CNN's Gergen forwarded small business falsehood

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

David Gergen forwarded the false Republican talking point that "a lot of small-business people, you know, pay taxes as high-income taxpayers. They're in the $250,000-plus. So, there are a number of them who felt like they're going to be facing crushing taxes." In fact, according to data from the Tax Policy Center, only about 2 percent of families reporting small-business income in their 2007 tax returns are in the top two income tax brackets, which include those expected to pay more in federal income taxes under president Obama's proposal

During the March 16 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, political analyst David Gergen forwarded the false Republican talking point that President Obama's income tax proposals would increase taxes on a large percentage of small businesses. Gergen stated that "a lot of small-business people, you know, pay taxes as high-income taxpayers. They're in the $250,000-plus. So, there are a number of them who felt like they're going to be facing crushing taxes." In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, according to the Tax Policy Center's table of 2007 tax returns that reported small-business income, 481,000 of those returns -- about 2 percent -- are in the top two income tax brackets, which include all filers with taxable incomes that would be affected by Obama's proposals to let portions of the Bush tax cuts for wealthy taxpayers expire and reduce the tax rate at which families making more than $250,000 could take itemized deductions.

From the March 16 edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360:

COOPER: David, let's start with you. You say President Obama's announcement on small businesses was smart, but he's playing defense. How so?

GERGEN: Well, he's playing defense, Anderson, because a lot of small-business people, you know, pay taxes as high-income taxpayers. They're in the $250,000-plus. So, there are a number of them who felt like they're going to be facing crushing taxes. So, he, in effect, I think, had to respond to this sort of growing alienation in the business community.

I thought he did it smartly. But he got overwhelmed today on the AIG front. That's, by far and away, the biggest -- not only the biggest economic story, but the biggest political story, possibly a turning point in this whole effort for bailouts.

COOPER: A turning point how?

GERGEN: Well, in the sense that this is igniting so much public anger. Just -- your AC360 blog site tonight is filled with people who are expressing anger.

Posted In
Economy, Taxes
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
David Gergen
Show/Publication
Anderson Cooper 360
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.