Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

Truth-O-Meter hands down Mostly True rulings to 2 Democrats' claims

Congressman Steve Rothman discusses income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans near the end of this YouTube video.

Two New Jersey congressmen did relatively well this weekend on the Truth-O-Meter with their claims about income tax rates for the wealthy and public support for free birth control.

In case you missed it, the Truth-O-Meter ruled  that claims by Reps. Steve Rothman (D-9th) on Sunday, and Rush Holt (D-12th) on Monday, are Mostly True.

Rothman claim

Rothman discussed income tax rates for the rich while he was visiting a small business in Bergen County, claiming that current rates for the wealthy are the lowest they’ve been in 80 years.The Truth-O-Meter found that Rothman’s claim was off slightly, according to data from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

The federal income tax rate for the top income bracket stood at 35 percent in 2011, marking a lower statutory rate than during most of the last eight decades. But from 1988 to 1992  the top rates were lower than they are today, according to the IRS.

Holt claim

In a Feb. 24 e-mail newsletter, the congressman claimed that a "clear majority of Americans support removing the cost-sharing requirement for prescription contraceptive coverage." In checking the claim, PolitiFact New Jersey found eight polls that recently asked respondents whether they supported or opposed requiring health care plans to cover the cost of birth control.

There was majority support in six of the surveys, with one that could potentially be impacted by the margin of error. Two others polls showed more opposition than support.

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Truth-O-Meter travel

The Truth-O-Meter is going on the road. PolitiFact New Jersey editor Caryn Shinske will discuss The Star-Ledger’s fact-checking enterprise Thursday at the Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Luncehon at The Crowne Plaza-Somerset, and with political science students on March 28 at Hunterdon Central Regional High School. For more information about the chamber luncheon, visit www.mcrcc.org. To schedule Shinske to speak to your class or organization, e-mail cshinske@starledger.com or call (973) 392-1503.

You can also follow us on Twitter @PolitiFactNJ or search for us on Facebook.