WashPost Fact Check: Obama Kan. Speech 'Suspect'

Wednesday, 07 Dec 2011 10:16 AM

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President Barack Obama’s fiery speech in Kansas invoking Teddy Roosevelt and slamming Republican economic theory was larded with “suspect” data, The Washington Post concluded in a fact check of the address.
The Post starts with the claim by Obama that President George W. Bush’s tax cuts were “for the wealthy.”

“Inserting the words ‘for the wealthy’ was interesting phrasing by the president, since he suggests these tax cuts were intended to only benefit the rich,” the Post wrote.  “The bulk of the 2001 tax cuts were marginal rate cuts, which extended to all taxpayers, while the 2003 tax cuts included a reduction in taxes on dividends and capital gains.”

The Post noted the cuts also included tax changes dealing with the marriage penalty and tax rebates that benefited the middle class. The president also blamed the Bush tax cuts for slow job growth, which the Post said was “silly.”

“The president does not need to lard his case with such suspect data,” the Post said. “There are few independent tax analysts who have much good to say about the Bush tax cuts. But it is difficult for Obama to justify blaming those tax cuts for being mostly responsible for today’s slow job growth, especially when he wants to retain a good chunk of those tax cuts.

“To bolster his case about unfairness, the president is also relying on a suspect statistic about billionaires paying as little as 1 percent in taxes,” the Post concluded. “Even if true, it is a clearly a rare event. Moreover, it is certainly surprising the White House would rely on such a dubious, unverified source for a major presidential address.”

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