Fact Check

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Politifact's Bill Adair, the weekly guest until Election Day, brings his Truth-O-Meter to fact-check some recent campaign claims.


Bill Adair

Comments [18]

James B from NYC

The current divide is really between those who believe in enlarging the role of the state in the distribution of wealth & income & those who believe that free markets on the whole, with some modest regulation, can be relied upon to maximize the amount of wealth created & distribute it fairly (i.e. to those who produce it). Government, even though it has the best of intentions is more likely to reduce rather than grow the pie of wealth created in misguided attempts to re-distribute wealth. The poor tend to do better over time in free market economies than they do in statist (not necessaryily 'socialist or communist') societies. Republicans & many moderate market-friendly independents oppose Obama because they fear he represents & advocates a return to the failed statist social & economic policies of the pre-Clinton Democratic liberalism advocated by Dean, Kennedy & Kerry (all early & enthusiastic supporters of Obama for obvious reason of ideological affinity). Obama ran against Clintonism because he opposed the Clintonian attempt to re-position progressive policy away from re-distributionism in favor of using government to help lower income people acquire the skills needed to become more productive & thus higher income. His 'socialism' is a return to failed redistributionist & market distorting statism. Going back to the failed welfare-liberalism of the sixties & seventies will not help the poor or the middle class.

Oct. 30 2008 12:39 PM
Harry from NYC

Please; There are legitimate government functions. Yes they include infrastructure, and yes the government has a legal right to tax certain activities. As far as Europe not being largely socialist, you would have to be a fool or a liar not to recognize European market supports, taxation regime, laws governing employment, trade and contracts and so on. PLEASE stop lying to yourself and start reading meaningful books about the world!

Oct. 30 2008 11:52 AM
SF from Nov. 4th

After living in Europe for many years its clear that our infrastructure here in the US is falling apart. I wouldn't mind paying higher taxes if it meant safer roads, Bridges, Subways, Trains, Airports, Power cables, sewage, recycling plants and most important of all.....

Oct. 30 2008 11:18 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

Actually, governments in Europe do own business. For instance the government holds a controlling amount of shares in the company, just like an individual investor. Until 1984, The British government owned all of British Airways until margaret Thatcher privatised it and floated their stock shares on the London Stock market. The German government owns T-mobile (part of Deutshe Telecom) and DHL (part of the German postal service). The definition of communism is that the people share in the ownership of production. In the true definition of communism there is no government. What we call communism (ie Russia and China), is a misnomer. They are oligarchies in a totalitarian state.

Oct. 30 2008 11:17 AM
Sacura Smith from NJ

Brian, you vigorously challenge the false reading of the Truth-O-Meter when statements from the McCain’s campaign are found to be FALSE. Why is that?

Oct. 30 2008 11:12 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Harry - you continue a myth of the GOP. Europe is NOT socialist. Socialist countries include Cuba, N Korea and China. Is America socialist because roads are paid for through taxation? Because schools are paid for through taxation? Tax has to pay for SOMETHING or there is no poin in having a government. You (and the other GOP-ers) should really visit Europe sometime and learn something.

Oct. 30 2008 11:11 AM
Harry from NYC

Bill's definition of socialism is incorrect, it is the definition of communism not socialism. It is not necessary for government to own the means of production to fulfill the definition of socialism, government only needs intercede via taxes and/or services, in what would normally be addressed by market functions. Ask the good socialists of Europe, the bulk of their businesses aren't owned by the government yet they are "interfered" with by socialist government policies and props.

Oct. 30 2008 11:06 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

Dear Demetri, not only is Alaska’s payment system to citizens Socialist, Alaska getting more money per capita than any other state from the Federal government is socialist (by Palin’s understanding)… Our wealth is spread to them.

Oct. 30 2008 11:01 AM
Daniel McCullough from NJ

What good is the "big picture" on Wednesday???

Oct. 30 2008 11:01 AM
AWM from UWS

No more "Joe the Plumber", please!

His pants are completely engulfed in flames.

Oct. 30 2008 10:59 AM
Karen from Manhattan

Look, it's all b.s. all the time from McCain. But the strategy is to dump the kitchen sink of veggie trash on Obama, not merely to see if something sticks, but in the hope that the trash will have a cumulative effect in persauding voters that "something is wrong."

The point is exploit voters' unconscious hesitations about voting for an African-American, liberal Democrat by deploying a huge volly of smears to reinforce the voters' feeling that "something must be wrong with him."

The McCain campaign is not stupid. It is deliberately changing message each day to create a general feeling that "something bad is out there."

Oct. 30 2008 10:58 AM
Amy from Manhattan

I haven't heard Iran actually threaten to wipe Israel off the map. What I've heard Ahmadinejad say is that Israel *should* be wiped off the map. I think he's being careful not to put it in terms of a direct threat. Have there been times when he or other Iranian leaders did?

Oct. 30 2008 10:58 AM
Demetri from brooklyn

the alaskan oil citizen payment system is a socialist-type setup

Oct. 30 2008 10:58 AM
AWM from UWS

Re: The Obama said "Iran is a tiny country" lie

FOX NEWS (!) exposed this one as a lie a while ago. I saw it with my own eyes.

McCain is still using it? Sad...

Oct. 30 2008 10:57 AM
FranciL from NYC

Why are you pulling punches on Biden's stupid comments? I'm sure many of us are thinking what he said aloud, but then we're not running for VP or supposed to be supporting the Dem. candidate for prez, are we?

Oct. 30 2008 10:54 AM

Has McCain been tested as he and his supporters have claimed?

Oct. 30 2008 10:54 AM
Karen from Manhattan

McCain has many more "Pant on Fire"s on than does Obama. Obama is fudging; McCain is inventing.

Oct. 30 2008 10:53 AM
Daniel McCullough from NJ

How about boiling it down for us?

Who is the bigger liar?


Oct. 30 2008 10:49 AM

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