by Kathy Wiemers
The simple answer is no. FactCheck.org also says ‘no.’(1) PolitiFact Georgia says ‘false,’(2) and PolitiFact Texas says ‘pants on fire.’(3)

Some Background

The idea that President Obama is going to take away the right to bear arms comes from a misinformation campaign that started as early as April 2010. This accusation resurfaced in July 2012 with the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. The conference brought representatives of the world’s countries together to discuss standards for international trade of conventional arms. The conference did not reach an agreement on a treaty text. A recent article from Reuters stated that “hours after US President Barack Obama was re-elected, the United States back a UN committee’s call on Wednesday to renew debate over a draft international treaty (italics mine) to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade.”(4

The UN General Assembly’s disarmament committee approved a resolution calling for new talks on the international arms trade treaty on Wednesday--the day after the US election. The vote was supposed to happen earlier but was delayed because of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent three-day closure of the UN.

The treaty only applies to import-export.(5) The main goal of the treaty is to eliminate the illegal arms trade.


 
 
You can find out about the founders of FactFinders under About Us.
 
 
We are happy to answer your questions about anything written here, rumors, news stories, etc. Our contact form is the best way to reach us and ask questions. Thank you to everyone who has sent questions!
 
 
Snopes.com is run husband and wife David and Barbara Mikkelson of southern California. They provide this information on their website. The Mikkelsons have not publicly stated a political preference or affiliation, or expressed support for any particular party or candidate.

Moreover, Barbara Mikkelson is a Canadian citizen, and as such cannot vote in U.S. elections or contribute to political campaigns. In a statement to FactCheck.org, David Mikkelson said his "sole involvement in politics" is voting on election day. In 2000 he registered as a Republican, documents provided to FactCheck.org show, and in 2008 Mikkelson didn't declare a party affiliation at all. Says Mikkelson: "I've never joined a party, worked for a campaign, or donated money to a candidate" (source: FactCheck.org). FactCheck.org confirmed in 2009 that David Mikkelson was a registered independent.

There is no evidence that Soros has any involvement in Snopes.com. They funded the site themselves for many years before adding advertisements to fund the cost of hosting the site.

 
 
The simple answer is no. We don't know George Soros and have not met him. This site receives no funding at this time from anyone outside of the founders. We do not have advertisements. Although we have a donate link, we have not received any donations since beginning this site in March 2012.
 
 
by Kathy Wiemers
HR4646 is called the Debt Free America Act. The bill would eliminate the national debt by repealing the individual income tax and adding a new 1% tax on all financial transactions, including all consumer transactions like uses of cash, check and debit. It would also repeal refundable and nonrefundable personal tax credits and the alternative minimum tax (AMT) if passed. Representative Chaka Fattah, second district of Pennsylvania, introduced the bill in February 2010 and again in March 2011.


Since it has no co-sponsors or moved in the legislative process, it has zero chance of passing. Snopes referes to this as a hobby horse issue. If you receive emails about this bill or a 1 percent tax on financial transactions, nothing in the email is true. HR4646 proposes to raise taxes through a financial transaction tax.


HR4646 has No Chance of Passing

  • no co-sponsors
  • never been in committee
  • never been before the House for voting

References

  1. Open Congress http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h4646/show (accessed October 27, 2012).
  2. Representative Chaka Fattah http://fattah.house.gov (accessed October 27, 2012)
  3. "The One Percent Solution" Snopes.com http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/debtfree.asp (accessed October 27, 2012).
 
 
Joe Firestone explains this much better than I could. Check out the links in the articles for the myths and fairy tales around government spending.

Neoliberalism Kills: Part One
Neoliberalism Kills: Part Two
 
 
by Kathy Wiemers
On October 20, 2012, the White House said it was prepared to talk with Iran about its nuclear program and Iran agreed, but no meeting has been set. The New York Times reported that Iran insisted that the meeting occur after the US elections. (1) The White House has denied that there is any agreement with Iran to talk about their nuclear program. The Tehran Times also reported that no date has been set for talks. (2) Obama has asked Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to hold off on a preemptive strike until after the US elections. (3)

The EU recently instituted new sanctions on Iran over their nuclear program. (4) On September 17, 2012, the Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, met with H.E. Dr. Fereydoun Abbasi, Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran (AEOI). The most recent report published by the IAEA describes the status of Iran's nuclear program and their noncompliance with the United Nations Security Council resolutions. (5)





 
 
by Kathy Wiemers
Many conservative websites and blogs say that Obama said that he would stand with the Muslims if he had to make choice. This supposed quote comes from Barack Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope published in 2006.

President Obama did not say that he would "stand with the Muslims if he had to make a choice." It is quite a stretch to even say that is what he meant. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama talks about speaking with immigrants and hearing their concerns as new citizens.

What He Did Say

 
 
by Kathy Wiemers
The possibility of the real estate sales tax affecting more people over time depends on many factors. 


  1. The percentage is fixed at 3.8%. The total taxes paid depends on the sale price, so the tax could go up or down.
  2. The tax does not apply to the first $250,000 in profits for single taxpayers or the first $500,000 in profits for married taxpayers from the sale of a primary residence. Secondary residence or rental property sales do not get this exemption.
  3. The tax only applies if you have capital gains of $250,000 for taxpayers filing jointly or $125,000 for married taxpayers who file separately and $200,000 for all other cases.
  4. The first $500,000 from a home sale is exempt.
  5. The tax affects only the top 2 percent earners.(1)

For the tax to affect more people, more people would have to earn more money and be able to buy homes priced higher than the current median home price (national median existing-home price was $187,400 in August(2)) or be able to buy second homes. People would then have to sell their homes at a profit greater than the exemptions.

Here are two examples from FactCheck.org:
  • A single executive making $210,000 a year who sells his $300,000 ski condo for a $50,000 profit. His tax on the sale of that vacation home would amount to $1,900, in addition to the capital gains tax he would have paid anyway.(3)
  • An "empty nester" couple with combined income of over $250,000 a year who sell their $1 million primary residence to move to smaller quarters. If they cleared $600,000 on the sale, they would be taxed on $100,000 of the profit (the amount over the half-million-dollar exclusion). Their health care tax on the sale would amount to $3,800 over and above the usual capital gains levy.(3)

This new tax adds funds to Medicare.(3)

References

1) Prante, Gerald; Fleenor, Patrick. Health Care Reform: How Much Does It Redistribute Income? Tax Foundation. http://taxfoundation.org/article/health-care-reform-how-much-does-it-redistribute-income/ (accessed October 7, 2012).2) August Existing-Home Sales and Prices Rise. National Association of Realtors. press release September 19, 2012. http://www.realtor.org/news-releases/2012/10/august-existing-home-sales-and-prices-rise. (accessed October 7, 2012).
3) A 3.8 Percent “Sales Tax” on Your Home? FactCheck. http://www.factcheck.org/2010/04/a-38-percent-sales-tax-on-your-home/ (accessed October 7, 2012).

 

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