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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Their own facts, indeed

Posted by: Hammer / 7:39 AM

It takes something deeply, deeply dishonest and troubling to rouse me from my hibernation. Here's uber-liar Tony Perkins from the Family Research Council lying his ass off:

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinions," said the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "but not to his own facts." Moynihan was a liberal. Today's liberals--led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)--would not agree. She denounced the tax cuts of 2003, saying then we can't afford them, they won't create jobs, they'll damage economic recovery, and they'll create a larger deficit. The American Shareholders Association has fact-checked those comments against proven results. The economy has created 5.3 million new jobs since the Bush tax cuts. Unemployment has dropped from 6.3 percent to 4.7 percent, the lowest in decades. The economy has grown robustly since the tax cuts took effect. And the deficit--while still far too great--is $38 billion lower today than it was in 2003. By every measure, the tax cuts have been successful. Congress recently moved to extend the Bush tax cuts. Without this timely action, you and your family would have gotten a huge tax hike next year. Liberals' reaction to all this? The Washington Post's columnists respond with "the return of Voodoo Economics." How predictable. In their zeal to stick pins in President Bush, the Post pundits are willing to puncture a growing economy.

Well, let's just look. Here's the average national unemployment rates for the post-World War 2 years. Unemployment is at the lowest rate in decades, Perkins claims. FACT: unemployment is at its lowest rate in 6 years. In FACT, from 1998-2000, unemployment was significantly lower than it is today.

Perkins further claims that my family would have "gotten a huge tax hike next year" without the Congressional action. Perkins knows his audience better than I do -- maybe they all are heirs and heiresses, living off dividend income. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains:

The proportion of those with incomes under $100,000 who receive any capital gains or dividend income is quite small. According to the Tax Policy Center, in 2005, only 12.5 percent of the households earning less than $100,000 received dividend income, and only 6.6 percent received any capital gains income.

Further, the benefit to those earning less than $100,000 year is very small. More from the CBPP:

Further, the average value of the tax cut that would be received by a household if the tax cuts were extended rises dramatically with income. Households with incomes below $50,000 would see an average tax cut of only $11 in 2009, while those making over $1 million would receive an average tax cut of $32,000

The recent tax legislation also amends the alternative minimum tax, which does have a broader impact. However, Perkins is linking to an American Shareholders Association report (PDF) that focuses on the dividend and capital gains tax cuts, without mention of the AMT.

A third, and comparatively minor, deception in Perkins' piece is to rail against "The Washington Post's columnists". The author of the Voodoo Economics column is Sebastian Mallaby. It's a worthwhile read. It's one columnist, not many. It's one person's opinion, not the editorial opinion of the Washington Post. Another Washington Post columnist, George Will, likely disagrees with Mallaby. Or is Perkins ascribing Mallaby's views to Will?

Finally, the most noxious part of Perkins' missive is to claim you're not entitled to your own facts -- before lying through his sheep.


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