CNN's Lisa Sylvester again uncritically reported Republican claims that "people living in the United States illegally might be able to access" health insurance benefits under new legislation extending SCHIP. Lou Dobbs also stated that "opponents say it will make it easier for illegal aliens to receive taxpayer-funded health insurance." But neither Sylvester nor Dobbs noted that the legislation includes a citizenship verification process in which states would use SCHIP applicants' names and Social Security numbers to verify that they are eligible.
Echoing a Republican talking point, Lou Dobbs claimed that in the economic recovery bill, "There's more than $4 billion for ... neighborhood stabilization activities -- $4 billion, which translates into funding for so-called advocacy groups such as ACORN." In fact, the recovery bill does not mention ACORN or otherwise single it out for funding; Dobbs was echoing a common attack by Republicans, who have falsely accused Democrats of trying to appropriate money for the group.
Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that the economic recovery bill, which the House recently passed, "would allow people who don't have Social Security numbers to be eligible" for the bill's Making Work Pay tax credits and would therefore make undocumented immigrants "eligible for checks." In fact, illegal immigrants without Social Security numbers are not eligible for tax credits under the stimulus bill.
Lou Dobbs falsely claimed on his radio show that "the Congressional Budget Office did a study on the president's so-called economic stimulus package. It says output would be increased somewhere between one and a half, three and a half percent." In fact, the CBO estimated that output would increase "between 1.5 percent and 3.6 percent" in fiscal year 2009 alone and estimated that output would increase as a result of the stimulus package in subsequent years as well.
On his CNN show, Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that in an item criticizing a report by Ed Henry on President Obama's economic recovery package, Media Matters "tr[ied] to conflate the Office of Management and Budget numbers as somehow superior with the Congressional Budget Office." In fact, Media Matters merely pointed out that according to the OMB director, the CBO conducted only a partial analysis of the bill, which Henry did not report.
On his radio show, Lou Dobbs claimed that Obama's "inaugural celebration from start to finish will cost an estimated $170 million, and that dwarfs the $42 million spent on George Bush's inauguration just four years ago." Similarly, Brent Bozell wrote in a column: "For the record, the 'lavish' Bush inaugural cost $43 million. Final tallies are not complete, but according to some sources, like the Guardian newspaper, the Obama inaugural will cost more than $150 million." But the comparison is a false one, as the Bush figure excludes security, transportation, and other incidental costs.
CNN's Lou Dobbs claimed that President-elect Barack Obama "didn't talk about NAFTA" during a meeting with Mexican President Felipe Calderón and later claimed Obama and Calderón "didn't talk about NAFTA, after so much of it ... was made on the campaign trail." In fact, according to an Obama spokesman, Obama "expressed his continued commitment to upgrading NAFTA" and "proposed the creation of a consultative group to work on a host of issues important to the United States and Mexico, including NAFTA."
Lou Dobbs again questioned the impact of humans on global warming and suggested that solar activity may be far more responsible for global warming, ignoring the conclusion by the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that "it is extremely likely [>95% chance] that humans have exerted a substantial warming influence on climate" and that this "estimate is likely to be at least five times greater than that due to solar irradiance changes."
On his radio show, Lou Dobbs baselessly suggested that Hillary Clinton and James Carville "ratcheted up" the federal investigation into business and government dealings in New Mexico: "What, an investigation into the New Mexico governor [Bill Richardson]? Maybe he messed with Senator Hillary Clinton one time too many. When James Carville calls you 'Judas,' look out -- things tend to happen. They ratcheted up an investigation."
Lou Dobbs said during the introduction of his CNN show: "And tonight, unusual winter storms are dumping snow in unusual places across Western states, and a huge snowstorm is headed toward the Northeast. This is global warming?" During his segment on the issue, Dobbs hosted Heartland Institute senior fellow and science director Jay Lehr without disclosing that Heartland receives funding from the energy industry and without challenging Lehr's assertions that "[t]he last 10 years have been quite cool" and that "the sun" -- rather than humans -- is responsible for recent climate change.
On his radio show, Lou Dobbs played an audio clip of an interview in which Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, while discussing the global economy and the Canadian economy, was asked, "Are you scared?"* When Harper replied, "I'm very worried about the Canadian economy," Lou Dobbs said: "Well, you know, we're all concerned. We're all worried. Anyone paying attention is concerned and worried, but are you scared? Are you afraid? No. That's un-American."
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On Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN correspondent Casey Wian claimed that President-elect Barack Obama is "not taking ... very seriously" the issue of Mexican drug trafficking and its impact on the U.S., adding that "we couldn't find a thing" Obama "has had to say about Mexican drug cartels since he was elected, and even before that." In fact, Obama has made several statements on the subject of Mexican drug cartels.
While talking about Sen. Barack Obama's tax plan, Lou Dobbs falsely asserted that "just about 40 percent of all Americans -- working Americans -- don't pay taxes." In fact, all American workers are required to pay taxes on their wages for Social Security and Medicare, and people in the United States are also subject to excise taxes. Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office found that the average effective federal tax rate for households in the lowest quintile of income earners in 2005 was 4.3 percent, while the second lowest quintile paid an average effective rate of 9.9 percent that year.
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, correspondent Louise Schiavone aired a video clip of Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman criticizing Sen. Barack Obama for his association with Bill Ayers, but neither Schiavone nor Lou Dobbs noted that Chapman has also repeatedly criticized Sen. John McCain for his association with G. Gordon Liddy, whom Chapman has called McCain's "own Bill Ayers."
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Michael Goodwin and Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that Sen. Joe Biden was wrong when he said during the vice-presidential debate that Sen. John McCain "voted against funding the troops" in a 2007 bill making supplemental appropriations for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, McCain voted against a supplemental appropriations bill on March 29, 2007, saying at the time that he was opposing it, in part, because it "would establish a timeline" for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.