Ending Spending: “Spending Our Future Away”

Ending Spending claims that Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) is “spending our future away,” connecting his support for the health care law and the Recovery Act to the rising debt. However, the Affordable Care Act actually reduces the deficit, while the stimulus bill created jobs and helped rescue the economy from a deeper recession. In reality, Bush administration policies and the recession itself caused deficits to explode in recent years.

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Independence Virginia PAC: “A Kick In The Teeth”

Independence Virginia PAC hits former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) over a set of cuts to public education he proposed during his tenure, paraphrasing a local supervisor to call the cuts “a kick in the teeth.” But the ad glosses over the devastating recession that cut short state revenues, forcing Kaine to propose tough cuts in virtually every sector, and the fact that Kaine’s successor approved a budget with even larger education cuts in order to avoid tax increases.

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Super PAC For America: “Obamacare Hurts Seniors: Here’s How!”

Dick Morris’ literally named “Super PAC for America” a flagrantly dishonest ad against President Obama’s health care law, forgoing all the nuance and subtlety usually used by other conservative groups to skirt the truth in favor of blunt falsehoods. Far from weakening Medicare, the law extents the program’s solvency by eight years, and rather than ending Medicare Advantage, the Affordable Care Act shores up traditional Medicare by decreasing overpayments to the private alternative that end up driving up the traditional program’s premiums. Virtually every word of the ad’s claims about the Independent Payment Advisory Board is also false: the “unaccountable” board is actually Senate-confirmed, the board is specifically prohibited from cutting Medicare benefits, and Congress can override the board’s recommendations by finding alternate savings or rejecting them with a supermajority.

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Crossroads GPS: “No Clue”

An ad from Crossroads GPS nonsensically attacks New Mexico Senate candidate Rep. Martin Heinrich both for too much spending and for a vote that may result in spending cuts. In reality, it was the recession and policies like the Bush tax cuts – both rounds of which Heinrich’s opponent voted for – that drove up debt. The automatic spending cuts are looming thanks to Republicans’ refusal to compromise on deficit reduction; when Heinrich voted for the last-minute deal that imposed those cuts as an incentive for a super committee to find compromise on deficit reduction, his primary concern was raising the debt limit and avoiding the economic catastrophe that would have resulted from default.

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American Crossroads: “Consequences”

American Crossroads hits Nebraska Senate candidate Bob Kerrey (D) for opposing a balanced budget amendment and supporting health care reform and cap-and-trade. But current debt levels are due to the recession and Bush-era policies, not to the absence of a constitutional balanced budget amendment, which would make it harder for the government to respond to economic downturns. Kerrey’s position on health care is that the law must be amended rather than fully repealed, which would have negative consequences that include kicking millions of people off insurance and forcing seniors to pay more for care. In context, the former senator’s remarks on cap-and-trade legislation make it clear that Kerrey views climate change as a moral issue without dismissing its impact on jobs and the economy.

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American Crossroads: “Debate”

American Crossroads wants to know what it is about President Obama’s first term indicates that “another four years would be better” if he wins the election. The answer is simple: Obama inherited an economy that was losing hundreds of thousands of jobs per month, as Americans suffered through the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Today the economy is growing – as evidenced by 4.97 million new private-sector jobs created in the last 32 months – and consumer confidence has climbed to its highest level since February 2008. The ad also blames the Obama’s spending for the rising debt, but the real culprits are Bush-era policies and the recession itself, and Republicans have repeatedly blocked Obama’s deficit-reduction proposals.

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American Crossroads: “Four Years”

American Crossroads accuses Senate candidate Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN) of “voting for Barack Obama’s agenda,” pointing to the health care reform law and a 2009 budget vote. Contrary to the ad’s claims, however, the Affordable Care Act doesn’t “cut” Medicare, and while the budget Donnelly supported letting Bush tax cuts expire for top earners, few of those in the top brackets are actual small businesses.

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Americans for Tax Reform: “Tax Raising Politician (OH-06)”

Americans for Tax Reform targets former Ohio congressman Charlie Wilson’s (D) support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which the group claims will hurt small businesses and kill jobs. However, conservatives rely on a dubious definition of “small business,” and allowing the top tax bracket to return to its pre-Bush level would not affect many actual employers. In addition, ATR’s charge that phasing out the tax breaks would cause job losses is based on a flawed study that assumes the revenue will not go toward deficit reduction, which is exactly what Wilson and other Democrats have proposed.

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Americans For Tax Reform: “Safe”

Blaming Rep. John Barrow for unemployment figures caused by the recession, Americans for Tax Reform ties the Georgia Democrat to President Obama, who inherited a tanking economy but has lately presided over 31 months of steady private-sector growth. ATR also attacks Barrow over his votes to raise the debt ceiling, which prevented the economic catastrophe associated with default on our debts but didn’t authorize any new spending.

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Americans for Tax Reform: “Skyrocket”

In an ad tying Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY) to President Obama’s pre-election statements on cap-and-trade, Americans for Tax Reform accuses Chandler of voting for a plan that would kill Kentucky jobs. But the job-loss estimate comes from an industry-funded study of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which other analysts projected would create jobs and boost GDP while costing consumers little.

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