Debunked Republican claims

Discussion in 'Congress' started by xaxeptance449, Oct 27, 2008.

  1. xaxeptance449
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    xaxeptance449 Xaxe449

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    Republicans are misrepresenting Obama's tax proposals right down to the bitter end. New radio ads from the McCain campaign and a TV spot from the pro-Republican group Let Freedom Ring are targeting voters nationwide with some of the same tax deceptions we've been hearing all fall, rolled in a bundle and flung through the airwaves. One of the radio ads features Hank Williams Jr., the other Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. But new packaging doesn't make the charges any less false.

    Taxes wouldn't have gone up on "families" making as little as $42,000 under the budget resolution passed last spring, as the Charlie Crist ad says. Try $90,000 for a typical family of four. And anyway, that measure doesn't at all resemble what Obama's actually proposing to do.


    The Let Freedom Ring ad claimed that Obama has "voted to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire," meaning "our income taxes will actually go up." But Obama only voted to let some of the tax cuts expire, and at any rate nobody's taxes are going up as a result of that vote. The group yanked this ad off the air rather than try to defend it.


    Echoing a recent McCain theme, Crist says, "McCain knows that people don't want to 'spread the wealth,' " condemning Obama's use of the phrase when he talked to "Joe the Plumber." Actually, McCain has supported taxing high earners more than low earners. Not so long ago McCain said, "Wealthy people can afford [to pay] more." Obama's tax plan would "spread the wealth" more than McCain's, but it's not as though McCain wants to do away with the progressive tax system we currently have.
     
  2. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    The Obama campaign needs to play this video and this video only:

    [youtube]4K4I5jf9WmE[/youtube]
     
  3. xaxeptance449
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    xaxeptance449 Xaxe449

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    The McCain-Palin campaign and Republican National Committee are running the Charlie Crist radio ad in Florida, while the Hank Williams Jr. version is running in Virginia, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Ohio and several other states, according to Politico. Let Freedom Ring was airing its TV ad in battleground states as part of a million-dollar ad buy, but pulled the spot from the airwaves because the group felt it couldn't stand behind the ad's assertions. Nevertheless, the ad was still prominently displayed on the group's Web site, neverfindout.org, as of Oct. 25.
    The radio ads present us with a slight variation on an old theme, telling us that to pay for new programs, "congressional liberals" want to raise taxes on "folks" making $42,000 a year, in the case of the Williams ad, and "American families" making that amount, in the case of the Crist ad.

    The claims refer to the budget resolution that Obama and others voted for earlier this year, which we've written about over and over. First off, a budget resolution is a kind of rough budgetary blueprint that Congress passes each year. Its specific provisions can't take effect without further legislation, and lawmakers have taken no action to implement this one, which in theory would have allowed Bush's tax cuts to expire for people in the 25 percent tax bracket, allowing their tax rate to revert to 28 percent.


    Even if it had been enacted, though, there would have been no tax hike for "families" (as one ad says) making $42,000 a year. (The other ad says "folks," a somewhat less precise phraseology). No, nyet, non, nein. We have nightmares about our very own version of the film "Groundhog Day," in which we wake to Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe," then stagger to our laptop and type these sentences: While it's true that a single taxpayer making $42,000 a year would have seen his or her taxes go up by about $15 if this provision had been followed up and enacted, a family of four would have had to hit an income level of $90,000 before experiencing a tax hike. For couples, the figure would have been $83,000.

    And, once again, Obama himself proposes tax cuts for 95 percent of families with children. Only families with more than $250,000 annual income would see an increase.

    We could say that we didn't think the McCain campaign had heard a word we've said over these long months, but we know it has: It cites our work in its back-up for the Crist ad. The article it quotes from though – "The $32,000 Question" – doesn't support what the radio ad says. What we said is this: "The resolution Obama voted for would not have increased taxes on any single taxpayer making less than $41,500 per year in total income, or any couple making less than $83,000."

    Maybe the campaign is only half-listening.
     
  4. xaxeptance449
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    xaxeptance449 Xaxe449

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    The Let Freedom Ring TV ad is even worse. It claimed that "100% of America" would see taxes go up because Obama "voted to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire." This is so far from reality that we had to ask Let Freedom Ring what vote it could possibly be referring to. And a spokesman said it was Obama's vote on the same budget resolution just mentioned. But as we noted above, the resolution only would have let some of those tax cuts expire. It would have preserved provisions that benefit families – "marriage penalty" relief, child tax credits, a 10 percent tax bracket for the lowest-earning taxpayers. It did not call for letting the cuts expire for "100 percent of America." So the claim in this ad is 100 percent wrong. And Let Freedom Ring appears to know that. "We weren't comfortable" with the ad's assertion, the spokesman told us, and the group has taken it off the air. It still appears on the Web site for the group's ad campaign, however.

    Looking forward, Obama's actual tax plan would indeed allow Bush tax cuts to expire, but only for the top two income tax brackets. Those would revert to pre-Bush levels, and the brackets would be adjusted if necessary to ensure that they include only individuals making more than $200,000 per year, or couples making more than $250,000. (Two percent of the population will make more than $250,000 next year).

    Obama proposes a number of tax cuts for lower- and moderate-income people. According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, by 2012 middle-income people (those in the middle one-fifth of all households) would get to keep an extra $2,200 per year in after-tax income on average under Obama than they do now. Under McCain, that figure would be $1,400. The top 1 percent of earners, on the other hand, would have to pay an average of $19,000 more in taxes under Obama, while under McCain they'd see their taxes cut by an average of $125,000.
     
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