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Neither Democrats nor Republicans did well on the Truth-O-Meter this weekend

By Caryn Shinske
Published on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 7:30 a.m.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans did well on the Truth-O-Meter this weekend.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter issued a False rating Sunday to a statement by U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th) and state Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Warren) for statements they made about national debt and the economic collapse, respectively.

Holt ruling

During a Dec. 6 telephone town hall meeting, Holt said the nation’s debt in 1944 was more than twice the current level. Holt’s spokesman told us the congressman meant to refer to the deficit. PolitiFact New Jersey noted in its ruling that deficit is the shortfall in a year (if the government spends more than it takes in, the difference is the deficit) while debt is what the government owes from the accumulation of past deficits and surpluses.

Doherty ruling

The same ruling went to Doherty’s claim that nobody was prosecuted and that there were no hearings or reforms after the economic collapse of Wall Street banks in 2007. PolitiFact New Jersey found multiple problems with this statement, made in a Dec. 9 news release. Among them: the collapse happened in 2008, not 2007; federal officials held numerous public hearings in 2010; and President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act into law during summer 2010. While it’s correct that prominent Wall Street executives have not been prosecuted, according to various news reports, it’s wrong for Doherty to say "nobody" has.

What’s ahead

Can’t get enough of the Truth-O-Meter? In coming weeks PolitiFact New Jersey will put out a newsletter for readers about our fact checks and what’s ahead in 2012. If you’re interested in receiving the newsletter, or having PolitiFact New Jersey do a presentation for your organization or school, drop a note with your email address to PolitiFact New Jersey Editor Caryn Shinske at cshinske@starledger.com. You can also follow us on Twitter or find us on Facebook

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