WaPo: Obama’s tax-cut brag a “whopper”

posted at 10:45 am on September 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

We’ve heard Barack Obama lay claim to having passed the “biggest middle-class tax cut in history” many times since passing the Porkulus package, with his oddly-named Making Work Pay reduction of $800 per year from withholding taxes.  (Did work not pay before Obama pushed Porkulus through Congress?)  Glenn Kessler at the Washington Post decided to test that claim, and ends up calling it a “whopper”:

We took an informal survey in our office and asked people what they thought the president’s statement meant. Everyone agreed he was claiming the biggest tax cut in terms of dollars.

Imagine our surprise when the White House responded that he wasn’t talking about dollars at all.

“The point the president was making that is there is not a tax cut that has been enjoyed by such a broad section of the population,” an administration official said, pointing to a report that said that 95 percent of working families received some kind of tax cut under the Making Work Pay provision in his stimulus bill.

Huh?

Er … all right.  By Obama’s measure, a successor could pass a tax cut that reduces liabilities by $5 per person and allow it to apply to every American, and that would beat Obama’s dubious “record.”  Small wonder that, as Kessler writes, the MWP cut went “largely unnoticed” by the American public, which was just a gimmicky rehash of George Bush’s “rebate” in early 2008.  It was too small to matter in terms of economic growth, and the temporary nature of the cut meant that no one could do any long-term planning based on it.

The proper measure of “biggest tax cut” should be based on GDP, with adjustments for inflation.  Kessler ran the numbers for tax cuts over the last 50 years, and Obama didn’t even come close.  So who does win the prize?

John F. Kennedy seems to win the prize for biggest tax cut, at least in the last half century. By the same measure, the income tax provisions of George W. Bush tax cuts are more than twice as large as Obama’s tax cut over the same three-year time span.

B-b-but … the White House claimed that they had “outside validation” for this claim!  And they did, but as Kessler discovered, that “outside validation” used some odd sourcing:

 Incidentally, the report that the administration official cited as “outside validation” for the 95 percent statistic just mentioned it as an aside. We checked with one of the co-authors, and he said the source for the figure was a White House fact sheet.

So this outside source parroted the White House talking points, and this White House calls that “validation.”  Sounds like an echo chamber to me, and one that has a rapidly-decreasing membership.  Kessler gives Obama four Pinocchios for this claim, but I’d also give them four Nelson Muntzes for their attempt to validate their material through talking-points echoes:

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Is anything real with this guy? All smoke and mirrors.

NJ Red on September 7, 2011 at 10:47 AM

YOU LIE

Good Lt on September 7, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Busted!

And you know the alphabet networks won’t pick this up

Keep propping up dear leader lsm, heckuva job

cmsinaz on September 7, 2011 at 10:52 AM

By Obama’s measure, a successor could pass a tax cut that reduces liabilities by $5 per person and allow it to apply to every American, and that would beat Obama’s dubious “record.”

Woo hoo. Obama should have just given everyone a Coupon for one free Burger/Fry/Soda combo at a Burger joint of your choice.

portlandon on September 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

A WH fact sheet?

Puhleeeze.

cmsinaz on September 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

I always just assumed he was talking about extending the Bush tax rates after getting destroyed in 2010.

Mord on September 7, 2011 at 10:54 AM

also give them four Nelson Muntzes for their attempt to validate their material through talking-points echoes

talk about weak sauce……

ted c on September 7, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Orwell truly must be spinning as if on a spit, with this Administration.

KMC1 on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

They had Geithner stand the White House driveway to tell reporters it’s the biggest tax cut. That was their ‘outside’ validation.

jon1979 on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Has anyone seen an administration that has so blatantly used their media machine to cover their lies and scandals?

Chip on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Why we’re a long way from getting out of this mess… Bush could mildly misrepresent a policy objective, framing it from his perspective, and it would be the subject of conversation from coast to coast… Obama does it and the it will hardly raise an eyebrow.

As weakened as the MSM has become, they still control the conversation. We talk about what they want to talk about. This fact-check won’t make it to the editorial page at WaPo like a similar Bush misrepresentation would.

So… we are a long way from truly tackling the real issues we face.

mankai on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

i hate it when that happens.

toenail on September 7, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Oh good, a bonus OOTD today.

HellCat on September 7, 2011 at 10:58 AM

Dear Liar is definitely in trouble if the WaPo is calling him out on this.

rbj on September 7, 2011 at 10:58 AM

For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase “tax credit.”

Tax credit vs. tax cut. There is a difference….

Tax cuts are considered more permanent; they involve changing the rate structure, which directly affects tax withholding. Tax credits help the government encourage or support certain kinds of economic or social behavior by “rewarding” qualifying taxpayers.

visions on September 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM

The GOP candidate better hammer on this during the debates with him, along with the scores of other deliberate misstatements he and his administration has made over the past 3 years.

DrStock on September 7, 2011 at 10:59 AM

Why we’re a long way from getting out of this mess… Bush could mildly misrepresent a policy objective, framing it from his perspective, and it would be the subject of conversation from coast to coast… Obama does it and the it will hardly raise an eyebrow.

As weakened as the MSM has become, they still control the conversation. We talk about what they want to talk about. This fact-check won’t make it to the editorial page at WaPo like a similar Bush misrepresentation would.

So… we are a long way from truly tackling the real issues we face.

mankai on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Yup. It wasnt that long ago when a major Network, 35+ year award winning anchor and 1000 media outlets ran with a forged lie concerning Bush’s military record. Of course the reality of his true service and flights were buried… while Kerry – who lied about every facet of his service strode right along; thrown medals and seered Christmas’…

Odie1941 on September 7, 2011 at 11:01 AM

POTUS and TOTUS are the biggest liars we’ve ever had in the presidency of this republic.

ultracon on September 7, 2011 at 11:03 AM

WaPo calling a liar a liar…

Methinks Obama’s in bigger trouble than he realizes.

Washington Nearsider on September 7, 2011 at 11:06 AM

“The point the president was making that is there is not a tax cut that has been enjoyed by such a broad section of the population,”

Perfect reflection of the Obama community organizer thought process..

Translation:

“Everyone has a smiley face, what’s better than that?”

fogw on September 7, 2011 at 11:10 AM

More lies. This is pathological.

Mason on September 7, 2011 at 11:11 AM

whop·per (hw p r, w p -). n. Slang. 1. Something exceptionally big or remarkable: i.e: Obama’s head. 2. A gross untruth. [From whopping.] whopper [ˈwɒpə] see “ObamaSpeak” . n Informal.

Rod on September 7, 2011 at 11:12 AM

The Game Goes On And The Suckers Buy IN

Now that the German Supreme Court has succumbed to the pressure (bribes, threats?) and given tacit approval to Angela Merkle continuing to use German GDP as a piggy bank to prop up the failing Euro, looking at the market reaction one might think that once again “all is right with the world.” Well I for one am not buying it. This is nothing more than markets moving on the delusion du jure, and the HFT algos exploiting this latest MOPE (management of perception economics) to wring yet a few more tons of fiat out of the suckers before the next dose of reality sets in and the downward trend returns. Just when the internal German political reaction sets in remains to be seen, although I suspect it won’t take long.

In the meantime as the equity markets rebound on this so-called “good news” (good for everyone but the German investors, savers and consumers) the bankers get another opportunity to proclaim that “gold is in a bubble” and whack its price down a bit so that as they attempt to cover their huge short overhang on the COMEX and the LBMA they can at least reduce the size of their losses even if that means paying huge cash premiums because they can’t actually deliver the physical goods.

By reducing their short positions, even if only marginally they can put forth more propaganda that the light at the end of the tunnel can be seen and they won’t really get crushed by a short squeeze or a derivative collapse. Once again the “big lie” is in play as they fully well know that that light that they see is the onrushing train of the Hong Kong Metals Exchange. Once this exchange is fully operational in late October it will be 100% backed by physical bullion. If even only a small percentage of those pension funds, hedge funds or mutual funds, never mind private investors holding COMEX or LBMA paper certificates move their holdings to the Hong Kong exchange then the jig is up, game over, they can’t deliver. The COMEX and LBMA default, precious metals derivatives implode and quickly take out all the other derivatives based on whatever Wall Street marked to the value of unicorns fantasy in a massive collapse of confidence.

2011 may well end up making 2008 look like a stroll in the park. Someone might want to invest in some spike strips to put across the runways of whatever private Long Island airstrips the Wall Street tycoons have their Gulfstreams parked at.

LCT688 on September 7, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Another “lying liar who lies” moment brought to you by the Jug-Eared Dope and company.

Remember, when you don’t want the truth….you want odumbo!!

Tim_CA on September 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Die Große Lüge.

A lie so “colossal” that no one would believe that someone “could have the impudence” to distort the truth so infamously.

Goes back to writings/rantings of a former Leader during his days at Landsberg. Applied repeatedly during his tenure in office.

Apparently, our current “Leader” has risen to the task.

Many times.

They are still lies.

And infamously told, as well.

coldwarrior on September 7, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Lies, Liars, Damned Liars and Pathological Liars…
He and his administration is every one of them. I’m beginning to think that he is truly mentally deranged.

PatriotRider on September 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

“The point the president was making that is there is not a tax cut that has been enjoyed by such a broad section of the population,” an administration official said, pointing to a report that said that 95 percent of working families received some kind of tax cut under the Making Work Pay provision in his stimulus bill.

Small wonder that, as Kessler writes, the MWP cut went “largely unnoticed” by the American public, which was just a gimmicky rehash of George Bush’s “rebate” in early 2008.

Apparently, “enjoyed,” now means “largely unnoticed.”

Or, perhaps ignorance truly is bliss?

BlueCollarAstronaut on September 7, 2011 at 11:16 AM

He’s lost WAPO? Holy crapoly!

katy the mean old lady on September 7, 2011 at 11:18 AM

If you’re going to lie to me, lie to me with some respect.

katy the mean old lady on September 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Don’t blame Totus now….he can’t help what gets uploaded by the incompetent WH staff

cmsinaz on September 7, 2011 at 11:20 AM

So this outside source parroted the White House talking points, and this White House calls that “validation.”

It worked for Ward Churchill.

John Deaux on September 7, 2011 at 11:21 AM

The $800 was sent out to millions of people who pay $0 tax. That is called welfare, not tax cuts.

angryed on September 7, 2011 at 11:21 AM

Glenn’s gonna need more Pinocchios…

Fallon on September 7, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Optics.

singlemalt 18 on September 7, 2011 at 11:23 AM

It was too small to matter in terms of economic growth, and the temporary nature of the cut meant that no one could do any long-term planning based on it.

Everything in Obama’s world is temporary……including his tenure in the WH. Any longterm planning should take place some where on a Chicago golf course.

Rovin on September 7, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Hey Obama? I have here on my desk, a capejasmine fact sheet. On it, it says….capejasmine not only looks, but IS perpetually 21.

Silly? Absolutely. True? Absolutely NOT!!! See how that works? Just because I write that down, and try to say it’s a fact…doesn’t make it so.

capejasmine on September 7, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Now even the Wapo is calling him a bald faced liar!

xrayiiis on September 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM

White House referencing its own ‘fact sheet’ of talking points as a source?

This sounds like a Monty Python sketch.

When do we get the 16 Ton weight dropped?

ajacksonian on September 7, 2011 at 11:29 AM

As weakened as the MSM has become, they still control the conversation. We talk about what they want to talk about. This fact-check won’t make it to the editorial page at WaPo like a similar Bush misrepresentation would.

So… we are a long way from truly tackling the real issues we face.

mankai on September 7, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Yep, gunwalker would be wall to wall right now if it were Bush.

fossten on September 7, 2011 at 11:32 AM

on September 7, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

..of the record, Ed, it’s great to have you back! I am deeply sorry for your loss.

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Totally off topic, but I think Yid with Lid nails it here…

Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy looks familiar.

Washington Nearsider on September 7, 2011 at 11:33 AM

The WH of the Whopper has been playing shell games since he took office. Want a Slurpee with that, Big Boy?

onlineanalyst on September 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Well WaPo can kiss off a Christmas invite to the White House.

GarandFan on September 7, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Woo hoo. Obama should have just given everyone a Coupon for one free Burger/Fry/Soda combo at a Burger joint of your choice.

portlandon on September 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Naaaaaaaah! Michelle took all those, and stuffed her pillow cases and mattresses with them. She can’t get enough, and she knows what’s best for us. Not to have those things. So she’ll consume them all, to protect us. LOL

capejasmine on September 7, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Why does anyone believe anything that comes from any Obama executive-branch source?

GaltBlvnAtty on September 7, 2011 at 11:46 AM

I hope all that all of the candidates at tonight’s debate toss out similar facts about the Obama administration that apply to any questions they are asked, and then provide their answer.

This is what Obama did; this is what I will champion.

tomg51 on September 7, 2011 at 11:49 AM

resist we much!

joeindc44 on September 7, 2011 at 11:51 AM

“The point the president was making that is there is not a tax cut that has been enjoyed by such a broad section of the population,” an administration official said.

In other words, the definition of tax cuts includes people who don’t pay taxes. The real world calls that welfare, but the lie has been out there a long time without challenge from the MSM, so I guess it’s now fact.

RadClown on September 7, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Does this Marxist joker even know when he’s lying?

rplat on September 7, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Whenever Obama speaks, any number he uses is simply DemCount, the use of imaginary numbers to make a political point. They use it to count crowds, describe the benefits of their programs, unemployment calculations not to mention jobs ‘created and saved’…All numbers simply made up.

It is amusing to note their validation process of the imaginary numbers. I wish I could use the same procedures in my taxes.

JIMV on September 7, 2011 at 11:58 AM

Obama got Osama. Talkin’ points is all they got. Maybe this one should be fact checked, too.

Kissmygrits on September 7, 2011 at 12:03 PM

his lie about Iraq and Afghanistan being the only wars we’ve didn’t pay for is an easily refutable lie

the most charitable view is that he’s not very bright, doesn’t know history etc. very well, and just reads what is put on teleprompter. Now we know his staff is dumb and young and have a poor understanding of protocol, etc. So this explanation fits.

r keller on September 7, 2011 at 12:04 PM

The White House has responded that the actual truth is that accumulative weight of those receiving tax cuts were the biggest in history. “We had some very fat people get tax breaks under our plan, ” Jay Carney explained, “and we think that has had a stimulating effect on the food sector of our economy.”

PackerBronco on September 7, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Incidentally, the report that the administration official cited as “outside validation” for the 95 percent statistic just mentioned it as an aside.

I guess you missed this but this report uses Media Matters as a source on page 4, which is an article about this report that links back to it as a source.

9 Media Matters, “Do conservative media figures want to raise taxes on middle- and low-income Americans?”, April 9,
2010, http://mediamatters.org/research/201004090030.

JeffinSac on September 7, 2011 at 12:07 PM

The TelePrompter was unavailable for comment

Wade on September 7, 2011 at 12:08 PM

If you think that is a “whopper” then what is Obama saying that Michelle is good-looking would be called?

albill on September 7, 2011 at 12:10 PM

But I still “feel” it was the biggest middle-class tax cut in history.

Caper29 on September 7, 2011 at 12:21 PM

“..give them four Nelson Muntzes for their attempt..”

..how about ONE “madman” Muntz?

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 12:24 PM

If you think that is a “whopper” then what is Obama saying that Michelle is good-looking would be called?

albill on September 7, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Harmony in the home.

All married men do it.

BobMbx on September 7, 2011 at 12:26 PM

The $800 was sent out to millions of people who pay $0 tax. That is called welfare, not tax cuts.

angryed on September 7, 2011 at 11:21 AM

A tax cut used to mean you keep more of what you earn.
A tax cut now means you get more of what someone else earns.

topdog on September 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Obama got Osama. Talkin’ points is all they got. Maybe this one should be fact checked, too.

Kissmygrits on September 7, 2011 at 12:03 PM

..that dreary cadaver — Alan Colmes — when braced to come up with Obama’s accomplishments on BORe’s show last nit dropped that as his first offering along with the other specious claims. Like you said, it’s all they got.

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM

It’s time everyone learned that information from this (mal-) administration should be treated the same as a never-refrigerated week-old dead fish.

Use it and it will stink up your operation and give your remaining readers severe indigestion.

landlines on September 7, 2011 at 12:34 PM

Woo hoo. Obama should have just given everyone a Coupon for one free Burger/Fry/Soda combo at a Burger joint of your choice.

portlandon on September 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Great idea portlandon, but it would NEVER happen.

Burger King is a non-union shop.

FBTL

FlatlanderByTheLake on September 7, 2011 at 12:41 PM

This puny, ridiculous, useless “tax cut” needs to go away. The idea that the gov’t is giving up some $300 billion in revenues so that people can get an extra $16 every week and THAT is “stimulating” the economy is not even laughable – its insulting.

That the White House wants this to be some kind of point of pride is pathetic in the extreme.

I guarantee – absolutely GUARANTEE – if you surveyed people on the street and told them their taxes had been cut by $300 billion, they would say, oh wow, great. And then if you asked them if they thought 1) it would be a financial boon to them, OR 2) stimulate the economy if they got an extra $16 every week, their answer would be HELL NO.

And so the bottom line here is that – as usual – the liberal make believe media can’t be bothered to do any kind of fact checking or analysis, but is more than willing to just say nothing and let Obama make whatever idiotic claims he wants in service of his perpetual campaign.

Disgusting. Makes me want to vomit when I think about what that tool and his sycophants in the media have done to this country and would very much like to do in the future.

deadrody on September 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM

..that dreary cadaver — Alan Colmes — when braced to come up with Obama’s accomplishments on BORe’s show last nit dropped that as his first offering along with the other specious claims. Like you said, it’s all they got.

The War Planner on September 7, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Combes is a lizard. At any moment I expect a long forked tongue to dart from his mouth and grab a bug midair.

slickwillie2001 on September 7, 2011 at 1:32 PM

The entire administration established their talking points long ago, studied them, and now every one of them recites them daily.

I’m really tired of the one where Obozo has saved and/or created 2.5 million jobs since he took over. Tell that to the 14 million people out of work, and the additional 8 million who are underemployed with minimum wage jobs while they hold MBA’s and other levels of education they actually earned, and was not purchased for them.

stacman on September 7, 2011 at 1:49 PM

Sounds like an echo chamber to me, and one that has a rapidly-decreasing membership.

Sounds like circular reasoning to me.

tom on September 7, 2011 at 2:12 PM

he said the source for the figure was a White House fact sheet.

Since when are there any facts on White House fact sheets?

Not since January 20, 2009…

Steve Z on September 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Does the sourcing sound odd? Really? Do people remember ClimateGate where the WWF comments on the Amazon Rainforest and a hiker’s comments on the Himalayans? This is the way Democrats love to show “independence” while forcing cheap data down our throats.

djaymick on September 7, 2011 at 3:04 PM

A WH fact sheet?
Puhleeeze.
cmsinaz on September 7, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Could be worse, they could have cited MediaMatters as a source for the source cuz that would be…………. oh wait……..They did cite MediaMatters as a source for the source!

9 Media Matters, “Do conservative media figures want to raise taxes on middle- and low-income Americans?”, April 9,
2010, http://mediamatters.org/research/201004090030.

DSchoen on September 7, 2011 at 5:47 PM

an extra $16 every week and THAT is “stimulating” the economy is not even laughable – its insulting.

deadrody on September 7, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Its not even “an extra $16 every week”, its an extra $7.69 per week, per full time worker.

“$800 – The amount most married couples are collecting through their paychecks this year thanks to the Recovery Act’s Making Work Pay tax credit. Individuals collected $400 this year thanks to Making Work Pay.”

400/52= $7.69
$7.69/40= $0.192 cents per hour.
$0.192×8= $1.536 per day
$1.536×5= $7.69 per week!
That will put the kids thru college!!!

DSchoen on September 7, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Obama makes sense out of “what is is”…

right2bright on September 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM