Fact Check: Obama Flubbed Tax Cut on Twitter

Friday, 08 Jul 2011 12:53 PM

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President Barack Obama described the effects of this year’s payroll tax cut three different ways during his “Twitter Town Hall.” All three were wrong, The Washington Post found in a fact check of the statements.

During the event, Obama said the tax cut:
  • Gave $1,000 to “almost every single American”
  • “Put $1,000 in the pockets of every American”
  • And “put an extra thousand dollars in the pockets of every family in America.”
“The president hit the trifecta. None of those assertions is correct,” the Post reported.

Last year’s agreement between the White House and congressional Republicans cut the Social Security payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. In other words, for every dollar a person earns, he would keep an extra 2 cents. Only those making more than $50,000 would get $1,000 or more, the Post reported.

“A Treasury Department news release earlier this year said that the average payroll tax cut per worker would be $695,” the Post wrote. “The news release also said that ‘some 159 million working Americans’ would get some payroll tax relief. Given that the U.S. population is about 311 million, the president appears to have nearly doubled the number of people affected when he claimed “$1,000 in the pockets of every American.”

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