In his attempt to build support for his American Jobs Act, Barack Obama went on the Tonight Show and held a fundraiser afterward [see update]. He’d have been better off attending a math class first. Obama pushed the Senate’s “millionaire surtax” proposal to pay for a portion of the costs, and tried to impress people with just how little this would cost the rich:
Obama touted a provision of his jobs proposal that would give states money to retain teachers, firefighters and police, funded by a surtax on annual earnings above $1 million. Someone making $1.1 million a year would pay “an extra $500 — 500 bucks,” he told the well-heeled crowd, which laughed.
First, the surtax was not part of Obama’s proposal; that came from Harry Reid, and it replaced tax hikes that were too onerous for even Democrats to swallow. But the real problem with Obama’s claim is that it literally doesn’t add up. The surtax applies a 5.6% tax on all income over a million dollars in a year. On $1,100,000 of income, the surtax would get applied to the $100,000 as Obama says — but 5.6% of $100,000 is not $500. It’s $5,600, which is eleven times more than Obama claimed on national television.
Apparently Obama can’t do math, which is hardly surprising given the outcome of his economic policies. The “well-heeled crowd” of Democrats seem to have the same problem. (h/t: HA reader Robert C)
Update: Originally, I thought Obama said this on the Tonight Show, but reader DGB points out in the comments that this was actually said at the fundraiser afterward. My apologies to Jay Leno, and I’ve changed the post above to reflect that.
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