Monthly Archive: November 2012

Does the Obama tax proposal save almost $1.16 trillion?

With fiscal cliff negotiations underway, President Obama lobbies for his tax proposal using the White House website. The White House infographic says his tax proposal will “save almost $1.16 trillion.” Overview The portion of the infographic above appears to deal only with Mr. Obama’s proposal on changes to the tax system.  His “savings” are apparently nothing more than revenues acquired…
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Is the United States “the oldest democracy in the world”?

Sometimes political statements include would-be facts that pique our curiosity but aren’t of any special importance to the overall message.  One such occurred during President Obama’s joint press conference with Thailand’s Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra:   PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, let me just say, first of all, that democracy is not something that is static; it’s something that we constantly have…
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Is it worth trying to improve on FactCheck.org?

I’m on record calling Annenberg Fact Check, perhaps better known as FactCheck.org, the gold standard for mainstream fact checking.  At the same time I’m trying to make the case that there’s ample room for competition.  There’s potential to supplant today’s gold standard with an improved standard. A Nov. 14 story by former PolitiFact writer Robert Farley serves as an example. …
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A ‘clear majority’ favor addressing the deficit with a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts?

President Obama: “By the way, more voters agreed with me on this issue than voted for me. So we’ve got a clear majority of the American people who recognize if we’re going to be serious about deficit reduction, we’ve got to do it in a balanced way.”   Overview President Obama made his remark about voters agreeing with him during…
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‘Fiscal Cliff’ truth or consequences, featuring John Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner:  “On Wednesday, I outlined a responsible path forward to avert the fiscal cliff without raising tax rates. About 24 hours after I spoke, the Congressional Budget Office released a report showing that the most harmful consequences of the fiscal cliff come from increasing tax rates. According to Ernst & Young, raising the top rates would destroy…
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Deficit reduction under President Clinton by raising taxes on the rich?

President Obama:  “But as I’ve said before, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.  If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue — and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes.  (Applause.) That’s how we did it in the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was President.”  …
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Mad lib presidential ad from the Obama campaign

Obama campaign ad:  “It’s said that ‘Character is what we do when we think no one is looking.’  Mitt Romney thought no one was looking when he attacked 47 percent of Americans.  His companies shipped jobs overseas.  His plan cuts millionaires’ taxes but raises yours.  He’ll voucherize Medicare and make “catastrophic cuts” to education.  So remember what Romney said and…
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Pitching to the swing state, Ohio

Having noticed a theme in fact check coverage centering on presidential challenger Mitt Romney’s claims questioning of President Obama’s saving of the auto companies, I planned a commentary article to present my case. Before I typed the first word, Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute largely beat me to it.  Though Bader puts his focus on inconsistent reporting by…
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David Axelrod attacks Romney’s ‘$5 trillion tax cut’

David Axelrod:  “Governor Romney, the centerpiece and really the only piece of his plan that is real is this $5 trillion tax cut, $2 trillion in extra spending for the Pentagon, no plan to pay for, it and deregulate Wall Street.“     Overview The “$5 trillion tax cut” language relies on creative math and a contested study from the…
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