The fact checkers at PolitiFact New Hampshire, a joint venture between the Nashua Telegraph and PolitiFact.com, ruled the claims in a campaign mailer from state House Speaker Bill O’Brien were “half true.”
O’Brien said that when Republicans took over the state Legislature in 2010, the state’s tax rate for employers was last in the nation and unemployment had more than doubled under Democrats.
We find he generalized a 2010 tax study, zeroing in on New Hampshire’s corporate tax rate, when several other factors contribute to the Tax Foundation’s corporate tax index for New Hampshire. And he failed to mention that New Hampshire’s corporate tax rank is in the same ballpark in 2012.
O’Brien used accurate unemployment figures in comparing 2006 to 2010, but the numbers have more to do with the Great Recession than with the people – or the party – running the state.
O’Brien was on target with the rank and rates he cited, but there is context missing and misplaced blame. We rate his claim Half True.
O’Brien was quick to respond in a snarky Facebook post that mischaracterized Politifact’s objections. In O’Brien’s retelling, “context missing and misplaced blame” became ”not the right tone:”
I made the mistake of not having the liberals over at the Nashua Telegraph write the content for one of my campaign mailers. So they have a front page story today claiming the mailer is “half true” because it only has correct facts and not the right tone.
Last month, New Hampshire Senator (and Vice Presidential aspirant) Kelly Ayotte claimed the federal government has taken over the student loan industry and is using the profits to pay for health care reform.
“Under the Affordable Care Act, which amounted to a federal takeover of the student loan industry, the government borrows money at 2.8 percent and then loans money to students at 6.8 percent. Government profits are then used to help pay for the health care law,” Ayotte asserted.
PolitiFact New Hampshire researched Ayotte’s claim. They contacted Ayotte’s legislative office to get sources for the claim and interviewed a spokeswoman for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Pensions and Labor as well as the Director of the Federal Education Budget Project at the New America Foundation.
Their conclusion? Ayotte’s claim was Mostly False.
The government’s Reconciliation Act of 2010 was not a takeover, but rather an elimination of a federal student loan program the government had used since 1965. Private companies are still involved in servicing the program and private lenders can still make their own student loans without a government subsidy.
The government does borrow in the 2.8 percent ballpark and loans money to students at 6.8 percent but the difference is not a profit, it helps compensate for the unanticipated losses inherent with any loan. Finally, the money saved in the Reconciliation Act of 2010, not “profits” from the direct loans, is used to fund elements of the Affordable Care Act.
During Gov. Rick Perry’s “colorful” speech to the Cornerstone Action Dinner last month, he attacked New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen over a bill she sponsored to promote energy efficiency.
“Instead of relieving the economic burden … you have your counterpart in the United States Senate who is working on a bill that would make things worse for home builders.” Perry said to great applause at the Cornerstone Action Dinner, October 28, 2011 in Manchester, N.H.
“Under her scheme, federal bureaucrats could take over the local building code enforcement in your city if so-called green mandates are not complied with quickly enough,” Perry said. “It is just simply bureaucratic overkill.”
Perry was referring to the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2011, a bill Shaheen introduced with Republican co-sponsor Sen. Rob Portman. The bill proposes numerous changes to national energy policies and practices with the goal of increasing the use of energy efficiency technologies and fostering job creation.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning researchers at Politifact reviewed the details of the proposed legislation. Would it potentially allow the federal government to take over local building code enforcement as Perry alleged? In a word, no.
Under Shaheen’s energy legislation, states would be required to report whether they plan to meet the model building codes. Those states that agree to the standards and accept federal dollars would be subject to a certification process to ensure they meet the regulations. But there is nothing in the bill that requires states to take part, nor are there any penalties for non-compliance. The bill is voluntary, not mandatory. We rate Perry’s claim False.