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FACT CHECK: Hochul camp disputes Collins tax policy

A press release from Kathy Hochul's office, dated 1 Aug., had this headline:

"HOCHUL CAMPAIGN RESPONDS TO CHRIS COLLINS’ PUSH FOR MORE DEFICIT-RAISING TAX CUTS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES"

Hochul's Campaign Manager Francis Thomas cites a report issued by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities [CBPP] stating:

"Economists say that cutting taxes for the richest Americans would raise the deficit by “nearly $1 trillion” and give the most benefits to people making more than $1 million per year."

Thomas goes on to cite a [CBPP] article dated 7/19/2012 that poses the proposition that maintaining the Bush Tax Cuts for those in the upper 2 percent would, in fact, add deficits of more than $1 trillion to the 2013 budget.

"According to the nonpartisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP),
just 2.5 percent of small business owners face top tax rates. In a July 2012 study, they wrote 'allowing the top two marginal tax rates to return to pre-2001 levels as scheduled next year would affect very few small businesses, a recent Treasury Department study found. The study shows that only 2.5 percent of small business owners face the top two rates.' ” [CBPP 7/19/2012]

Although the CBPP does, in fact, claim to be "nonpartisan" on its Web site, further reading clearly disputes this claim. On the page titled "Experts" on the CBPP Web site, my research shows that all but one of those listed on the page have held positions with the Democrat Party. Of the 46 names listed in various positions, not one has held a position in the GOP or any other conservative or moderate think tank of a similar nature. Below are four examples selected from the Federal Fiscal Policy Section.

Jared Bernstein (Senior Fellow) is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. From 2009 to 2011, Bernstein was the chief economist and economic adviser to Vice President Joseph Biden in the Obama Administration. Bernstein is considered to represent a progressive, pro-labor perspective.

Indivar Dutta-Gupta (Policy Advisor) was involved with Amnesty International USA, as a member of its Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Advisory Group and in other volunteer positions. After graduating from the University of Chicago in June 2005, Dutta-Gupta came to D.C. to work with a nonprofit Democratic consulting firm on political campaigns, food and hunger, international development, energy and national security issues. While in college, he interned at the Chicago office of U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin (D-IL).

James R. Horney (Vice President for Federal Fiscal Policy) was a deputy Democratic staff director at the Senate Budget Committee from 2001 through 2004.

Chuck Marr is the director of federal tax policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He served as economic policy adviser to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.

Further, the report cited by Thomas has come under fire from nonpartisan and conservative tax policy organizations like the TaxFoundation and the Heritage Foundation.

"While we applaud the CBPP's obvious success at bringing attention to the budget, it paints an incomplete picture to place only certain budget items in a graph of the deficit, as if that demonstrates causality. Why not throw entitlement spending in the deficit category, or defense spending, or certain initiatives from the Clinton years? Better yet, why not simply show the entire budget, and in a larger historical context?

"Indeed, the CBO report on which the CBPP analysis is based does just that. A closer look at the CBO report will help illustrate the relative importance of tax cuts and spending (including spending through the tax code) in creating the projected deficits." The Budget Debate, taxfoundation.org

Clearly the issue is not so black and white.

Complete Hochul press release after the jump (click on the headline to read more).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 1, 2012

HOCHUL CAMPAIGN RESPONDS TO CHRIS COLLINS’ PUSH FOR MORE DEFICIT-RAISING TAX CUTS FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES

Extending Tax Cuts for the Richest Americans Would Raise Deficit, Almost Entirely Benefit Millionaires

Clarence, NY – Today the Hochul for Congress Campaign responded to Chris Collins’ call for more tax cuts for the rich, a move that would disproportionately benefit the wealthy and add nearly $1 trillion to the deficit. After ignoring Representative Hochul's calls to join together to support the middle class tax cuts, Collins continues to pursue tax cuts for the wealthy.

“Chris Collins’ call to add nearly $1 trillion to the deficit to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires shows just how out of touch he is with the 27th District,” said Campaign Manager Frank Thomas.  “Kathy has always been an advocate for keeping taxes low for the middle class while we work to cut spending and balance the budget.  That is why last week she called on Chris Collins to join her in supporting a package that extends tax cuts for the middle class. If we're going to have a serious conversation about addressing our deficit, we will have to get serious about cutting spending and ask the rich to pay their fair share.”

Economists say that cutting taxes for the richest Americans would raise the deficit by “nearly $1 trillion” and give the most benefits to people making more than $1 million per year. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities wrote:

Extending the tax cuts on incomes in excess of $250,000 would add nearly $1 trillion to deficits over 2013 to 2022, but benefit only about the highest-income 2 percent of households.  The biggest benefits would flow to the very highest-income people…more than 80 percent of the value of the upper-income tax cuts would go to people who make more than $1 million a year. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/2012]

Hochul has a strong record of cutting wasteful spending.  She crossed party lines to vote for the Balanced Budget Amendment, joined Republicans to vote for a bipartisan effort to cut the deficit by more than $2 trillion, and voted multiple times to cut foreign aid to  countries like Pakistan.  According to Fox News, “the [Budget Control Act] will initially cut spending by $900 billion, it also tasks a new committee with finding another $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction by the end of the year.” [House Roll Call Vote 858, 11/18/2011; Roll Call Vote 690, 8/1/2011; Fox News, 8/2/2011; Roll Call Vote 265, 5/17/2012; Roll Call Vote 510, 7/7/2011]

According to the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), just 2.5% of small business owners face top tax rates.  In a July 2012 study, they wrote “allowing the top two marginal tax rates to return to pre-2001 levels as scheduled next year would affect very few small businesses, a recent Treasury Department study found. The study shows that only 2.5 percent of small business owners face the top two rates.” [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/2012]

According to the CBPP, the suggestion that raising taxes on the rich would seriously affect small business is based on a “misleading” claim.  They wrote:

The claims that allowing the Bush tax cuts for high-income people to expire would seriously harm small businesses rest on an exceedingly broad, and misleading, definition of “small business.” The definition is so broad, in fact, that under it, both President Obama and Governor Romney would count as small business owners — as would 237 of the nation’s 400 wealthiest people. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/2012]

Hochul has already been a steadfast supporter of extending the middle class tax cuts and has called on Chris Collins to join her.  On July 9th, Hochul sent a letter to House and Senate leadership that stated, “I write to strongly urge the House and Senate leadership to quickly schedule a vote to permanently extend the expiring middle class tax cuts.”  On July 27th she asked Chris Collins to support the extensions of the middle class tax cuts. [Hochul Letter to Congressional Leadership, 7/9/2012; Hochul Press Release, 7/27/2012]

Chris Collins supports tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  According to a Collins campaign press release, “Collins supports a full extension of the tax cuts.” [Collins Press Release, 7/9/2012]

Peter O'Brien
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You can't create a deficit by not collecting taxes. You create a deficit by spending too much.

The government doesn't own all the money in the country. This is the problem with the Democrat position. They think they do own it all and what they allow you to keep is them being generous.

Not too mention that the Bush Tax Cuts helped pull us out of a recession resulting from the .com bubble and the 9/11 attacks.

Also the decrease in tax rate created a boom that led to a record high federal tax revenue. That alone proves the Hochul and her ilk are wrong.

Peter O'Brien
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And lets say this report is true (which it is not) what is $1 Trillion over 9 years compared to the almost $5 trillion added by Obama?

Obama Deficits (4 years as President)
FY 2013*: $901 billion
FY 2012*: $1,327 billion
FY 2011: $1,300 billion
FY 2010: $1,293 billion

Bush Deficits (8 years as President)
FY 2009: $1,413 billion
FY 2008: $459 billion
FY 2007: $161 billion

Doug Yeomans
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Peter, exposing facts will only get you accused of being a troublemaker. You're going against the grain with 60 grit sandpaper and pissing into the muddy waters of the liberal river delta. I hope you're happy with yourself!

Peter O'Brien
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That's my entire problem with life it self, Doug, logic and facts no longer dictate existence.

Jeff Allen
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"You can't create a deficit by not collecting taxes. You create a deficit by spending too much." Every once in a while a statement comes along that is perfectly brilliant in it's simplicity....this is one. Thanks Peter.

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