Rep. Pence Lies, Denies Democrats Cut Americans' Taxes

April 15, 2010 9:39 am ET

Speaking on the House floor, Rep. Mike Pence outright lied, saying President Obama and Congressional Democrats have not cut taxes. Despite Pence's partisan misinformation, Democratic leaders have cut taxes for 95% of Americans, resulting in the lowest tax level in sixty years.

On The House Floor, Rep. Pence Lied About Taxes

Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN):

"You know, Groucho Marx said years ago, 'Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?' I just have to wonder, Mr. Speaker, about the American people looking in this morning to hear Democrats talking about having cut taxes more than any other Congress in history.
"Let me see if we can do this. They passed a budget with record taxes and spending that will add a trillion dollars to the national debt in the next ten years. They passed a national energy tax called cap and trade that will cause utility rates to go up on small businesses and family farms and businesses across this country by hundreds of billions of dollars.  And we just passed ObamaCare with $600 billion of tax increases.
"They're standing in front of the American people on the day before tax day, on the day before tens of millions of Americans are going to take the street and say 'enough is enough,' and expect you to believe that they've been cutting taxes.  Well, I think the American people know better.
"The American people know what we really need here in Washington, D.C. is less talk and more action. Let's cut taxes across the board for working families, small businesses, and family farms. Get government under control, get government out of the way, and this economy will come roaring back." [Pence Press Release, 4/14/10]

President Obama & Congressional Democrats Have Already "Cut Taxes Across The Board For Working Families"

The Recovery Act Cut Taxes For 95% Of Working Families.  According to

Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009.

The tax cut was part of Obama's campaign promises. During the campaign, Obama said he wanted $500 for each worker and $1,000 for working couples. Since the final number was a bit less than he promised, we rated his promise a Compromise on our Obameter, where we rate Obama's campaign promises for fulfillment.

During the campaign, the independent Tax Policy Center researched how Obama's tax proposals would affect workers. It concluded 94.3 percent of workers would receive a tax cut under Obama's plan based on the tax credit to offset payroll taxes. According to the analysis, the people who wouldn't get a tax cut are those who make more than $250,000 for couples or $200,000 for a single person. [, accessed 2/17/10]

Federal Taxes Are At Their Lowest Level In 60 Years. According to the Brookings Institution's William Gale: "It is ironic if not bizarre that the TEA party got going during a time when federal taxes were at their LOWEST in about 60 years. So, I am not seeing that people are taxed too much right now. I think the message that government should not take its power to tax lightly is always appropriate. But I don't see any sort of recognition in the TEA party statements that if we don't want to raise taxes we will need to cut spending by enormous amounts and where they are willing to cut spending." [Brookings Institution, 4/14/10]

CBS News: "One Third Of The Recovery Act Was Made Up Of Tax Credits." According to CBS News:

One third of the Recovery Act was made up of tax credits, the White House emphasizes.

"No one I've met is looking for a handout," Mr. Obama said in his address Saturday. "And that's not what these tax cuts are. Instead, they're targeted relief to help middle class families weather the storm, to jumpstart our economy, and to bring the fundamentals of the American Dream -- making an honest living, earning an education, owning a home, and raising a family -- back within reach for millions of Americans."

The credits included:

  • An increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit
  • An expansion of the Child Tax Credit
  • For those who work, the Making Work Pay tax credit offered $400 per individual and $800 per couple
  • For those who lost their job, there was a 65 percent tax credit to help cover the cost of health care. The first $2,400 in unemployment benefits went tax-free
  • Up to $2,500 under the American Opportunity Credit for students and parents paying for college tuition
  • $8,000 for first-time home buyers
  • A deduction of state and local taxes paid on a new car
  • Up to $1,500 for home improvements to increase energy efficiency

Even conservative advocacy group Americans for Tax Reform, which advocates for a single, national flat tax rate, found some praise for the Recovery Act -- specifically for provisions allowing small businesses to write off a wider range of business expenses. [CBS News, 4/15/10]

Most Americans Believe They Are Taxed A "Fair" Amount

CBS News/New York Times Poll: "Majorities Across All Income Levels Say Their Income Taxes Are Fair, As Do Most Republicans And Democrats." According to a CBS News/New York Times poll, "Majorities across all income levels say their income taxes are fair, as do most Republicans and Democrats."

[CBS News/New York Times, 4/14/10]