FACT CHECK: The President Has Cut Middle Class Taxes, Romney Would Raise Them

FACT CHECK: The President Has Cut Middle Class Taxes, Romney Would Raise Them

Romney claimed that President Obama failed to deliver on this promise to cut taxes for the middle class, but that’s simply not true. Under President Obama, federal taxes on middle income Americans are near historic lows, the typical family has received $3,600 in tax relief over the President’s first term, and the President is fighting to keep taxes low for 98 percent of American families. Mitt Romney would raise taxes on middle class families in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

CONTRARY TO REPUBLICAN CLAIMS, PRESIDENT OBAMA DELIVERED ON HIS PROMISE TO CUT TAXES FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES

Bloomberg Headline: “Obama Delivers On Tax Cut Promises” [Bloomberg, 4/17/2012]

Center On Budget And Policy Priorities: Federal Taxes On Middle-Income Americans Are Near Historic Lows, According To The Latest Available Data. “Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows according to the latest available data.  That’s true both for federal income taxes and total federal taxes… Overall federal taxes:  Overall federal taxes — which include income as well as payroll and excise taxes — on middle-income households are near their lowest levels in decades, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).” [Center On Budget and Policy Priorities, 4/2/2012]

Tampa Bay Times PolitiFact: It Is “True” That Taxes Are Lower For The Average Middle Class Family Than When President Obama Took Office. “Every taxpayer is different, and some ‘middle-class’ Americans may have seen their tax rate or their tax burden go up for one reason or another. But Obama was talking about "the average middle-class family." The changes to the tax code made under Obama and the analyses by the Tax Policy Center show that for the middle 60 percent of the income distribution, both the average tax paid and the average tax rate fell between 2008 and 2011. We rate Obama’s statement True.” [Tampa Bay Times, PolitiFact,11/30/11]

Factcheck.Org: “The Truth Is That Obama Repeatedly Cut Taxes” For Families Making Less Than $250,000 A Year. “The latest multimillion-dollar attack ad from Crossroads GPS claims President Obama broke a promise to not increase taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. That’s almost entirely false. The truth is that Obama repeatedly cut taxes for such families, first through a tax credit in effect for 2009 and 2010, and beginning in 2011, through a reduction in the payroll tax that is worth $1,000 this year to workers earning $50,000 a year. And while it’s true that some tax increases contained in the new health care law would fall on individuals, they have mostly not taken effect yet and are small compared with the cuts the president already enacted. And this ad exaggerates them greatly.” [FactCheck.org, 5/17/12]

FactCheck.org Called The Claim That President Obama Raised Taxes For Families Making Less Than $250,000 Is A “Distortion” And “Dishonest Nonsense.” “The ad — titled ‘Obama’s Promise’— lists several pledges that it claims the president has broken. The worst distortion it contains — one we haven’t addressed in this campaign — is an almost entirely groundless assertion that he broke his often-repeated promise not to raise taxes on persons making less than $200,000 a year, or couples making less than $250,000. The ad shows Obama saying in a 2008 campaign speech, “If you are a family making less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes go up.” Then, to the sound of shattering glass, the narrator says, ‘Broken! Obamacare raises 18 different taxes.’ But that’s dishonest nonsense.” [FactCheck.org, 5/17/12]

A Typical Family Making $50,000 A Year Has Seen Their Taxes Cut By $3,600 Over The Last Four Years Due To The Making Work Pay Tax Credit And The Payroll Tax Cut. “A typical family making $50,000 a year has seen their taxes cut by $3,600 over the last four years, $800 in each of 2009 and 2010 due to the Making Work Pay tax credit and $1,000 in each of 2011 and 2012 due to the payroll tax cut.” [White House National Economic Council, July 2012]

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PLAN WOULD CONTINUE TAX CUTS FOR 98 PERCENT OF AMERICAN FAMILIES AND 97 PERCENT OF SMALL BUSINESSES WHILE ASKING THE WEALTHIEST TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE, HELPING US INVEST IN AN ECONOMY BUILT TO LAST

President Obama Proposed Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts For The 98 Percent Of Families Making Less Than $250,000.  “Under the President’s proposal, the 98 percent of American families with incomes of less than $250,000 per year would continue to benefit in full from the income tax cuts expiring at the end of 2012…The President’s proposal and legislation introduced by Congressional Democrats would provide certainty for the 114 million middle class families whose taxes will go up on January 1 if Congress does not act.” [White House National Economic Council, July 2012]

The President’s Proposal To Extend The Middle Class Tax Cuts Would Continue All Tax Cuts On Business Income For 97 Percent Of Small Business Owners. “Even using an overly broad definition of small business owner, the President’s proposal to extend the middle class tax cuts would continue all tax cuts on business income for 97 percent of ‘small business owners.’” [White House  National Economic Council, July 2012]

President Obama Proposed Eliminating Special Tax Breaks And Loopholes For Oil And Gas Companies And The Very Wealthy As Well As Ending The Bush Tax Cuts For Families Making More Than $250,000 A Year. “In the Budget, I reiterate my opposition to permanently extending the Bush tax cuts for families making more than $250,000 a year and my opposition to a more generous estate tax than we had in 2009 benefiting only the very largest estates. These policies were unfair and unaffordable when they were passed, and they remain so today. I will push for their expiration in the coming year. I also propose to eliminate special tax breaks for oil and gas companies; preferred treatment for the purchase of corporate jets; tax rules that give a larger percentage deduction to the wealthiest two percent than to middle-class families for itemized deductions….” [FY2013 Budget Message Of The President, February 2012]

The President’s FY2013 Budget Calls For Investment In Infrastructure, Education, And Manufacturing While Keeping Discretionary Spending Flat. “President Obama will call for new spending on infrastructure, education and manufacturing research, as well as higher taxes on top earners… Officials said the budget would abide by spending caps set by Congress in the August budget deal, keeping discretionary spending levels essentially flat in fiscal 2013. Over the decade, discretionary spending would drop from 8.7% of gross domestic product to 5%, officials said.” [Los Angeles Times, 2/10/12]

ROMNEY-RYAN WOULD RAISE TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS TO PAY FOR TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY

Reuters Headline: “Romney Tax Plan Helps Rich, Hurts Middle Class-Study.” [Reuters, 8/1/12]

Boston Globe Headline: “Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan Would Offer Big Cuts To Millionaires, Raise Taxes On Middle Class, Brookings Analysts Say.” [Boston Globe, 8/1/12]

Washington Post Editorial: The Tax Policy Center Found That Under The Romney Plan “Even If Every Loophole For The Top Brackets Were Closed, There Wouldn’t Be Enough Revenue. The Middle Class Would Have To Pay More.” “The Tax Policy Center (TPC), a joint venture of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution, examined Mr. Romney’s claim and found that, even if every loophole for the top brackets were closed, there wouldn’t be enough revenue. The middle class would have to pay more.” [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/21/12]