Taking a closer look at claims made by Republicans

Lynette Sheffield /

A recent poll showed that, “of all the news channels out there, Fox News viewers are the least informed ... and were even less informed than those who say they don’t watch any news at all. Readers of The New York Times, USA Today and listeners to National Public Radio were better informed about international events than other media outlets.”

Using Politifact.com’s rating system, Republican claims were found to be false three times as often as Democratic claims during the first few months of this year.

Just in May, 60 percent of Republican claims were false compared to 29 percent of Democratic statements. The survey found similar results during the 2012 presidential campaign as well.

For example?

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said that the “ultimate problem” is the growing federal deficit.

Yet, annual federal deficits are not growing and are not projected to grow through 2015. Since 2009, the deficit has shrunk by three-quarters.

Out-of-control spending? Wrong.

Spending, using the standard share of potential GDP, is near a 30-year low.

Furthermore, based on Congressional Budget Office reports, “... federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.”

How about how President Obama’s policies are bad for business?

Well, if President Obama is the socialist some claim him to be, he’s really bad at it. When he took office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was just under 8,000. Today, it’s near 15,000.

Bloomberg News reports “U.S. corporations’ after-tax profits have grown by 171 percent under Obama, more than under any president since World War II, and are now at their highest level relative to the size of the economy since the government began keeping records in 1947.”

But the lies about Obamacare will probably affect you the most.

The Republican House Obamacare Accountability Project has published “findings” on their website that are refuted by The Center for Economic Policy Research, Forbes and Politifact.

“Obamacare” raiding Medicare, repeated by U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., is a lie. The CBO has estimated the changes to Medicare in the Affordable Care Act will “reduce spending (not benefits) by a total of $716 billion between 2013 and 2022.”

A half-truth is that Obamacare will raise taxes. The rest of the truth, omitted by some, is the fact that the Obamacare tax credits and subsidies are more than the tax increases.

The Washington Post Fact Checker, using Joint Committee on Taxation data, concluded “individuals earning under $200,000 are expected to pay $64.6 billion in tax hikes,” but (wait for it, wait for it) “they are also expected to receive $343 billion in subsidies and credits.”

Using math, we see that $343 billion is more than $64.6 billion by $278.4 billion.

Suppose the 41st vote against Obamacare actually worked? The CBO and JCT estimate that, on balance, if Obamacare is repealed, the direct spending and revenue effects of enacting the legislation would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $109 billion over 2013-2022.

Some of Walden’s votes have worked. In voting against eliminating tax havens or subsidies to Big Oil and voting for the sequester, job growth is down in both the public and private sectors and full-time workers are forced to part-time. Programs that benefit the elderly, Headstart and education have been slashed because, you know, toddlers and the elderly are hurting our economy way more than tax dodgers.

Are the Republicans all about jobs? Then why did the Bring Jobs Home Act fail to pass and the American Jobs Act not even receive a vote?

Thomas Sowell said, “If people in the media cannot decide whether they are in the business of reporting news or manufacturing propaganda, it is all the more important that the public understand that difference, and choose their news sources accordingly.”