Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Fast and furious facts about stimulus bill

Vizcaya Gardens got an NEA grant last year but is not named in the economic stimulus bill.
Vizcaya Gardens got an NEA grant last year but is not named in the economic stimulus bill.

It's an open question how much the stimulus bill might help the economy, but we can say with confidence that it has stimulated one thing quite well: debate.

Armed with a lively set of talking points, Republicans have stepped before the microphones and gone on TV to take aim at projects they contend shouldn't be included in the bill but are. Democrats have responded by defending the bill and its contents.

Over the next few days, we'll be examining claims about the stimulus bill and rating them on our Truth-O-Meter. Here's a look at the ones we've done so far:

• We found Rep. Joe Barton, the senior Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was correct that his committee did not get to hold hearings on the bill. He earns a True.

• Rep. Eric Cantor, the House Republican whip, was incorrect when he said that a report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office had concluded that spending by House Democrats in the bill "won't help the economy grow." He earned a False.

• President Obama tried to express the economic crisis through its impact on a family of four. We interviewed economists and have concluded that his family claim is misleading. He earns a Half True. 

• Cantor was also wrong with his claim that the stimulus bill includes $300,000 for a sculpture garden in Miami. He's trying to pull up an example from a prior year, but we find his repeated claim is such a distortion that he earns a Pants on Fire .