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Obama: Letting People Keep Their Own Money Is a "Giveaway" from the Government
On Wednesday, President Obama argued that not raising taxes on certain households amounts to a "giveaway" from the government.
On Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney repeated and defended the term "giveaway."
Chalk it up as another example of a "You didn't build that" worldview.
During the Thursday press briefing, ABC News senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper asked Carney why the White House uses the term "giveaway":
Jake Tapper: You used the word "giveaway", and President Obama, in his statement yesterday, used the word "giveaway," referring to the extension of the lower Bush tax cut rates for I guess the top 1 or 2 percent of the country -- people making over $200,000 a year, or couples making $250,000. What do you say to a small business owner who says, that's not a giveaway, that's my money, and by the way, I'm going to need some of that money in order to help pay the health care of individuals that I'm now mandated to do? It's not giving anything away, it's allowing me to keep my money.
Carney repeatedly defended the term and then pivoted to misleading talking points about small businesses:
Carney: "97 percent of people who file -- small businesses that file taxes under the individual tax code will receive this tax cut."
Reality: Only in Washington is preventing a tax increase from happening considered a "tax cut." If your tax rate and tax burden is the same next year as it is this year, you didn't get a tax cut. You simply didn't have your taxes raised.
The White House is correct that most people with small business income make less than $200,000 per year. But the majority of small employer profits do face taxation in the tax brackets President Obama wants to raise. These businesses employ a majority of all workers in the small business sector. Finally, 3 percent of small businesses is still 1 million small businesses all across America (i.e., the job-creating and successful ones) facing higher marginal income tax rates.
Carney: "The President believes that small businesses are so important that he has dedicated a lot of energy and focus on providing tax credits and tax incentives and tax cuts to small businesses throughout his three and a half years in office."
Reality: Really? Do most job-creating small employers think that the Obama Administration has been a boon for them? It's true that Obama didn't shrink the small business "Section 179" expensing levels he inherited, but that's hardly a tax cut for small business. He also put in place a small employer health credit that is so complicated, no one is actually using it.
At the same time, the Obama Administration is urging a hike in the marginal tax rate on 1 million small businesses. These businesses earn the majority of small employer profits, and employ the overwhelming majority of Americans working for a small business.
Then there's Obamacare. There are 20 new or higher taxes in that law, totaling $1 trillion in net tax hikes. One was repealed already--onerous reporting requirements on small business (Carney is likely claiming credit for that, too). But there's still the employer mandate, the tax hike on small medical device manufactuers, the tanning tax (all of those businesses are small), and the increase in the Medicare payroll tax rate (which many small business owners pay on every penny of earnings).
Most small business owners would prefer that President Obama stop "helping" them, in fact.
This is just another example of how President Obama's White House believes that small business owners "didn't build that," and how the government letting small employers keep their own money is a "giveaway."
The full transcript of Carney's press briefing can be found here.