Do you know who is getting a tax cut?
- New York Times: Obama is "calling for a one-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000."
- Wall Street Journal:
"President Barack Obama will propose a one-year extension of the
Bush-era tax cuts for families earning less than $250,000 today."
- Washington Post:
"President Obama on Monday proposed a one-year extension of the George
W. Bush-era tax cuts for people making less than $250,000 a year."
"President Barack Obama called Monday for Congress to pass a one-year
extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for people earning less than $250,000
You get the idea. So why are we quoting this very straightforward sentence over and over again? Because it's flat-out wrong.
Obama is not proposing that families making up to
$250,000 a year keep their tax cuts while families making more than that
don't. He's proposing that every family keep their tax cuts on their first $250,000 of taxable income (which is not the same as "income" or "earnings," by the way).
That includes families with taxable income of $260,000, $1
million, $5 billion, $3 trillion, or whatever Jay-Z and Beyonce make in a
year. Everyone would continue to pay a lower tax rate on their
first $250,000 of taxable income under Obama's plan. To report that
Obama only wants to maintain tax cuts for families making less than
$250,000 is simply false.
If you're wondering how literally the entire media could get this
story wrong, look no further than Obama himself, who is framing his own
tax proposal inaccurately. "I’m calling on Congress to extend the tax
cuts for the 98 percent of Americans who make less than $250,000 for
another year," he said in an East Room speech earlier this afternoon.
to cut taxes for everyone in the country. But Obama actually has an
incentive this time to downplay the number of Americans who would
benefit from his tax plan. His proposal is, at its heart, a political
maneuver meant to force Mitt Romney to defend tax cuts for the wealthy.
It's more effective, then, for it to be seen as a cut solely for the middle class. The reality is that Obama's proposal would also keep Warren Buffett's taxes lower, if only a little bit.
As Obama's double speak goes, this is a minor misdirection. But when a person couches a really good thing in lesser terms than it really is, that person should never, ever be trusted again. He's misrepresenting it solely because some of his constituents may resent that even the wealthy may be treated fairly.
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