Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season are a time for food and family. But that also means having to deal with your conservative uncle who is still asking questions about Benghazi. We’ve compiled some common conservative myths and provided a quick response, backed up with sources. Hopefully this helps you survive the Holidays!


Education

Myth

Lawmakers gave teachers the largest pay raise in history. What else do they want?

Fact

While some lawmakers claimed to give teachers a 7% raise, even Gov. McCrory only claims it was 5.5%. For veteran teachers though, the raises were much smaller – less than 1%. The ridiculous claim that this budget provided “the largest teacher pay raise in state history” has been completely debunked. Whether you’re talking about total money spent, or the percentage of the raise, there have been several larger raises, particularly those under Governor Hunt


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Myth

I don’t have kids in public school, so what does it matter?

Fact

We all benefit from a good public education system. It helps recruit and retain employers. Also, in 64 counties in North Carolina, the public school system is the largest employer. In only 12 counties is the school system not one of the two largest employers.


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Economy

Myth

North Carolina’s economy is roaring again thanks to Gov. McCrory and the legislature.

Fact

Fewer jobs were created in 2013 than in 2012 and over 100,000 people have given up looking for work since Gov. McCrory took office. In 2013, only 10% of unemployed workers ever found another job. And in 2014, North Carolina trails only Florida for the highest number of layoffs this year.


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Myth

The unemployment rate in North Carolina has fallen much faster than the country as a whole.

Fact

In January of this year, the unemployment rate was 6.7% in NC and 6.6% for the country, almost identical. Since then the rate has fallen to 5.8% nationwide, while under Pat McCrory, North Carolina’s unemployment rate has only fallen to 6.3%


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Myth

Governor McCrory and the legislature lowered my taxes.

Fact

Unless you’re a millionaire or major corporation, non-partisan analysis has shown your taxes likely went up. McCrory and the legislature slashed taxes for the rich, but they actually doubled the sales tax on electricity and expanded the sales tax to many services that were untaxed or taxed at a lower rate. At the same time, lawmakers and Gov. McCrory kept tax loopholes for yachts and private jets.


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Myth

Tax reform in North Carolina was revenue neutral.

Fact

Despite McCrory’s promise that tax reform would be revenue neutral, state tax revenues are already down $400 million through the first four months, compared with last year.


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Health Care

Myth

Expanding Medicaid would cost North Carolina too much.

Fact

The Federal Government would actually be paying for 100% of the cost of expansion through 2016 and then 90% after that. North Carolina will lose $51 billion in Federal money by refusing to expand Medicaid.


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Myth

Expanding Medicaid would hurt our state’s economy.

Fact

Studies have shown that expanding Medicaid would create 25,000 jobs. That’s nearly 20 times more jobs than the estimates of jobs created from fracking.


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Myth

Obamacare is causing health care insurance premiums to sky rocket.

Fact

Actually, the rate of growth for health care premiums is at a historically low level. In the last year costs went up about 4%, far lower than the average of 10% between 2008 and 2010.


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Fracking

Myth

Fracking will grow the economy by creating thousands of jobs in North Carolina

Fact

Actually, the State of North Carolina estimates that fracking will create FEWER than 500 jobs over a seven year period. Even Governor McCrory’s most optimistic projections put the total number of jobs created over 20 years at just 1,500.


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Myth

It’s been proven that fracking can by safe. Just look at the states that are doing it.

Fact

In at least eight states where fracking is happening, there have been confirmed reports of surface, ground and drinking water contamination. In Pennsylvania alone there have been over 1,400 environmental violations directly attributed to fracking. Finally, Oklahoma, Ohio and other states have seen a dramatic increase in the frequency of earthquakes as a result of fracking. Bottom line: Fracking is not safe.


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Coal Ash

Myth

I heard that lawmakers passed a law that won’t allow Duke Energy to pass the coal ash clean up costs to customers.

Fact

Actually, state officials and Duke Energy executives have said that they plan for electricity rates to increase in order to offset the coal ash clean up costs.


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Myth

Duke Energy is going to clean up and remove all the coal ash from North Carolina.

Fact

Actually, Duke Energy will only be forced to fully clean up 4 of their 14 coal ash sites across the state. Despite the fact that every single site is leaching dangerous chemicals into our groundwater, the remaining sites will be left in place.


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Equality

Myth

A majority of North Carolinians voted to ban gay marriage.

Fact

Since the marriage amendment was passed during a primary election, only 13% of North Carolinians actually voted to ban gay marriage.


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Voting Rights

Myth

Voter fraud is a problem in North Carolina.

Fact

Out of the 7 million ballots cast in 2012, there were only 121 alleged cases of voter fraud. And in the 2010 election, there were only 28 cases reported out of nearly 4 million ballots cast.


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Myth

Governor McCrory and the legislature passed a law that will protect the integrity of our elections.

Fact

The voter restrictions signed into law by Gov. McCrory makes it harder for legal voters to easily vote and makes it easier for big money to influence elections. The voter restrictions cut the number of days for early vote, ban same-day registration, ban out of precinct provisional ballots, and eliminate pre-registration of teenage voters. But the law raises the contribution limits for political campaigns and eliminates public financing options. These voting changes are really about making it harder for legal voters to easily vote and increasing the amount of money in politics.


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Immigration

Myth

President Obama’s Executive Order will cost North Carolina taxpayers.

Fact

There are over 100,000 parents in North Carolina that could potentially be eligible for deferred action so they can stay with their children. By allowing them to pay taxes, North Carolina will actually gain $184 million in revenue over five years.


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Climate Change

Myth

It’s cold outside, that proves global warming isn’t real.

Fact

Despite temporary weather events in one corner of the world, 2014 is on track to be the warmest year on record globally. All 10 of the hottest years on record have been in the last 16 years.


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Myth

Climate change isn’t going to affect me.

Fact

A recent study found that sea levels at North Carolina’s coast are projected to rise over three feet in the next century. That would seriously threaten the future existence of the outer banks.


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Progress NC Action's guide to talking turkey with your conservative uncle