July 30, 2010

Mike Pence repeats the Republican lie that getting rid of the Bush tax cuts is going to raise taxes on small businesses. As our own Jon Perr noted only about 2% are impacted by the return to higher rates for incomes over $250,000:

Lie #1: President Obama will raise taxes on small businesses.

John McCain introduced this fraud along with Joe the Plumber during the 2008 campaign. McCain proclaimed Obama's plan to restore 1990's tax rates for taxpayers making over $250,000 meant "the small businesses that we're talking about would receive an increase in their taxes right now." In February, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) regurgitated the long-debunked talking point:

"I don't think raising taxes is a great idea, and when our good friends on the other side of the aisle say raising the taxes on the wealthy, what they are really talking about is small business."

Of course, they're not talking about small business. As CNN concluded in October, "fewer than 2% of small business owners would pay more under Obama's plan." But in case there was any doubt about the Republicans' deception on the point, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center quickly put it to rest:

Out of 34.7 million filers with business income on Schedules C, E or F, 479,000 filers fall into the top two brackets, according to an analysis of projected 2009 filings by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

The other 34.3 million - or 98.6% - would be unaffected by Obama's proposed rate hike.

Somehow Mike Pence thinks that 2% equals "more than half". So either he's really bad at math, or he's lying. I'm in the camp of the latter.

Jansing: You have said, I’m quoting you here, if Democrats get their way, every income tax bracket will rise on Jan. 1st, 2011, but PolitiFact says in fact Democrats want to keep tax cuts for people making less than $200,000 so is that really an honest interpretation of what the Democrats’ plan to do?

Pence: Well, we’ll see. I know Democrats have been talking about trying to preserve some of the middle class tax cuts that were passed in 2001 and 2003 but Chris there’s no legislation, there’s been no bills considered in committees and while I’m encouraged by that my point was the American people deserve to know that if the Congress fails to act, every American will see a tax increase on Jan. 1, 2011 and for their part the Democrats stated position is that at the very least what they want to preserve are tax increases on job creators, on small business owners, on Americans who report income of over $200,000 a year and we just think that raising taxes in the midst of the worst recession in twenty five years if a profoundly bad idea.

Jansing: And yet some people have argued that the Bush tax cuts have been in affect since 2001 and if they’re so beneficial to the economy why isn’t it in better shape?

Pence: Well look, I was here in Congress in 2001. I was here on the Capitol grounds on 9-11. I mean it was a time of extraordinary anxiety for the American people and it was a time of extraordinary economic turmoil. I have no doubt that the tax relief in 2001 and 2003 helped to stave off what was poised to be a very difficult time in the life of our economy but right now we’re back in another difficult time and the very idea that when more than half the people that file tax returns, over $200,000 a year, actually small business owners filing as individuals, the idea that you would raise taxes on small businesses owners and job creators in the middle of this recession doesn’t make any sense.

This is the same guy who just signed on to be part of Michele Bachmann's Tea Party caucus. The media keeps touting this wingnut as a potential 2012 Presidential candidate. All I can say is bring it on. He's about as bright as Palin not quite as mean spirited.

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