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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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May 10, 2011 2:39 pm ET

The Many Errors Of Fact In Speaker Boehner's Wall Street Speech

In what was billed as a major speech to reassure Wall Street about the ongoing political battle over the debt limit and the proper approach to debt reduction, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) threw out so many naked falsehoods that it is difficult to enumerate them concisely. Here is a table of contents to help you navigate our comprehensive fact check of the Republican leader's lies.

"Government Mortgage Companies...Triggered The Whole Meltdown"

The Recovery Act "Hurt Our Economy And Hampered Private Sector Job Creation"

"Job Creators Were Looking For Certainty," Not More Consumer Demand

"We've Also Seen The Arrogance Of Government Recently In...Skyrocketing Gas Prices"

"Energy Resources Under Lock And Key"

"Addressing The Drivers Of Our Debt" Through Taxation Would Mean Acting "In Defiance Of The Will Of Our People"

"My Colleagues And I Are Not Calling For Tax Cuts In Our Budget"

GOP Medicare Plan Gives Seniors "The Same Kind Of Options As Members Of Congress"

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May 09, 2011 9:51 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - May 8, 2011

The right wing deployed its war-on-terror heavy hitters to Sunday's political shows to proclaim that waterboarding — or "enhanced interrogation" — was what got us to Osama bin Laden. Former Vice President Dick Cheney (R) said those methods got us "the early leads" while his daughter Liz claimed CIA Director Leon Panetta credits the bin Laden intelligence to harsh interrogations, Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) insisted they played "a significant role," and former Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld (R) said "it's clear" that the interrogation program "worked." But the pro-torture right protests too much; there's no evidence "enhanced interrogation" led us to bin Laden, and Panetta's comments were not so clear-cut as Liz Cheney claimed. Meanwhile, on CNN, former Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA) misled viewers about Democratic debt-reduction plans and claimed — wrongly — that the Bush tax cuts haven't helped the wealthy or hurt the rest of us.

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April 22, 2011 3:21 pm ET

Problematic And Unfair "Fair Tax" Would Burden Middle Class

It's no secret hard-right Republican members of Congress love to advocate lower taxes for the richest Americans. One recent GOP proposal from Rep. Bob Woodall (R-GA) exhumes the long-discredited "Fair Tax," a bill that would abolish the IRS and replace income and corporate taxes with a national retail sales tax. But the proposal has numerous problems: It relies on unsound numbers and, in practice, it would cause taxes to rise, incentivize tax evasion, and shift the tax burden onto the middle class.

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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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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 15, 2011 1:58 pm ET

A Comprehensive Fact Check Of Gov. Barbour's Comprehensive CPAC Falsehoods

As the final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference got underway, potential 2012 presidential candidate Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS) took to the microphone to deliver a rambling half-hour-long speech crammed with tired talking points copy-and-pasted from the prior speeches of more prominent Republicans.

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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 09, 2011 4:18 pm ET

GOP Celebrates Reagan's Birthday With Lies About His Legacy

To celebrate President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday this month, Republicans have fanned out to acclaim his legacy, in the process spreading ample misinformation about the real economic circumstances surrounding his presidency and the real effects of his policies. The Senate alone devoted two hours of time to allowing members to discuss Reagan's legacy and impact, with many senators baldly inflating Reagan's accomplishments. While Reagan's legacy has turned him into a cult figure particularly revered by the Tea Party, in truth the effects of many of his policies are in direct opposition to Tea Party and conservative values. Using some revisionist history, conservatives turn even some of Reagan's shortcomings as a Republican icon — increasing the deficit, raising taxes, and growing government — into triumphs.

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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 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 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 09, 2010 2:29 pm ET

Reminder: Republican Hysteria About "The Death Tax" Is Based On Misinformation

Since the White House and Senate Republican leaders announced the framework of a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for two years, the provisions regarding the estate tax have drawn criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. Under the deal, the estate tax would be set at 35 percent and would only apply to estates larger than $5 million. While Democrats reportedly oppose those generous parameters, many congressional Republicans insist that any "death tax" at all is unacceptable and even "cruel." In that stance, Republicans are wrong both on policy — even at a stiffer $3.5 million threshold, the estate tax only impacted the wealthiest one of every 400 households in 2009 — and politics. The Bush tax cuts gradually reduced the estate tax from 55 percent in 2001 to 45 percent in 2009, and then sprung a political trap by completely eliminating the tax for just one year before allowing it to spring back to 55 percent in 2011. This provision, which one American Enterprise Institute scholar called "absurd-on-its-face," means that Republicans who criticize the estate tax provisions of the proposed deal are in essence opposing a 36 percent cut in the estate tax, and a threshold even more generous than the 1-in-400-estates tax proposed in President Obama's budgets.

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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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December 03, 2010 3:21 pm ET

Sen. Hatch's So-Called Small Businesses Include Millionaire Athletes And Wall Street Firms

Today, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) took to the floor of the Senate to criticize congressional Democrats for their handling of the pending expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts. Hatch claimed that he and his Republican colleagues "want to do more" than Democrats by extending tax cuts to earners in the highest income brackets. Hatch argued that "the so-called millionaires tax hike" was nothing of the sort, but instead a tax hike on hardworking small business owners. In reality, as Hatch's Republican colleague Lamar Alexander (R-TN) noted a few days ago, these so-called "small business owners" include multi-million dollar Wall Street firms as well as wealthy non-employer tax filers.

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December 03, 2010 12:23 pm ET

Rep. Gohmert Absurdly Claims Tax Cut Bill Did Not Address Tax Cuts

During the House Special Orders on December 2, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) lambasted Democrats for not tackling tax cuts so they could instead "take up, debate and deal with the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010." In reality, the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2010 was the tax cut bill; Democrats attached their tax cut plan as an amendment to the bill to ensure continued tax relief for the middle-class.  

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December 02, 2010 3:33 pm ET

Sen. Lamar Alexander Gets It Wrong On Tax Cuts And The Deficit

It's not every day that a senator manages to contradict himself with his own words in a matter of minutes. But on today's edition of The Daily Rundown, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) did just that, while simultaneously spreading misinformation about tax cuts and the deficit. In discussing the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts, Alexander argued that since "the most important priority we have right now" is making it possible for businesses to create jobs, "we shouldn't be raising taxes in the middle of an economic downturn," including those for the rich. Moments later, however, Alexander seemed to pivot, instead claiming that "our biggest problem" is the ballooning deficit. Regardless of which issue Alexander actually thinks is most important, one thing is certain: extending tax cuts for the wealthy would increase the deficit while doing little to spur job growth.

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December 02, 2010 3:20 pm ET

In Tax Debate, GOP Puts Words In Orszag's Mouth

As debate raged on the House floor over a Democratic proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class, Reps. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Peter Roskam (R-IL) rushed to emphasize that even some Democrats think allowing tax rates to increase for the wealthy is economic disaster. In their efforts, both congressmen claimed that former Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag wrote in an op-ed that it's "no time to raise taxes on anybody." In fact, in his op-ed Orszag said that "ideally" only middle-class tax cuts would be extended. He did acknowledge that the current political climate could necessitate a compromise, but still emphasized that it was "key" to avoid making tax cuts for the wealthy permanent.

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November 30, 2010 4:17 pm ET

Rep. Foxx Lies About Taxes To Attack Democrats

Earlier today, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) took to the floor of the House to criticize Democrats over taxes, claiming that Americans have not received "any tax cuts in the past four years" and lamenting the imposition of "more than $680 billion in tax increases" on the American people. However, President Obama and congressional Democrats have cut taxes for 95 percent of working families, and many of the supposed tax increases that Congress has enacted actually eliminated corporate tax loopholes. Foxx also disingenuously raised the specter of "the largest tax increase in the history of the country" while ignoring elements of Obama's proposal to extend pieces of the Bush tax cuts.

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November 30, 2010 11:51 am ET

Sen. McConnell And Rep. Boehner Preempt White House Meeting With Dishonest Op-Ed

In a Washington Post op-ed, incoming House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) claimed that the midterm election results constituted a repudiation of the Democratic agenda and a wholesale validation of the Republican one. In particular, they wrote that voters made it clear they wanted an extension of current tax rates for all brackets, including top earners, when in fact a majority of voters want tax cuts for the rich to expire. Boehner and McConnell also threw in some falsehoods about small business — claiming that we must permanently extend tax rates to prevent burdensome increases on small businesses — and health care reform. 

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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 6:02 pm ET

Sen. Hatch Claims Cutting Taxes Will Magically Not Increase The Deficit

Appearing on Fox Business Network's Bulls & Bears, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) treated viewers to the usual Republican talking points on the Bush tax cuts. When host Liz Claman pointed out that Hatch's tax proposals would result in a bigger deficit, Hatch responded that that's "not even true, because if we get the economy going we can pay for an awful lot of things we haven't." However, it's Hatch's claim that is actually "not even true": extending the Bush tax cuts will increase the deficit. And Hatch's rationale that the deficit won't increase because tax cuts will result in an improved economy is also bogus. Research has shown that cutting tax cuts for the wealthy is one of the least effective forms of economic stimulus.

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November 19, 2010 10:31 am ET

The Bush Tax Cuts Just Did Not Deliver

If the Republican Party's various supply-side arguments for extending the Bush tax cuts seem familiar, that's because they are. The conservative arguments for more tax cuts mirror the lofty claims President George W. Bush made when he signed the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts into law. Bush promised economic growth and sustained prosperity; the economy got neither. In fact, from 2001 to 2007, the country experienced the weakest job growth since the end of World War II. While the nation's millionaires and billionaires got rich, average household income fell for the first time on record. In response to the recession, the Obama administration has proposed extending tax cuts for all but the wealthiest of Americans. Republicans want the rates extended for everyone, including athletes, movie stars, and billionaire hedge fund managers. These people are not likely to spend the extra money and not likely to stimulate the economy, but Republicans swear by discredited economic theories and warn that higher rates will hurt small businesses. There is little evidence for that. In fact, there is no greater evidence that tax cuts for the rich fail to lift all boats than the costly and ineffective Bush tax cuts.

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November 16, 2010 12:17 pm ET

Rep. Culberson Pushes GOP's False Small Business Talking Point

Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) appeared on MSNBC's Hardball to spread the GOP's false talking points on the Bush tax cuts. Responding to a question from guest host Michael Smerconish, Culberson claimed that the top two percent of earners, who would be affected by the expiration of the tax breaks for the top two tax brackets, consist "primarily" of "small business owners." In fact, "exceedingly few" small businesses fall into this category. In order to make their talking point stick, the GOP has had to expand their definition of "small business" to include very large corporations organized as "pass-through" entities as well as a number of non-employer tax filers like authors and athletes. 

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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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