The right-wing media has attacked President Obama for "mocking average citizens"after he said "you'd think [the tea partiers] would be saying thank you," because he has lowered taxes. Indeed, absent from the right-wing media's outrage is the fact that Obama is correct; as the AP wrote, "[y]ou wouldn't know it by the Tax Day rhetoric, but Americans are paying lower taxes this year."
Right-wing media furious over Obama remarks that tea partiers should say "thank you" for lower taxes
Ace of Spades: "Obama: Ha ha...can you believe those anti-tax rubes?" Ace of Spades wrote "nothing says post-partisan unity like mocking average citizens doing nothing more than exercising their right to peaceably assemble in protest of their government's actions. I don't remember our former cowboy warmongering Constitution-shredding president saying anything similar about anti-war protesters, do you?" The post claimed that "most likely" Obama "just doesn't care and is completely playing to his base at this point, because there's nothing the nutroots like more than some sweet, sweet tea party hatin'."
Malkin: "Obama mocks, we remember." Michelle Malkin wrote that "President Obama derided the Tea Party activists at a Miami fund-raiser tonight." She wrote: "You keep laughing, chump" and added in response to reports of Obama's remarks, "Yeah? Thanks a lot." Malkin followed by posting an excerpt of a Newsweek article which discussed deficits and the possibility of future tax increases and then posted images of tea party signs saying "November 2010 We Will Remember" and "We Can See November From Our House."
Sweetness & Light: Obama "obviously has nothing but contempt for 'the people'" Sweetness & Light posted a Hill article about Obama's remarks and wrote "More evidence of Mr. Obama's promised new tone, his new bipartisanship - promise to listen to what the country is saying. It's tempting to say that the man is simply tone deaf. But the problem goes far deeper than that. By the way, have you ever seen a politician trying so hard to be a populist when he so obviously has nothing but contempt for 'the people'?" The Hill article to which Sweetness & Light cited falsely reported that Obama said of the tea party protestors: "they should be saying thank you." In fact, Obama said, "One thing we haven't done is raise income taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year, another promise that we kept. So, I've been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes, taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you. That's what you'd think."
Washington Times: "In yet another act of arrogance" Obama "ridiculed the tea party protestors today." The Washington Times' blog Water Cooler posted an excerpt from an Associated Press article about the remarks and wrote "In yet another act of arrogance, President Barack Obama ridiculed the tea party protesters today at a Miami fundraiser."
Riehl: "Keep laughing right through to November, bud. We'll see who's laughing then." On his blog Riehl World View, Dan Riehl posted part of the AP article and wrote: "The one is amused. He honestly thinks he can still control the narrative the way he did during the campaign. Instapundit is posting reports from around the country. I've seen reports on Twitter of 25,000 in DC, 10,000 plus in Madison and Barry is amused. Keep laughing right through to November, bud. We'll see who's laughing then."
Bolling: "He's amused. That is just unbelievable." On the April 16 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, after playing a clip of Obama's remarks, guest host Eric Bolling said "He's amused. That is just unbelievable. You know, at first, tea partiers, they were angry, they were, you know, kind of fringe, they've become main street -- mainstream and main street -- for smaller taxes. He'd better take them a little bit more seriously than being mildly amused by the tea parties." Co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed "he does not handle his critics well."
Right-wing media's outrage ignores that Obama did cut taxes for most Americans
William Gale: "[T]axes are literally at their lowest in decades." CBS News reported on April 15 that "taxes are at their lowest levels in 60 years, according to William Gale, co-director of the Tax Policy Center and director of the Retirement Security Project at the Brookings Institution." CBS News further reported:
"The relation between what is said in the tax debate and what is true about tax policy is often quite tenuous," Gale told Hotsheet. "The rise of the Tea Party at at time when taxes are literally at their lowest in decades is really hard to understand."
Bruce Bartlett: "[F]ederal taxes are very considerably lower by every measure since Obama became president." Bruce Bartlett, former adviser to President Reagan and Treasury Department economist under George H.W. Bush, wrote on March 19 that "federal taxes are very considerably lower by every measure since Obama became president. And given the economic circumstances, it's hard to imagine that a tax increase would have been enacted last year":
As noted earlier, federal taxes are very considerably lower by every measure since Obama became president. And given the economic circumstances, it's hard to imagine that a tax increase would have been enacted last year. In fact, 40% of Obama's stimulus package involved tax cuts. These include the Making Work Pay Credit, which reduces federal taxes for all taxpayers with incomes below $75,000 by between $400 and $800.
According to the JCT, last year's $787 billion stimulus bill, enacted with no Republican support, reduced federal taxes by almost $100 billion in 2009 and another $222 billion this year. The Tax Policy Center, a private research group, estimates that close to 90% of all taxpayers got a tax cut last year and almost 100% of those in the $50,000 income range. For those making between $40,000 and $50,000, the average tax cut was $472; for those making between $50,000 and $75,000, the tax cut averaged $522. No taxpayer anywhere in the country had his or her taxes increased as a consequence of Obama's policies.
AP: "You wouldn't know it by the Tax Day rhetoric, but Americans are paying lower taxes this year." The Associated Press reported on April 14, "You wouldn't know it by the Tax Day rhetoric, but Americans are paying lower taxes this year, even with increases passed by many states to balance their budgets." While noting that in future years, some taxes may increase for some Americans, the article said that "Tax Day rhetoric" does not match the reality of Americans' tax burdens today. From the article:
Congress cut individuals' federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion shortly after President Barack Obama took office, dwarfing the $28.6 billion in increases by states.
The massive economic recovery package enacted last year included about $300 billion in tax cuts over 10 years. About $232 billion was in cuts for individuals, nearly all in the first two years.
The most generous was Obama's Making Work Pay credit, which gives individuals up to $400 and couples up to $800 for 2009 and 2010. The $1,000 child tax credit was expanded to more families, and the working poor can qualify for as much as $5,657 from the Earned Income Tax Credit.
There were also credits for qualified families who buy new homes or make energy improvements to existing ones, as well as tax breaks to help pay college tuition or buy new cars.
CBS: "Poll Reveals Most Americans Don't Know They Got a Tax Cut." A February 5-10 New York Times/CBS News poll found that only 12 percent of respondents "think the Obama Administration has ... decreased taxes for most Americans." CBS wrote that "[o]f people who support the grassroots, 'Tea Party' movement, only 2 percent think taxes have been decreased, 46 percent say taxes are the same, and a whopping 44 percent say they believe taxes have gone up." Media Matters for America has noted that conservative media figures including Steve Moore of the Wall Street Journal, columnist S.E. Cupp and Fox Forum columnist Peter Roff have denied that Obama cut taxes.