FactCheck: Political whoppers of 2011

December 26, 2011 9:16:32 PM PST
As there seems to be every year, there was plenty of political spin from the nation's capitol in 2011. Here's a fact check of the truths and the deceptions.

Finding politicians that stretch the truth isn't that hard. Looking back, our partners at FactCheck.org have collected those they consider the biggest whoppers of the year.

Congressional Republicans like referring to the president's health care law as "job killing." They even called their effort to repeal it, the repeal of the job-killing health care law.

FactCheck: That's just not accurate. The best economic analysis of the new law points to a loss of a small number of low-paying jobs starting in 2014. The Congressional Budget Office says the law will lead to fewer people working because they'll be better off financially and won't stay in jobs just to keep their health coverage.

On the Democratic side, remember the claims that Republicans were out to end Medicare?

"They end Medicare while giving tens of billions of dollars to big oil," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-House Minority Leader.

One independent liberal group even posted an Internet video of a man pushing a white-haired woman in a wheelchair over the edge of a cliff.

FactCheck: The Republican plan kept Medicare in place for anyone currently receiving the benefits or for anyone who is currently 55 years or older. For those under the age of 55, starting in 2022 beneficiaries would've received federal subsidies to help them purchase private insurance.

Both parties tout small business as the engine of the economy, but when Democrats in Congress proposed a 3 percent tax on Americans making over $1 million a year. Republicans said it would hurt job creators.

"The very wealthy are the ones that create wealth in this country. They're the ones that provide the jobs," said Morgan Kelley, the Bay Area Republican Party vice chair.

FactCheck: Only 13 percent of Americans that report $1 million or more in income, have even one quarter of their earnings from small business sources. If small business is the nation's biggest job creator, then hedge fund managers and wealthy investors are not in that line of work.

Finally, during the 2008 campaign for the White House, then Sen. Barack Obama frequently told the story of his mother forced to fight with her insurance company as she was dying from cancer.

FactCheck: This year, a biographer with access to the letters between the president's mother and her insurance company found out that the fight wasn't over medical expenses as the president implied, it was over disability coverage

Perhaps the president meant disability payments, but that's not what he was talking about. The White House isn't disputing the biographer's account. And disability claims aren't covered under the new healthcare law.

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