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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 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 23, 2010 9:52 am ET

Myths & Falsehoods: The Tax Debate

With the tax cuts for the wealthy set to expire at the end of the year, the issue is once again a topic of debate among members of Congress, Washington think tanks, and the media.  Unfortunately, as with most issues in DC, the debate over taxes has been clouded and obscured by myths, falsehoods, half-truths, and downright lies.  Below, has compiled and refuted the most common falsehoods surrounding the tax debate.

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September 22, 2010 4:08 pm ET

Sen. Bond's Fifteen Minutes of Falsehoods On The Senate Floor

Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) took to the Senate floor this morning to criticize "job-killing tax increases," attack the stimulus and health care bills, and make misleading claims about the impact of the Bush tax cuts. Bond falsely claimed that Democrats were trying to institute the "largest tax increase in history" and would "raise taxes on seniors," "small businesses," and "our family farmers." In reality, Bond's claims are wildly exaggerated. President Obama and congressional Democrats have proposed extending the Bush tax cuts to 97% of Americans -- the vast majority of farmers, seniors, and small business owners.

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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 20, 2010 9:13 am ET

Rep. Cantor Repeats Small Business Tax Falsehood In The Wall Street Journal

Today, Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  In the column, Cantor repeated the false talking point that allowing the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire would affect "half of all small business income in America."

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September 15, 2010 1:02 pm ET

America Speaking Out: Rep. Cantor Misrepresents Public Opinion On Tax Cuts For The Rich

In a post on Twitter, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) falsely claimed that "Americans are calling on President Obama" to prevent the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy from expiring.  In reality, polls consistently show that the public supports Obama's plan to enact permanent middle class tax cuts while allowing tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans to expire.

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September 14, 2010 12:38 pm ET

Rep. Boehner's Politico Op-Ed Fits 4 Falsehoods Into 4 Sentences

In a Politico op-ed titled "How to jumpstart the economy," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) squeezed four blatant falsehoods into just four sentences.  Boehner accused President Obama of ignoring public opinion on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, claimed that allowing the cuts to expire would affect "half of small-business income in America," suggested that the Recovery Act "failed," and blamed Democratic policies for the debt.  All of those claims are demonstrably false.

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September 14, 2010 12:06 pm ET

Sen. McConnell Lies About Taxes on MSNBC

On September 14, 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on MSNBC's Daily Rundown to mislead viewers about the current debate over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  Despite polls that show nearly two thirds of Americans favor ending the tax cuts for the rich, McConnell claimed, "Americans think it's a bad idea to be raising taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession." Further, McConnell deceitfully downplayed the tax cuts' effect on the federal budget deficit.

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September 14, 2010 11:17 am ET

Marco Rubio Misleads On Taxes

During an interview on Fox News yesterday, Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio attempted to blame Democrats for the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  Even though Republicans wrote the law so that the tax rates would return to their previous levels after ten years, Rubio dishonestly suggested that Democrats are attempting to change "the current tax code" and engage in "class warfare." In reality, President Obama and the Democratic leadership want to enact permanent tax cuts for the middle class while allowing deficit-busting tax breaks for millionaires to expire — a plan that the majority of Americans support, and that fits the needs of our economy.

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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 24, 2010 5:26 pm ET

The Would-Be Speaker Has No Clothes: Rep. Boehner's Dishonest Economic Speech

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) gave a speech to the City Club of Cleveland in which he blasted President Obama and Democrats over the economy, and argued that businesses aren't hiring because they're afraid of Democrats' policies. In reality, Rep. Boehner's speech was full of dishonest claims about taxes and spending, the most egregious of which are collected below.

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August 23, 2010 9:15 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 22, 2010

Congress is still on recess as the summer comes to a close, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) isn't taking a vacation from spreading misinformation.  On Sunday's Meet the Press, Sen. McConnell unleashed a torrent of false claims.  After blaming President Obama for the uproar over the proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan, McConnell turned his attention to the scheduled expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of this year.  McConnell argued that the public opposes higher taxes for the wealthy, that higher tax rates for the top two income brackets would affect 50 percent of small businesses, and that the Bush tax cuts are not to blame for soaring deficits; all of those claims are patently false.  Later in the program, New York gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio (R) smeared Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf as "not peace-loving," implying that he sympathizes with terrorists.

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August 09, 2010 10:02 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 8, 2010

On Sunday's Meet the Press, Reps. John Boehner (R-OH) and Mike Pence (R-IN) dodged repeated questions about the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts. Both indirectly suggested that government doesn't need to pay for tax cuts. There is a clear consensus among economists across the political spectrum that tax cuts don't pay for themselves, and that letting tax cuts swell deficits is, in a Bush adviser's words, "just future taxes." Rep. Boehner also suggested Social Security is unsustainable, and Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-IN) agreed on Fox News Sunday. In fact, Social Security is solvent through 2037, and the shortfall thereafter is fairly small. Elsewhere, Tony Perkins told Face the Nation viewers that the Prop. 8 decision ignored the impact of no-fault divorce laws on marriage, when in fact the ruling specifically addressed the subject.

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August 02, 2010 10:41 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - August 1, 2010

On this week's edition of Fox News Sunday, former Gov. Sarah Palin read a sheet of talking points accusing President Obama of plotting a $3.8 trillion tax hike. Of course, none of Palin's critique was accurate — Republicans wrote the Bush tax cuts with an expiration date, and Palin's fearmongering bears no resemblance to the actual White House proposal for extending pieces of the Bush cuts. Later in the show, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell recited misleading GOP boilerplate about government takeovers and small businesses, and House Minority Leader John Boehner claimed the Democrats' response to the economic crisis has been ineffective, despite much evidence to the contrary. Elsewhere, Sen. Jon Kyl misled Face the Nation viewers about the impact of illegal immigrants on state budgets.

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July 27, 2010 1:41 pm ET

On False Tax Hike Charge, Rep. Pence Sticks To His Poorly-Aimed Guns

In a floor speech this morning, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) returned to the dishonest claim that Democrats are "poised to add tax increases to their agenda" and suggested that Democrats will increase taxes for everyone in January. Pence also attacked the Democrats' economic policy, claiming that Democratic policies have failed to fix our economy. The reality is that it was Pence's party that wrote an expiration date into the 2001 tax cuts that brought us this deficit — and Democrats are proposing to extend those cuts for 98% of Americans. What's more, the Recovery Act has turned the economy around and taken us from massive monthly job losses to slow but steady private-sector job growth.

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July 26, 2010 10:16 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - July 25, 2010

On Fox News Sunday, former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich defended his year-old "Latina woman racist" attack against Justice Sonia Sotomayor by insisting that a white man would have been pilloried had he made similar remarks. Read in their full context, Sotomayor's remarks do not assert any inherent superiority of judgment for Hispanics — or any other race for that matter. It's worth remembering that Sotomayor was praising the way greater diversity of experience leads to more fully-informed decisions. Later, Gingrich misled viewers to believe that Democrats can extend the Bush tax cuts without changing the law (Republicans wrote the bill to sunset after 2010). Elsewhere, Civil Rights Commissioner Abigail Thomas claimed that polling shows Tea Partiers are reflective of America at large. In fact, polling shows that's just not true.

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April 19, 2010 10:52 am ET

Fact Checking The Sunday Shows - April 18, 2010

On Sunday's political talk shows, the economy was front and center -- along with plenty of false and misleading statements. On Fox News Sunday, Sen. John McCain claimed that taxes have gone up in the past year. On Face the Nation, Sen. Scott Brown claimed that no one has talked about job creation since he was sworn in -- right after he talked up the jobs bill he voted for way back in February. And Sen. Mitch McConnell used an appearance on State of the Union to reassert falsely that the financial reform bill will bail out Wall Street. Sen. Marsha Blackburn echoed that falsehood on Meet the Press.

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April 15, 2010 12:46 pm ET

Republican Governors Association Repeats "16,500 New IRS Agents" Falsehood

In recent weeks, conservatives have spread the false claim that the federal government will hire "16,500 new IRS agents" to enforce the Affordable Care Act.  Though the claim was debunked by independent fact checkers more than two weeks ago, the Republican Governors Association still peddles the myth, sending out an e-mail today with the subject line, "16500 New IRS Agents."

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April 15, 2010 9:39 am ET

Rep. Pence Lies, Denies Democrats Cut Americans' Taxes

Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Mike Pence outright lied, saying President Obama and Congressional Democrats have not cut taxes. Despite Pence's partisan misinformation, Democratic leaders have cut taxes for 95% of Americans, resulting in the lowest tax level in sixty years.

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February 15, 2010 10:06 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows - February 14, 2010

On yesterday's political talk shows, Sen. Lindsey Graham and fmr. Vice President Dick Cheney continued the barrage of rightwing falsehoods assaulting the Obama administration's national security policies.  Liz Cheney and Rep. Aaron Schock, respectively, relied on debunked conservative talking points to slander clean energy legislation and the Recovery Act.

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February 01, 2010 10:07 am ET

Fact Checking the Sunday Shows - January 31, 2010

On Sunday, January 31, 2010, it was abundantly clear what the Republicans' talking points were.  On Sunday show after Sunday show, the Republican guests repeated falsehoods about Democrats' actions to tackle the recession.  Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. John Thune (R-SD), were the worst offenders, repeatedly spreading falsehoods about the economy, jobs, the deficit, and health care.

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January 19, 2010 1:06 pm ET

Americans For Tax Reform Repeats Debunked Attack On Martha Coakley

On January 18, 2010, Americans for Tax Reform repeated a previously debunked attack on Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley.  By using a misleading, out of context quote, ATR falsely claims Coakley favors increasing taxes. In reality, she said "get[ting] people back to work" would increase tax revenue and reduce the deficit.

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January 11, 2010 12:11 pm ET

American Future Fund Airs False Attack Ads Against Martha Coakley

Last week, the conservative American Future Fund launched a new attack ad against Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley.  By using a misleading, out of context quote, the ad falsely claims Coakley favors increasing taxes. In reality, she said "get[ting] people back to work" would increase tax revenue and reduce the deficit.

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August 14, 2009 12:51 pm ET

Which Is It? Rep. McHenry Is Inconsistent On Taxes

In May 2009, Rep. Patrick McHenry candidly admitted "marginal tax rates are the lowest they've been in generations, and all we can talk about is tax cuts." Yet his congressional website still insists that  "Congressman McHenry believes in lowering the tax burden on American workers, families and small businesses." Which is it?

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June 01, 2009 10:49 am ET

Newt Gingrich's Cap-And-Trade Video Spreads Falsehoods

On May 28, 2009, Newt Gingrich's organization, American Solutions for Winning the Future, posted a video asking its members to "Stop the Energy Tax." What the group should really do is stop spreading misinformation about the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

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May 11, 2009 11:57 am ET

Two For The Price Of One: Sen. Thune and Rep. Cantor Repeat Two Of The GOP's Favorite Discredited Talking Points

In a May 11, 2009 op-ed in Politico, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Eric Cantor questioned whether the new Democratic group Business Forward would be a friend to business. But what kind of "friends" are two Republicans who keep repeating the same damaging, disproven talking points?

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