In a recent “Obama approved” ad”, McCain education accusations flew:
John McCain doesn’t understand. John McCain voted to cut education funding. Against accountability standards. He even proposed abolishing the Department of Education. And John McCain’s economic plan gives $200 billion more to special interests while taking money away from public schools.
Of the issues pointed out, some are misleading, and some are outright lies.
1) Proposal to abolish the Department of Education. While many conservatives have campaigned on abolishing what they consider an unconstitutional Department (including Ronald Reagan, Ron Paul and many others), McCain had done no such thing. He has never “proposed” it in the legislative sense. A search on the Library of Congress reveals no McCain-proposed legislation abolishing the Department. As far as we can tell, he has never initiated or specifically called for it, and it has certainly never been a mantle of his campaign. When asked about it, he responded favorably, but never actively proposed it as the ad states. Via factcheck.org:
Frank Sesno: Senator McCain, would you favor doing away with the Department of Housing and Urban Development or the Department of Energy?
Sen. John McCain: I would certainly favor doing away with the Department of Energy and I think that given the origins of the Department of Education, I would favor doing away with it as well.
He never “proposed”, this is a lie.
2) Cutting funding Factcheck outlines the facts: for 4 of the 5 sources sited, McCain proposes a freeze on all discretionary increases for a year. Same amounts, no cuts. Perhaps if they were expecting an increase and they didn’t get it, it could be seen as a cut, but that’s stretching it. They are getting the same amount of money, no less, as “cutting funding” implies. On the fifth, once in ‘95 he did vote to cut funding for schools with an across the board budget cut. Clinton stopped it, and this was part of the famous “gridlock” era in the 90’s. Preventing increases are not cuts, but this one vote was a literal cut, so this would not be considered a lie.
3) Giving $200 billion to special interests McCain wants to lower taxes on all corporations. The total projected loss of tax revenue is $730 billion over 10 years according to the Tax Poicy Center’s analysis. The $200b number itself remains a mystery to us. FactCheck cites that the $200b is over the first 5 years, and applies to all incorporated entities - including small businesses. We’re having a hard time verifying it. If factcheck is correct, to say that the entire $200 billion is for special interests when it’s actually for all corporations would be a lie. Since the figure is in dispute, we will have to keep this as a really fishy perspective on the numbers.
Regardless, this ad contains a lie. +1 for the boys in blue.