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Has President Obama Really Proposed Over 400 Tax Hikes?


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, 4:51 PM PERMALINK


It's pretty bad when the liberal bias of a "fact check" site is such that it requires its own conservative watchdog, but that's sadly the case with Politifact. This week, and not surprisingly, they rated our claim that President Obama had proposed to raise taxes 442 times as "mostly false." Below is our response to their "fact check" which they refused to print:

Objection #1: Politifact didn't like that we counted Obama budget tax increase proposals each and every time they were put in a budget.

Our response: It is not misleading to count each time Obama proposed a tax increase. The stated goal of ATR’s effort was to total the number of tax increase proposals formally written down by President Obama in his six annual budget proposals.  The goal was not to count each type of tax increase proposed, an arbitrary metric created by Politifact.

If someone commits five counts of the same crime spread out over five years, he is not simply charged for one count of the crime. If a driver gets caught speeding five times over five years, the driver can’t tell his insurance company he only received one speeding ticket. But that’s the logic Politifact used to determine their “mostly false” ruling.

Objection #2: Politifact thinks we should have also listed President Obama's tax cut proposals in his budgets.

Our response: ATR’s press release was purposely and transparently not a comprehensive tax policy analysis of the Obama administration’s tenure. ATR was quite clear in this respect. ATR is under no obligation to account for tax relief in a study that merely seeks to count the total number of tax increases listed in formal budget proposals in black and white.

Politifact also failed to mention that ATR, in its release, clearly stated that it was not counting the 20 tax increases in Obamacare, which alone amount to a ten year net tax increase of over $1,000,000,000. Again, the simple intent of the ATR study was to find the total number of tax increase proposals formally written down by President Obama in his six annual budgets.

Objection #3: A liberal tax expert (Eric Toder of the Tax Policy Center) didn't like ATR's tax research because it didn't distinguish between large and small tax hikes.

Our response: Is this a joke? Politifact fancies itself as a neutral arbiter acting in the public interest. Eric Toder is an employee of a far-left think tank. We can’t recall Politifact ever calling upon Americans for Tax Reform to check on the work of Mr. Toder or any of his colleagues. Besides, the criticism invents a new standard (i.e., the "dollar amount test") arbitrarily foisted upon ATR after the fact. Again, the simple intent of the ATR study was to find the total number of tax increase proposals formally written down by President Obama in his six annual budgets.

That said, if Politifact and Toder want to assign dollar values to these tax increases, they will find them to be far more than pennies. The latest Obama budget raises net taxes over the next decade by hundreds of billions of dollars. As did the first five Obama budgets.

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