CBS advances falsehood that Obama's stimulus plan gives "tax refunds for people who don't pay taxes"

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Discussing President Obama's meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the economic stimulus plan, CBS' Chip Reid reported that "when Republicans criticized tax refunds for people who don't pay taxes, sources in the meeting say the president said, quote, 'I won,' referring to the election and making it clear he's sticking with that part of the plan." In fact, Obama has not proposed giving tax refunds to "people who don't pay taxes"; he has proposed giving the tax credit to "working families," which means they pay Social Security and Medicare taxes.

On the January 23 broadcast of the CBS Evening News, chief White House correspondent Chip Reid advanced the falsehood that President Obama's stimulus plan gives "tax refunds for people who don't pay taxes." Discussing Obama's meeting with congressional leaders to discuss the economic stimulus plan, Reid reported that "when Republicans criticized tax refunds for people who don't pay taxes, sources in the meeting say the president said, quote, 'I won,' referring to the election and making it clear he's sticking with that part of the plan." In fact, Obama has not proposed giving tax refunds to "people who don't pay taxes"; he has proposed giving the tax credit to "working families," which means they pay Social Security and Medicare taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act. Additionally, The New York Times reported in a January 4 article that Obama's proposals "include about $300 billion in tax cuts for workers and businesses."

As Media Matters for America has noted, in a January 8 speech, Obama stated that his proposed tax credit will go to working Americans, saying, "To get people spending again, 95% of working families will receive a $1,000 tax cut -- the first stage of a middle-class tax cut that I promised during the campaign and will include in our next budget."

Indeed, the "Making Work Pay" tax credit Obama included in his economic proposal during the presidential race would provide a "tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family":

This refundable income tax credit will provide direct relief to American families who face the regressive payroll tax system. It will offset the payroll tax on the first $8,100 of their earnings while still preserving the important principle of a dedicated revenue source for Social Security. The "Making Work Pay" tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans. The tax credit will also provide relief to self-employed small business owners who struggle to pay both the employee and employer portion of the payroll tax. The "Making Work Pay" tax credit offsets some of this self employment tax as well.

Additionally, consumers in the United States are required to pay federal excise taxes, including 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline. U.S. residents are also subject to state taxes, such as sales, income, and property taxes.

From the January 23 broadcast of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric:

REID: At his first White House meeting with congressional leaders, the president stressed the importance of bipartisan support for his economic stimulus plan, while acknowledging there's still a lot of work to do.

OBAMA: I recognize that there are still some differences around the table, and between the administration and members of Congress about particular details on the plan.

REID: Everyone at the meeting agreed on the need for quick action.

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): I do think we'll be able to meet the president's deadline for getting the package to him by mid-February.

REID: But some Republicans complained that the $825 billion plan has far too much in spending and far too little in tax cuts.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): Lowering tax rates and allowing people to keep more of what they earn will allow them to spend that money, invest that money, or save it. All of which are good for the economy.

REID: The president told Republicans he's open to the possibility of more tax cuts for small business, but when Republicans criticized tax refunds for people who don't pay taxes, sources in the meeting say the president said, quote, "I won," referring to the election and making clear he's sticking with that part of the plan.

Meanwhile, the president overturned yet another Bush administration policy today by executive order, this one on abortion, ending the ban on federal funding for international organizations that perform the procedure or do abortion counseling.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
CBS
Person
Chip Reid
Show/Publication
CBS Evening News
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.