At NPR’s Planet Money, Quoctrung Bui has put together an attractive and interesting data visualization on real income growth in the United States. As he describes it, there are two distinct eras for income growth since...
- The Tax Policy Blog
- Biden Speech Is Feast for Factcheck.org
Biden Speech Is Feast for Factcheck.org
We were going to blog on Sarah Palin's interview with Katie Couric that aired yesterday, but then again, there was nothing really said. It was a waste of five minutes of network television.
So instead we're going to the other vice-presidential candidate (Biden) who actually talks substance, but doesn't really care about the truth. He just makes stuff up when he gives campaign speeches.
For example, in a speech today in Pennsylvania, Joe Biden lied twice when referring to McCain's fiscal record and plans. From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, here are the two cases:
"Social Security is a contract between generations. Either you don't understand it or you don't support it," Biden said. "Close your eyes and imagine what would have happened to the seniors in this room if George Bush would have succeeded with John McCain in privatizing Social Security."
As factcheck.org points out, had Bush's plan succeeded, no senior in that room would have had their benefits cut because benefits would have only been affected for those born after 1950. Also, the "cuts" in plan were changes to how benefits are annually increased, so it would mean smaller increases, not cuts.
Then there's this when Biden talks about McCain's health care tax plan:
Biden said that the McCain-Palin ticket wanted to tax workers' medical benefits as income in a move that would hurt the middle class.
"If you earn $40,000 a year, that would mean you'd pay taxes for $52,000 --- it would be the largest tax increase in history on the middle class," Biden said.
This is just made up. Over the next ten years, McCain's health care tax plan is actually a $1.3 trillion tax cut. And in 2009, according to Tax Policy Center preliminary figures, the average tax unit in the middle 20 percent of all tax units would save $1,559 from McCain's health care tax plan in 2009. In 2013, that average is $1,288 . In 2018, the average savings is $830.
Put another way, if Senator Biden gave $5,000 to a charity (like factcheck.org or the Tax Foundation), but the charity returned $1,800 of it, Biden wouldn't say he was bilked but rather that he gave $3,200. That's what the McCain health care plan does—it raises taxes some but cuts taxes more over the next ten years. Of course, Senator Biden hasn't given $5,000 to charity lately.
Here is the video of Biden lying about the health care plan. And it's so funny because after lying to the people and those watching at home, he says this: "It's almost unbelievable. You almost don't believe me telling you this because it sounds so wrong." And then he says, "And I say with the national press here again...John McCain, if I've misstated your position that you're not going to tax health care benefits, please tell me."
I guess this shouldn't surprise us. While the Obama campaign rightfully points out that the McCain campaign has been consistently lying about Obama, it continues to lie about his own policies and about McCain's. In summary, what comes out of the mouths of John McCain, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Sarah Palin should be taken with a grain of salt by voters because there is a good chance they are just making it up.
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The Tax Policy Blog is the official blog of the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit research organization that has monitored tax policy at the federal, state and local levels since 1937. Our economists welcome your feedback. If you would like to send an e-mail to the author of a blog post, please click on that person's name to locate his or her e-mail address or visit our staff page here.