Fact Check: Crossroads Ad Hits Obama for ‘Broken Promises’

May 16, 2012 4:25pm

Crossroads GPS, the pro-Republican advocacy group co-founded by Karl Rove, is attacking President Obama over four “broken promises” in a  new $25 million TV ad campaign across 10 battleground states.

The one-minute spot juxtaposes clips of Obama in 2008-2009 making claims about his economic policies alongside factoids about conditions today. All  the issues pinpointed in the ad are at the heart of a new messaging push by the Republican National Committee.

View the ad HERE.

So are the claims true?  Here’s a look at some of the facts:

ISSUE #1: HOUSING CRISIS

Obama: “We must help the millions of homeowners who are facing foreclosure.” (Raleigh, N.C.; June 2008) / Crossroads Narrator:  ”Promise broken: One in five mortgages are still underwater.”

The Facts:

President Obama and Democrats have taken a number of steps to help homeowners facing foreclosure, but the results have fallen short of what the administration had initially projected.

The Home Affordable Modification Program — Obama’s signature effort, enacted in 2009 to help struggling homeowners avoid default and foreclosure by reducing their monthly payments — has helped nearly 795,000 Americans through March, according to the Treasury Department.

Obama had initially projected HAMP would help 3 million to 4 million homeowners.

A separate program – the Home Affordable Refinance Program – has helped roughly 1 million homeowners with federally backed mortgages who are current on their payments to refinance and reduce their rates, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported.

By the end of Obama’s first year in office, the number of U.S. homeowners with mortgages underwater (those most likely to default on their loans) had climbed to nearly one in four, according mortgage-data firm CoreLogic.

The picture has improved somewhat over the past three years, with roughly 22.8 percent, or 11.1 million, of homeowners with mortgages now owing more than their homes are worth and at risk of foreclosure.

 

ISSUE #2: TAXES

Obama: “If you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up.” (Springfield, Mo.; July 2008) / Crossroads Narrator: “Broken.  Obamacare raised 18 different taxes.”

 The Facts:

President Obama has not approved any income tax increases on families making less than $250,000 a year. The Affordable Care Act - which its opponents call  ”Obamacare” – has not directly imposed any new taxes on the same low- and middle-income families.

Obama’s 2013 budget would cut taxes for all individuals earning less than $100,000 a year; raise them on average of $58 for those making between $100,000-$200,000; and significantly hike rates on those making $200,000 or more, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

Still, Republicans argue that some tax hikes included the health care law — namely on employers and some drug companies and medical device manufacturers, and the penalty under the individual mandate for not having health insurance coverage — will affect all families when they take effect in January 2013 and beyond.

ISSUE #3: HEALTH CARE PLANS

Obama: “If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.” (Washington, D.C.; June 2009) / Crossroads Narrator:  “Broken. Millions could lose their health care coverage and could be forced into a government pool.”

The Facts:

The president’s health care law does not force individuals to change their health plans or mandate certain groups into a “government pool.”

But that doesn’t mean the law won’t drive people from their current insurance plan.

Conditions created by the law will  result in some Americans having to get a new plan, according to the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Committee on Taxation.

“Because of the ACA, about 3 million to 5 million fewer people, on net, will obtain coverage through their employer each year from 2019 through 2022 than would have been the case under prior law,”  the groups reported in March.

“The businesses that choose not to offer coverage as a result of the ACA will tend to be smaller employers and employers with predominantly lower-wage workers; those workers and their families are more likely to be eligible for Medicaid, CHIP or subsidies through the health insurance exchanges.”

The White House said the president never guaranteed that everyone could keep his or her preferred plan – market dynamics, including costs, shift all the time - just that the legislation wouldn’t force anyone to change.

“What the president promised is that under health care reform, that he would make it more possible for people to have choices in these (health insurance) exchanges,” deputy White Hosue chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle told ABC’s Jake Tapper late last year. “And that’s going to be what will help businesses bring costs down. Right now, they’re just struggling. That’s one reason why they’re shifting costs to employees.”

DeParle said that “once health care reform fully takes hold in 2014 and beyond, employers will have more tools and more ability to help bring down costs,” she said, including the new health insurance exchanges.

ISSUE #4: DEFICIT CUTS

Obama:  ”Today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.” (Washington, D.C.; February 2009) / Crossroads Narrator: “Broken. Because he hasn’t even come close.”

The Facts:

President Obama has not and will not cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.

The president noted in that 2009 speech the Obama administration inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit.  The 2013 budget the president submitted in February does not come close to meeting his promise of reducing the deficit to $650 billion for fiscal year 2013.

Obama projects a $901 billion deficit in 2013.  That would follow a $1.3 trillion deficit in 2011 and $1.15 trillion deficit in 2012.

The administration projects that its 2013 budget, if enacted, would reduce deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years.

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