On PBS' Washington Week, John Dickerson asserted that there will "perhaps [be] a tax increase to fix the alternative minimum tax," which he claimed "gets the Republicans very exercised and excited" because they "can go around talking about how Democrats are going to raise taxes." In fact, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) has authored a proposal that would, according to the accompanying press release, "provide tax relief to more than 90 million working families through a permanent repeal of the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) and enhancement of other tax benefits." The press release also stated that Rangel's plan is "entirely revenue-neutral."
On Morning Joe, Larry Kudlow asserted that "on the campaign trail, Democrats trashing this economy, talking about raising taxes across the board are totally, utterly missing the boat here." In fact, the leading Democratic candidates for president have all proposed economic plans that include some tax cuts.
In his OpinionJournal.com column, former Delaware Gov. Pete du Pont wrote that "[t]ax rate reductions increase tax revenues. This truth has been proved at both state and federal levels, including by President Bush's 2003 tax cuts on income, capital gains and dividends." However, several former and current Bush administration economists have stated that tax cuts, including those passed under Bush, produce a net decrease in revenue.
The Washington Post's Michael Fletcher asserted that President Bush "is generally against tax increases as he believes they stifle economic growth. So his idea is to pay for the war by cutting back elsewhere in the budget." In fact, inflation-adjusted non-defense discretionary outlays have risen each year since Bush took office; Bush has actually paid for the war by deficit spending.
George Will wrote that Sen. Clinton "stridently opposed" President Bush's "advocacy of personal accounts financed by a portion of individuals' Social Security taxes" and suggested that her recent proposal to offer a matching tax credit to families that invest in 401(k) retirement accounts reflects "an undisclosed epiphany," after which "she belatedly recognizes that 401(k) funds invested in equities are a foundation for security." But contrary to Will's suggestion, Clinton has long expressed support for tax credits for retirement investments, while opposing the diversion of Social Security payments into private accounts.
During the October 9 Republican presidential debate, MSNBC's Chris Matthews and CNBC's Maria Bartitomo did not challenge Rudy Giuliani's claim that Sen. Hillary Clinton "once said that the unfettered free market is the most destructive force in modern America." In fact, in a 1996 interview, Clinton said she agreed with the quote, "The unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation."
Fox News' Steve Brown claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton would pay for her health care plan by "repealing the Bush tax cuts." Brown's report was accompanied by on-screen text that claimed "paying the price tag" for Clinton's health care plan would include "End[ing] Bush Tax Cuts." In fact, according to Clinton's plan, she would "discontinue portions of the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000."
Reporting on Rudy Giuliani's tax cut proposals, the Associated Press and ABC News' Jake Tapper gave no indication that they asked Giuliani or that Giuliani had spoken about how he would make up for the decrease in revenue that would result from enacting his proposals.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity stated that "The Wall Street Journal reported that John Edwards had invested in and worked for a company that is foreclosing on residents of New Orleans," adding: "The Edwards campaign has since announced that the senator will divest from the company." However, Hannity did not note that the Journal also reported that Edwards "pledged that he would personally provide financial assistance to New Orleanians who are facing foreclosure by [the company] or have lost their homes already."
An Associated Press article reported that Karl Rove, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, "[b]lamed congressional Democrats for standing in the way of changing Social Security and immigration law." But the AP did not note -- as Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace did during his interview with Rove -- that "there was tremendous opposition from your own party on immigration reform and, frankly, not much support on Social Security reform."
During a CNN interview about the effect of Karl Rove's resignation, Suzanne Malveaux did not challenge Tom DeLay's claim that "[t]he president held the line on spending," despite the fact that, even though President Bush assumed office with a $125.3 billion surplus, the Bush administration has run a deficit in every fiscal year of the Bush presidency. Additionally, Malveaux did not note Rove's reported assertion that his "biggest error" of the 2006 election cycle was "not working soon enough to replace Republicans tainted by scandal," or point out that DeLay himself remained in the House for several months following his indictment on money laundering and conspiracy charges.
In an editorial, USA Today suggested that President Bush's proposal to "partially privatize Social Security" would have addressed the program's "underfunding time bomb, set to detonate in about a decade." But as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, even the administration has acknowledged that its plan for private Social Security accounts -- on their own -- will do nothing to address the "time bomb."