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Our September High Five: Top three items were rated True
No, Miller and Anheuser-Busch aren't American companies any more. (AP photo) No, Miller and Anheuser-Busch aren't American companies any more. (AP photo)

No, Miller and Anheuser-Busch aren't American companies any more. (AP photo)

Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher October 1, 2014

Beer, deficits, businesses, jobs, taxes.

One through five, fact-checks on those topics were the most popular among our readers during September 2014.

Step into the High Five Bar.

1. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan says Miller Brewing and Anheuser-Busch are no longer American companies

Rating: True.

The Janesville congressman made the claim about the parent companies of Milwaukee-founded Miller and St. Louis-born Anheuser-Busch while discussing inversions, the practice of U.S.-based companies buying foreign firms and then relocating their own headquarters to another country to enjoy lower taxes.

South African Breweries bought Miller in 2002, creating SABMiller. Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev was created after InBev bought A-B in 2008.

2. President Barack Obama says he has cut the national deficit in half

Rating: True.

In Milwaukee on Labor Day, Obama made the claim and offered major policy decisions he contended were good for the economy as well as the government’s bottom line.

With income tax revenues increasing and spending on emergency assistance dropping, the nation’s deficit fell by more than 50 percent from its highest point since World War II to a level $733 billion lower.

3. Gov. Scott Walker says state 11th in business establishment growth under him vs. 47th under Mary Burke

Rating: True.

Walker drew the contrast between his tenure as governor and his Democratic challenger’s time as state Commerce secretary.

"Business establishments" means a business location, such as a new store or factory or farm. A single "company" can have multiple "establishments," and new "establishments" can be opened by existing or new firms.

Federal figures, though not covering Walker’s complete time as governor, were the latest available and support Walker’s statement.

4. Greater Wisconsin Committee says Walker gave $570 million in job creation money to his cronies

Rating: False.

The list of companies that won $570 million from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and gave campaign contributions to Walker is only a starting point for trying to spot instances in which a true Walker crony might have gotten a sweet deal, but that’s all it is.

Much of that money went to firms whose employees have given to Democrats in the past. Many of the donations were small and, despite the liberal group’s claim, Walker’s jobs agency has a limited role in dealing with firms associated with a big chunk of the $570 million.

5. Walker cut taxes for the rich, raised them on 140,000 families, Burke says

Rating: Half True.

Walker cut taxes for wealthier residents and raised taxes for people on the lower end of the scale. But he also made tax cuts that applied across the board.

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Our September High Five: Top three items were rated True