Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taxes and Health Care Reform, RNC Tax Attack Goes Too Far:

The Republican National Committee claims in a new Web ad that Democratic health care plans propose taxes on "charities and small businesses. A doctor’s tax. Taxes on your health insurance. Even a tax on medical supplies."

It’s perfectly true, as the ad says, that "hundreds of billions" in taxes are being proposed – spread over 10 years. But the ad exaggerates and misleads in a number of ways:

  • It makes a downright false claim that ordinary wheelchairs would be among "medical supplies" subject to a proposed tax on manufacturers and importers. That’s not true: Wheelchairs and roughly half of all other medical devices would be exempt. (When we pointed this out, an RNC official said the ad would be modified, however.)
  • It features a proposed tax on medical laboratory services that has already been dropped.
  • The alleged tax on "charities" is actually a proposed limit on federal income tax deductions for charitable gifts by individual taxpayers in the highest brackets, not a tax levied directly on the charities themselves.
  • Similarly, the "small business" tax also refers to a proposed tax increase on individuals making more than $280,000 a year ($350,000 for families), only some of whom own small businesses. The vast majority of small-business owners don’t bring in enough to be affected.

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It has turned out the many claims that Republicans made about the health care bill that the Democrats were trying to rush through, in the end, turned out to be correct. They kept us from a train wreck.

Then, we see issues that were forced to be "dropped" suddenly resurface again in the bills, when the Democrats put them back in or block language from the Republicans to insure that the intent is clearly spelled out.

Now, let's see how accurate the Democrats have been on the Republican plan and how accurate Obama was in his "you lie" speech.

Yesterday on the floor of the House, Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson said this about the Republican's approach to health care: "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."

That doesn't sound like a good Republican campaign slogan for 2010, and we know it's not true, but Democrats keep repeating it.

How accurate was Obama in his speech?

WSJ - Fact-checking Obama

It is a good thing that other congressmen did not follow Rep. Joe Wilson’s lead. If they yelled out every time President Obama said something untrue about health care, they would quickly find themselves growing hoarse. By our count, the president made more than 20 inaccurate claims in his speech to Congress. ....

In the meanwhile, I continue to wonder why Obama doesn't instantly implement his plan to cut hundreds of billions of dollars in fraud and waste from Medicare to save us that money now and to prove that it can be done before he purchases something that our nation cannot afford.

When it comes to statements about the health care bills, both in accuracy and substance, the Republicans are on much higher ground than the Democrats.

Posted by: Woody | Sep 30, 2009 9:34:08 AM

The Democratic attack on Obama's opponents as "racists," "crazy," "wingnuts," etc. is a systematic and intentional lie that goes far beyond any inaccuracies in these advertisements. These attacks are unprecedented, and have in my mind seriously, perhaps irreparably damaged the legitimacy of the Obama Presidency. There is no sign that they are slowing down, either.

Posted by: mike livingston | Sep 30, 2009 10:48:13 AM