Do union members really make $200 a week more than people who aren’t in unions? Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez said so during the Feb. 4, 2014, edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Perez said, "just came out with their data on union membership. … If you have a union job, you're making on average $950 a week. If you have a non-union job, you're making $750 a week. So collective bargaining is a big part of how this middle class grew in America and it continues to be an important part of who we ...>> More
Thomas Perez: "If you have a union job, you're making on average $950 a week. If you have a non-union job, you're making $750 a week."
Chain email: Says President Barack Obama has issued upwards of 1,000 executive orders, more than any modern president.
In his State of the Union address last month, President Barack Obama said he doesn’t intend to wait if Congress doesn’t move forward on his priorities in 2014. "I'm eager to work with all of you," Obama said Jan. 28. "But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do." That means using his executive office — "I've got a pen and I've got a phone," he has taken to saying lately — to accomplish his agenda, ...>> More
Mr. Conservative: "According to (Barack) Obama’s newest unconstitutionally enacted law, health care professionals are now required to violate HIPAA privacy laws and submit medical data to the government," which is "then used as justification for gun confiscation."
Three of the biggest hot buttons in politics these days are health care, privacy and guns. Put all three of them together and you get an explosive claim. A reader recently asked us to look into a blog post at the website Mr. Conservative, with the provocative headline, "Obama Quietly Uses Executive Orders For Two New Gun Control Laws." "Just a few weeks ago," the post said, President Barack Obama "quietly used executive action — one of his new favorite pastimes — that has got gun owners’ feathers in a ruffle. According to Obama’s newest unconstitutionally enacted law, ...>> More
John Boehner: Says President Barack Obama’s health care law is "expected to destroy 2.3 million jobs."
Ever since President Barack Obama shepherded the Affordable Care Act to enactment, critics have called the health care law a job killer. Now, many of the critics are saying that a new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office proves their point. The CBO estimated that by 2017, there would be the equivalent of about 2 million fewer workers than there would be in the absence of the law. CBO said that number would grow to about 2.5 million by 2024. Shortly after the report was released on Feb. 4, 2014, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined many Republicans ...>> More
The buck may stop at the president, but does the blunt stop at Congress? For the second time in recent weeks, President Barack Obama was asked to publicly weigh in on the debate over decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. During an interview aired Jan. 31, 2014, CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Obama whether he would consider changing marijuana’s status as a Schedule I narcotic, a distinction that bans the substance from sale or use for medicinal or recreational purposes. "Well, first of all," Obama contended, "what is and isn't a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress." "I think ...>> More
Tom Harkin: Cuba has "a lower child mortality rate than ours. Their life expectancy is now greater than ours."
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, recently spent three days in Cuba -- the longtime socialist adversary of the United States -- to learn more about the island nation’s health care system. For years, some health policy specialists in the United States have been intrigued by Cuba’s health care system. Cuba produces a disproportionate number of doctors, and it has posted relatively strong health statistics in international comparisons, especially considering the country’s shortage of material goods and economic wealth. For some liberals, Cuba’s health care system has offered an alternative to the one in the United States, where millions of Americans have ...>> More
Rand Paul: Says President Barack Obama "spent nearly a trillion dollars on make-work government jobs."
Even though the stimulus enacted by President Barack Obama in 2009 has been phased out for a few years now, it remains a talking point for some Republican critics. During his response to Obama’s State of the Union address, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took a shot at the stimulus when he said this: "Mr. President," Paul said, "where are the jobs? You spent nearly a trillion dollars on make-work government jobs and still joblessness confronts the next generation." We wondered whether Paul -- a potential 2016 presidential candidate -- was correct to say that Obama "spent nearly a trillion dollars ...>> More
During his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made a claim about pay for women in today’s economy. "You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns," Obama said. "That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work." It was not the first time Obama (or other Democrats) have offered the 77-cent data point -- not by a long shot. A search on the White House website calls up literally dozens of examples of policy papers, blog posts ...>> More
President Barack Obama made multiple claims about the improving U.S. economy during his 2014 State of the Union address, touting the nation’s resilience. After making claims about jobs, energy and the deficit, Obama had this to say about international business: "And for the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that China is no longer the world’s No. 1 place to invest; America is." It was one of only two times during the speech the president mentioned China, long considered the ascendant rival of the U.S., and the second-largest economy in the world. (The other ...>> More
President Barack Obama touted his energy strategy during his State of the Union speech. He called for safe extraction of natural gas, reducing our dependence on foreign oil and setting new standards for trucks -- and he shined a spotlight on solar power. "It’s not just oil and natural gas production that’s booming; we’re becoming a global leader in solar, too," Obama said. "Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar; every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced." That timetable sounded like a rapid expansion of solar: Does a home or ...>> More
During his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama made a pitch for an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10. "Easy to remember," Obama said of the proposal. (Not quite as catchy as Herman Cain's 9-9-9 plan, but close.) In trying to gain support from Republicans, Obama invoked their conservative idol. "Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was when Ronald Reagan first stood here," Obama said of the former president. It’s a point Obama has tried to make before. We saw him use the comparison last year in a speech ...>> More
After President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address, which focused largely on his plans to boost the economic well-being of struggling Americans, Republicans responded with their own approach. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., said her party’s mission was to close the gap "between where you are and where you want to be." McMorris Rodgers blamed the president and his policies for that gap and noted that "last month, more Americans stopped looking for a job than found one." In this fact-check, we examine that claim. The congresswoman’s staff pointed us to numbers from the Bureau of Labor ...>> More
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama boasted about progress on climate change, citing reductions in carbon emissions. "Taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet," he said. "Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on Earth. But we have to act with more urgency – because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, and coastal cities dealing with floods." We wondered whether Obama was correct that "over the past eight years, the United ...>> More
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama noted the country’s progress toward energy independence. There is "more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world – the first time that’s happened in nearly 20 years," he said. Later in the speech, he added, "The all-of-the-above energy strategy I announced a few years ago is working, and today, America is closer to energy independence than we’ve been in decades." Earlier in January, we fact-checked Obama’s same claim about domestic oil production after he spoke at North Carolina State University. We rated it >> More
One of the key themes of President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address was income inequality. "Today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher, and those at the top have never done better," Obama said. "But average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled. The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by - let alone get ahead. And too many still aren't working at all." Here, we will check Obama’s claim ...>> More
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s attempt to speak on women’s issues at a meeting of the Republican National Committee last week drew as much attention, if not more, than the party’s official business. At the meeting, Huckabee accused Democrats of believing that women "cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government." On CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a possible 2016 presidential hopeful, was asked to weigh in on Huckabee’s comments. He turned the question to female advancement in education and the workplace. "I've seen the women in my family ...>> More
Ted Cruz: Under President Barack Obama, "We’ve got the lowest labor force participation in over three decades, since 1978."
President Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address gave Republicans and Democrats on the Sunday news shows another chance to make their case about the country’s economic performance over the past five years. On Fox News Sunday, Obama adviser Dan Pfeiffer pointed out the country has added 8 million jobs since the health care law passed in March 2010. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered a different take on the state of the labor force on Face the Nation. "Why are jobs and economic growth so dismal?" he asked. "We’ve got the lowest labor force participation in over three decades, ...>> More
President Barack Obama is expected to take another stab at raising the minimum wage when he delivers his State of the Union speech this week. But Republicans appear ready to stymie that proposal once again. The topic came up Jan. 26, 2014, on Fox News Sunday during a discussion between host Chris Wallace and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. "Isn't it reasonable that somebody who's working full time, 40 hours a week, should be able to live above the poverty line?" Wallace asked McConnell, referring to Obama’s calls to hike the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. "Yeah. But ...>> More
Forty-one years ago this week, the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade, the landmark case that expanded women’s abortion rights. Fast forward to today, and access to abortion is still a hotly debated issue. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., defended abortion rights in a statement on her website for the case’s Jan. 22 anniversary. "In 2013, our nation saw yet another record-breaking year of state legislatures passing restrictive legislation barring women’s access to abortion services," she said. "In fact, in the past three years, the United States has enacted more of these restrictions than in the previous 10 years combined." ...>> More
Apparently, back when President Barack Obama would get high with the Choom Gang, he was tokin’ on some weak product by today’s standards. At least, that’s what one former congressman says. After Obama told The New Yorker that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol — which opened the door to a broader conversation about legalizing or decriminalizing a drug that’s on the federal government’s most restrictive list, Schedule I — former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., said the president needs to brush up on his pot knowledge. "I think the president needs to speak to his (National Institute of ...>> More
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, went on Fox News recently to explain an unusual decision he’d made: intentionally going without health insurance. Fox host Brian Kilmeade asked Gohmert about it during an interview on Jan. 23, 2014. Gohmert told him, "When Obamacare actually kicked in, just as we knew, if you liked your insurance, as I did -- I had a health savings account -- then I wasn't going to be able to keep it because it doesn't meet the requirements." Gohmert continued, "I don't have an extra $1,200 a month. And we are setting money aside in the ...>> More
Barack Obama: "Thanks in part to our all-of-the-above strategy for American energy," the United States generates "more natural gas than anybody."
During a recent radio address, President Barack Obama said the nation’s energy picture was robust. "Thanks in part to our all-of-the-above strategy for American energy, for the first time in nearly two decades, we produce more oil here at home than we buy from the rest of the world," Obama said on Jan. 18, 2014. "We generate more renewable energy than ever, and more natural gas than anybody." We’ve previously checked one of these claims. Earlier this month, we gave a True rating to Obama’s claim that "for the first time in nearly two decades, we produce more ...>> More
Americans should take a look at the superpower in the mirror before judging Russia for its anti-gay laws, says Russia President Vladimir Putin. Putin spoke to a few reporters, including ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos, ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February. Stephanopoulos asked if gay and lesbian athletes who "wear a rainbow pin" or something like it to protest the law will be protected from prosecution. Legally speaking, Putin said, "protesting a law does not amount to propaganda of sexuality or sexual abuse of children." He added: "I'd like to ask our colleagues, my colleagues and ...>> More
Vladimir Putin: In Russia "all people are absolutely equal regardless of their religion, sex, ethnicity, or sexual orientation," while "70 countries of the world have criminal liability for homosexuality."
Russia has become a lightning rod for controversy heading into the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, and it has nothing to do with figure skating judges. The former communist nation faces threats of terrorism and criticism from the United States for harboring fugitive National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. And then there is Russia’s crackdown on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, which has become decidedly more aggressive in the last 12 months. But on Jan. 19, 2014, just weeks before the games begin, Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to quell fears that gay athletes, delegates or fans will be ...>> More