to the possibility of foreign influence, and Cheney turned that into an outright accusation. Meanwhile, on Fox News Sunday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senate candidate Carly Fiorina (R-CA) each claimed that government spending has exploded in the last few years. But factoring in the recession, government spending has held steady since the beginning of 2007. Cornyn also found time to mislead about the expiring Bush tax cuts, a topic that Christine O'Donnell (R-DE) also dissembled about in an appearance on ABC's This Week. In reality, the Democrats have consistently called for extending the tax cuts for 97% of the country, and their plan would not affect small businesses the way O'Donnell suggested.

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October 11, 2010 9:54 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 10, 2010

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Illinois senate candidates Mark Kirk (R) and Alexi Giannoulias (D) debated economic policy and traded personal barbs. At one point Kirk described himself as "a fiscal hawk" who "foreswore earmarks," but the truth isn't so pretty: Kirk requested over $200 million in earmarks in from 2007 to 2008, including millions for organizations that donated to his campaign. Later, Kirk argued that the Recovery Act "largely failed," and implied that small businesses weren't helped by the bill. In fact, the Recovery Act's mixture of tax relief for businesses and investments in industry and infrastructure helped us avoid another Great Depression and turned the economy around. Meanwhile, on Face the Nation, former RNC chair Ed Gillespie misled CBS viewers about the balance of political power in the world of soft-money electioneering groups. In reality, 2008 saw conservative and liberal groups each spend about $200 million — far from Gillespie's imagined gap between the parties. Then, Gillespie proved he just isn't good at math when he exaggerated the value of stimulus payments to dead people by 200,000%.

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October 04, 2010 10:43 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - October 3, 2010

This week, Fox News Sunday hosted an informal debate between Kentucky's Senate nominees, Rand Paul (R) and Jack Conway (D). Paul has mostly avoided the national media, and this debate suggests part of the reason why: in less than a half-hour, Paul was flagrantly dishonest a half-dozen times, about everything from economic policy to recent history to government policy. For a finale, Paul argued that Kentucky gets a raw deal in its financial relationship with Washington, when in fact Kentucky gets a dollar-fifty back for each dollar they send to D.C.

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September 27, 2010 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 26, 2010

Sunday's political talk shows didn't feature anything new as GOP Pledge Week wrapped up. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Tea Party Senate favorite Ken Buck (R-CO) each suggested in separate appearances that cutting rich people's taxes helps the economy by spurring investment (it does not). Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) misled Face the Nation viewers about the impact of the Recovery Act (which helped the economy start growing again, despite what he says). Meanwhile, Senate hopeful Marco Rubio (R-FL) exaggerated the effect of the Arizona legislature's follow-on legislation that supposedly prevents racial profiling in the hunt for illegal immigrants. In reality, however, the add-on legislation was a cosmetic measure designed to expand profiling opportunities to include municipal ordinance violations.

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September 20, 2010 10:00 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 19, 2010

A huge state and a tiny one dominated the Sunday political talk shows, with the Tea Party takeovers in Alaska and Delaware sucking most of the oxygen out of other subjects. Still, Karl Rove brought his white board to Fox News Sunday and used it to misrepresent the polling on President Obama's proposed middle-class tax cuts. Despite Rove's cherrypicked numbers, major polls show a clear majority of Americans want the rich to start paying their fair share again. Alaska Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller, meanwhile, argued erroneously that unemployment benefits are unconstitutional. The question was settled in 1937 when the Supreme Court found the constitutional responsibility of Congress to "provide for the general welfare" included providing food money to the jobless.

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September 13, 2010 9:39 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 12, 2010

It was a typically dishonest Sunday for Republicans on the political talk shows. On Fox News Sunday, Newt Gingrich said businesses aren't hiring because President Obama wants to take all their money and because their health care costs are rising. In fact, studies show that a lack of consumer demand is holding down business investment, and the Affordable Care Act has its greatest cost impact on employer-based insurance. On Face the Nation, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) conceded that just 3% of small businesses will pay higher taxes under the Obama tax plan, but insisted that 3% accounts for 50% of small business income. No matter how often he says it, it just isn't true.

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September 07, 2010 9:09 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - September 5, 2010

Holiday weekends make for quiet Sundays on the political talk circuit, but yesterday Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) shouldered the propaganda load usually carried by a larger rotation of Republicans. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. McCain took dishonest potshots at President Obama's economic record — economists agree the Recovery Act worked, and the administration has been pushing tax relief for small businesses all summer while McCain's Senate colleagues have blocked the bill — and lied about the future of Medicare. In reality, the Affordable Care Act strengthens Medicare without cutting benefits. On Meet the Press, Sen. Graham claimed the Affordable Care Act includes a government takeover of health care and higher costs (neither claim is true) before suggesting that tax cuts for the wealthy pay for themselves (they don't) and that the Recovery Act led to 2.5 million job losses (it didn't).

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August 30, 2010 9:59 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 29, 2010

Sunday on Face The Nation, Republican Senate hopeful Joe Miller (AK) stoked fears about Social Security's finances and Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) wrapped his sugary drawl around a variety of sour attacks on Democrats' economic policies. Miller claimed "the trust fund is empty," but in reality Social Security holds assets of $2.5 trillion and is solvent through the Baby Boomers' golden years. Later, Gov. Barbour dissembled about the cost-cutting Affordable Care Act — the bill actually reigns in health care spending while expanding coverage dramatically and cutting the deficit — and suggested Democrats aren't creating jobs despite the expert consensus that the Recovery Act and other measures saved millions of jobs and turned the economy around.

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