Just the FACTS ma'am...2008 Presidential Election Debunking
I just posted this over at the Jet Li Forum but I'll repeat it here just in case I can reach some new people. This website is the best of the best, and sets the record straight in this very crooked world of politics....
In this age of soundbites, both McCain
and Obama try to persuade people to vote against the opposing candidate
by "exposing" their true views, their faults. No one talks about what
he CAN do.
A lot of the time those soundbites are filled with lies, exaggerations,
and half-truths. Since I don't watch TV except on-line, and listen to
public radio and not commercial radio, I am not bombarded with these
But I do get emails from FACTCHECK.ORG, which is
nonpartisan, nonprofit "consumer advocate" for voters that aims to
reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics. We
monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by major U.S.political
players in the form of TV ads, debates, speeches, interviewsand news
releases. Our goal is to apply the best practices of bothjournalism and
scholarship, and to increase public knowledge andunderstanding.The
Annenberg Political FactCheck is a project of the Annenberg Public
Policy Center of theUniversity of Pennsylvania. The APPC was
established by publisher andphilanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to
create a community ofscholars within the University of Pennsylvania
that would addresspublic policy issues at the local, state and federal
The APPC accepts NO
fundingfrom business corporations, labor unions, political parties,
lobbyingorganizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by the
I don't know which campaign has been the biggest lying
sack of doodoo, but I can guarantee you that the coming weeks will get
If you hear something in the debates or in advertisements or literature
which persuades you to vote for or against either candidate, check
again. See if what he or she said is the truth.
You can also sign up for email alerts on the home page.
Just as an example, here is an article on "THE WHOPPERS OF 2008"
Normallywe post a "Whoppers" compilation the week before
Election Day. Thistime we've already seen such a large number of
twisted facts,misleading claims and outright falsehoods that we are
doing that now.
It's not just Sarah Palin's claim about killing the bridge project
thatshe had supported until it became a national laughingstock and
Congressturned against it. That's just the whopper that got the
attention ofmany news organizations earlier this month. There have been
McCain has made multiple false representations of Obama's taxproposals.
Obama has made false claims about McCain's stance on SocialSecurity.
Both McCain and Obama have traded some whoppers about theirenergy
policies, about Iraq, and about Iran, and about supportingtroops.
For our full sampler of the campaign distortions we've seen so
far,please read on to our Analysis section. There we provide summaries
andlinks to extensive articles on each. This is a partial tally. We
stillhave more than five weeks to go before Nov. 4.
Bothcandidates are flinging rather a lot of political
poppycock, and someserious deceptions, too. We've gone after them in
our regular articlesand also in our new feature,The FactCheck Wire. Here are the lowlights – thus far.McCain: Obama will raise your taxes.It'sa
pretty standard Republican theme: "Democrat X favors higher taxes
andwasteful spending." But the McCain-Palin campaign has repeatedly
pushedthis line far beyond what the facts will support. Among the
whoppers:that Sen. Barack Obama has voted to raise taxes on families
earning aslittle as $32,000 per year, that Obama wants to tax your
electricityand your heating oil, that he has voted for "higher" taxes
94 times,and that he will raise taxes for 23 million small-business
owners. Eachof these claims is false. Sen. John McCain also claims
Obama will raisetaxes on your investments, which is untrue for all but
those at the topof the income scale.
Obama has not proposed new taxes for electricity or for home
heatingoil. McCain likes to point to a budget resolution for which
Obamavoted, which would have raised the marginal tax rate on a
singleindividual earning $41,500 per year or a couple earning $83,000
peryear. But that isn't part of Obama's tax plan, which would raise
rates(including capital gains and dividend rates) only for couples
earningat least $250,000 per year, or singles earning $200,000 or more.
Anyinvestments held in Individual Retirement Accounts, 401(k) plans
orother tax-deferred retirement accounts would remain just
that,tax-deferred. Nor would Obama's plans affect 23 million
small-businessowners; most, in fact, would see a tax cut. At most, a
few hundredthousand of the most affluent business owners would see
rates go up.And those 94 votes for "higher" taxes? We count 23 that
would not haveraised taxes at all, but were merely votes against tax
cuts. Seven ofthem would have
for many. As for Obama's actual plan: The nonpartisan Tax PolicyCenter
says that 81.3 percent of all American workers and familieswould see a
Democrats aren't without a classic theme of their own:"Republican Y wants tocutSocial Security benefits for our seniors." John Kerry used something like that againstGeorgeW.
Bush in 2004. It wasn't true then and it hasn't gotten any more truein
the past four years. But that hasn't stopped Obama from claimingthat
McCainwants to cut benefits in half.McCain did support Bush's Social Security plan. But that plan would not have cutbenefits
at all. Everybody who gets a check now, or who is nearingretirement,
would have remained in the current system. For youngerworkers who
retire in the future, Bush proposed to slow the rate atwhich benefits
grow – keeping pace with the rise of prices but not withthe faster rise
in wages, as is now the case. Compared with whattoday's retirees get,
that's a smaller increase, not a reduction.
Obama also claimed that if McCainhadhis
way, "millions" who rely on Social Security would have seen
theirinvestments disappearing in the recent stock market turmoil.
Hereferred to "elderly women" at risk of poverty and said families
wouldbe scrambling to support "grandmothers and grandfathers."
Balderdash. TheBush plan, which McCain
embraced, would nothave allowed anybody born before 1950 to have
private accounts, sonobody retired on Social Security today could
possibly be relying onprivate accounts for even a small portion of his
or her benefit check.For younger workers, the accounts would have been
I'm sure a lot of you have seen these shows but they are essential
viewing during the election cycle. They make me laugh and shake my
head at the same time. These shows have great writers.
Edit: For those of you who are in other countries, non-US citizens,
these shows are great to watch anyway. But be warned, both shows use a
lot of sarcasm and irony so may be tricky to appreciate if you don't
understand American humor. Just FYI, the star of The Colbert Report,
Stephen Colbert, is "posing" as a Republican supporter but is clearly
not. So when he says "McCain is great" it is with a wink. Enjoy!