Talk about fuzzy math!
On Wednesday, President Obama told Republican lawmakers that tax rates were higher under President Reagan than they are under his administration – a suggestion causing a lot of “eye-rolling.”
The Hill reported:
GOP members engaged in a lot of “eye-rolling,” according to a member who was on hand to hear Obama, who invited House Republicans to the White House for discussions on the debt ceiling. The White House and Republicans are trying to reach a deal on spending cuts that could allow the $14.3 debt ceiling to be raised.
While tax rates were higher for most Americans during much of Reagan’s presidency, they were reduced significantly in 1986. According to The Hill:
Tax rates were higher for most U.S. taxpayers during much of Reagan’s presidency, though all individual taxpayers received a tax break under the 1986 tax reform law ushered in by Reagan.
In 1984, a 50 percent tax rate existed on income above $162,400 a year, although many taxpayers could find loopholes in the tax code to reduce their tax burden. Many of those loopholes were eliminated in the 1986 tax reform law signed by Reagan.
In the last year of Reagan’s presidency in 1988, there were two tax rates for individuals; a 15 percent rate for those making less than $17,850 and a 28 percent rate for those making above that level.
The Hill reported that House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA.) quickly countered Obama’s claim on low tax rates, and reminded the President that corporate tax rates are the highest in the world – a notion Obama acknowledged.
The President has been pushing Republicans to increase the debt limit ceiling and raise taxes to close the deficit, but Republicans are standing firm.
While Obama wants to raise taxes on those making $250,000 a year or more, Republicans want to cut spending and keep taxes low to stimulate the economy and spur job growth.
While House Speaker John Boehner called the meeting “productive,” and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-TN) called it “good group therapy.” Rep.Phil Gingrey (R-GA), however, described it with one word.
“Frosty is the word,” Gingrey said, according to ABC News.
Jake Tapper noted that the President took a not so subtle swipe at some of his detractors:
The president added that he is all for a reduction of demagoguery, an issue he understands since he is the ‘job killing, death panel, probably-wasn’t-born-here president.’
But Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) countered the President on the issue of demagoguery, saying that leaders can either choose to “exacerbate the problem of demagoguery or tone it down,” according to ABC News.
Healthcare is the driver of our debt right now, Ryan said. He also described his plan for Medicare reform for the president, saying Democrats were mischaracterizing it. Our program is not a voucher plan, Ryan said, it is premium support — which he then explained.
Ryan told the president that he is making a sincere attempt to address a problem, and he challenged the president: “Mr. President, the demagoguery only stops if the Leaders stop it.”
His fellow House Republicans gave him a standing ovation.
Democrats have done nothing but demagogue the issue of Medicare, claiming Republicans want to kill seniors, starve children and destroy the planet.
But the claims made by the Democrats – specifically, DNC boss Debbie Wasserman Schultz – have been called false by two media fact checkers.
Tapper reports that Ryan personally explained his proposal to President Obama:
“I simply explained what our plan is, how it works,” Ryan said. “It’s been mis-described by the president and many others. And so we simply described to him precisely what it is we’ve been proposing, so that he hears from us how our proposal works, so that in the future, he won’t mischaracterize it.”
House Republicans also pushed the administration to produce something resembling a budget cutting plan that could be scored by the CBO, but the President refused.
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI) told Politico: “He (Obama) said that anything I propose would have no change of being approved by your conference.”
One freshman Republican chose to opt out of the meeting at the White House.
Rep. Jeff Landry (R-LA) wrote:
I don’t intend to spend my morning being lectured to by a President whose failed policies have put our children and grandchildren in a huge burden of debt.
Landry wrote that thanks to the President’s de facto moratorium on oil drilling, gas prices have gone up and the economy has suffered.
“I refuse to partake in his political grandstanding that will ultimately do nothing for debt reduction and job creation,” Landry wrote.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), told ABC News’ Jake Tapper, “Any day Republicans and Democrats are actually having a dialogue, this is a good day.”
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