Tuesday, November 15, 2005
by John in DC - 11/15/2005 11:17:00 AM
Can you jail the president for treason? Because that's what his five years in office has pretty much amounted to.
He launched a war based on a lie, ran it like crap, and now can't admit the truth of his mistakes when our soldiers are dying every single day, in part because Bush has yet to give American soldiers the body armor they were promised 3 years ago, and he has yet to provide them with the manpower they need to actually win. The real experts predicted that we would need hundreds of thousands of troops, Bush said we could do it on the cheap. He was wrong, we're now losing, and people are dying.
If George Bush wants to talk about enabling the enemy, one need look no further than his own White House. The man is a walking recruitment poster for Osama, and Bush continues to let our young men and women stationed in Iraq die because he doesn't have the balls to admit to the American people that he made a mistake launching this war, and then made an even bigger one in his handling of it.
The only reason any member of Congress gave Bush permission to go to war was because they, like most Americans, trusted our president. They trusted Bush to be judicious in launching a war only when necessary, and they trusted him to run any such war in a competent manner. On both counts, we now know their trust was misplaced.
So let's talk about aiding and abetting the enemy, Mr. President. My incompetence never killed a single American soldier. Too bad you can't say the same.
PS Why are Republican Senators enabling our enemy and demoralizing our troops?
You fill in the blank so I understand exactly what the lie was Bush told.
"The lie that George Bush told was when he stated......okay you fill in the rest.
Please re-read the essay, and I will be glad to comment on any questions you might have.
For posts about Bush's lies, please see the other 99% of our blog.
Bush Lie: “Concerns about abuse at Guantanamo are based on allegations made by "people who were held in detention, people who hate America, people that had been trained in some instances to disassemble [sic]." President Bush (05/31/05)
Truth: Reports of abuse are not based on allegations by detainees but "accounts by agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation." The FBI agents wrote in memorandum that "they had seen female interrogators forcibly squeeze male prisoners' genitals, and that they had witnessed other detainees stripped and shackled low to the floor for many hours." Nevertheless, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said military interrogators know "that any detainees [should] be treated in a humane way, and they have been." (Center for American Progress 6/10/05)
Responding to media question referring to "anybody who leaked the agent's [Valerie Plame's] name" and then asked the President "do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so," to which the President responded "Yes. “(06/10/04)
In his address to the nation Bush said the intelligence “leaves no doubt that . . . Iraq . . . continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.” This is consistent with pre-war findings:
Former Treasury Secretary O’Neil, who was a member of the National Security Council, indicated that “[i]n the 23 months I was there, I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction.”
In January 2004, The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace report on WMDS in Iraq concluded that the evidence prior to the war indicated that Iraq’s nuclear program had been dismantled and its chemical weapons had lost most of their lethality. In addition, the report concluded that the administration “systematically misrepresented the threat from Iraq’s WMD and ballistic missile programs”.
This is consistent with other pre-war reports. For example, in September 2002, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency concluded “there is no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or whether Iraq has – or will – establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities.”
Sources: Comprehensive Report of the Special Advisor to the DCI on Iraq’s WMD; Ruben Bannerjee – Al Jazeera 04.06.03, NOW Update 05.22.03, Scheer – AlterNet.org 06.10.03; WMD in Iraq – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; 60 Minutes 01.11.14; Dreyfus & Vest – Mother Jones Jan-Feb 04; Suskind – The Price of Loyalty
"In this space last week, it was noted that President Bush often tells audiences that he promised during the 2000 presidential campaign that he would allow the federal budget to go into deficit in times of war, recession or national emergency, but he never imagined he would "have a trifecta." Nobody inside or outside the White House, however, had been able to produce evidence that Bush actually said this during the campaign.... Now comes information that the three caveats were uttered before the 2000 campaign -- by Bush's Democratic opponent, Vice President Al Gore." --Wash. Post, 7/2/02 Bush never made such a statement in Chicago nor anywhere else during the 2000 campaign. In fact, these three caveats on deficits were stated on several occasions by Vice President Gore. Bush’s attempt to pin the deficit on the war also is a misstatement, since the cost of the Bush tax cuts is three times the cost of the response to 9-11 and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Source: New Republic 07.01.02
When Bush was asked about [the Environmental Protection Agency's report] last week, he dismissively remarked: 'I read the report put out by the bureaucracy.' ...White House press secretary Ari Fleischer fessed up: President Bush didn't actually read that 268-page Environmental Protection Agency report on climate change, even if he said he did. Fleischer was asked Monday at his daily White House briefing about Bush's comments that he'd read the report. "Whenever presidents say they read it, you can read that to be he was briefed," Fleischer said, producing laughter. --AP, June 10, 2002
."You remember when [Secretary of State] Colin Powell stood up in front of the world, and he said Iraq has got laboratories, mobile labs to build biological weapons....They're illegal. They're against the United Nations resolutions, and we've so far discovered two.* And we'll find more weapons as time goes on, But for those who say we haven't found the banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons, they're wrong. We found them." (italics ours) --WP, "Bush: 'We Found' Banned Weapons. President Cites Trailers in Iraq as Proof, " May 31, 2003
*At the time of this statement, no such weapons were found, and no such weapons have been found to this day. On this point as well as the use of the captured trailers as biolabs, the WP said this in the above article: "U.S. authorities have to date made no claim of a confirmed finding of an actual nuclear, biological or chemical weapon. In the interview, Bush said weapons had been found, but in elaborating, he mentioned only the trailers, which the CIA has concluded were likely used for production of biological weapons." There was no statement of fact, there was no smoking gun. The CIA's finding was advanced as an opinion based on its own particular process of elimination, and it was immediately challenged by both U.S. and U.K. intelligence analysts who had seen the trailers. --Politex, 08.09.03 (italics ours)
Now comes this..."Engineering experts from the Defense Intelligence Agency have come to believe that the most likely use for two mysterious trailers found in Iraq was to produce hydrogen for weather balloons rather than to make biological weapons, government officials say.
The classified findings by a majority of the engineering experts differ from the view put forward in a white paper made public on May 28 by the C.I.A. and the Defense Intelligence Agency, which said that the trailers were ["likely used"] for making biological weapons....
The State Department's intelligence branch, which was not invited to take part in the initial review, disputed the findings in a memorandum on June 2. The fact that American and British intelligence analysts with direct access to the evidence were disputing the claims included in the C.I.A. white paper was first reported in June, along with the analysts' concern that the evaluation of the mobile units had been marred by a rush to judgment." --NYT, 08.09.03
"President Bush proclaimed that a report by leading economists concluded that the economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2003 if his tax cut proposals were adopted. No such report exists." Gordan Livingston, 06.03.03
On April 26, President Bush said in his weekly radio address, "My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax."
That turned out not to be true. According to the nonprofit Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an unspecified number of low- and middle-income families received no tax cut at all because they'd been excluded from an expansion of the child-care tax. --Timothy Noah, 06.03.03
Bush: "By the year 2042, the entire [social security] system would be exhausted and bankrupt."
In what the BBC calls "highly unusual," a State of the Union Speech was interrupted by a chorus of "No's," booing, and heckles from some of the members of Congress in attendance. This happened immediately after the above Bush lie. As Shields mentioned on the PBS wrap-up, and as Brooks concurred, if adjustments are not made, by 2042, as they have been made before, 3/4 of the funds promised would still be available. The entire system would neither be exhausted nor bankrupt. -- Politex, 02.03.05
"I don't believe anyone that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq had nuclear weapons."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at a hearing of the Senate's appropriations subcommittee on defense, May 14, 2003
"We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons."
Vice President Dick Cheney on NBC's Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
On January 27, 2004, White House spokesman Scot McClellan claimed that the administration never said Iraq was an imminent threat. "the media have chose to use the word imminent" to describe the Iraqi threat.
No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world than the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq." Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (09.19.02)
"This man poses a much graver threat than anybody could have possibly imagined." President Bush (09.26.02)
"The Iraqi regime is a threat of unique urgency. . . . It has developed weapons of mass death" President Bush (10.02.02)
"There's a grave threat in Iraq. There just is." President Bush (10.02.03)
"There are many dangers in the world; the threat from Iraq stands alone because it gathers the most serious dangers of our age in one place. President Bush (10.07.02)
"The Iraqi regime is a serious and growing threat to peace." President Bush (10.16.02)
"There is a real threat, in my judgment, a real and dangerous threat to America in the form of Saddam Hussein." President Bush (10.28.02)
"I see a significant threat to the security of the United States in Iraq." President Bush (11.01.02)
"Today the world is...uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq." President Bush (11.01.02)
"The world is also uniting to answer the unique and urgent threat posed by Iraq whose dictator has already used weapons of mass destruction to kill thousands." President Bush (11.23.02)
In January 2003, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett, when asked “is Saddam an imminent threat to U.S. interests”; he replied “Well, of course he is.”
In February 2003, White House spokesman Scott McClellan said “[t]his is about [an] imminent threat.”
In May 2003, Ari Fleisher was asked “Didn’t we go to war because we said WMD’s were a direct and imminent threat to the U.S?” He responded, “Absolutely.”
Sources: Daily Mis-Lead 01.28.04, CAP Daily Progress Report 01.29.04
Part 1: BUSH'S PATTERN OF
HIDING THE TRUTH
The administration's fabrication's and attempts to bury the truth are not limited to its zealous pursuit of war with Iraq. Below is just a sample of recent items the administration has tried to conceal from the American people:
* HIDING THE TOLL OF THE IRAQ WAR. The The Bush administration has (i) banned the media from Dover Air Force Base where the bodies of troops killed in Iraq are returned, (ii) under-reported figures for those officially wounded to only include those directly wounded in combat, and (iii) restricted access to military hospitals for professionally trained counselors of the Disabled American Veterans Association – access that the DAV has had for more than 60 years – to only permit closely monitored visits with pre-selected patients; and (iv) failed to attend a single funeral for an Iraq war veteran. (Tom Paine.common sense 03.08.04)
* SUPPRESSING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COST DATA BEFORE CONGRESSIONAL VOTE: The White House provided Congress with a cost estimate for the Medicare prescription drug plan of $400 billion even though it knew at that time the costs of were $551 billion - more than 25% higher. The administration threatened to fire Medicare's top financial analyst (Richard Foster) if he released the information. Two months after the President signed the law, the administration increased its costs estimates to $524 billion. AARP, which worked with the administration in drafting the bill, revealed that these higher estimates were "well known in the fall" but is only now being made public. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based budget watchdog group claim Congress got "suckered by a classic financial bait-and-switch by the administration."
In May, the Congressional Research Service issued a report that the Bush administration violated federal law by ordering Mr. Foster to withhold information from Congress. The report stressed that “the right to receive truthful information from federal agencies to assist in its legislative functions is clear and unassailable.” (Kemper & Simon - Los Angeles Times 01.31.04, Pugh- Knight Ridder Los Angeles Times 03.11.04, Kemper - Los Angeles Times 03.14.04, Progress Report 03.15.04, Pear – New York Times 05.04.04)
* SUPPRESSING EVIDENCE OF MERCURY POISONING: Administration officials “suppressed and sought to manipulate government information on mercury contained in an EPA report on children’s health and the environment.” The report, which found that 8 percent of women between the ages of 16-49 have mercury levels in their blood that could impair their children, was buried by the White House for nine months and was only released after it was leaked to the media by EPA.
In addition, in issuing regulations on mercury emissions, the administration told EPA staffers “not to undertake the normal scientific and economic studies called for under a standing executive order” to prevent production of evidence that would undermine its weakening of mercury emissions regulation. (Union of Concerned Scientists – Scientific Integrity in Policy Making February 2004, Krugman – New York Times 04.06.04).
* CENSORED AND DELAYED 9-11 REPORT: The Bush administration purposefully delayed the release of the report of the Joint Congressional Committee on 9-11 until after the conclusion of the Iraq war to hide facts such as the absence of an Iraq0AlQaeda link. Once released, the administration censored portions of the report that demonstrated that Bush was briefed on August 6, 2001 about Al Qaeda plans for a possible hijacking in the US and the Saudi role in funding Al Qaeda. (Waterman - UPI 07.23.03, Priest - Washington Post (07.25.03).
* SUPPRESSING, ALTERING OR MANIPULATING EMPERICAL DATA UNDERMINING THEIR IDEOLOGICAL POSITIONS: More than 4,000 scientists – including 48 Nobel Prize winners and 127 members of the National Academy of Sciences – have accused the Bush administration of distorting and suppressing science to suit its political goals. (Shogren – Los Angeles Times 07.09.04)
A report by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that this administration has:
o a well-established pattern of suppression and distortion of scientific finding by high-ranking Bush administration political appointees across numerous federal agencies. These actions have consequences for human health, public safety and community well being. Incidents involve air pollutants, heat-trapping emissions, reproductive health, drug resistant bacteria, endangered species, forest health, and military intelligence
o The report also found that:
o there is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression, and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration is unprecedented.
READ THE REPORT! http://www.ucsusa.org/documents/RSI_final_fullreport.pdf
A report by the House Committee on Government Reform – Minority Staff reaches the same conclusion, revealing examples such as the administration:
o Changing education performance measures to make “abstinence-only” programs appear effect; deleting information on the efficacy and use of condoms from the Center for Disease Control web site; withholding findings on global warming and other negative impacts on wetlands and preventing any analyses on alterative environmental proposals;
o using misleading data to suggest that a functioning missile defense system could be deployed quickly;
o including information on the National Cancer Institute’s web site suggesting conflicting evidence on whether abortion leads to breast cancer when the scientific community has determined no such link exists; and
o preventing research on agricultural practices having a “negative health [or] environmental consequences.
READ THE REPORT! http://www.house.gov/reform/min/politicsandscience/pdfs/pdf_politics_and_science_rep.pdf
* ERASING EVIDENCE OF RACIAL DISPARITIES IN REPORT ON ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE: After a National Academy Sciences panel conducted a Congressionally mandated comprehensive study on racial disparities in access to quality health care and concluded that racial and socioeconomic disparities were “pervasive in our health care system”; that minorities received poorer care and were more likely to die from avoidable deaths (e.g., cancer, cardiac illness) – HHS Secretary Thompson refused to approve the findings and ordered that the report be rewritten. The report released by HHS in December 2003 omitted all findings of racial disparities and instead asserted that claims of minority groups receiving worse care than whites were unproved. (Bloche – Los Angeles Times 02.15.04)
* REMOVING INFORMATION ON PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION: Under the No Child Left Behind Act Administration, if a school is deemed a failing school for three years in a row, students would get vouchers to go to a new school based on their share of federal funding (approximately $2,400 per child). The Department of Education website used to list the private school tuition ($28,500) on its website, but the Bush administration has removed this to hide the disparity between the cost of private school and vouchers offered. (Carville – Had Enough?)
* KILLED TREASURY DEFICIT STUDY: The administration “deep-sixed” a 2003 Treasury Department study that projected that “the equivalent of an immediate and permanent 66 percent across-the-board income tax increase” would be required to eliminate a projected $44.2 trillion budget deficit due to Bush’s tax cuts. The study found that the future health care and retirement costs of the baby boomers would overwhelm the treasury. “Sharp tax increases and massive spending cuts are unavoidable if the U.S. is to meet benefit promises to future generations.” The report added that the current financial challenge facing Washington is approximately “10 times the publicly held national debt, four years of U.S. economic output, or more than 94 percent of all U.S. household assets.” (Hollings – Washington Post 06.19.03, Baker – Slate 07.11.03, Ferdinand - Utne Reader 05.2003, Malveaux & McCaughan - CNN.com 05.29.03)
* SUPPRESSING EVIDENCE OF RACIAL HARASSMENT WITHIN THE ASHCROFT JUSTICE DEPARTMENT: For over a year, the Justice Department has delayed the release of a KPMG Consulting report on diversity in DOJ. All that DOJ would release is a redacted version that deletes more than half the report including its summary. It is reported that the redacted portions include findings that DOJ faces “significant diversity issues” and that “minorities are significantly more likely than whites to cite stereotyping, harassment, and racial tensions as characteristics of the work climate.” (New York Times 11.04.03)
* DELETED FORECAST OF TAX PLAN AS “JOB KILLER”: A Council of Economic Advisors’ forecast showing that the Bush “stimulus” plan would only create 170,000 jobs per year and would be a “job killer” after 2007 was removed from its website. (Baker – Slate 07.11.03)
* DELETED FINDINGS OF GLOBAL WARMING: Prior to release of the EPA’s 2003 Environmental Overview, the White deleted a detailed chapter of global warming that found that global warming was due to human factors and that “climate changes has global consequences for human health and the environment”. (CBS News.com 06.19.03)
* CONCEALED "CLEAR SKIES" ANALYSIS: An EPA assessment of Bush’s “Clear Skies” plan concealed the fact that a proposal by Senator Carper (D-Del.) would provide greater long term benefits at only slightly higher costs. In June 2004, a research firm hired by the Bush administration concluded that current policies on power plant emissions lead to the death of 24,000 people each year. While the Clear Skies program would reduce this by as many as 14,000 lives, competing proposals would save up to 22,000 lives. (Gugliotta & Pianin – Washington Post 07.02.03, Janofsky – New York Times 06.10.04)
* KILLED LAYOFF REPORTS: The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ monthly Mass Layoff Statistics report was killed by the administration in December 2002 and only noted in a footnote in the final report. (President Bush I did the same thing to hide his dismal performance.) After this was discovered by the Washington Post, the reports were reinstated. (Baker – Slate 07.11.03)
* DELETED DECLINING MIN. WAGE: A Labor Department report showing the real value of the minimum wage over time (which would show the workers losing ground under Bush since there has been no increase since 1997) was removed from its website. (Baker – Slate 07.11.03)
* FORCED SCIENTISTS TO ALTER FINDINGS ON KLAMATH RIVER WATER LEVELS: Karl Rove and Interior Secretary Norton forced National Marine Fisheries scientists to alter findings on the amount of water required for the survival of salmon in Oregon’s Klamath River to enable farms to use a bigger share of the river water. “As a result, more than 33,000 Chinook and Coho salmon died – the largest fish kill in American history.” (Kennedy – Rolling Stone 12.11.03)
* RESTRICTING DEMOCRATS ABILITY TO QUESTION ADMINISTRATION: In an unprecedented move, the administration is requiring Democrats to submit all requests for information to Republican chairman of the relevant committee, thereby requiring Republican approval of any such requests. (Milbank – Washington Post 11.08.03)
* HIDING BAD NEWS: The Bush administration moved up the release of census data showing increases in poverty and the uninsured for the third year in a row from September to August while Congress was in recess and many reporters and other Americans were on vacation. The administration has a history of releasing bad news late on Friday to minimize press coverage. (The Daily-Mis-Lead 08.26.04).
* FUNDING ABSTINENCE-ONLY PROGRAMS – 80% OF WHICH PRESENT FALSE, MISLEADING OR DISTORTED INFORMATION ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH. The programs contain false claims on the effectiveness of condoms, the risks associated with abortion and exposure to HIV. Bush administration has used “sensitive but unclassified”, “sensitive security information” (Report: The Content of Federally Funded Abstinence-Only Education Programs.)
Read the report - http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/Documents/20041201102153-50247.pdf
* USING SECURITY CLASSIFICATIONS TO SUPRRESS DAMAGING INFORMATION. The Bush administration has used “sensitive but unclassified”, “sensitive security information” or “for official use only” designations to block the release of information showing that (1) the CIA “was involved in preparing a grossly inaccurate global terrorism report”; (2) UN Ambassador nominee was involved in the creation of a fact sheet that falsely claimed Iraq sought uranium from Niger; and (3) the names of US companies that did business with Saddam Hussein under the Oil for Food program. (Letter from Congressman Waxman to Congress Shays dated March 1, 2005.)
MIS-LEADER SPECIAL REPORT: HIDING THE TRUTH: BUSH'S NEED TO KNOW DEMOCRACY http://www.misleader.com/pdf/specialreport2_secrecy.pdf
Part 2: BUSH LIES FROM A - Z
LIE: Bush justified re-imposing the Reagan era gag order prohibiting funding to overseas family planning groups that provide abortion services or counseling on the grounds that “taxpayer funds should not be used to pay for abortions”.
FACT: The US funds that Bush cut off were only used for non-abortion activities. (David Corn 02.05.01)
LIE: Bush withheld $34 million approved by Congress for the United Nations Population Fund Agency (UNPFA) claiming that the program supported China’s one-child policy.
FACT: Bush’s own State Department conducted an investigation and found “no evidence that UNFPA has supported or participated in the management of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization” in China. Bush suppressed the report and withheld the funds anyway. Bush continues to withhold these funds despite no evidence of claimed forced abortions in China. (NOW Report – The Truth About George, Richter – Los Angeles Times 07.17.04)
LIE: During the debates, Bush claimed he would not seek to overturn the FDA’s approval of RU-486.
FACT: Bush stated he would not accept the FDA’s decision and would seek to appoint an FDA commissioner who would “make sure the FDA considered the risk”. (ABC News.com 10.4.02)
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
LIE: After initially opposing McCain-Feingold, Bush jumped on the bandwagon once it was a fait accompli. In July 2002, he cut a deal with Senator McCain to appoint a pro-reform candidate (Ellen Weintraub) backed by McCain to the Federal Election Commission.
FACT: As Senator McCain plainly stated, while “the administration wanted to share in the widespread public approval of campaign finance reform by . . . signing the legislation . . . he’s cooperating behind the scenes with opponents of the law in Congress and on the [Federal Election] Commission to weaken it as much as possible.” Bush sat on the Weintraub nomination until the Bush FEC issued regulations creating huge loopholes contrary to the express language of the law to permit (i) party committees to raise soft money through independent committees, (ii) federal officials to engage in fundraising, and (iii) permitting candidates to raise soft money through independent committees. In the words of Senator McCain, “[t]hey flat-out broke their word.” (Arianna Online 12.09.02, Public Citizen Analysis of How FEC Is Undermining the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002)
CIVIL RIGHTS & PATRIOT ACT
LIE: The Bush administration repeatedly argued that it could not release the names of detainees – even those who had not been charged or accused of terrorism – because doing so would harm national security.” The Justice Department in a sworn affidavit contended that when detainees are publicly identified “terrorist organizations with whom they have a connection may refuse to deal further with them.”
FACT: That rule does not apply when the administration needs to make disclosures for political purposes. When forced to come up some justification for its elevation of the threat level immediately after the Democratic convention based on information that was three years old, National Security Advisor Rice stated that the alert was due to the capture of Al Qaeda operative Mohammed Khan. The Justice Department’s affidavit was correct; however, since Rice’s disclosure of Khan harmed ongoing investigations. Once again, politics triumphs over security in the Bush White House. (Daily Mis-Lead 08.08.04)
LIE: "By the way, the reason I bring up the Patriot Act, it's set to expire next year. I'm starting a campaign to make it clear to members of Congress that it shouldn't expire. It shouldn't expire for the security of our country." President Bush.
FACT: Less that 10 percent of the Patriot Act expires; most of the law is permanent and those portions that do sunset will not do so until December 31, 2005. (Cassel – Counterpunch 04.26.04)
LIE: "And that changed, the law changed on- roving wiretaps were available for chasing down drug lords. They weren't available for chasing down terrorists, see?"
FACT: Roving wiretaps were available prior to 9/11 against drug lords and terrorists. Prior to the law, the FBI could get a roving wiretap against both when it had probable cause of crime for a wiretap eligible offense. What the Patriot Act did is make roving wiretaps available in intelligence investigations supervised by the secret intelligence court without the judicial safeguards of the criminal wiretap statute. (Cassel – Counterpunch 04.26.04)
LIE: "... see, I'm not a lawyer, so it's kind of hard for me to kind of get bogged down in the law. I'm not going to play like one, either. (Laughter.) The way I viewed it, if I can just put it in simple terms, is that one part of the FBI couldn't tell the other part of the FBI vital information because of the law. And the CIA and the FBI couldn't talk."
FACT: The CIA and the FBI could talk and did. As Janet Reno wrote in prepared testimony before the 9/11 commission, "There are simply no walls or restrictions on sharing the vast majority of counterterrorism information. There are no legal restrictions at all on the ability of the members of the intelligence community to share intelligence information with each other.
"With respect to sharing between intelligence investigators and criminal investigators, information learned as a result of a physical surveillance or from a confidential informant can be legally shared without restriction. While there were restrictions placed on information gathered by criminal investigators as a result of grand jury investigations or Title III wire taps, in practice they did not prove to be a serious impediment since there was very little significant information that could not be shared." (Cassel – Counterpunch 04.26.04)
LIE: "Thirdly, to give you an example of what we're talking about, there's something called delayed-notification search warrants. ... We couldn't use these against terrorists [before the Patriot Act], but we could use against gangs."
FACT: Delayed-notification - or so-called sneak-and-peek search warrants - were never limited to gangs. The circuit courts that had authorized them in limited circumstances prior to the Patriot Act did not limit the warrants to the investigation of gangs. In fact, terrorism or espionage investigators did not necessarily have to go through the criminal courts for a covert search - they could do so with even fewer safeguards against abuse by going to a top secret foreign intelligence court in Washington.
For criminal sneak-and-peek warrants, the Patriot Act added a catch-all argument for prosecutors - if notice would delay prosecution or jeopardize an investigation - which makes these secret search warrants much easier to obtain. The president's sneak-and-peek misstatement clearly demonstrates that the Patriot Act is not limited to terrorism. In fact, many of the law's expanded authorities can clearly be used outside the war on terrorism. (Cassel – Counterpunch 04.26.04)
LIE: In announcing his support for the Defense of Marriage Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage, Bush said he was reversing his previous position because of the actions in Massachusetts, New Mexico and San Francisco.
FACT: President Bush told the amendment sponsor, Rep. Marilyn Musgrave that he would support the amendment several months prior – before any state actions. (Daily Mis-Lead 03.02.04)
LIE: When asked by David Frost about the demonstrators protesting his visit to the UK, Bush responded that “Freedom is a beautiful thing, I would first say, and aren’t you lucky to be in a country that encourages people to speak their mind. And I value going to a country where people are free to say anything they want to say”.
FACT: Under Bush, the FBI has been monitoring political demonstrations and other legal activities such as using the Internet for fundraising for the first time since the Nixon-Hoover era. In addition, after 9-11 then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that Americans “need to watch what they say, watch what they do.” Similarly, Attorney General Ashcroft labeled any criticism of the Patriot Act as aiding terrorists. (Daily Mis-Lead 11.24.03)
LIE: Attorney General Ashcroft told there “is no evidence of racial bias in the administration of the federal death penalty”.
FACT: A September 2000 Justice Department report concluded there was racial bias in the administration of the federal death penalty. (People For the American Way – Report on Attorney General Ashcroft’s First Year)
LIE: At the 2000 Republican National Convention, Bush claimed that if ‘called on by the commander in chief today, two entire divisions of the Army would have to report, ‘Not ready for duty, sir.’”
FACT: This claim was contradicted by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Cohen and Bush’s own foreign policy advisor Richard Armitage. (Franken – Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them)
LIE: The Bush administration spread stories that the outgoing Clinton administration vandalized the White House with obscene graffiti, file cabinets glued shut, phone wires cut and pornography left on fax machines.
FACT: The General Accounting Office found no evidence of vandalism, wires slashed, equipment damaged or other evidence to match the allegations. (Boston Globe 05.28.01)
LIE: The Bush administration claimed that regulations issued during the final weeks of the Clinton administration were “ill-considered” and “ill-intentioned”.
FACT: Virtually all regulations issued during the final weeks of the Clinton administration had been developed over a period of years and are consistent with practices of prior administrations. (Washington Post 06.09.01).
DEFENSE & VETERANS AFFAIRS
LIE: Bush has lauded the “great courage” of those serving in Iraq and has proclaimed that “[o]ur men and women in uniform give America their best and we owe them our support.”
FACT: Bush’s support has been in words only, as he has requested major cuts in the Impact Aid program providing funds for the schooling of 900,000 children of military families. (The Daily Mis-Lead 10.13.03)
In addition, one million children living in military and veteran families are denied child tax credit help in the President’s tax cut, including 260,000 of children with parents in active duty. (Center for American Progress 12.13.03)
LIE: Bush told the VFW that “Veterans are a priority of this administration . . . and that priority is reflected in my budget.”
FACT: In 2003, Bush killed an emergency funding request that included $275 million for Veterans’ medical care, while his 2004 budget requests falls $1.9 billion short of maintaining what the American Legion called “an inadequate status quo.” Bush’s FY2005 budget cuts funding by $13.5 billion over 5 years. (The Daily Mis-Lead 10.21.03, The Center for American Progress 02.04.03)
LIE: In June 2001 Bush stated that the US would not deploy a missile defense system “that doesn’t work.”
FACT: Bush then proceeded to deploy the missile defense system even though a General Accounting Office report found only “limited data for determining whether the system will work as intended.” (Corn – The Nation 10.13.03)
LIE: On a three-state education tour, Bush claimed they the administration has seriously increased funding for education, saying “we’re doing our duty; we understand that people need extra help, and the federal government is responding.”
FACT: There is a $72 billion gap between what Bush promised to spend and what he actually sought. Of the states visited, he promised $176MM for Arkansas for disadvantaged children, but only sought $117MM. Bush is seeking to reduce funding for almost one-third of Arkansas school districts. In Maryland, Bush is only seeking $171MM after promising $264MM and in West Virginia he is seeking $106MM after promising $163MM. (The Daily Mis-Lead 05.12.04)
LIE: In signing the No Child Left Behind Act, Bush declared “We’re going to spend more on our schools and we’re going to spend it more wisely.” In his 2004 State of the Union speech, he claimed “I refuse to give up on any child and the No Child Left Behind Act is opening the door of opportunity to all of America’s children.”
FACT: Bush’s FY2005 budget under-funds the No Child Left Behind (“NCLB”) program by $9.4 billion – or 27 percent less than authorized by Congress. Bush has under funded the NCLB program by $15 billion over his first three years. Most of the under funding is in the area of Title I of the Act which provided funds to schools with low income or disadvantaged students. (The Daily Distortion 10.24.03, New Democratic Network 12.02.03, Center for American Progress 02.03.04)
LIE: “I propose larger Pell Grants for students who prepare for college with demanding courses in high school.” (2004 SOU)
FACT: The Bush administration has eliminated 84,000 students from the Pell Grants program and reduced grants to another 1.5 million students. Its FY2005 budget freezes Pell Grant awards. (Center for American Progress 02.03.04)
LIE: “I’ve always felt that the community college system provides a great opportunity for job training. . . . So we’ve got the money in our budget to help invigorate the community college system.”
FACT: The Bush administration has proposed modest increases in job training funds for community colleges but this is offset by over $1 billion cut out of job training programs over the last three years. (Center for American Progress 02.23.04)
LIE: In a September 2003 speech, Bush claimed that his budget boosted spending for elementary and secondary education to $53.1 billion -- a 26 percent increase.
FACT: Bush’s budget for elementary and secondary education is only $34.9 billion (his entire education budget is $53.1 billion) and the boost he refers to is actually a $900 million cut. (Corn – The Nation 09.15.03)
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
LIE: The Bush administration claims it has imposed “stringent new rules on power plant emissions”.
FACT: The new Bush rules gutted Clean Air Act restrictions to allow utilities to avoid having to install expensive new anti-pollution equipment when they modernize their plants. The EPA’s civil enforcement chief resigned in protest, while another senior EPA lawyer wrote to Christie Whitman that the administration “seems determined to weaken the rules we are trying to enforce. A study commissioned by the administration demonstrated that current policies on power plant emissions led to the death of 24,000 people each year. (Center for American Progress 12.13.03, New York Times 06.10.04)
LIE: The Bush administration claimed its new air pollution standards for plywood manufacturers, which are about “10,000 times less stringent than the level previously used by EPA”, were consistent with public health needs and available science.
FACT: In issuing the new rules, the administration relied on studies prepared by the chemical industry and ignored by the National Cancer Institute and National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health that showed exposure to formaldehyde used in manufacturing plywood caused leukemia in humans. (Miller & Hamburger – Los Angeles Times 05.21.04)
LIE: I’m a big proponent of clean coal technology to make sure we can use coal in a clean way. (2nd Debate)
FACT: In 2000, Bush promised he would increase jobs and spend $2BB over 10 years on clean coal technologies. Bush abandoned this pledge and his FY05 budget substantially cuts funds for basic coal research (30%) and the Clean Coal Power Initiative (70%). (The Herald Dispatch 10/3/00, Department of Energy Budget Request FY2002-2005).
LIE: On her final day as EPA administrator, Christine Todd Whitman assured members of Congress that EPA would do required economic and technical studies before proposing a rule to reduce mercury emissions from power plants. After her departure she denied any knowledge that the analysis was not being conducted.
FACT: Whitman had knowledge that EPA was not doing the required analysis, as her assurances came in letter to lawmakers concerned about reports that the studies had been tabled by the White House. When the pro-industry rule weakening Clean Air Act requirements for mercury emissions came out, it was discovered that the analyses was not done and, instead, EPA only studied options that would support the White House’s desired outcome. (Miller & Hamburger – Los Angeles Times 03.19.04)
LIE: The administration claims that it has offered stringent new rules that will result in dramatic reductions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury.
FACT: The administration’s new rules weaken Clean Air Act requirements for mercury emissions by requiring that plants reduce such emissions by only 1/3 of what is required by the Clean Air Act – reducing current emissions from 48 tons to 34 tons by 2010 instead of a reduction to 5 tons by year 2007. The rules also will result in 1.4 million tons more of air pollution. (Daily Mis-Lead 12.05.03, Center for American Progress 12.13.03)
LIE: In 2002, EPA’s Assistant Administrator for Air Quality Holmstead told two Senate committees that the proposed rule changes gutting the Clean Air will not “have a negative impact on enforcement cases.” In response to questioning as to whether discussed the impact of the proposed rule changes with EPA and Justice Department enforcement officials, he replied, “Yes, that was one of the primary issues that was discussed. What I can say is, based on numerous meetings that I have had, which included staff attorneys from [the Justice Department’s environmental division) as well as attorneys from our enforcement office, is we do not believe these changes will have a negative impact on the enforcement cases.”
FACT: At that time, EPA enforcement agents repeatedly told Holmstead and others that the proposed rule changes would inevitably undermine ongoing clean air enforcement cases, possibly by prompting courts to accept a more lenient standard. EPA’s former chief of enforcement stated that the new rules “substantially complicate current litigation and act as a disincentive for companies to settle.” A General Accounting Report also concluded that the policy will hinder current enforcement actions (Pianin – Washington Post 10.10.03, Shogren – Los Angeles Times 10.24.03)
LIE: In promoting his New Source Review rule, which rewrites the Clean Air Act to permit older power plants to upgrade without installing pollution control devices, President Bush stood outside Detroit Edison Monroe Power Plant claiming that existing EPA rules were too complicated to permit the plant to implement upgrades quickly.
FACT: The Edison Monroe plant, which is the 8th largest emitter of sulfur dioxide in the US, had received the go-ahead from the EPA to proceed so long as it adhered to its stated intention of not increasing emissions as a result of the project. Under the new Bush rule, Edison Monroe can increase its emissions by 30,000 tons per year or 56 percent. (The Daily Mis-Lead 09.17.03)
LIE: A 2003 EPA ad campaign targeted at Hispanics claimed the administrations “Clear Skies” initiative would “create purer air, better health and a more brilliant future for the United States.”
FACT: The Bush initiative would allow power plants to discharge additional levels of sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrogen then currently permitted under the Clean Air Act. Sulfur dioxide and other pollutants are associated with diseases such as emphysema and asthma that disproportionately afflict minority populations (The Daily Mis-Lead 10.20.03)
LIE: In August 2003, the EPA denied a petition from environmental groups asking the agency to regulate carbon dioxide and other emissions from new vehicles, claiming that EPA lacked the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
FACT: The claim that EPA lacks this authority is contradicted by case law and the opinion of two prior EPA general counsels. (Zitner, Polakovic and Shogren – Los Angeles Times 08.29.03, Lee – New York Times 08.29.03)
LIE: During the 2000 campaign, Bush pledged to impose mandatory emission reductions for carbon dioxide.
FACT: Bush abandoned this pledge once elected. (CNN 03.13.01, Washington Post 03.25.02)
CLEAN WATER & MARINE LIFE
LIE: Bush claimed he is working to “restore, improve and protect at least 3 million wetland acres over the next five years.”
FACT: A study revealed that the Bush administration has “allowed developers to drain thousands of acres of wetlands” under new EPA rules. (Daily Mis-Lead 08.12.04)
LIE: In 2002, the administration claimed that 94 percent of Americans were served by drinking water that met EPA standards, exceeding the EPA’s performance standard of 91 percent.
FACT: The EPA failed to meet its performance standard, since its data failed to include 35 percent of known health standards violations. Instead, it is estimated that only 81 percent of Americans have safe drinking water under Bush in part because inspections have been cut by 50 percent. In contrast, the Clinton administration met the EPA performance standard. (Greenwatch Today 03.22.04)
LIE: In 2001, Bush reversed a Clinton administration regulation reducing the arsenic levels in drinking levels from 50 ppb to 10 ppb claiming that the regulation was a last minute decision, with EPA administrator Todd-Whitman claiming the 10 ppb standard was not based on “the best available science.”
FACT: The new EPA standard was the result of a decade of work. After the Bush administration reversed the 10 ppb, the National Academy of Sciences found that the 10 ppb standard was not only scientifically justified but that the standard could be less than 10 ppb. Under pressure, the Bush administration reinstated the 10 ppb standard even though the “best available science” suggested a lower standard was warranted. (Corn – The Nation 10.13.03)
LIE: President Bush stood before a Snake River dam and claimed credit for an increase in salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest.
FACT: Experts stated that he increased salmon was due to weather and tidal patterns in the Pacific Ocean. The increase happened in spite of the Bush administration which has fallen short of court mandated targets to improve salmon habitats and water quality. Wild salmon are still below the levels necessary to ensure their long term survival. In the summer of 2003, the water levels for the Snake and Columbia River violated the targets 93% and 100% of the days, while also violating the Clean Water Act temperature standards 77.5% and 77.4%. (American Rivers 2003 Salmon Migration Report Card 10.03.03, New York Times 10.14.03, Geranios – AP 10.16.03, New York Times.)
LIE: President Bush claimed there is insufficient scientific evidence of global warming as part of his justification for withdrawing from the Kyoto Treaty.
FACT: The National Academy of Science’s 2001 report stated that there is general agreement that the observed warming is real and particularly strong within the past 20 years” and that most of the warming “observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.” Similarly, an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that global temperatures were rising dramatically and this was due in part to human-induced emissions.
Most recently, a Pentagon study stated the threat posed by global warming “vastly eclipses that of terrorism.” The study said that climate change should be considered immediately as a top political and military issue and warned catastrophic results between 2007 and 2020. (Revkin – New York Times 01.12.03, Corn – The Nation 10.13.03; Al Jazeera 02.22.04 )
ENERGY CONSERVATION & ELECTRIC POWER
LIE: Bush promised to fund research on hydrogen-powered cars so that we will be “less dependent on foreign sources of energy” and “improve the environment.”
FACT: The Bush administration has “been working quietly to ensure that the system used to produce hydrogen will be fossil fuel dependent – and as potential dirty – as the one that fuels today’s SUV’s.” Up to 90% of all hydrogen will come from oil, nature gas and other fossil fuels. Bush also is paying for this program by stripping funding for programs that help automakers develop high-mileage cars and other energy conservation programs. (Daily Mis-Lead 04.28.04)
LIE: As a candidate, Bush criticized the Clinton administration for not making a greater investment in the nation’s electricity grids and promised he would seek modernization of the grids.
FACT: While the Bush White House initially called for steps to modernize the electricity grids, it did nothing to implement them. Even worse, it allowed House Republicans to defeat Democratic efforts to spend $350 million on grid modernization and played an active role in derailing $2 billion in low-interest loans for expanding transmission capacity in the Pacific Northwest. (American Politics Journal 08.16.03; Allen – Washington Post 08.23.03, The Daily Mis-Lead 10.15.03)
LIE: Bush claimed that conservation would be part of his national energy policy.
FACT: The White House spokesman indicates “that’s a big ‘no.’ The President believes that [unrestrained energy use] is an American way of life.” (ABC 05.07.01)
FOREST & NATIONAL PARKS
LIE: The Bush administration claims that its Healthy Forest Initiatives will “improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires while upholding environmental laws [and] restoring our nation’s forest”.
FACT: Congressional Research Service reported that the initiative may increase the risk of fire since “[t]imber harvesting removes the relatively large diameter wood that can be converted into wood product but leaves behind the small material, especially twigs and needles” that contributes to such fires. The impetus behind the bill was not to prevent fires, but because the timber industry wanted to “increase commercial logging with less environmental oversight.” (Center for American Progress 12.13.03)
LIE: Bush campaigned that he would expand the “aims of the Tropical Forest Conservation Act [and] ask Congress to provide $100 million to support the exchange of debt relief for protection of tropical forests.”
FACT: Bush has provided no new funding for the program. (Boston Globe 04.10.01)
DRILLING & MINING
LIE: Secretary Norton told Congress that drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge would not harm the region’s caribou population. She also reissued a scientific report as a two page paper that claimed drilling would not result in a negative impact to wildlife.
FACT: Secretary Norton “altered or omitted” key scientific conclusions prepared by federal biologists that contradicted her view. Biologists also found that drilling would harm must oxen, snow geese and polar-bear populations and would violate an international treaty protection bears, but these findings were suppressed. In the words of one Fish and Wildlife Service Official, “to pass along facts that are false, well, that’s obviously inappropriate.” (Politics and Science in the Bush Administration, Kennedy – Rolling Stone 12.11.03)
LIE: Vice President Cheney argued that ANWR drilling would only affect 2000, acres of Dulles Airport out of a total 19 million acres.
FACT: The 2000 acres Cheney cities are not contiguous. In fact, the oil is located in 35 discrete sites spread across the reserve and to extract oil it would be necessary to have roads and a pipeline covering 135 miles of wildlife habitat. (David Corn 4.13.01)
LIE: The Bush administration claimed that drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) was necessary to “secure America’s energy needs.”
FACT: A US Geological Survey concluded that drilling at ANWR would yield only approximately two years worth of oil consumption. (Corn – The Nation 10.13.03)
LIE: The Bush administration claimed that its regulation of mountaintop removal mining (i.e., leveling mountain peaks to extract coal) would improve environmental protections.
FACT: The Bush administration rejected a tougher Clinton administration proposal and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) determined that the administration’s proposals “cannot be interpreted as ensuring any improved environmental protection.” The FWS also found the Bush proposals “belie four years of work and accumulated evidence of environmental harm, and would substitute permit process tinkering for meaningful and measurable change.” In the two decades since the practice began, 724 miles of streams have been buried and 7 percent of the Appalachian forest cut down. (Shogren – Los Angeles Times 01.07.04).
LIE: Bush sought to justify oil drilling in Montana’s Lewis and Clark National Forest on the grounds that the people of Montana support it.
FACT: The plan is opposed by Montana residents, but supported by outside oil companies. (Missoula Independent 4.26.01)
LIE: Vice President Cheney wrote to Congress requesting that they rein in the GAO’s investigation of his Energy Task Force meetings claiming “documents responsive to the [GAO’s] inquiry concerning the cost associated with the [task force’s] work” have already been provided.
FACT: The GAO was forced to go to court to obtain the documents and lost. Cheney only produced 77 pages of useless documents which was not a complete production in response to the GAO’s request. Cheney stonewalled the GAO to hide the cozy deliberations the task force had with energy industry representatives. (Dean – Findlaw.com 08.29.03)
LIE: Bush asked Congress to exempt the military from environmental laws protecting endangered species and migratory birds on the grounds that compliance hampered military training.
FACT: A General Accounting Office report found little evidence to support this claim. (New York Times 07.09.02)
LIE: In 2002 Bush promised Nevada residents that “sound science, and not politics, must prevail” in the selection of a nuclear waste dump.
FACT: The Bush administration is proceeding with creating a nuclear waste dump in Nevada despite a GAO report that scientific testing to determine the facility’s viability would not be complete before 2006. (Washington Post 03.25.02, Christian Science Monitor 03.05.02)
LIE: During the tight 2002 South Dakota Senate race, Bush appeared at a South Dakotan ethanol plant and pledge that he supported ethanol “because not only do I know it’s important for the ag sector of our economy, it’s an important part of making sure we become less reliant on foreign sources of energy.”
FACT: Bush’s FY2004 budget eliminates funding for the bioenergy program at the South Dakota plant. (Caught On Film: The Bush Credibility Gap)
ENRONGATE & SEC
LIE: Bush attempted to distance himself from Enron’s Kenneth Lay by claiming Lay supported his opponent (Governor Richards) in 1994 and he first got to know Lay only after elected.
FACT: Lay gave $37,500 to the Bush 1994 campaign and Lay claims he was “very close” to Bush at that time. (Slate 01.17.02) The Bush-Lay connection goes back much further, as in 1988, Bush lobbied the Argentinean government to award a contract to Enron. (Mother Jones March-April 2000)
LIE: Bush pledged to increase SEC enforcement in signing the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate reform legislation.
FACT: Bush’s FY2003 budget cuts SEC enforcement by $209 million. (Boston Globe 12.29.02)
LIE: In the Enron aftermath, Bush pledged “to do more to protect worker pensions”.
FACT: Four month’s later the Bush administration announced plans to permit employers to convert traditional pension plans into “cash balance” plans that lower benefits for long-serving workers. (Caught On Film: The Bush Credibility Gap)
LIE: In 2001 the Bush administration promised to create a $700 million “Federal Compassion Fund”.
FACT: The President did not allocate a single penny for the fund in his 2001 budget. (Green – The American Prospect 07.30.01).
LIE: The Bush administration claims there exists a “widespread bias against faith-based organization’s (FBOs) in Federal service programs” and that complying with federal anti-discrimination employment laws in a major obstacle to FBO participation.
FACT: Recent studies have found no barriers to FBOs participation in government programs and “no hard evidence that hiring requirements are keeping [FBOs from applying for government contracts.” (Hudson Institute – Fruitful Collaborations, The Roundtable on Religion and Social Welfare Policy – Government Partnerships with Faith-Based Service Providers).
LIE: Condoleezza Rice claimed “[The President has been] very supportive of the Nunn-Lugar program [which helps secure Russian nuclear materials]. The funding was not cut. . . . All the way back in the campaign, the president talked about perhaps even increasing funding for programs of this kind." --Meet the Press, November 11, 2001.
FACT: "The administration's budget request cut the Department of Energy part of the Nunn-Lugar program from $872 million to $774 million and the Department of Defense portion by another $40 million. The "materials protection and accounting" program that safeguards and monitors Russian nuclear materials was cut $35 million; the program to subsidize research facilities for jobless Russian nuclear scientists and keep them from working for terrorists, another $10 million. (Center for American Progress, Claim v. Fact Database)
LIE: In his October 28, 2003 press conference, Bush claimed that I was the first president ever to have advocated a Palestinian state."
FACT: On January 7, 2001, President Bill Clinton said, "There can be no genuine resolution to the [Middle East] conflict without a sovereign, viable Palestinian state that accommodates Israel's security requirements and demographic realities." (Corn – BushLies.com 10.28.03)
LIE: During his Asian tour, President Bush told Indonesian news that Congress has dropped opposition to military training programs for Indonesia and that the US was ready to “go forward with” a new package of training programs.
FACT: Congressional opposition to the training programs has increased due to concerns that the Indonesian military may have been involved in the killing of two Americans in Papua. In addition, no new programs have been planned or approved. (Priest – The Washington Post 10.20.03)
LIE: White House spokesman Ari Fleischer denied tacitly endorsing the Venezuelan coup by stating that the coup was the “result of a message of the Venezuelan people.”
FACT: That is exactly what he said as the White House foolishly backed the overthrow of a democratically elected government and was the only democracy in the western hemisphere that failed to condemn the coup. In addition, the Venezuela government claims to have a videotape of US officials discussing coup preparations with dissident soldiers. (Jonathan Chait 06.04.02, AP 10.22.03)
LIE: During the campaign, Bush promised Armenian groups that he would “ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people” who were victims of a “genocidal campaign.”
FACT: The Bush administration has refused to recognize the Armenian genocide. (Redding Record Searchlight 04.24.01)
LIE: Bush promised Jewish leaders “[a]s soon as I take office I will begin the process of moving the U.S. ambassador to” Jerusalem.
FACT: Bush has suspended any action to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. (Washington Post 06.13.01)
LIE: President Bush denied blaming the Clinton Administration’s Camp David Middle East peace summit for the Palestinian intifada.
FACT: The day before issuing this denial, Bush stated “we’ve tried summits in the past, as you may remember. It wasn’t all that long ago where a summit was called and nothing happened, and as a result we had significant intifada in the area.” (Slate 4.18.02)
LIE: During the campaign, Bush stated he opposed “import fees” and would “work to end tariffs and break down barriers everywhere, entirely”.
FACT: As President, Bush has imposed tariffs on steel and softwood lumber increasing costs to U.S. businesses and consumers and risking retaliatory sanctions. (Washington Post 03.25.02, Business Week 03.25.02)
HARKEN & HALLIBURTON
LIE: In September 2003, when asked by Tim Hussert whether he was “involved in any way in the awarding of [Iraq] contracts” to Halliburton, Cheney replied “Of course not, Tim. . . . And as Vice President, I have absolutely no influence of, involvement of, knowledge of in any way, shape or form of contracts led by the [Army] Corps of Engineers or anybody else in the Federal Government."
FACT: Internal Pentagon documents reveal that the awarding of the Halliburton contracts “has been coordinate [with] VP’s office.” An internal Pentagon email reveals that the award of no-bid Halliburton contracts “has been coordinated with the VP’s office.” (Burger & Zagorin, Time Magazine 05.30.04, CAP Daily Report 06.01.04 and 06.15.04).
LIE: Bush claims that he “absolutely had no idea [about Harken’s liquidity problems] and would not have sold [his stock] had I known."
FACT: Harken’s president warned board members of liquidity problems that would “drastically affect” operations two months before Bush’s stock sale. Harken’s lawyers also circulated a memo warning executives and directors not to sell any stock. Bush sold his stock for $4/share and it quickly dropped to $1.25. (San Francisco Chronicle 07.05.02, Guardian 11.02.02, Washington Monthly 12.02)
LIE: Bush claims to have cooperated with an SEC investigation of his Harken transactions.
FACT: Bush quashed evidence that Harken’s lawyers advised Bush and other executives against selling their stock and only provided it to the SEC after it had ended its investigation. (Guardian 11.02.02)
LIE: Bush signed an agreement in which he promised to hold the Harken stock at issue for six months.
FACT: Bush sold the Harken stock two months later. (The Dubya Report 07.18.02)
LIE: Bush claimed he timely filed the required SEC disclosure form after selling his Harken stock and asserted that the SEC must have lost it.
FACT: Bush did not file until eight months after the deadline for doing so. (Washington Post 07.04.02)
LIE: Cheney claimed that while at Halliburton he imposed a “firm policy” against trading with Iraq. “[W]e’ve not done any business in Iraq since the sanctions [were] imposed, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn’t do that.”
FACT: Senior Halliburton executives claim there was no such policy. Halliburton’s affiliates signed contracts with Iraq to sell more than $73 million in oil production equipment during Cheney’s tenure, helping Iraq increase crude exports by 450% between 1997 and 2000. Senior Halliburton executives were certain Cheney was aware of this business. Cheney also defended circumvention of a Clinton executive order banning US trade and investment in Iran. (Financial Times 10.05.00, Washington Post 06.23.01)
HEALTH CARE &
LIE: When asked about the flu vaccine crisis, Bush claimed: we relied upon a company out of England [and that] we took the right action and didn't allow contaminated medicine into our country.
FACT: That isn't true. Chiron Corp., the company whose vaccine plant was contaminated, is a California company - subject to regulation by the U.S. government - that operates a factory in England. It was the British authorities who, after inspecting the plant, revoked the factory's license on October 5th. [Daily Mis-Lead 10.18.04]
LIE: President Bush assured seniors that under his Medicare prescription drug program corporations would not “dump retirees from their existing prescription drug coverage.”
FACT: Under a little noticed provision quietly added by the administration, companies providing coverage to retirees are given a new subsidy and retain the subsidy even if they almost completely eliminate coverage for retirees. As a result, 3.8 million retirees are projected to have their coverage reduced or nearly eliminated. (Daily Mis-Lead 07.14.04).
LIE: The Bush administration claims its Medicare prescription drug cards will provide “significant price reductions off typical retail prices” for seniors.
FACT: A Congressional report found that the drug prices available to beneficiaries using the “discount cards” are no lower than existing prices and even higher than prices available in Canada, under the US Federal Supply Schedule and through discount pharmacies such as Drugstore.com. Moreover drug companies raised their prices by 3 times the rate of inflation immediately prior to the release of the “discount cards.” (Daily Mis-Lead 05.04.04, “New Medicare Drug Cards Offer Few Discounts, House Committee on Government Reform – Minority Staff April 2004, AP – 07.01.04)
LIE: During the October 17, 2000 debate, Bush promised a patients’ bill of rights like the one in his own state which included a right to sue managed-care companies for wrongfully refusing to cover needed treatments. “If I’m the president . . . people will be able to take their HMO insurance company to court.
FACT: The patients’ bill of rights bill has long been dead and the Bush administration argued before the Supreme Court against the Texas law’s provision permitting such suits
LIE: The Bush administration sold its Medicare prescription drug plan to conservatives in Congress as having a cost of $400 billion over ten years, enabling it to narrowly win passage in December 2003.
FACT: The White House knew the costs were $551 billion - more than 25 percent higher. The administration threatened to fire Medicare’s top financial analyst (Richard Foster) if he released the information. Two months after the President signed the law, the administration revised its costs estimates to $534 billion.
One month after passage of the bill, the White House revealed that the program costs actually were $534 billion - more than 25 percent higher. AARP, which worked with the administration in drafting the bill, revealed that these higher estimates were "well known in the fall" but is only now being made public. Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based budget watchdog group claim Congress got "suckered by a classic financial bait-and-switch by the administration." (Kemper & Simon - Los Angeles Times 01.31.04, Pugh - Knight Ridder 03.11.04, Kemper - Los Angeles Times 03.14.04, CAP Progress Report 03.15.04.
LIE: I haven't yet [decided to ban importation of Canadian drugs.]. I just want to make sure they're safe. When a drug comes in from Canada, I want to make sure it cures you and doesn't kill you.
FACT: White House Strongly Opposed Drug Re-Importation Despite Congressional Research Service Reports Concluding Canadian Drugs Are Just as Safe as Those in the US. . In a Statement of Administration Principals issued by the White House Office of Management and Budget on July 23, 2003, Bush stated his strong opposition to drug re-importation. The SAP states, “H.R. 2427 [to allow the re-importation of prescription drugs] is dangerous legislation. It would expose Americans to greater potential risk of harm from unsafe or ineffective drugs, would be extremely costly to implement, and would overwhelm FDA's already heavily burdened regulatory system.” This despite the fact that the Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress, issued reports in 2001 and 2003, concluding both times that the Canadian drug supply was safe for importation to the US. The 2003 report stated, "The statutory requirements for approving and marketing pharmaceutical products in the United States and Canada are, in general, quite similar." It found that medications manufactured and distributed in Canada meet or surpass quality control guidelines set by the FDA. [Office of Management and Budget, SAP on HR 2472, 7/23/03, www.whitehouse.gov/omb; New York Times, 6/21/03; Knight Ridder, 11/27/03; USA Today, 8/12/03]
LIE: The Bush administration is fighting importation of cheaper prescription drugs from Canada by claiming they are unsafe and thereby protecting pharmaceutical companies who have given over $74 billion (or $2,033 per hour) since 2000.
FACT: HHS and FDA officials cannot identify a single American injured as a result drugs purchased from licensed Canadian pharmacies. One of the nation’s leading health experts stated the administration’s argument was “hogwash” since “drugs purchased through the Canadian health care system are every bit as safe as those available in the United States.” (Daily Mis-Lead 02.25.04)
LIE: In signing the bill, Bush declared that "some older Americans spend much of their Social Security checks just on their medications. This new law will ease the burden on seniors and will give them the extra help they need.”
FACT: Most Medicare beneficiaries will end up paying MORE for their prescriptions. The average beneficiary out-of-pocket expenses would rise from $2,318 in 2003 to $2,911 in 2007 (in 2003 dollars), since the law prohibits the government from negotiating for lower prices (unlike the VA which uses its negotiating power to save billions on drug prices). (Campaign for America’s Future Fact Sheet)
LIE: “My drug plan helps those who need it most. The new benefit provides comprehensive drug coverage for people with low incomes.”
FACT: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities found that “several million of the nation’s poorest elderly and disabled beneficiaries will be made worse off by the new legislation, because they will have to pay more for drugs than they currently pay under Medicaid, will be denied coverage for some drugs they currently receive through Medicaid, or both.” The $600 "transitional" drug benefit that starts in June is not available to the 6.4 million lowest income Medicare beneficiaries who are also enrolled in Medicaid, nor to the 11.7 million seniors who have retiree coverage.
In addition, currently millions of Medicare beneficiaries have private insurance to fill the gaps in their Medicare coverage (“Medigap” policies), but the new law prohibits the sale of Medigap policies. According to the Congressional Budget Office approximately 2.7 million seniors could lose benefits more generous than provided under Medicare. (Campaign for America’s Future Fact Sheet; Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
The Bush’s Administration’s Medicare Ads
LIE: "It's the same Medicare you've always counted on, plus more benefits like prescription drug coverage."
FACT: Millions of Medicare beneficiaries will have fewer benefits due to this law. Seniors who have supplemental drug coverage through Medigap must drop it if they want to join the new drug benefit. Employers will drop drug coverage for 2.7 million retirees due to the new drug benefit. Employers will reduce drug coverage for up to 9 million additional retirees due to flawed employer subsidies in the law. 6.4 million seniors who have drug coverage through Medicaid now will be forced to enroll in the Medicare drug benefit. As a result, they will have higher cost sharing and be denied coverage entirely for some drugs. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "You can save with Medicare drug discount cards this June. And save more with new prescription drug coverage in 2006."
FACT: Savings are elusive and erode over time. Drug discount cards are not guaranteed to provide any meaningful discounts, may not cover the drugs seniors need, and may change discounts and covered drugs at any time. Medicare is prohibited from maximizing savings by negotiating lower drug prices. Under the drug benefit, some beneficiaries will not save and in fact will spend more than they do now. Seniors will still have to pay up to 100% of drug costs due to the gap in coverage ("donut hole") and ability for private plans to impose strict drug formularies, prior authorization requirements, etc. The value of the drug benefit shrinks much faster than inflation, meaning seniors will have to spend an ever-increasing share of their income on prescription drugs. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "So, my Medicare isn't different, it's just more?"
FACT: Less Medicare benefits for higher premiums. Higher Part B deductible beginning in 2005 and each year thereafter. Higher Part B premiums for all beginning in 2005 as a result of overpayments to private plans. Higher Part B premiums for those with incomes above $80,000 beginning in 2007. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
The Bush’s Administration’s Medicare Mailer
LIE: "This new law preserves and strengthens the current Medicare program.”
FACT: The bill weakens Medicare by privatizing it, at great cost to beneficiaries and taxpayers. The President estimates the new law will result in an extra $46 billion going to private plans. The Congressional Budget Office agrees with the President that the cost of covering seniors through private plans is "substantially higher" than the cost of covering them through traditional Medicare. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "You will choose a prescription drug plan and pay a premium of about $35 a month."
FACT: Premiums will vary and are not limited to $35 or any other amount. Private plans get to decide what premium they want to charge. The premium will vary plan by plan, area by area, and year by year. Over time, the premium rises faster than seniors' income. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "Medicare then will pay 75% of costs between $250 and $2,250 in drug spending. You will pay only 25% of these costs."
FACT: There is no guarantee that any senior will get this benefit: Private plans decide which drugs to cover and under what circumstances. Beneficiaries have to pay 100% of the costs for drugs that don't fit the plan's rules. Private plans are required to pay 75% of the costs of covered drugs on average. Actual cost sharing amounts on any particular drug may be much different. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "You will pay 100% of the drug costs above $2,250 until you reach $3,600 in out-of-pocket spending."
FACT: The actual size of the gap in coverage ("donut hole") is more than twice the amount this implies. The actual gap in coverage is $2,850, not $1,350. In addition, the gap in each private plan will be set by the plan and not Medicare. Thus, the gap could be even larger. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
The Bush’s Administration’s Medicare 800-Line
LIE: "Extra help will also be available for people with lower incomes."
FACT: Many low-income people will be left out or lose coverage. The $600 "transitional" drug benefit that starts in June is not available to the 6.4 million lowest income Medicare beneficiaries who are also enrolled in Medicaid, nor to the 11.7 million seniors who have retiree coverage. Millions of low-income seniors may not get assistance due to eligibility restrictions for those with certain assets. Those seniors who have drug coverage through Medicaid now will be forced to enroll in the Medicare drug benefit in 2006. As a result, they will have higher cost sharing and be denied coverage entirely for some drugs. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "These cards offer a discount off the full retail price of prescriptions. Savings are estimated to be 10 to 25% on many drugs."
FACT: None of these things is actually required. The discount cards do not have to offer discounts off all drugs. There is no guarantee of any discount, let alone a discount of any particular amount. Discounts and the drugs that are covered may change at any time. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "Almost everyone with Medicare can choose to join a Medicare-approved drug discount card."
FACT: The 6.4 million Medicare beneficiaries who are also enrolled in Medicaid are ineligible for the discount card. (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: "Plans might vary, but in general, all people with Medicare will have access to a voluntary prescription drug benefit, which will provide significant savings for seniors and people living with disabilities."
FACT: Plans will vary. Each private plan gets to decide which drugs it covers, with what cost-sharing, and at what premium. Also, The benefit isn't voluntary. Anyone who misses the initial enrollment period for the new drug benefit may have to wait months to enroll and face significant financial penalties. Finally, the savings are not significant. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research notes, "seniors in the middle income quintile will pay an average of $1,650 a year in out-of-pocket expenses for prescription drugs in 2006 - a figure nearly 60% more than they paid in 2000." (Center for American Progress 02.05.04)
LIE: The Bush administration touted the Medicare prescription drug expansion as creating a modern Medicare system that provides “seniors with prescription drug benefits” and establishing Health Savings Account (“HSA’s") which will allow more Americans to save for health care needs and more small businesses to help workers secure health coverage.
FACT: The Congressional Budget Office projects that 2.7 million retirees will lose their current drug coverage through their former employer since employers will drop such coverage once the Medicare benefit becomes available. The plan provides little relief for low income seniors and would cost seniors with drug expenses under $835 per year more than they currently spend. Finally, according to studies, premiums for employer-based coverage “could more than double” if HSA’s became widespread. (Center for American Progress 12.13.03)
LIE: During the debates, Bush claimed that “all seniors” and not just poor would be covered under his plan.
FACT: Only seniors at or below 135% of the poverty level would be covered in full. (ABC News.com 10.4.02)
LIE: President Bush has argued that medical malpractice reform and allowing small business to buy group insurance would make “a big difference” in reducing the 43.6 million Americans without health insurance. Vice President Cheney has argued that “medical liability reform” is the key to control health costs.
FACT: According to the Congressional Budget Office, malpractice costs account for a very small fraction of total health care spending and even radical reform ‘would have a relatively small effect on total health plan premiums”. In addition, the CBO found that allowing small businesses to buy at group rates would only add coverage for 0.6 million people, as one-third of the nation’s uninsured are employed by large companies. (The Daily Mis-Lead 10.23.03 and 07.06.04)
LIE: In banning research on embryonic stem cells, Bush claimed that the ban still would permit research on “more than 60” existing lines cells which “could lead to breakthrough therapies and cures.”
FACT: Only 11 cell lines are now available for research, all of which were grown mouse cells making them inappropriate for treating people. (Politics and Science in the Bush Administration)
LIE: Bush claimed he “brought Republicans and Democrats together” to enact a Patients Bill of Rights in Texas.
FACT: Governor Bush vetoed such a bill in 1995 and when a veto proof majority passed it, Bush allowed it to become law but refused to sign it. (Washington Post 10.18.00, Salon 10.05.02)
LIE: Bush bragged about a Texas Children’s Health Insurance Program extending coverage to 500,000 children passed while he was Governor.
FACT: Bush fought the program and tried to limit its reach to nearly half its current level. (Salon 10.05.02)
LIE: Bush stressed the need to support children’s hospitals at a 2001 appearance at an Atlanta children’s hospital.
FACT: Bush’s first budget proposed cutting grants to children’s hospitals by 15% and his FY2004 budget proposes to cut these grants by 30%. (Caught on Film: The Bush Credibility Gap)
LIE: Campaigning in New Mexico, Bush praised the Indian Housing and Guarantee Fund program, saying it makes “sense to have public policy aimed at helping people own their own home. I can’t think of a better use of resources.”
FACT: Apparently he can, because his budget calls for an 80 percent reduction in funding. (Associated Press 8.14.04)
LIE: Bush has bragged about job growth in “high-growth, high-paying industries” to support his administration’s economic policies.
FACT: According to USA Today job in lower-wage industries and regions are growing at a faster pace than higher-wage jobs and this “is less potent for the economy because the majority of the new work isn’t accompanies by fat paychecks. . (Daily Mis-Lead 03.09.04)
LIE: In March 2004, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao told Congress that the President did not sign administration’s annual economic report to Congress which promised that the President’s economic plan would create 2.6 million jobs by 2004.
FACT: In February 2004, President Bush released a personally signed copy of this report, but the administration has quickly distanced itself from the projections. (Daily Mis-Lead 03.09.04)
LIE: “Jobs are on the rise.” (SOU 2004)
FACT: While the unemployment rate dropped in December, this was due to the fact that “the economy was so bleak that 255,000 of the jobless simply stopped looking for work”. (State of the Union Response – Center for American Progress 01.20.04)
LIE: Bush claimed “I want people to understand that when somebody wants to work and can’t find a job, it says we've got a problem we’re going to deal with.”
FACT: When faced with increased out-sourcing of US job overseas, the administration’s approach to dealing with the problem was to praise outsourcing “as a good thing” for international trade.
In addition, the Bush administration actively sponsors and participates in conferences and workshops to help American companies put operations and jobs in china. (The Daily Mis-Lead 02.10.04, Center for American Progress 02.10.04)
LIE: The White House has made the following claims on job growth:
2002 – projected 3.4 million jobs for 2001-03
2004 – projected 2.6 million jobs in 2004
FACT: The White House has “repeatedly and significantly overstated . . . the number of jobs the economy would create”. Instead of creating 3.4 million jobs in their first three years, the Bush administration lost 1.7 million jobs. The Bush administration already is distancing itself from its February 9th projection of 2.6 million jobs in 2004. (The Daily Mis-Lead 02.18.04; Milbank – Washington Post 02.24.04)
LIE: The White House proposed reclassifying low-paid fast food jobs as “manufacturing jobs”.
FACT: This is an attempt by the White House to obscure the fact that 2.7 million manufacturing jobs have been lost on his watch. Fast food preparation is not value added manufacturing and fast food jobs pay approximately 21 percent less than manufacturing jobs. (The Daily Mis-Lead 02.24.04)
LIE: At his April 13, 2004 press conference, Bush explained "And as to whether or not I make decisions based upon polls, I don't. I just don't make decisions that way...If I tried to fine-tune my messages based upon polls; I think I'd be pretty ineffective."
FACT: "One [White House] adviser said the White House had examined polling and focus group studies in determining that it would be a mistake for Mr. Bush to appear to yield" and apologize for mistakes during the April 13 press conference. (Center for American Progress, Claim v. Fact Database)
LIE: In his December 28th radio address, Bush claimed that the recession began before he took office. Both he and Vice President Cheney have repeated this claim during the reelection campaign. The Administration also unilaterally changed the method for calculating a recession to move the starting date of the Bush recession to 2000. This is even after President Bush is on record that “our economy has been in recession since March ”. (Daily Mis-Lead 09.01.04, Center for American Progress Report 09.02.04)
FACT: The economy was still growing at the end of 2000, despite the incoming administration’s attempt to talk it down. The recession began in March 2001 during the first year of the Bush administration. This is even after President Bush is on record that “our economy has been in recession since March ”. (Slate 12.30.02, Progress Report 03.03.04, Daily Mis-Lead 09.01.04, Center for American Progress Report 09.02.04)
LIE: I understand that they need to get better rates of return than the rates of return being given in the current Social Security trust, and the compounding rate of interest effect will make it more likely that the social security system is solvent for our children and our grandchildren. (3RD Debate)
FACT: CBO: Bush Plan Will Force Benefit Cuts. According to CBO, the President’s plan “would reduce expected retirement benefits relative to scheduled benefits, even when the benefits paid from IAs [individual accounts] under CSSS Plan 2 are included… For example, benefits for the 1980s birth cohort would be 30 percent lower, and benefits for the 2000s cohort would be 45 percent lower.” [CBO, “Long-term Analysis of Plan 2 of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security,” 7/21/2004, page 15 and Table 2]
LIE: Thirteen years from now, in 2018, Social Security will be paying out more than it takes in. And every year afterward will bring a new shortfall, bigger than the year before. For example, in the year 2027, the government will somehow have to come up with an extra $200 billion to keep the system afloat -- and by 2033, the annual shortfall would be more than $300 billion. By the year 2042, the entire system would be exhausted and bankrupt. If steps are not taken to avert that outcome, the only solutions would be dramatically higher taxes, massive new borrowing, or sudden and severe cuts in Social Security benefits or other government programs. -- 2005 State of the Union Address
FACT: “This passage contains three statements worth scrutiny. First, the statement that starting in 2018 the government "will somehow have to come up with" extra billions to stay afloat ignores the fact that there exists a substantial trust fund now invested in US treasury bonds and will make up the shortfall for several decades. Second, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has projected the trust fund will be exhausted in 2052; the year 2042 is an older figure that came from the Social Security Trustees, who used a different set of economic assumptions. Finally, even after 2052, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has noted the system could still pay out 80 percent of normal benefits without new taxes or borrowing.”
In addition, the head of the non-partisan General Accounting Office testified before Congress that Social Security “does not face an immediate crisis”. (Savage, Boston Globe (02.03.05), Associated Press, Los Angeles Times (03.10.05))
LIE: The administration wants people to believe that private accounts will save Social Security.
FACT: The administration has acknowledged that the creation of private accounts would have “no effect whatsoever on the solvency issue.” In addition, private accounts would provide no gain to workers unless their Rate of return was three percent above inflation. (Center on Budget Priorities, “An Overview of Issues Raised By the Administration’s Social Security Plan)
LIE: Social Security was a great moral success of the 20th century and we must honor its purposes in this new century.. – White House website.
FACT: "Conservatives have been trying to gut Social Security since its inception. Both Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan endorsed privatization in 1964. In 1983, the Cato Institute laid out a privatization plan similar to President Bush’s, stating, We will meet the next financial crisis in Social Security with a private alternative ready in the wings.” - Miami Herald, 2/7/05".” (Center for American Progress Claim vs. Fact Database)
LIE: As we fix Social Security, we also have the responsibility to make the system a better deal for younger workers. And the best way to reach that goal is through voluntary personal retirement accounts. – White House website.
FACT: Analysis of the plan so far does not prove the accounts would be a better deal for anyone not working on Wall Street. Workers who opt for the private accounts would recover forfeited benefits through their accounts only if their investments realized a return equal to or greater than the 3 percent earned by Treasury bonds currently held by the Social Security system.” But CBO factors out stock market risks to assume a 3.3 percent rate of return. With 0.3 percent subtracted for expected administrative costs on the account, the full amount in a worker’s account would be reduced dollar for dollar from his Social Security checks, for a net gain of zero.” - Washington Post, 2/4/05 (Center for American Progress Claim vs. Fact Database)
LIE: You’ll be able to pass along the money that accumulates in your personal account, if you wish, to your children or grandchildren. – White House website.
FACT: "Most lower-income workers will be required to purchase government lifetime annuities, financial instruments that provide a guaranteed monthly payment for life but that expire at death. Money in these annuities cannot be passed on to heirs. - NY Times, 2/3/05" (Center for American Progress Claim vs. Fact Database)
LIE: In the year 2018, for the first time ever, Social Security will pay out more in benefits than the government collects in payroll taxes. – White House website.
FACT: "In 14 of the past 47 years, including 1975 to 1983, Social Security paid out more in benefits than the government collected in payroll.” - MSNBC, 1/14/05. Under Bush’s plan, expenditures will begin to exceed revenues even earlier, in 2012. - NY Times, 2/4/05" life but that expire at death. Money in these annuities cannot be passed on to heirs. - NY Times, 2/3/05" (Center for American Progress Claim vs. Fact Database)
Report: The Politicization of the Social Security Administration
Using SSA to Cry Wolf Over Social Security “Crisis”
If you've bothered to read this far I hope I've opened your eyes a bit you myopic moron.