So who is playing fast and loose with the facts in the Presidential election campaign? Both Kerry and Bush. In fact, the amount of lies and misrepresetations on both sides is staggering. The highly respected, non-partisan website FactCheck.org blames both of them for an “avalache of misinformation”.
I highly recommend you go to their website and read several of the articles.
Kerry said Bush “cut the Pell Grants”. The truth? The number of grants and the amopunt of money both went up. The academic year before Bush became President, 3.9 million Pell Grants were awarded. In the most recent acadcemic year, 5.1 million Pell Grants were awarded, an increase of 1.3 million. $8 billion in Pell Grants were awarded in the year Bush took office. Three years later, Pell Grants were $12.7 billion, an increase of nearly 60%.
Bush says Kerry only passed five bills during his congressional career. Kerry claims 56. What is the truth? Eleven bills authored by Kerry have been passed into law.
Bush said most of his tax cuts went to “low- and middle-income Americans” when most cuts went to the richest 10 percent. All groups ended up with some degree of tax cuts. The top 20% of Americans in income still pay 81% of all income taxes.
Kerry claimed that “500,000 kids lost after-school programs” under Bush, but there were no cuts in after-school programs. A 40% cut was proposed by the Department of Education but Congress rejected it.
Bush botched the facts on the flu vaccine.
Kerry wrongly claimed Bush “hasn’t met with the Black Congressional Caucus.” Kerry got the name wrong, it’s actually the Congressional Black Caucus. Bush met with them twice.
All of this great information comes from: FactCheck.org.
Here is some more:
* Kerry twice claimed 1.6 million jobs have been lost under Bush, which is 1 million too high.
* Bush said that in Iraq “We’ll have 125,000 troops trained by the end of this year,” which is wrong. Actually, the security forces being trained are a “mixed bag” of soldiers, border guards and even three-week “shake and bake” police officers, according to House testimony by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
* Kerry again claimed “The jobs the president is creating pay $9,000 less than the jobs that we’re losing,” a fanciful figure based on industry averages that don’t actually compare wages of jobs lost to those of newer jobs.
* Bush claimed fear of lawsuits drives doctors to “the defensive practice of medicine that costs the federal government some $28 billion a year and costs our society between $60 billion and $100 billion a year,” which is contrary to nearly all academic studies of the matter.
* Kerry repeated that “I have a plan to cover all Americans” for health care. Actually, his plan wouldn’t cover all Americans. It would increase the percentage who have coverage from 84% currently to an estimated 92% to 95%. But several million would still be left uninsured.
* Bush again said Kerry “voted to increase taxes 98 times.” But that total includes up to 16 votes on a single tax bill, and 43 votes on budget measures that set targets but don’t actually legislate tax increases.”
“A Kerry ad that claims to tell “the truth on taxes” falls short of doing so. It says that “after nearly four years under George Bush, the middle class is paying a bigger share of American’s tax burden and the wealthiest are paying less.” That’s true as far as it goes. However, the total federal tax burden on all income groups has been reduced, just more for some than for others. It’s true that the top 20% of income earners now pay a smaller share of the reduced tax burden, but so do the bottom 40% of earners. Those in the middle 20% now pay an average of 14.5% of their income for all federal taxes, a reduction 1.9 percentage points as a result of the Bush cuts. That middle group pays 10.5% of the reduced overall federal tax burden. That share has gone up as the Kerry ad says — by 2/10ths of one percentage point.”
“Bush stumbled when he denied making some remarks about Osama bin Laden that Kerry had accurately paraphrased. Bush accused Kerry of “one of those exaggerations.” In fact, Bush said almost exactly what Kerry quoted him as saying.” I highly recommend this site for checking on the facts as opposed to the distortions in the debates and on TV ads. Read more at:
Who is behind this great website? The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. This site takes equal shots at both parties and their distortions of the facts.