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Truth-O-Meter checks claims about tax cuts for millionaires, number of gun deaths in U.S.

By Caryn Shinske
Published on Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.

The Truth-O-Meter this weekend took on controversial claims about tax cuts for millionaires and gun use.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter on Sunday handed down a Mostly False to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for claims made about tax cuts in a new ad. On Monday, a claim by U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) about guns killing more Americans at home than on Middle Eastern battlefields received a Half True on the Truth-O-Meter.

DCCC claim

The group last week posted a series of videos on YouTube targeting 23 GOP House members, including New Jersey’s Jon Runyan (R-3rd). Runyan is seeking reelection in November against Democratic challenger Shelley Adler.

The ad campaign focuses on those representatives who were about to vote for "another tax cut for millionaires at the expense of the middle class and seniors," the group said in a recent news release.

But on Wednesday, the GOP-controlled House approved a Republican bill that extends all of the Bush tax cuts through 2013. Runyan and the other 22 representatives targeted by the DCCC campaign voted for the bill.

The House Republicans’ bill, however, would not extend five other tax policies benefiting lower-income households, which are separate from the Bush tax cuts.

Lautenberg claim

If New Jersey’s senior U.S. senator is to be believed, more Americans have been killed at home by guns than on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, Lautenberg said in a July 30 opinion-editorial column posted on NorthJersey.com.

Lautenberg’s column said, in part, "In support of the two wars, more than 6,500 American soldiers have lost their lives. During the same period, however, guns have been used to murder about 100,000 people on American soil." Those numbers are technically accurate, but experts told PolitiFact New Jersey that the senator’s comparison is flawed because he uses raw numbers to compare two very different populations. Lautenberg also focuses solely on deaths of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, when many more have died in both wars, experts explained.

To comment on this story, go to NJ.com.

Claim concerns

Have you read or heard a claim from a politician that sounds too good to be true or too odd to be believed? Share the claim with us in an e-mail to PolitiFactNJ@starledger.com and we may test it on the Truth-O-Meter.

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