Tag Archives: Fact Check

House GOP tax scam exposed

The House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday approved the House Republicans’ bill to rewrite the tax code on a party-line vote. GOP tax bill clears hurdle, heads to House floor:

The measure — which reduces the number of individual tax rates, slashes the corporate tax rate and eliminates many deductions and credits — was approved on a party-line vote of 24-16.

The only changes made to the bill during the markup were from amendments offered by Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas).

Thursday afternoon, Brady made a number of changes to the bill which included restoring the adoption tax credit, additional tax relief for pass-through businesses and higher tax rates on repatriated foreign earnings.

Republicans and Democrats argued during the markup over whether the bill would help the middle class. GOP lawmakers pointed to estimates from the Joint Committee on Taxation that showed that on average every income group would get a tax cut in 2019.

“It was established over and over again that the Joint Committee on Taxation says taxpayers at every quintile will pay less taxes under this plan,” said Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.).

But Democrats cited Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that showed some middle-class taxpayers would still see their taxes go up, particularly in later years.

“This bill will raise taxes on the middle class. It will raise taxes on the middle class. It will raise taxes on the middle class,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.).

So who is right? As one should surmise, it’s not the GOP bait-and-switch tax scammers. Paul Waldman of the Washington Post reports, The GOP tax plan will raise taxes on lots of people. A new analysis shows how many.

Republicans have always been good at spin, but right now they’re facing one of the most extraordinary PR challenges they’ve ever confronted: Can they sell a bill that raises taxes on tens of millions of Americans as a glorious tax cut for everyone?

It would be an extraordinary trick if they managed to pull it off, but distracting from the facts will be no easy task.

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Paul Ryan’s bait-and-switch sales campaign for the GOP tax bill

Last week the GOP’s alleged boy genius and Ayn Rand fan boy, Paul Ryan, “the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin,” rolled out the GOP’s tax bill with this sales campaign: that a typical family of four will save $1,182 under the GOP tax bill.

“I don’t envy the partisans tasked with messaging against giving middle income families (family of four making $59K) $1,182 back,” AshLee Strong, Ryan’s press secretary wrote on Twitter, adding the hashtag #1182more …

… said the shameless GOPropagandist. Well defenders of truth, justice and the American way have no fear of soulless GOPropagandists, lady.

Dylan Matthews at Vox.com explains how Ryan’s example is a bait-and-switch campaign that will actually raise taxes on middle-class families. Paul Ryan’s poster family for middle-class tax cuts would ultimately get a tax hike:

The problem with selling the bill this way is that the claim is only partially true.

It is true that the average household in 2016, which the Census Bureau estimates makes made $59,039, would get a tax cut worth about $1,100 in the first year. (A more technical quibble with the claim is that many households aren’t families, and the average household size is 2.53, not 4.)

But after the first year, that claim looks much shakier. As NYU tax law professor and former Obama adviser David Kamin explains in a Medium post, the plan would actually result in a sizable tax increase for such a household over time:

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Latest GOPropaganda talking point (defense) for Trump-Russia collusion falls apart under scrutiny

The Trump administration’s Minister of Propaganda at FAUX News, Sean Hannity, tried to distract his intellectually challenged audience from Donald Trump Jr.’s public admission that he sought to collude with the Russians through the Russian mafia’s lawyer for dirt on Hillary Clinton — look, squirrel! — with their favorite opiate, another unfounded Clinton conspiracy theory.

This latest GOPropaganda talking point falls apart under scrutiny. Philip Bump of the Washington Post reports, Exploring Sean Hannity’s defense of Donald Trump Jr.: Clinton and Ukraine did it, too:

Sean Hannity’s defense of Donald Trump Jr. during his Fox News interview on Tuesday evening began with a lengthy and muddled pastiche of ways in which the Democrats — and Hillary Clinton in particular — had behaved just as badly. Or, maybe, worse.

Trump Jr. was there, you’ll recall, to respond to questions about his having accepted a meeting with an individual who explicitly promised negative information about Clinton offered by the Russian government. That Hannity was his first interlocutor on the subject is hardly surprising; the Fox News host has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to gloss over negative news about the administration. And as the show began, he made that clear.

Hannity revisited one of the points from his introduction later in the show — a point that Trump Jr. himself had made on Twitter on Tuesday morning. What about a Politico report from January, Hannity asked, suggesting that Ukraine was colluding with the Clinton campaign to help her candidacy?

After loosely describing that Politico report, Hannity suggested that the media was ignoring it at their peril. (Was this accompanied by creepy organ music?)

“I pose this question to everybody in the media that’s forced to tune in tonight,” he asked. “Which is worse?”

The Russia-Trump Jr. issue is worse. Allow us to explain.

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Lies, damned lies, and Trump

The Washington Post provided editorial space to Donald Trump on Sunday for his alternative facts propaganda and egomaniacal self-aggrandizement. President Trump: In my first 100 days, I kept my promise to Americans.

This is no way close to being true.

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post again provides an annotated version of Trump’s op-ed to provide context and a healthy dose of reality. Trump’s glowing op-ed about his first 100 days, with some badly needed context. Click on the yellow highlight’s for Blake’s annotations.

The Washington Post fact checkers write, President Trump’s first 100 days: The fact check tally:

President Trump is the most fact-challenged politician that The Fact Checker has ever encountered. He earned 59 Four-Pinocchio ratings during his campaign as president. Since then, he’s earned 16 more Four-Pinocchio ratings.

But those numbers obscure the fact that the pace and volume of the president’s misstatements means that we cannot possibly keep up. The president’s speeches and interviews are so chock full of false and misleading claims that The Fact Checker often must resort to roundups that offer a brief summary of the facts that the president has gotten wrong.

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CBO scores GOP ‘Obamacare’ repeal: 24 million would lose health care insurance (updated)

Just as anyone with even a rudimentary knowledge of health care policy had predicted, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) today scored the GOP “Obamacare repeal” bill aka Ryancare Trumpcare, and finds that the Obamacare revision would reduce insured numbers by 24 million:

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s proposal to revise the Affordable Care Act would lower the number of Americans with health insurance by 24 million while reducing the federal deficit by $337 billion by 2026*, congressional budget analysts said Monday.

[This is dynamic scoring required by the Budget and Accounting Transparency Act of 2014 to make long-term budgetary effects appear better. See Paul Krugman on dynamic scoring, Selective Voodoo.]

UPDATE: The way the bill achieves the 10% lower average premiums has little to do with increased choice and competition. It depends on penalizing older patients and rewarding younger ones. According to the CBO report, the bill would make health insurance so unaffordable for many older Americans that they would simply leave the market and join the ranks of the uninsured. No Magic in How G.O.P. Plan Lowers Premiums: It Penalizes Older People.

The report from the Congressional Budget Office underscores the dramatic loss in health insurance coverage that would take place if the GOP health-care plan is enacted, potentially contradicting President Trump’s vow that the plan would provide “insurance for everybody” and threatening support from moderate Republican lawmakers.

Fourteen million people would lose health coverage next year alone, the report stated. Premiums would be 15 to 20 percent higher in the first year compared to the ACA, and 10 percent lower on average after 2026. By and large, older Americans would pay “substantially” more and younger Americans less, the report states.

No wonder Donald Trump does’t want the GOP plan to be called “Trumpcare.” White House: Don’t call it Trumpcare. This grifter and con man literally brands his name on every product imaginable, so how bad does this GOP bill have to be for him to say “sorry, no“?

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John McCain flees from a reporter refusing to answer questions

Senator John McCain’s attack ads against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick all rely on a video clip of her “walking out” on constituents at a “Chats with Ann” constituent event when questioned about the Affordable Care Act in 2009.

The ads say: “Kirkpatrick betrayed Arizona on Obamacare, walking out on constituents when questioned about it.” The ad shows Kirkpatrick walking out of an Aug. 6, 2009 meeting in Holbrook, Arizona.

PolitiFact fact-checked John McCain claims Democratic challenger walked out on constituents:

bullshitjPolitico reported that the event was overrun by protesters, noting that conservative interest groups had organized opposition to similar events across the country. Conservatives for Patients’ Rights, an anti-health care reform group, did have the Kirkpatrick’s event listed on their website.

* * *

“Ann was trying to answer questions, and was shouted down,” Kirkpatrick spokesman D.B. Mitchell said.

We were unable to find a full video from the 2009 chat, but an extended clip does appear to show several people shouting.

* * *

The ad fails to mention that Kirkpatrick went back to Holbrook for a town hall meeting on health care a month later.

Our ruling

While Kirkpatrick did walk out of the Holbrook grocery store, the ad fails to mention the protesters — and that she returned for a health care town hall a month later.

So some unruly White Mountain Tea Partiers decided to disrupt a constituent event, and McCain fails to mention any of this in his ads to portray Kirkpatrick in a false light. Mr. “honor” and “integrity” he’s not.

But now our boy Johnny has a video of his own in which he flees from a reporter, refusing to answer questions about Donald Trump and his statement this week about obstructing President Hillary Clinton with a “blockade” of any nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Karma is a bitch, Johnny.

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