TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Friday, October 7, 2011 Slams Tax Ads of Both Left and Right blows the whistle on two tax ads: one from the left, and one from the right:

She’s No ‘Buffett’s Secretary’:

A liberal group’s TV spot features a working mother who says she’s like “Warren Buffett’s secretary” and pays higher tax rates than “many billionaires and millionaires.” Not quite. With her $40,000 income and three kids, she’d actually pay a far lower rate than Buffett says he paid on his income. So, she’s not like his secretary. Furthermore, her rate would also be lower than the rate paid by the vast majority of those making more than $1 million a year.

The truth is that — on average — high-income taxpayers pay higher rates than those in the middle, or at the bottom for that matter. But you would never know that from this ad released by Civic Action.

Obama No ‘Different’ Today on Taxes:

An American Crossroads TV ad claims Obama’s position on taxes is “different” than it was in 2009. It isn’t.

The conservative group began airing a new TV ad in St. Louis on Oct. 3 in advance of the president’s fundraising trip to Missouri. The ad, titled “Don’t,” urges Obama not to raise taxes. But it distorts the president’s position on taxes two years ago by taking a snippet of an Obama interview in August 2009 and using it out of context.

Announcer: He raised our hopes. He seemed to understand.

Obama: The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession.

Announcer: But today he’s different.

Brianna Keilar, CNN: The president proposes tax increases –

Scott Pelley, CBS: One and a half trillion dollars –

Does the $1.5 trillion tax hike plan contradict what Obama said in 2009 about raising taxes “in the middle of a recession”? Is it true that “today he’s different”? No and no.

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