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Democrats Don’t Let Facts Get In The Way Of Criticizing Tax Reform

- November 20, 2017

If The Republicans' Tax Reform Is So Bad, Why Do Democrats Keep Lying About It?

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • When trying to condemn the House GOP tax relief plan, Democrats "spread far and wide the false claim that families making less than $86,100 on average will face a hefty tax hike;" a claim The Washington Post gave four Pinocchios.
    • The Washington Post reported that 97 million Americans, or 80 percent of households, will see a tax cut.
  • According to The Washington Post, Democrats have "falsely claimed" that the House tax relief bill would raise taxes on a significant portion of middle-class families.
    • An analysis of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by The Tax Foundation found that the bill "would increase the after-tax incomes of taxpayers in every taxpayer group in 2018."
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) claimed that he had spoken to "all the [New York] Republicans" and they told him Republican leadership was "forcing" them to vote for the House bill.
    • Gov. Cuomo was "quick to backtrack, admitting that he'd never spoken to at least two of them;" the other two Republicans also deny Gov. Cuomo's account.
  • A number of Senate Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), claimed that the Senate tax relief bill was "kicking 13 million people off health insurance."
    • The Washington Post rebuked this argument, saying Senate Democrats did not accurately describe the CBO report they were referencing.

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WHEN THE HOUSE TAX RELIEF BILL WAS RELEASED, DEMOCRATS MADE FALSE CLAIMS ABOUT THE BILL'S IMPACT ON MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS

Democratic Senators Made The Claim That, On Average, Middle-Class Families Earning Less Than $86,100 Would See A Tax Increase Under House Republican's Bill

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) Tweeted, "On Average, Middle Class Families Earning Less Than $86,000 Would See A Tax Increase Under The Republican 'Tax Reform' Plan." "'On average, middle class families earning less than $86,000 would see a tax increase under the Republican 'tax reform' plan.' -Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), in a tweet, Oct. 27" (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim GOP Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) Tweeted, "The Average Tax Increase On Families Nationwide Earning Up To $86,100 Would Be $794.00." "'The average tax increase on families nationwide earning up to $86,100 would be $794.00' -Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), in a tweet, Oct. 24" (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim GOP Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) Tweeted, "Under GOP Plan, U.S. Families Making ~$86k See Avg Tax Increase Of $794." "'Under GOP plan, U.S. families making ~$86k see avg tax increase of $794.' -Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), in a tweet, Oct. 24" (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim GOP Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Implied In A Tweet That Middle-Class Families Would Shoulder The Tax Burden For Wealthy Americans. "We need tax reform that does not ask middle-class families to shoulder the burden so that taxes can be cut for the wealthy." (Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Twitter Feed , 10/31/17)

The Washington Post Gave This Claim Four Pinocchios

The Washington Post Gave The Claim That The GOP Tax Bill Would Raise Taxes On All Middle-Classs Families Four Pinocchios. (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim Gop Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

Democrats Were In Such A Rush To Condemn The GOP Tax Plan They "Spread Far And Wide The False Claim That Families Making Less Than $86,100 On Average Will Face A Hefty Tax Hike," When "Most Families In That Income Range Would Get A Tax Cut ." "In their haste to condemn the GOP tax plan, Democrats have spread far and wide the false claim that families making less than $86,100 on average will face a hefty tax hike. Actually, it's the opposite. Most families in that income range would get a tax cut. Any Democrat who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error." (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim GOP Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

  • 97 Million Americans, Or 80 Percent Of Households, Making Less Than $86,100 Will See A Tax Cut. "But notice the funny thing about this calculation: Only a small percentage (6.5 percent) of the nearly 122 million households in the bottom three quintiles will actually face a tax increase. Meanwhile, more than 97 million (80 percent) will receive a tax cut. Doing the math the same way the JEC staff did, we come up with an average tax cut of about $450 for those 97 million households." (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim GOP Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

Only Two Of The Four Democratic Senators Deleted Their Tweet Containing The False Claim . "Any Democrat who spread this claim should delete their tweets and make clear they were in error. [Update: Harris and Casey deleted their tweets after this column appeared.]" (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim Gop Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

On Average, Every Income Group Receives A Tax Cut Under The House Plan. "Indeed, at the far end of the chart, you will see that every quintile on average receives a tax cut - not a tax increase." (Glen Kessler, "Senate Democrats Falsely Claim Gop Tax Plan Will Raise Taxes For Most Working-Class Families," The Washington Post, 11/2/17)

Three Major Analyses Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act Have Found It Will Lower The Tax Burden For All Americans

Democrats Have "Falsely Claimed" That The Bill Would Raise Taxes On A Significant Portion Of Middle-Class Families. "Democrats have falsely claimed that the bill would raise taxes on "most working-class families" - only 6.5 percent of lower-income households will take a direct hit" (David Weigel, "Democrats See Backlash Over Republicans' Tax Bill As A Key To Winning In The Suburbs," The Washington Post , 11/19/17)

An Analysis Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act By The Tax Foundation Found That The Bill "Would Increase The After-Tax Incomes Of Taxpayers In Every Taxpayer Group In 2018." "On a static basis, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act would increase the after-tax incomes of taxpayers in every taxpayer group in 2018." ("Details And Analysis Of The 2017 Tax Cuts And Jobs Act," Tax Foundation , 11/3/17)

Thomas A. Barthold, The Joint Committee On Taxation's Chief Of Staff, Said That In 2019 "There Is A Tax Benefit To All Income Categories As We Measure Them." "In 2019 our projections, the analysis that I just described would say that there is a tax benefit to all income categories as we measure them." (Markup Of The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act, Committee On Ways And Means, U.S. House Of Representatives, 11/6/17)

Under Current Law, A Family Making $60,000 A Year With Two Children Would Save $1,136. "Under current law, in 2018, a married couple with two children making $60,000 would get a $13,000 standard deduction and four personal exemptions each worth $4,150. That means they would pay taxes on $30,400 of taxable income. Their base tax bill of $3,608 would be reduced by $2,000 in child tax credits for a total income tax of $1,608. Under the House plan, the same married couple with two children would get $3,800 in tax credits, $3,200 for the two children and $600 for the two parents. The same family would get a $24,400 standard deduction but no exemptions, for $35,600 of taxable income. Their base tax bill of $4,272 would be reduced by the $3,800 in credits for a total income tax of $472." (Richard Rubin, "Republicans Stick With Big Corporate Tax Cuts In House Bill," The Wall Street Journal , 11/2/17)

The Bill Lowers Tax Rates For Many Middle-Class Americans. "The 35 percent rate would cover some affluent households currently paying a marginal rate of 33 percent, potentially raising their taxes; and the 12 percent bracket would extend into the income range currently covered by the 25 percent bracket, lowering taxes for many middle- and upper-middle-class households." (Dylan Matthews, "The House Republican Tax Bill, Explained," Vox , 11/2/17)

Yet, Despite Evidence To The Contrary, House Democratic Leadership Continues To Push The False Narrative That The House Bill Raises Taxes For A Significant Number Of Middle-Class Americans

Democrats Have "Falsely Claimed" That The Bill Would Raise Taxes On A Significant Portion Of Working-Class Families. "Democrats have falsely claimed that the bill would raise taxes on "most working-class families" - only 6.5 percent of lower-income households will take a direct hit" (David Weigel, "Democrats See Backlash Over Republicans' Tax Bill As A Key To Winning In The Suburbs," The Washington Post , 11/19/17)

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Stated That The House GOP Tax Relief Bill "Pillaged The Middle-Class." REP. PELOSI: "Republicans have brought forth a bill that is pillaging the middle-class to pad the pockets of the wealthiest and hand tax breaks to corporations shipping jobs out of America and drastically increasing the national debt…" (Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Remarks On The House Floor , Washington DC, 11/16/17)

Click To Watch (30:33- 30:46)

Assistant Democratic Minority Leader Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) Stated "The Democratic Caucus Will Be Resolute In Our Opposition To Ramming Through Tax Increases For Middle Income Americans." "I know many of my colleagues share these values. Let's set aside this partisan process and do something worthwhile for the American people. Until then, the Democratic Caucus will be resolute in our opposition to ramming through tax increases for middle income Americans and massive giveaways for the rich." (Press Release, "Clyburn Floor Statement on the Republican Tax Proposal," Rep. James Clyburn , 11/7/17)

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), Vice Chair Of The DCCC, Stated That The House GOP Bill Would Rise Taxes. "'It's incredible,' said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), a vice chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee who has helped the party recruit candidates in suburban west coast districts. 'I don't understand why they think raising taxes on the middle class to benefit the rich would be better for them electorally than doing nothing at all.'" (David Weigel, "Democrats See Backlash Over Republicans' Tax Bill As A Key To Winning In The Suburbs," The Washington Post , 11/19/17)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Lied About Conversations With House Republican Lawmakers

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) Claimed That He Has Spoken To "All The Republicans" And That The Leadership Was "Forcing" Them To Vote For The House Bill. "Cuomo claimed that he'd spoken to 'all' the Republicans and 'they all had the same line, which was, 'Well, you know, my political leaders are forcing me to vote for it.'' His message to them: 'You don't work for your political leaders. You work for the people who elected you.'" (Editorial, "Gov. Cuomo Gets Caught Making Up Facts Over Congress' Tax Plan," New York Post , 11/17/17)

  • Three Of Those Republicans Says They Never Spoke With Gov. Cuomo. "One huge problem: Three of those Republicans say they never spoke with Cuomo. And the one who did said the issue of pressure never came up." (Editorial, "Gov. Cuomo Gets Caught Making Up Facts Over Congress' Tax Plan," New York Post , 11/17/17)

Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) Confirms He Spoke With Gov. Cuomo, But Only About The Details Of The Tax Bill. "Rep. Tom Reed of Corning is the only Republican who confirms speaking with Cuomo. But the only thing they discussed, he says, was the tax bill's details." (Editorial, "Gov. Cuomo Gets Caught Making Up Facts Over Congress' Tax Plan," New York Post , 11/17/17)

  • Rep. Reed Also Adds That Gov. Cuomo Is Concerned, Not For The Middle-Class, But With Wealthy Taxpayers Who Gov. Cuomo Warned Might Leave The State For Lower Tax Jurisdictions, "Blowing A Big Hole In His Budget." "And, he adds, the governor - despite pretending otherwise - wasn't concerned with middle-class taxpayers but with himself: High earners, Cuomo reportedly warned, will flee the state, blowing a big hole in his budget. Cuomo's right about the risk of losing wealthy New Yorkers. As Brian Riedl points out in a Post column, the biggest impact of losing the SALT deduction will be felt by those who earn the most, and they may flee to lower-tax states." (Editorial, "Gov. Cuomo Gets Caught Making Up Facts Over Congress' Tax Plan," New York Post , 11/17/17)

Gov. Cuomo Was "Quick To Backtrack, Admitting That He'd Never Spoken To At Least Two Of Them." "Cuomo's office was quick to backtrack, admitting that he'd never spoken to at least two of them but that others 'said they were under pressure,' without identifying who the governor meant." (Editorial, "Gov. Cuomo Gets Caught Making Up Facts Over Congress' Tax Plan," New York Post , 11/17/17)

AS THE SENATE BEGAN WORK ON THEIR TAX RELIEF BILL, DEMOCRATIC SENATORS SPREAD A MYTH THAT MILLIONS WOULD LOSE THEIR HEALTHCARE UNDER THE BILL

Democratic Senators Repeatedly Made The False Claim That The Senate Republican's Tax Relief Bill Would Kick 13 Million Americans Off Healthcare

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer Claimed On The Senate Floor That The Senate Bill Was "Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance." "'We're kicking 13 million people off health insurance to give tax cuts to the wealthy.' - Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), in remarks on the Senate floor, Nov. 15." (Glenn Kessler, "Schumer's Claim That The GOP Is 'Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance,'" The Washington Post , 11/16/17)

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), The Second Ranking Democrat In The Senate, Echoed The Claim That The Senate Republicans Plan Would Be "Taking Health Care Away From 13 Million Americans." "Republicans now want to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy by taking health care away from 13 million Americans." (Sen. Dick Durbin, Twitter Feed , 11/15/17)

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Also Echoed The Claim That The Senate Bill "Will Kick 13 Million People Off Of Their Insurance." "According to the Congressional Budget Office. Changes made in this bill and the dead of night, as we know, will kick 13 million people off of their insurance. That doesn't even count increases in premiums. That's not even this issue here, the issue here is 13 million people will lose insurance under this legislation." (Sen. Sherrod Brown, Remarks During A Senate Finance Committee Meeting , Washington, DC, 11/16/17)

Click to Watch (16:52-17:11)

Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) Said That As A Result Of The Republican Tax Bill "At Least 13 Million People Are Going To Lose Their Health Insurance." "It comes on the heels of two attempts to try to repeal the affordable care act. The Republicans decided to put health care into this bill and the result of that is that at least 13 million people are going to lose their health insurance." (Sen. Michael Bennett, Remarks During A Senate Finance Committee Meeting , Washington, DC, 11/16/17) (1:07:22- 1:07:35)

Click To Watch (1:07:22- 1:07:35)

The Washington Post Corrected This Claim, Criticizing Senate Democrats For Mischaracterizing A CBO Report

The Washington Post Called Senator Schumer's Statement "Problematic" And Said That "Senate Democrats Need To More Accurately Describe The CBO Report." "The first part of Schumer's statement remains problematic. CBO, in estimating the impact of repealing the individual mandate, is mostly describing a voluntary action of people choosing not to buy health insurance. That's not the same as 'kicking off' 13 million people. Granted, some people may feel they don't have a choice because their premiums increased. Senate Democrats need to more accurately describe the CBO report." (Glenn Kessler, "Schumer's Claim That The GOP Is 'Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance,'" The Washington Post , 11/16/17)

According To The New York Post, Democrats Are "Doing Their Best To Bash" The Republican Bill, "Even If It Means Twisting The Facts." "Democrats, meanwhile, are doing their best to bash the cuts, even if it means 'twisting the facts' - as even the Washington Post accused New York Sen. Chuck Schumer of doing. Schumer claimed the Senate Republicans, in their bill, are 'kicking 13 million people off health insurance' by ditching the ObamaCare mandate." (Editorial, "A Big Win For Tax Relief - Despite Chuck Schumer's Fact-Twisting," The New York Post , 11/16/17)

When Thomas A. Barthold, Chief Of Staff Of The Joint Committee On Taxation Was Asked About The Claim That The Bill Would Kick Individuals Off Of Healthcare He Said, "There's Nothing That Mandates People Give Up Insurance." "As Thomas A. Barthold, chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, put it on Wednesday when asked specifically about the 'kicked out' language during a Senate Finance Committee hearing: 'The result in terms of changes in the uninsured is a result of decisions made. There's nothing that mandates people give up insurance. It's an economic decision.'" (Glenn Kessler, "Schumer's Claim That The GOP Is 'Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance,'" The Washington Post , 11/16/17)

  • Though The 13 Million Number Is Correct, The Republican Tax Plan Would Not Be "Kicking" Anyone Off Health Insurance Because The "CBO Says The Action Would Be Voluntary." "In 2019, CBO estimated, 1 million fewer people would be on Medicaid and 3 million fewer people than currently estimated participating in the Obamacare exchanges. By 2025, there would be 5 million fewer people on Medicaid, 5 million fewer people in the exchanges and 3 million fewer people getting health insurance coverage from their employers. That adds up to 13 million, but CBO says the action would be voluntary. In other words." (Glenn Kessler, "Schumer's Claim That The GOP Is 'Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance,'" The Washington Post , 11/16/17)
  • Eliminating The Individual Mandate Doesn't "Kick Anyone Off" Of Health Insurance, It Simply Gives People The Choice To Decide If They Feel The Insurance Is Worth The Cost . "Earth to Chuck: Scrapping the requirement that people buy insurance doesn't kick anyone off; it merely frees those who don't see the insurance as worth the cost from having to buy it anyway." (Editorial, "A Big Win For Tax Relief - Despite Chuck Schumer's Fact-Twisting," The New York Post , 11/16/17)

When President Obama Delayed The Implementation Of The Employer Mandate By One Year, Democrats Did Not Say That He Had Kept Healthcare From 1 Million People Even Though The CBO Had Estimated It Would Add Up To As One Million People To Insurance Rolls." As a historical note, the Obama administration in 2013 delayed the implementation of the employer mandate by one year, to 2015, and then in 2014 decided to phase it in more slowly so it did not take full effect until 2016. (The mandate requires most businesses with 50 or more full-time employees to provide health insurance or else pay a penalty of up to $2,260 per worker.) CBO had estimated the employer mandate would add as many as 1 million people to the insurance rolls. We don't recall hearing Democrats say that Obama had taken health insurance away from 1 million people. (Glenn Kessler, "Schumer's Claim That The GOP Is 'Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance,'" The Washington Post , 11/16/17)

The Washington Post Gave Sen. Schumer's Claim Two Pinocchios . (Glenn Kessler, "Schumer's Claim That The GOP Is 'Kicking 13 Million People Off Health Insurance,'" The Washington Post , 11/16/17)


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