Obama’s false tax-cut claims

September 7, 2011

The Post’s Glenn Kessler provides the first item with this report on the president’s Labor Day claim that he is responsible for the “biggest middle-class tax cut in history”:

“The point the president was making that is there is not a tax cut that has been enjoyed by such a broad section of the population,” an administration official said, pointing to a report that said that 95 percent of working families received some kind of tax cut under the Making Work Pay provision in his stimulus bill.

Huh?

In other words, this isn’t about the size of the tax cut, but about the fact that every working family, except those making more than $190,000, received as much as $800 in tax cuts.

That strikes us as very odd way to claim “the biggest,” but maybe that’s because Obama can’t make that claim. We ran the numbers every which way, but the fairest over time is to look at the tax cut as a percentage of national income (Gross Domestic Product minus depreciation.) . . . .

We’re not that impressed by the 95 percent claim, in any case. Essentially, all this means is that the top five percent of taxpayers did not receive the tax cut. Some economists might argue the cut-off limited the effectiveness of the provision as economic stimulus.

Kessler deems the president’s assertion “ridiculous” and awards a rare four Pinnocchios.

Mitt Romney, who delivered a detailed jobs speech yesterday, fires back. His spokeswoman e-mails me: “None of the 25 million unemployed, underemployed, or those that have just quit looking for work are ‘enjoying’ Obama’s failed policies. President Obama has raised taxes 19 times while Mitt Romney cut taxes as Governor of Massachusetts 19 times. Career politicians got us in to this mess, and we need a businessman who actually understands the economy to get us out.”

Romney obviously wants to stress his jobs theme and his private-sector experience, but in the debate he and others may be more blunt: The president lied. Again.

Obama has told us the “stimulus worked” and the that he “saved or created” millions of jobs. We were told in 2010 that it was the “recovery summer.” Americans don’t believe any of this. And this latest hooey on taxes only highlights his lack of candor with voters. Does he not know what is going on or does he imagine the voters don’t? Republicans will likely pounce on this at tonight’s debate.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.
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