Factcheck.org Gets The Facts Wrong

The Campaign for America’s Future responded to major errors in FactCheck.org’s analysis of the group’s ads that question who stands to benefit from the decisions House Subcommittee on Social Security Chair Rep. James McCrery, R-La., makes in Washington.

FactCheck.org made up an imaginary scenario, analyzed it and blamed the Campaign for America’s Future for the mistake. The Campaign for America’s Future asked FactCheck.org to publicly set the record straight by pulling the flawed analysis from their website.

“The fact is, securities firms would reap a windfall from the president’s privatization plan and they are contributing handsomely to policymakers to guarantee that windfall,” said Campaign for America’s Future Policy Director Adam Luna.

FactCheck.org Analyzes the Wrong Facts:
FactCheck.org analyzed the Federal Thrift Savings Plan to estimate potential securities interest gains from the president’s privatization plan, but the White House says that the president’s plan to privatize Social Security is different from the Thrift Savings Plan. “The White House acknowledges that there are many differences between the TSP and the proposed accounts, and that Bush’s system would be more expensive to run.” James Sauber, chairman of the employee Thrift Advisory Council, agrees. Sauber observes that the president’s privatization plan is “not really like a TSP at all.” [Washington Post, 3/3/05]

FactCheck.org Contradicts Itself:
FactCheck.org quotes a Bush administration official as having an “estimate from the Social Security actuary of 30 basis points” for the cost of administering the Bush privatization plan, but later in their analysis, FactCheck.org uses the Thrift Savings Plan’s “6 basis points” to justify their accusations against the Campaign for America’s Future—five times less expensive than the White House says their plan costs.

FactCheck.org Misreports About Campaign for America’s Future TV Ad:
To build their case against the Campaign for America’s Future, FactCheck.org says that a Campaign for America’s Future TV ad (unrelated to the subject of the FactCheck.org analysis) was pulled off the air after an objection was filed from Rep. Jim McCrery’s, R-La., campaign fund. FactCheck.org failed to say that the complaint was found to be entirely without merit and the ad resumed airing immediately, according to cable station manager George Servin of Shreveport, La.

FactCheck.org Criticizes Every Report Done About Securities Industry Profits
According to FactCheck.org, every analysis available to date on the potential gains of the securities industry because of privatization is wrong. The Securities Industry Association released their own study to make the case that the industry would not reap windfall profits from privatization. The Campaign for America’s Future gave the SIA the benefit of the doubt and cited the SIA figure in its ad. FactCheck.org argues that “the Campaign for America’s Future should have used” a lower profit estimate by the SIA, but one sentence later, FactCheck.org casually adds, “but even that figure is way too high.” Widely reported estimates of profits from privatization actually dwarf the SIA figure by hundreds of billions of dollars.

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