Friday, June 3, 2011

When Truth and Facts Don't Match Opinion? Shout Louder!

When the facts don't fit your opinion what do you do? You scoff at the facts and then shout your opinion louder...

It's the equivalent of a child covering her ears with her hands and screaming 'Nahnahnahnah! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!'

This was the apparent behavior of some GOP lawmakers when invited to the White House to discuss the budget and the President told them something they didn't want to hear...

"Republicans attending a White House meeting on Wednesday didn’t take kindly to President Obama telling them tax rates were higher during the Reagan administration. GOP members engaged in a lot of “eye-rolling,” according to a member who was on hand to hear Obama, who invited House Republicans to the White House for discussions on the debt ceiling. [...]"

"“[The President] made a comment like the tax rate is the lightest, even more than (under former President) Reagan,” Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) told The Hill following the meeting. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) joked that during the meeting, “We learned we had the lowest tax rates in history … lower than Reagan!”"

However, the facts don't lie...
"That House Republicans find this preposterous is symptomatic of the hold Reagan mythology has over them. After all, for seven of Reagan’s eight years in office, the top tax rate was higherthan the current 35 percent. In six of those years, it was 50 percent or more. And every year that Regan was in office, the bottom tax bracket was higher than the current ten percent."

"For a family of four, the “average income tax rate under Reagan in 1983 was 11.06 percent. Under Clinton in 1992, it was 9.18 percent. And under Obama in 2010, it was 4.68 percent.” During Reagan’s time, income tax revenue ranged from 7.8 to 9.4 percent of GDP. Last year, it was 6.2 percent and is not projected to climb back to 9 percent until 2016. In fact, in 2009, Americans paid their lowest taxes in 60 years."
Ronald Reagan is the patron saint of modern day  conservatism (although, its doubtful that he could be elected by his own party as it grows more roguishly ideological by the millisecond). No joke: his ascendancy to the nation's highest office is the stuff movies are made of. In the sands of the inaugural address in which he eloquently proclaimed 'Government isn't part of the problem; government is the problem', is planted the flag of the modern day GOP who have decided that we should cut spending and shrink revenue - something "the Great Communicator" didn't do.

Reagan raised taxes repeatedly, increased the deficits and expanded the size of government. 
In the meantime, it is true, really true that taxes are lower under Obama than they have been at anytime since 1950!

Yet, those with their hands over their ears and screaming to the top of their lungs have missed the fact that their taxes haven't just remained lower, they've gotten even lower.

"A New York Times/CBS News poll last fall found that fewer than 10 percent of people knew that taxes had been lowered."

"The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimated that the cuts saved 97 percent of U.S. households an average of $1,179 in 2009, and the program was extended in 2010."

"The budget compromise with Republicans at the end of last year also ended up meaning lower taxes for most — about 80 percent of taxpayers, according to the Tax Policy Center."

Of course this doesn't comport with some people's opinion laced reality. So, in overcome Obama's fact based lesson, one of the attendees, obviously armed with his own 'facts' had to counter the President, 

"Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was quick to counter the president's claim on low tax rates."

""Quickly Kevin McCarthy followed up saying, actually, our corporate tax rates are the highest in the world and (President Obama) acknowledged that" U.S. corporate tax rates are higher than most other nations, Scalise explained."
""And that's a big deal," Scalise said, noting that the high rates "hurts American competitiveness and job creation - so the folks that are trying to earn money, get a job, so they can pay that 'low tax rate,' they can't even do that right now because we aren't competitive with the rest of the world.""
Reps. McCarthy and Scalise have a point, unless you decide to ignore the fact that General Electric has obviously found a way to cope...

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