Our current year, 2009 flew by fast but it didn’t come and go without excitement. The Watchdog Network exposed one 2009’s largest “falsehoods”– a term deemed by FactCheck.org as a false achievement of the current administration.
Floating Falsehoods: House and Senate Republicans told lots of whoppers about the $787 billion stimulus bill as it was being considered in February, falsely claiming that it contained funds specifically intended for golf carts, butterfly parks, water slides and other projects not in the bill. The worst of these GOP howlers was a claim that the bill had $8 billion for a “levitating train” to Disneyland. In fact, not a dime of the money was earmarked for the proposed 300-mph “maglev” bullet train between Anaheim, Calif., and Las Vegas, still little more than a pipe dream. The administration later directed the $8 billion to 10 passenger routes using more conventional technology. “GOP Stimulus Myths,” Feb. 24.
Phantom Districts: Democrats had their own problems with stimulus facts. The administration’s Recovery.gov Web site reported that the spending bill was funding any number of jobs in nonexistent congressional districts. “Real Jobs, Fake Districts?” Nov. 18
The Web site was so ridden with errors that Earl Devaney, the Obama-appointed watchdog in charge of monitoring stimulus spending, admitted to Congress that the White House had been too quick to take credit for saving or creating 640,000 jobs. “Recovery Stats Get Rougher,” Nov. 19 (The Congressional Budget Office later estimated that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act brought about an additional 600,000 to 1.6 million jobs than would have been the case without the law, but that doesn’t solve the problems with the data being reported on Recovery.gov.)
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