Conservative commentators have asserted that President-elect Barack Obama is to blame for the decline of the stock market since the election. But several analysts disagree, citing weak corporate reports and the release of unemployment statistics.
On America's Newsroom, Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III claimed that President-elect Barack Obama "ran as a Reaganite" and "won over ... the public as a fiscal conservative." But less than two weeks earlier, Bozell accused Obama of espousing "socialism" throughout the "entirety of the campaign."
On The War Room with Quinn & Rose, Jim Quinn said: "You know, if you were a slave in the old South, what did you get as a slave? You got free room and board, you got free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just, you know, tomorrow's slave. ... Can I ask a question? How's that different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is a difference: The slave had to work for it."
Radio host Lars Larson played a spoof "Barney Frank for President" advertisement, in which a person said: "Now remember, this Erection Day -- Election Day, vote for Barney Frank for President. I'm Barney Fag -- uh, Frank and I approve this massage -- message." Larson also baselessly suggested that Frank allowed his relationship in the 1990s with a Fannie Mae official to improperly influence his conduct as a member of the House Financial Services Committee. In fact, Frank repeatedly took actions over the years to strengthen oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
The Washington Times falsely suggested that Gov. Bill Richardson said Sen. Barack Obama would raise taxes on Americans making more than $120,000, stating that Sen. John McCain "continued to hammer the Democrat over his plan to tax Americans making more than $250,000 -- a number that has crept down, first to $200,000, then to $150,000 and finally to $120,000." In fact, the number hasn't "crept down," and during the interview to which the Times was referring, Richardson said that under Obama's plan for "those in the middle class, anybody under $250,000, there is no tax increase."
The New York Times quoted McCain spokesman Jeff Sadosky saying: "Barack Obama's plans to raise taxes on small businesses and his attacks on Midwestern family farmers have turned off rural voters." But the Times did not point out that less than 2 percent of taxpayers declaring small business income would see a tax increase in 2009 under Obama's plan, according to estimates by the Tax Policy Center.
ABC's Robin Roberts did not challenge Sen. John McCain's claim that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to raise people's taxes" -- a claim that McCain's own chief economic adviser reportedly said is inaccurate.
An October 28 McClatchy Newspapers article reported that Sen. John McCain "hammered" Sen. Barack Obama "as someone who'd ... rais[e] taxes on small businesses, much like the plumbing business in Ohio that 'Joe the Plumber' Wurzelbacher said he wanted to buy someday." In fact, McClatchy itself noted in an October 18 article that Wurzelbacher would not likely see a tax increase under Obama's plan if he bought the plumbing business.
After airing video of Gov. Sarah Palin's misleading assertion that Sen. Barack Obama "voted 94 times for higher taxes," Fox News' Shepard Smith affirmed Palin's claim, saying, "Well, they'll [Democrats] argue with that, but I guess down to its core, that's true." However, Smith offered no support for his purported confirmation of Palin's assertion, and FactCheck.org has described the claim as "inflated" and "padded."
Bill Cunningham asserted on his radio show that "people are poor in America ... not because they lack money," but "because they lack values, morals, and ethics." He also said that "unlike many countries in the world ... we have fat poor people. We don't have skinny poor people. Ours are fat and flatulent."
Fox News' Sean Hannity again repeated the false claim that in a 2001 interview, "Sen. Obama said it's a tragedy, quote, that redistribution of wealth was not pursued by the Supreme Court." In fact, the "tragedy" Obama identified during the interview was that the civil rights movement "became so court-focused" in trying to bring about political and economic justice.
Fox News' Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that "roughly 40 percent" of Sen. Barack Obama's plan to cut taxes "is a handout to people who do not pay taxes." In fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare, and according to an Obama economic adviser, "every person that receives a tax cut under Barack Obama's plan is working."
Bill Cunningham claimed that "[a]mong the so-called noble poor in America ... [b]irth control is not used so illegitimate children can be brought into the world, so the mom can get more checks in the mail from the government." Cunningham then added: "And then once the child is born, that is the key to financial riches in the poor communities -- white and black -- in America."
Uncritically repeating Sen. John McCain's mischaracterization of Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, CNN's Dana Bash stated that McCain has "been saying, basically, Barack Obama and the Democrats are going to raise your taxes; I'm going to lower your taxes." But Bash did not note that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income taxpayers, or that McCain's own chief economic policy adviser has reportedly said it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes."
Fox News' Gregg Jarrett falsely asserted that The New York Times recently found that "the average plumber would pay less in taxes under John McCain than Barack Obama." In fact, the Times did not assess how "the average plumber" would fare under Obama's and McCain's tax plans -- he or she would get a bigger tax cut under Obama's plan, according to the Tax Policy Center -- but, rather, how their respective plans would affect an individual who is "a partner of a two-person company," that earns $280,000 "after business expenses are deducted," "[o]wns his own home and itemizes his taxes," "[i]s divorced but does not pay alimony," and "is a single parent with one dependent child."