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January 25, 2009
Pelosi engaged in class warfare on stimulus bill
Speaker Nancy Pelosi continues her class-based populism-this time using faulty data wrongly attributed by her to be from the Congressional Budget Office. Why let truth and honesty get in the way of a good “anti-rich” canard. She is on record as advocating that the Bush tax cuts be repealed and blames them for the budget/economic crisis America is enduring now. Even Barack Obama seems to realize the damage this would cause as he has put off raising taxes until at least 2011.
What is just as bad is that Speaker Pelosi seems to be willfully using false information:. From the Washington Times:
She claims - demonstrably incorrectly, it turns out - that the Bush tax cuts “at the high end” were “the biggest contributor to the budget deficit.” As evidence, Mrs. Pelosi asserted that a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report “when the Republicans had control of the Congress” demonstrated that these tax cuts for the upper income earners were primarily to blame for the deficit..
But when PolitiFact, the fact-checking service run by the St. Petersburg Times, looked closely at Mrs. Pelosi's claims, her story fell apart. For one thing, the CBO report didn't exist. The speaker's office told PolitFact that the information had come from a left-liberal advocacy group called the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The CBPP prepared a chart using CBO numbers which purported to show that tax cuts were responsible for almost half of the costs of new legislation between 2001 and 2007. But that hardly proved Mrs. Pelosi's point, because it lumped together tax cuts for all income groups - not just those for the higher-income taxpayers.
So PolitiFact went to a number of budget and tax policy experts in an effort to learn what portion of the deficit that tax cuts at the “high end” are responsible for. For purposes of its research, PolitiFact defined “high end” taxpayers the way Mr. Obama did during his run for the White House, when he called for repealing tax cuts for singles making $200,000 or more and couples making $250,000 or more: When the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center ran the numbers, it found that the top five percent of taxpayers - those making $225,000 or more - received 30.5 percent of the benefits from the Bush tax cuts in 2008. But the other 95 percent of taxpayers got 70 percent.
In short, over two-thirds of the benefits did not, contrary to Mrs. Pelosi, go to the upper-end taxpayers and thus they could not be “the biggest contributor to the budget deficit.” Concluded PolitiFact: “In fact, all the numbers we looked at showed that tax cuts for the middle and lower incomes represent a larger slice of the revenue pie.” The fact-checking service called Mrs. Pelosi's assertion to the contrary “false.” The fact that the speaker continues to repeat the canard proves that she isn't about to let the facts get in the way of a good soundbite.
One may be entitled to one’s own opinion but not one’s own facts. Democrats routinely disparaged Bush for lies and twisting information for political purposes. Nancy Pelosi seems to have no problem engaging in that behavior for political gains. For those interested in other examples of hypocrisy from the Speaker, I urged the reading of Do As I Say (Not As I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy by Peter Schweizer (of the Hoover Institute) --a short but endlessly entertaining book that has a whole chapter devoted to Mrs. Pelosi and her multi-millionaire husband, who together, took advantage of their influence to scam the public for their own profit-making purposes.