Feb 24, 2009
GOP - Lies Like A Rug
Are the Republicans up to their old dirty tricks? Do you feel that some of what they are saying is downright bullshit? FactCheck.org has found a few claims they are making about the stimulus packages are "wildly exaggerated or downright false."
- It's not true that the bill contains spending for "golf carts." It has $300 million to buy fuel-efficient vehicles, some of which may be electric cart-like utility vehicles like those already in use on military bases and at other government facilities.
- Money claimed to be for "remodeled federal offices" is mostly designated for upgrading buildings to "green" status through such things as thicker insulation and highly efficient lighting, not new drapes or paneling.
- A widely repeated claim that $8 billion is set aside for a "levitating train" to Disneyland is untrue. That total is for unspecified high-speed rail projects, and some of it may or may not end up going to a proposed 300-mph "maglev" train connecting Anaheim, Calif., with Las Vegas.
There's no money in the bill specified for butterfly parks, Frisbee golf courses or water slides, despite a GOP congressman's claim that the bill "will fund" those projects. He culled those silly-sounding items from a list of 18,750 city projects that the U.S. Conference of Mayors cobbled together as examples of "shovel-ready" projects.
Conservative politicians have also claimed that the stimulus bill requires that doctors follow government orders on what medical treatments can and can't be prescribed. But the bill doesn't say that.
- Rep. Tom Price of Georgia says the measure creates "a national health care rationing board." Not true. What it creates is a council to coordinate research into which treatments work best, and are most effective for the money. And in fact, the new law states quite specifically that the council has no power to "mandate coverage" and that its recommendations are not to be construed as "clinical guidelines for ... treatment."
- Betsy McCaughey, a Republican former lieutenant governor of New York, claims that the bill creates a "new bureaucracy, the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology." Not true. The office was created in 2004 by President Bush. McCaughey, an adjunct fellow at the conservative Hudson Institute, also says the office "will monitor treatments" and " 'guide' your doctor's decisions." But that's nothing new. Bush's initiative called for creating a health IT system to transmit information to "guide medical decisions." (McCaughey became a Democrat in 1997 and ran for governor of New York against her former boss, George Pataki.) Source: FactCheck.org