O’Reilly Distorts Ryan’s Proposal To Cut Tax Rate For The Rich
Bill O’Reilly distorted Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposal to lower income tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, claiming that Ryan “stated he simply wants to keep the tax rate where it is.” In fact, Ryan has proposed cutting the tax rate on upper income levels from 35 percent to 25 percent.
O’Reilly Obscures Ryan’s Proposal To Cut Top Tax Rate
O’Reilly: “Mr. Ryan Stated He Simply Wants To Keep The Tax Rate Where It Is.” From The O’Reilly Factor:
O’REILLY: Check three. On the CBS program Face The Nation, anchor Bob Schieffer interviewed Congressman Paul Ryan:
SCHIEFFER [Video Clip]: I guess the question I would have, Congressman, why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean they’re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?
SCHIEFFER: If the country is going bankrupt, if the country needs to borrow 40 cents of every dollar that it spends, how do you help that by reducing the amount of taxes that the richest people in the country pay? It would seem to be that’s where you get revenue.
O’REILLY: Well, Mr. Ryan stated he simply wants to keep the tax rate where it is because if it rises the economy may be hurt. Standard conservative vs. liberal argument with Mr. Schieffer taking the liberal position. [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 4/18/11]
In Fact, Ryan Has Proposed Lowering The Tax Rate For The Wealthiest Americans
Ryan’s Proposal Would Lower Top Marginal Tax Rate To 25 Percent. From the Republican majority House Budget Committee’s summary of Rep. Paul Ryan’s FY 2012 budget resolution:
- Keeps taxes low so the economy can grow. Eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by the President’s health care law. Prevents the $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the President’s budget.
- Calls for a simpler, less burdensome tax code for households and small businesses. Lowers tax rates for individuals, businesses and families. Sets top rates for individuals and businesses at 25 percent. Improves incentives for growth, savings, and investment. [House Budget Committee, 4/5/11]
The Top Marginal Tax Rate Is Currently 35 Percent. The top marginal income tax rate has been 35 percent since 2003. [Tax Policy Center, 1/31/11]
Ryan: “Get Rid Of All Those Loopholes And Deductions” And “Lower Tax Rates.” From Ryan’s appearance on CBS News’ Face the Nation:
SCHIEFFER: You have two very different approaches that are now out there. The president wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. He wants to keep Medicare in place. The big part of the savings in your plan is to do away with Medicare, replace it with private insurance that would be subsidized by the government, and you actually want to lower taxes on the wealthy, even lower than the Bush tax cuts which were enacted during the Bush administration.
I guess the question I would have, Congressman, why do these rich people need another tax cut? I mean they`re already rich. They seem to be doing pretty well as it is now. Why cut their taxes some more?
RYAN: So first of all, we`re not talking about cutting taxes. We`re just not agreeing with the president`s tax increases. I guess that`s the new definition of tax cuts. We`re saying keep tax rates where they are right now and get rid of all those loopholes and deductions which by the way are mostly enjoyed by wealthy people so you can lower tax rates.
We`re taking a page out of the playbook of the fiscal commission, the president`s fiscal commission supported by a majority of Democrats, said the same thing — broaden the tax base, lower the tax rates for economic growth. A simpler, flatter, fair tax code, more internationally competitive so we can create jobs.
That`s what we`re proposing. This isn`t tax cuts. It`s tax reform targeting our revenues at where they are right now. We`re just signing on to all the tax increases that the president is proposing.
SCHIEFFER: All right, let me go back to what you said there at the top. You say you`re not for cutting taxes. But am I misinformed? I thought you were talking about lowering that rate for the top income tax pairs back to 25 percent. So isn`t that a tax cut?
RYAN: In exchange for losing your deductions. So in exchange for using the loopholes and deductions that mostly higher income earners use. So what we`re saying is keep tax revenues where they are. Don`t lower tax revenues, but clean up the tax code so that it works.
If you have really high tax rates, what you end up doing is penalize small businesses. [CBS, Face The Nation, 4/17/11, via Nexis]