Senator Tom Harkin says it’s time to tell taxpayers when they’re footing the bill for ads they see or hear. Harkin says every time you see one of those “Be All You Can Be” Army ads and it concludes by saying it’s paid for by the Army, the bill is actually being paid by American taxpayers. Harkin says “every time one of those ads airs, taxpayers need to be reminded it’s their money paying for it.” Harkin will offer an amendment to a budget bill, asking for a change in the disclaimer required on ads paid for by the federal government. Harkin says he’s not singling out ads for the military. Harkin says “obviously” the government pays to air lots of military ads, but he says there are all sorts of other ads for Social Security, ag programs and even “feel good type ads by the government.” In addition, Harkin says the Bush Administration has shelled out tax dollars to produce fake news reports.Harkin says the General Accounting Office has found that the Department of Health and Human Services illegally spent tax money to produce “covert propaganda” touting the Medicare changes. The videos, which aired on 40 television stations around the country, featured actors paid to take the role of reporters doing a story about the new prescription drug discount cards. Harkin says the Bush campaign should reimburse taxpayers for the cost of producing and airing those spots.
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