Tags: Pelosi | payroll | tax | cut | statement

Fact Check: Pelosi Payroll Tax Cut Statement Has 'Two Major Errors'

Monday, 19 Dec 2011 12:09 PM

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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi recently asserted that President Barack Obama’s payroll tax cut plan would “put $1,500 in the pockets of 160 million Americans” and that extending unemployment benefits would “make a difference of 600,000 jobs to our economy.” The claims are “two major errors in a row,” The Washington Post concluded in a fact check.

The $1,500 figure is actually based on a White House average for a households earning $50,000 a year, the Post noted, adding that “others will get more — and many will get less, depending on their income.”

The claim on jobs comes from a report from economic forecasting firm Macroeconomics Advisors. However, the report cited a gain of 200,000 jobs, explaining that by providing unemployment insurance, recipients pay rent, and make purchases -- keeping others in their jobs, the Post reported.

Pelosi’s office said she misspoke on that number and she was actually referring to an overall number of the effect of cutting the payroll tax and extending unemployment insurance. That number, according to the Post, is 600,000.

“Pelosi gets some credit for at least referencing a specific report rather than simply asserting a figure,” the Post concluded. “As we mentioned, we try not to play ‘gotcha’ with politicians who slip up. But she made two major errors in a row.

“Moreover, in what seems to be a pattern we have noticed this year, whenever she ‘misspeaks,’ she tends to make the numbers look even better for her side of the argument.”


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