Washington Post Fact Checker Gives Obama Tweet 3 Pinocchio’s

by William Teach | July 9, 2012 8:27 am

Let’s face it, Team Obama likes to stretch the truth, if not out right lie, in order to smear opponents. The number of un-truths, stretches, and lies that are going into Obama campaign fodder is a daily occurrence. It would take a giant post to list all the false ads. He can’t win on his record, so Team O is going negative and false. During a 30 day period ending July 2nd 76% of Obama’s ads were negative[1]. And here comes more

(Washington Post[2]) “FACT: In 2010 and 2011, Romney paid less than 15% in taxes on $42.5 million in income–much less than what many middle-class families pay.”

– Tweet by @BarackObama, July 3, 2012

We are avid readers of tweets by @BarackObama[3], though of course it is not the president himself but his campaign team that posts them. We are also very curious when politicians claim they have uttered “a fact.”

So, is it really true that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who is very wealthy, pays a tax rate “much less” than “many” middle-class families?

In a word, no.

First, one can see that for all the rhetoric about high taxes in the United States, most Americans pay a relatively small percentage of their income in taxes. Second, Romney had an effective rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.4 percent in 2011, which gives him a higher rate than 80 percent of taxpayers in the first method and puts him just about in the middle of all taxpayers in the second method.

And let’s not forget that under those net tax rates, Romney still pays around $3 million of his earnings to the federal treasury. So, as has become the norm with the Obama campaign

The Obama campaign’s tweet relies on a very slippery “fact.”

Romney, by receiving much of his income in capital gains and dividends and giving millions of dollars to charity, is certainly able to keep his effective tax rate relatively low, especially compared to a wealthy person who earns much of his or her income in salary. But, even so, Romney still pays an effective tax rate that is higher than the tax rate paid by most Americans.

And the Glenn Kessler, the fact checker, gives Team Obama 3 Pinocchio’s.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[4]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[5].

  1. 76% of Obama’s ads were negative: http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2012-07-06/10-million-checks-131000-ads-this-aint-your-kinkos-campaign/
  2. Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/obamas-misleading-tweet-on-romneys-taxes/2012/07/06/gJQAN3DTSW_blog.html
  3. @BarackObama: https://twitter.com/#%21/BarackObama
  4. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  5. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach

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