FactCheck weighs in against McDonnell.


Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell’s new ad claims that Democrat Creigh Deeds’ policies would bring $7,800 in higher taxes over four years for Virginia households. The ad would be devastating, if it were true.

Ouch. It’s all downhill from there.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

41 replies on “FactCheck weighs in against McDonnell.”

  1. If you think that FactCheck.org is partisan, you’re farther to the right than Dick Cheney, who regards it as non-partisan. Really, I can’t even pretend that there’s any middle ground here. FactCheck.org is universally agreed upon to be the last word in partisan disputes.

  2. While Dick Cheney has used them when they agree with whatever point he is making at the time, I don’t think he sees them as non partisan. IF there are blatant falsehoods that one camp or the other makes, they point that out just fine.

    It’s the ones that are not black or white that I maintain tend to take a left leaning view.

    For instance, they proclaim Obama correct on the Joe Wilson “You Lie!” incident. And they say “Obama was correct when he said his plan wouldn’t insure illegal immigrants”.

    Only, further down the same article mentions the fact that the bill could do more to verify citizenship. In fact, it expressly forbid asking for proof of citizenship, which I understand was later “fixed”.

    The few lefty inaccuracies they bother to look at face far less scrutiny and research than the right leaning errors.

    I would say they are 60-40 Democrats, at least.

    But they are pretty much the best we can do.

  3. In fact, it expressly forbid asking for proof of citizenship

    I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t fancy being asked for “my papers” to show proof of citizenship every time I go for medical treatment. And by excluding illegal immigrants from the requirement to carry health insurance, those residents will continue to be treated by our medical system but will be unable to pay for their treatment. leaving the rest of us to subsidize care through higher medical costs. Whatever happened to the Republicans’ interest in “personal responsibility”?

  4. ” And they say “Obama was correct when he said his plan wouldn’t insure illegal immigrants”.

    Only, further down the same article mentions the fact that the bill could do more to verify citizenship”

    I don’t understand how those two things are mutually exclusive. A bill can not insure illegal immigrants and, omg, gasp, at the exact same time, not do as much as it possibly can to verify citizenship. That’s like saying, I pass my classes, but I could do more to pay attention to what the professor is actually saying.

  5. You miss the point, Waldo.

    You would only be asked to “show your papers” when you complete the initial application. You will still be asked for “your papers” when you obtain services, just as you are now.

    The public option will be heavily subsidized by taxes paid by legal citizens, at least until they put the private insurers out of business. At that point, the rationing begins when the increased premiums become unaffordable.

    Illegal aliens are now free to obtain health insurance from private insurers, which is NOT subsidized by taxes.

    I would also object to illegals obtaining Medicare or Medicaid. These are subsidized by taxpayers as well.

    But this is off topic, I was just using an example of the convoluted efforts factcheck.org goes through to benefit the left in their analysis.

    That fact remains. factcheck.org claims Obama is correct that the bill will not cover illegal aliens, yet it is forbidden to ask for citizenship.

    I should also point out that several days later, Obama called for completely legalizing all illegals in order to provide them with coverage. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/18/obama-ties-immigration-to-health-care-battle/?feat=home_cube_position1

    Obviously, the intent of the bill was to cover illegals and Obama still plans to do so.

    And if the government did it’s job, illegals using medical facilities would be deported (after patching them up). However, it is the Obama Administration’s policy to allow illegals to remain in country.

  6. Tom White,

    First, I think that should’ve been addressed to Harry Landers, not Waldo.

    Second, I’ll avoid the whole discussion of what Obama is/was proposing, as I haven’t been following it terribly closely. However, I’d like to address one thing from a purely pragmatic point of view: “if the government did it’s job, illegals using medical facilities would be deported (after patching them up).”

    You and I may disagree on some points of who should be allowed in the country, but there is obviously still the question of what to do when an illegal immigrant shows up at the ER. What you’re proposing is certainly one option: everyone who ends up at the ER must prove they are a lawful resident (or visitor) before they can leave the ER or be transferred to the appropriate authorities. Other options include denying service until you prove your legal status (unworkable for lots of reasons, and not many people want to see anyone dying in the streets for lack of medical care), or treat and discharge without regard for immigration status. If I’m missing an option here, let me know.

    So we can verify everyone’s immigration status before discharging them from the ER (and transfer them to immigration authorities if legal residency/visitor status cannot be proven), but I have some concerns with that plan.

    It would significantly add to the work of our already overtaxed ER system, though the decrease in illegal immigrant traffic might make up for this.

    It would lead illegal immigrants, especially those with families, to not use the ER system. This could have ramifications leading to serious illness or death for both illegal immigrants and their children, many of whom are US citizens (do you check the parents’ immigration status? If not, can you convince them you won’t?). However, assuming that this is the price they’ve paid for being here illegally, and for whatever reason, we’re alright with the kids getting sick or dying, there’s STILL a problem: you’ll have a large population of of people without access to medical care, and that will be an incubator for infectious disease.

    Finally, and this is less of a concern and more of a thought: is there something special about the ER that leads it to be a good place to check for immigration status? Why not check immigration status elsewhere, like when renting houses and apartments? Why not check it at the grocery store via a national ID card? How about random traffic stops? I’m not trying to be alarmist, I am just trying to figure out what criteria we’re using before checking immigration status and if we’re doing it in the best way. I think most of us would agree that random traffic stops to check immigration status would be bad, so what’s the rule we’re using, and is it a good rule?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not arguing for a system of zero enforcement. I just think that the best way to deal with immigration is to work from the supply side, by both addressing the needs of businesses that currently employ the bulk of illegal immigrants and pair that with enforcement. If there’s no strong job supply, there’s no impetus to risk life and limb to come to the states. However, I’ll disclaim that I’m not an expert in this area, and I’m open to being schooled for my naivete.

  7. Bob McDonnell has told Virginians that he will do exactly what Jim Gilmore did – he will borrow the money to fund transportation from Wall Street bond traders. And he will yoke taxpayers to a repayment schedule.

    And when the taxpayers squeal Bob’s promised University funding, teacher pay raises, will, as per Gilmore be the first to be sacrificed.

  8. Tom, the fact that you disagree with FactCheck.org does not mean that they’re partisan. It means that one of you is wrong. Odds alone tell me that, at best, there’s a 50% chance that it’s you. And I know you’re partisan, so I think we can round that down quite a bit. :)

  9. Actually, it should have been addressed to Harry and Genevieve, sorry Waldo. My bad.

    Great points, Ben!

    I suppose if you factor into your comments my concerns about untaxed illegals unfairly using services paid for by US taxpayers, it may be a bit clearer.

    And when enrolling children in schools, their citizenship should be checked. If they were born here, and are citizens, they have a right to be educated here and we have an obligation to do so, regardless of their parent’s status. And the parent’s status would be irrelevant. I was never asked for my birth certificate when I registered my kids. But I had to provide my kids’ certificates.

    One of the big problems in Health Care and Insurance cost is free care provided to the uninsured. But this free care is a big draw to bring people in – especially sick people. Any US city close to the Mexican boarder is the first stop when you get sick in Northern Mexico.

  10. Waldo;

    It is not a matter of me disagreeing with them. It is a matter of them “spinning” the facts, as I demonstrated.

    But, you are as partisan to the left as I am to the right, so I would not expect you to see the spin, as it agrees with your view.

  11. When a fresh-off-the-boat Ebola- or Marburg-carrying illegal immigrant starts feeling lousy, I’d rather have him go to the ER and get quarantined than infect kill dozens or hundreds of people.

  12. Tom White,

    “I suppose if you factor into your comments my concerns about untaxed illegals unfairly using services paid for by US taxpayers, it may be a bit clearer.”

    So, if illegal immigrants are using costly US services, we should stop them, even if stopping them is worse in terms of the budget and public health than the status quo? I’m not saying it is; I’m just trying to discern the logic about what immigration enforcement measures are reasonable and called-for.

    Put another way, if it’s a moral imperative to stop illegal immigrants from using US services, then it doesn’t much matter what it costs or what the economic and public health ramifications are. If it’s a matter of trying to save tax-payers money, then we need to evaluate the options.

    Also, does it matter if the illegal immigrant is paying more in taxes than is average for legal citizens of the same yearly income (due to not filing tax returns on a job that doesn’t pay under-the-table)?

    “Any US city close to the Mexican boarder is the first stop when you get sick in Northern Mexico.”

    Really? On average, it cost $2750.00 in 2008 to hire a coyote to smuggle one person across the border into the US [1]. It seems hard to imagine that you’ll get better care at a US ER in most cases than you would with a Mexican general practitioner for $2750. Add in safety concerns with using a coyote, the time it takes to arrange such a thing, the physical strain involved in border crossings, and I’m finding it difficult to imagine that this is a terribly wide-spread practice.

    I’d be interested in hearing any contrary data on this point.

    [1]: Data from the Mexican Migration Project of Princton, by way of the New York Times (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/the-rise-in-mexican-smugglers-fees/)

  13. The problem, Ben, is the massive numbers of illegals that come in and use the US medical system for free. We have an open door policy.

    If we only plan to crack down on illegals at hospitals, then we may as well do nothing. Most come here for jobs. We must dry up the jobs. We must make it unattractive for employers to hire them. I am OK with severe fines for hiring an illegal. I must do I-9’s for all of my employees. I am not an expert on document forgeries, but I do my due diligence.

    I got a laugh out of the illegal vs. Tax delinquent. You are asking if it matters if an illegal alien here due to lax enforcement of immigration laws by the government pays more in taxes than a citizen not paying taxes due to lax government enforcement of tax laws. Well, I suppose it may matter, but one must assume that the government will eventually catch tax dodging citizens, even if only by appointment to an Obama Administration job.

    Your link was somewhat interesting, but totally irrelevant. Coyotes tend to transport people across the border from TJ, mostly. I probably know 100 or more illegals that have walked across on their own, usually in Az. If they are caught, they are detained a while, we check to see if they have committed crimes or are wanted, and send them back. The next night, they cross again.

    Obama’s failure to stem the job losses, however, might make the entire argument moot. With 17% real unemployment, there are no longer jobs Americans are unwilling to do.

    For young people, it is 52%. Unemployed teens will probably put the Mexicans out of migrant farm work next year.

    And as to the Ebola fear (was that Waldo?), the CDC has procedures in place and I doubt checking citizenship is a priority.

    The bottom line is, containing Medical costs is a multi-headed monster. Illegals drive up the costs, the uninsured add to it, Torts, Defensive Medicine, Drug costs, government controlled Medicare and Medicaid paying so little that private insurance is soaked.

    We can’t allow people to die for lack of Medical Insurance, and we can’t continue paying for them either. The answer is not another “public option” entitlement. It will drive up the costs of insurance just as Medicare and Medicaid have. And then when the antitrust actions of the public option put the insurance companies out of business and the final goal of single payer is in place, rationing and increased premiums will take over.

  14. Tom,

    To clarify, I did not mean to compare an illegal immigrant to a tax evader. Instead, I meant to point out that many illegal immigrants have taxes withheld in excess of what they owe, but then do not file a tax return to obtain the extra withheld money for fear of being deported. I’m sure a lot (very possibly the majority, I don’t know) work under-the-table or possibly as private contractors or something, and don’t have earnings withheld. It was more a question regarding what I perceived to be a moral issue.

    For the record, I personally don’t think it matters how much you pay into the system, but it might, depending on your view.

    “Your link was somewhat interesting, but totally irrelevant. Coyotes tend to transport people across the border from TJ, mostly. I probably know 100 or more illegals that have walked across on their own, usually in Az. If they are caught, they are detained a while, we check to see if they have committed crimes or are wanted, and send them back. The next night, they cross again.”

    I disagree. The market price to get across the border is set by coyotes. You said “Any US city close to the Mexican boarder is the first stop when you get sick in Northern Mexico” and I pointed out that the free market has shown us that the market price to illegally cross the border into the US was $2750. I’m sure it’s cheaper/free in some places, and it’s more expensive in others, but this is the market price, and thus it’s not irrelevant.

    You also wrote, “Any US city close to the Mexican boarder is the first stop when you get sick in Northern Mexico” but when I doubts about the logic here, you talked about jobs. So, am I to believe that when you get sick in Northern Mexico, you smuggle yourself across the border and start a life in the US, stopping by the ER on the way?

    In general, I think we probably agree more than we disagree, aside from the silly partisan jabs at the Obama administration. We both agree that the way to address illegal immigration is to focus on the jobs that fuel it, we’re both in agreement that we can’t allow people to die for lack of medical insurance, and we both agree that we need to contain medical costs on a societal level, and that that is going to require a lot of changes to the way we do medicine.

    I think what we disagree about is how to accomplish these goals, which is more of a technocratic question than a political one.

    Finally, while Ebola and Marburg scares may seem outlandish, measles outbreaks have been becoming more common and between that and multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis, SARS, etc., it seems like it would be foolish not to at least consider the epidemiological ramifications of discouraging illegal immigrant populations from seeking medical care.

  15. The first line of this nation’s defense against outbreaks of deadly diseases (measles is a good example, Ben—it’s stunningly contagious) is the lowly ER. And many a nasty disease first presents as somebody feeling really crappy. Their head doesn’t spin around. Their face doesn’t melt off. That might come later. At first, when they’re crazy contagious, they just feel really, really bad. If we’re going to turn people away from receiving medical care when they present symptoms equivalent to bad flu because they can’t prove that they’re American, then we’ve just turned the country into a pretty effective disease incubator.

  16. I’ve never been a “deport them!” fanatic, but the more talk about diseases, the more I’m coming to that conclusion. If the goal is to have no illegal aliens receive ER care, Step 1 has to be to keep them out of the country in the first place (probably through some combination of physical barriers, but with an emphasis of driving the motivation out).

    How do you keep an infected alien out? Keep all aliens out. Once discovered, they must be deported if you seek to keep them out of the ER (for those who want to deny care to illegals) / neighborhoods (for those that don’t want ambulatory incubators).

    Gotta think more now.

  17. Is anyone here advocating that we deny urgent medical care to illegal immigrants? I thought Tom White was advocating that we deliver care to them, then deport them. My argument then followed that many of them would forgo care all together in that case.

    From my perspective, the answer is likely to make illegal immigration less desirable, have more reasonable (liberal) legal immigration, and endeavor to provide cheap preventative care such as vaccines to anyone who wants them. There would still be people abusing the system, but I have a hunch that the result would be decent from a budget perspective and have the least bad humanitarian consequences. However, at this point, a hunch is all it is.

  18. and endeavor to provide cheap preventative care such as vaccines to anyone who wants them.

    But see, then you’re just encouraging that behavior, Ben. Just like when you make contraception available or permit needle exchanges. The best thing to do, obviously, is take a hard moral line and pretend as if it won’t blow up in all our faces in the future.

  19. Shorter Tom White: “Don’t get sick illegal aliens, and if you do get sick, die quickly”

  20. That’s right, Bubby. If you didn’t go and *identify* the problem, there wouldn’t be one!

    Tom, I commend you on your commitment to kicking out all those illegals and making sure that a dime of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars doesn’t benefit them in any way, shape, or form (even if it might benefit us, too). You’re a true patriot.

  21. MB, I was talking about Bubby’s comment accusing me of wanting illegals to die, when I clearly stated the opposite.

    And MB, you clearly don’t have a problem spending other people’s money. How righteous you must feel. Your solution is throw up your hands and pay for the entire world.

    Well, my unenlightened friend. You obviously don’t realize that it is not “hard-earned taxpayer dollars”. It is BORROWED money we are spending. Money our children and grandchildren will have to pay back.

    We must stop spending money we don’t have. You are obviously incapable of understanding basic economics. If you don’t see a problem with paying for health care for illegal aliens with borrowed money, there is truly no hope for you.

    We are broke. It is time to roll up the red carpet, turn off the open sign and start watching our money. Your “let’s just help everyone in the world” sounds like a Miss America platform.

    If we ever reach the point we are a wealthy country again, which won’t happen until the war on capitalism ends, then perhaps we can let a few aliens live off of Uncle Sugar again. Until then, all we are doing is spending our future generations money.

  22. It’s that kind of militant ignorance that keeps the GOP alive, Tom. Keep it up!*

    *Or, alternatively, you could actually answer Ben’s questions. He, unlike me, is giving you the benefit of the doubt and treating you as a rational person here. You’d think you’d want to at least respect that with answers, instead of spending so much time making up things to attribute to me.

  23. Well, it’s your kind of naive ineptitude that is the reason the Democrats are already on the way out.

    And I’m sorry. But I already answered Ben’s question. Perhaps in your haste to accuse me of being a militant for believing we are wrong to spend money our future generations will have to repay and Bubby’s accusations that I want to kill illegals, or at least want them to die, you missed my answers.

  24. Aww, Tom, I don’t think you’re a militant for “we are wrong to spend money our future generations will have to repay”. I just think you’re willfully ignorant and most likely hypocritical (say, did you hop up and down about paying for that adventure in Iraq? No? I would be so terribly shocked, if you hadn’t.). But true, the militant ignorance appellation certainly was triggered by your masterful posts up top. Takes an admirable bit of effort to be so convinced when you’re so wrong.

    And no, you didn’t answer Ben’s questions. You simply asserted your own reality and kept on keepin’ on, no matter if you had to completely ignore what you’d just claimed. Sure, that might work on the Sunday shows, but here, it just makes you look ridiculous.

    Anyway, ta. I’ve tried to generally avoid taunting the sillier of Waldo’s commenters in the past year, and I fear I might have stepped over the line here. Go forth and be a great American, Tom, and tell your friends how you boggled another DC liberal with your logic and wit.

  25. Well, MB. I must say. For someone who will never understand how the world works, you really have a high opinion of yourself. And just as your white flag socialist mentality has been proven wrong all over the world, so will it be here.

    Your party is on the down crest of a short wave. Massive debt and loss of liberty is nothing to be so smug about. Perhaps some day when you grow up you will understand that personal responsibility is a far better alternative than the loss of liberty and the nanny state you presently require due to your personal inadequacy.

    People like you need to be cared for, or you will self destruct. You place emotion over logic. And that never survives.

  26. Hey Tom White; Don’t kid yourself son, you are as predictable as a buck in rut and easier to understand. When you feed your head at those comfortable locations I know where you will be before you get there. Which is another way of calling you a loser.

    Let’s make a deal: You admit that the Bush administration was a economic failure and I’ll agree not to attack you for bitching about the amount of water Obama is pouring on the economic conflagration that Bush left for America and the civilized world to deal with?

  27. By predictable you mean you have heard this before. I totally understand you find the truth hard to hear. It has become obvious that Obama has failed. That was well known a long time ago. He is totally over his head and is like a deer in the headlights.

    Your “blame Bush” predictability, name calling and everything you have said is well documented on my blog. That is all you have left.

    Whenever one such as myself uses logic to trump your emotion, you fall right into the “It’s all Bush’s fault. Obama is just fixing it” routine.

    Sorry. Obama had his chance. He is incapable of restoring the economy. This is as good as it will get.

    See, everyone is waiting for the recovery, and thinking it is slow. The truth is, the recovery has ended. The interference disguised as regulation or oversight from the Obama administration has smothered the productive bits of the economy. Trickle up poverty is what Obama has brought to America.

    And when the bill come due from the ineptitude that is the Obama Administration, most of our production will go to paying the debt.

    See, socialism appears to work until falling productivity and increasing demand for Government Services cause an implosion. When the Government is no longer able provide services and feed on the productivity of the people, it is doomed to fail.

    We already had debt. Servicing that debt that was a major drain on the economy. We were falling behind more and more each day.

    You want to focus on who caused it. That doesn’t matter, but for your information, we all did. Especially from Reagan on. The Y2K economy that lifted the Clinton spending out of the red was a temporary fluke. Instead of realizing that, both parties went on spending money like this massive buying spree caused by a “date change” was the new reality. It was not.

    And the Bushes spent money we did not have on wars, necessary or not. And the Democrats spent borrowed money on social programs and entitlements. There have been NO fiscal conservatives in out government in decades. If ever.

    These days, fiscal conservatives want to increase the spending a little less than the liberals. Not a single member of Congress or any administration in recent years has reduced the size of Government.

    People like you are content to continue to feed this monster. We already spend $500 Billion a year on interest alone on the National Debt. That would actually pay for a lot of things in this country. And we are pissing it out the window.

    Bush was wrong in his prosecution of the wars. Bush Sr. at least kept the duration short, though I don’t credit him with willingly making that choice. But we were repaid for that war.

    The Democrats (rightly) screamed bloody murder about the mounting debt “W” was running up for a war. But now these same Democrats are content to run up more debt at a rate 10 times the Bush war spending rate. And blame it on Bush?

    You think you know me. You don’t. And you are absolutely wrong in thinking Obama and Pelosi are capable of fixing things. They can’t. And I honestly don’t see any Republican presently that thinks government could ever be big enough. A lot of them talk the talk, but when they get into power, spend money like drunken sailors.

    At the present, there are almost no Democrats that understand this. Most are still “smelling themselves” and euphoric over the new found power. And every whim and desire denied over the last 20 years has surfaced and they are hell bent on implementing these programs and do not care about the cost. Blame it on Bush. Who cares if we are irresponsible with money? We can feel really good about ourselves and our humanitarian efforts with borrowed money, right.

    The out of control spending by the Bush Administration and Congress was ruinous. The Obama Administration has accelerated the ruinous spending. How can you criticize Bush and not see that Obama is Bush times 10?

    The only people willing to even give lip service to ending this orgy are on the Republican side. They won’t actually do it if left to their own devices. And many will need to be replaced to serve as an example.

    Slowing the rate of growth is simply not good enough. It must be reversed.

    Sadly, people like you, MB, are not able to understand that. But fortunately, there are people like me that are not myopic and really care about the continuity and future prosperity of this country.

    You are a selfish and childish and have been completely brainwashed into thinking government is the solution. It is actually the problem.

    So, when you wake up 3 weeks from now, depressed because the Republicans cleaned up and took away the state government for the Democrats, take comfort in knowing that people like me that helped put them there intend to hold the leaders on task and fight their natural inclination to screw things up.

    And the trend will continue in 2010 in DC. The mood of the country has turned. The mounting job losses are the front line of the manifestation of the problem. And it will keep the failures of government in the face of the public. Democrats will be sent packing in droves.

    And I intend to work for responsible replacements that will stop this orgy.

    So, no, my friend. You do not know me at all.

  28. Tom White, novelist.

    That’s a bit like saying that guns are unnecessary in your house if you just lock your doors.

    I do believe that the US has better (or rather, could have better) protections against entry than a standard deadbolt. :-) Your reductio ad absurdium arguments, away with them! ;-)

    The analogy actually would go more along the lines of, “if you could keep unwanted people out of your house, you wouldn’t need a gun for protection against home invaders.” Which I guess would be true. But is still not exactly the meaning of my initial post. :-)

  29. My apologies. I know it was Waldo, I should have noted it. I was simply trying to put two thoughts into one post.

    The “Tom White, novelist” one.
    The response to Waldo one.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  30. Gee Meri I sort of thought that the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was making a difference.

    (your link isn’t working)

  31. No problem. But I am not a novelist, yet. Published author, yes. One book and several Magazine articles, but they were all high tech stuff.

    I am also a musician and song writer and have an in home studio for recording my work. Played professionally around Va. back in the 70’s and early 80’s. Nothing very noteworthy, just bar bands. But it was a lot of fun.

    I am writing a techno-thriller novel, however. Oddly, it is not political. But like my music I think this, too, will be something more for my own amusement and I don’t expect to “make it big”.

    So, if you add in my history as a Navy Nuke in the 70’s and the fact that I am an IT Manager and own an Insurance Agency as well, you can begin to understand the lonely depths of my insanity and the reason why I have been forced to carve my own little world within the confines of my own head.

    And toss in the fact that I voted for Carter and attended VCU as just another long haired, hippy, pot smoking anti-establishment Nixon hating radical musician that didn’t really give a damn about much and you can begin to get a little bit of perspective of me. And yes, I attended my share of war protests back in the day.

    So I doubt that it’s worth your time and effort to attempt to figure me out. I sure as hell can’t.

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