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Fact Check: Dark Money Group Lies About Maggie Hassan’s Record of Lowering Costs for Granite Staters


Building America’s Future — a new dark money group linked to former Mike Pence staffers — is following Mitch McConnell’s lead and dumping money into New Hampshire in a desperate attempt to buy New Hampshire’s Senate seat for their corporate special interest backers.


In the ad, the group lies about Senator Hassan’s record of lowering costs for Granite Staters and falsely claims that the American Rescue Plan — which provided critical relief to small businesses and cut taxes for New Hampshire parents — is responsible for inflation. That claim has been repeatedly debunked by an independent fact checker and leading economists at the San Francisco Federal Reserve and Economic Policy Institute.


The truth is that Senator Hassan has a strong record of cutting government waste and lowering costs for Granite Staters — and has worked across the aisle to keep small businesses open and put New Hampshire’s economy back on the path to economic recovery. Senator Hassan successfully pushed to cut taxes for New Hampshire parents by extending the Child Tax Credit, lowered health care premiums for Granite Staters on the ACA by nearly $1,000 a month, secured $25.1 million for New Hampshire to help Granite Staters with heating bills, and is currently leading bipartisan efforts to reduce home heating and electricity costs this winter. She also worked across the aisle to end the absurd practice of surprise medical billing and is pushing for research and development tax credits in the budget resolution.


“No amount of dark money from out-of-state special interests can change the fact that Senator Hassan has a long record of pushing to lower costs for New Hampshire families and put money back in Granite Staters’ pockets,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “The claims in this ad are filled with lies that have been repeatedly found false by independent media outlets and leading economists. These ads are just a desperate effort from a former Mike Pence staffer to lie about Senator Hassan’s work to put New Hampshire back on the path to economic recovery."


BACKGROUND: THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN CUT TAXES FOR GRANITE STATERS AND HELPED PUT NH’S ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK — AND DID NOT INCREASE INFLATION


FALSE CLAIM: “The Biden-Hassan liberal spending agenda is forcing families to pay more for groceries, gas, and home heating fuel.” [Building America’s Future Ad]


THE TRUTH: Economists and Fact Checkers: Rising Costs are Due to the Pandemic — Not the American Rescue Plan


A CNN Fact Check Found That Government Spending In The United States Was Not To Blame For Higher Food And Fuel Prices. “To blame rising gas and food prices exclusively on government spending is false. Supply chains are in disarray, not just in the US. The global production of oil and many other goods decreased last year when demand cratered as a result of the pandemic. But while demand has since increased, production remains below pre-pandemic levels, leading to higher prices.” [CNN, 11/10/21]


Expert: Fuel Prices Are Rising Because Demand Has Risen To Pre-Pandemic Levels But Production Has Been Slow To Catch Up -- Not Due To Government Spending. “Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, a website that tracks the price of gas, told CNN on Oct. 20, ‘I chalk up the high price of energy today to circumstances that no president could have brought on. The bulk of the change has everything to do with Covid.’ When asked about rising gas prices back in June, De Haan said, ‘This is not a political issue. It's more of a Covid-19 challenge simply because of how Covid-19 decimated fuel demand last year. While prices are much higher this year than last year, it's because of the recovery, the economic recovery. More Americans are getting out, gasoline demand has soared from a year ago.’” [CNN, 11/10/21]


Economist Mark Zandi: High Prices Due to Energy Industry Operating Below Pre-Pandemic Levels. “Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's Analytics, told CNN gas prices are high in part because the energy industry is still operating below pre-pandemic levels, though they have the capacity to produce more oil and natural gas.” [CNN, 11/10/21]


THE TRUTH: Leading Economists: Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Will Not Add Inflation Pressures in the U.S.


Moody’s: Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Will Not Add to Inflation. According to economists and analysts in leading rating agencies, President Joe Biden's infrastructure and social spending legislation will not add to inflationary pressures in the U.S. economy […] William Foster, vice president and senior credit officer (Sovereign Risk) at Moody's Investors Service said that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill “should not have any real material impact on inflation." Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics said that the legislation does “not add to inflation pressures, as the policies help to lift long-term economic growth via stronger productivity and labor force growth, and thus take the edge off of inflation.” [Reuters, 11/17/21]


THE TRUTH: Independent Fact Checkers and Leading Economists: The American Rescue Plan Did Not Cause Inflation


San Francisco Fed Analysis: The American Rescue Plan Did Not Significantly Increase Inflation Through 2022. According to a San Francisco Fed paper, “In this Economic Letter, we assess the risk of sustained inflationary overheating using the ratio of job vacancies to unemployment. This measure of slack accounts for both the demand for and supply of labor and thus has been shown to predict future inflation more accurately than the unemployment rate alone. Our estimates show that the ARP could raise the vacancy-to-unemployment ratio close to its historical peak in 1968. However, this large increase translates into only a temporary increase in core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) inflation of about 0.3 percentage point per year through 2022. This minor impact is attributable to the small effect of slack on inflation and the strong historical stability of longer-run inflation expectations.” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Regis Barnichon et al., 10/18/21]


Economic Policy Institute: Current Inflation Issues Are Caused By COVID Snarling Supply Chains While Keeping Goods Spending Higher And Services Spending Lower -- Not The American Rescue Plan. According to Economic Policy Institute Director of Research Josh Bivens, “Why has inflation accelerated? The very short answer is ‘COVID-19 never went away.’ The longer answer is that the continuing presence of COVID-19 kept consumer spending highly skewed toward goods and away from face-to-face services even as overall GDP recovered rapidly, and COVID-19 shut down ports and shipping facilities around the world, severely stressing supply chains. [...] So, did it? In retrospect, however, because the aggregate output gap hasn’t even closed as of September 2021 even as the ARP fiscal impulse has largely faded, I don’t think that too-fast a disbursement of relief has been the big problem in generating inflation. The big problem, again, has been COVID-19 keeping services spending low and goods spending high while snarling supply chains.” [Economic Policy Institute, Josh Bivens, 11/12/21]