The Romney campaign has really taken “lying” to a “new level,” or something

posted at 12:01 pm on August 9, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

On MSNBC last night, Ed Schultz and E.J. Dionne argued that the Romney campaign’s argument against President Obama’s welfare adjustments plays into “old racial politics about poverty” and relies upon a level of blatant deception hitherto unknown in presidential campaigns. And, before you ask, why yes — this is coming just after Team Obama basically insinuated that Mitt Romney’s factory closures are at fault for workers’ and their families’ premature deaths.

“And finally, have we every seen a campaign lie this much?”

“You know, I was thinking about that, Ed, and I’ve covered a lot of campaigns and a lot of pretty vicious campaigns. But it does seem, I mean the way Romney kind of takes Obama’s statements and clips out the heart of them and strings together sentences…”

“They’ve taken it to a new level?”

“Yeah, I think this, I think really, this is a new level, and I’m not given to saying stuff like that.”

Uh huh. Speaking of taking liberties with your opponents reform plans, what was it the Obama campaign was saying about Mitt Romney’s tax proposals the other day? From the WSJ:

The charge is that even though Mr. Romney is proposing to cut tax rates for everybody across the board, Mr. Romney will finance this by imposing a tax increase on the middle class. His evidence is a single study by the Tax Policy Center, a liberal think tank that has long opposed cutting income tax rates.

The political left always says Daddy Warbucks gets all the tax-cut money. So this is hardly news, except that the media are treating this joint Brookings Institution and Urban Institute analysis as if it’s nonpartisan gospel. In fact, it’s a highly ideological tract based on false assumptions, incomplete data and dishonest analysis. In other words, it is custom made for the Obama campaign. …

So on four separate occasions what TPC says is “mathematically impossible”—cutting tax rates and making the tax system more progressive—actually happened. Hats off to the scholars at TPC: Their study manages to claim that what happens in real life can’t happen in theory.

The TPC analysis also fails to acknowledge how highly dependent the current tax system is on the very rich. As the Tax Foundation explains in a recent report based on CBO data: “The top 20 percent of households pay 94 percent of federal income taxes. The bottom 40 percent have a negative income tax rate, and the middle quintile pays close to zero.”

This reality is treated as a state secret in Washington because it refutes Mr. Obama’s campaign theme that the rich are undertaxed. The same crowd that has been howling that the rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes now touts a study concluding that cutting taxes will only benefit the rich. Well, which is it?

A whole “new level” of lying, indeed.


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