Sen. McConnell Lies About Taxes on MSNBC

September 14, 2010 12:06 pm ET

On September 14, 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) appeared on MSNBC's Daily Rundown to mislead viewers about the current debate over extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.  Despite polls that show nearly two thirds of Americans favor ending the tax cuts for the rich, McConnell claimed, "Americans think it's a bad idea to be raising taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession." Further, McConnell deceitfully downplayed the tax cuts' effect on the federal budget deficit.

Sen. McConnell Falsely Asserts Americans Oppose Letting Tax Cuts Expire For The Wealthy

Sen. Mitch McConnell:

We think most Americans think it's a bad idea to be raising taxes on anybody in the middle of a recession.  [MSNBC, Daily Rundown, 9/14/10]

Polls Show Most Americans Believe The Wealthy Should Pay Their Fair Share

Gallup Poll: 59% Of Americans Favor Ending Tax Cuts For Those Making Over $250,000.  According to a September 2010 Gallup poll: "A majority of Americans favor letting the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration expire for the wealthy. While 37% support keeping the tax cuts for all Americans, 44% want them extended only for those making less than $250,000 and 15% think they should expire for all taxpayers." [Gallup, 9/10/10]

CNN Poll: 69% Of Americans Favor Ending Tax Cuts For Those Making Over $250,000.  A CNN poll in late August found that a majority, 51 percent, favors President Obama's plan to extend tax cuts for the middle class while allowing the tax cuts for those making over $250,000 per year to expire.  Eighteen percent believe all of the tax cuts should expire. [CNN, 8/20/10]

CBS Poll: 56% Of Americans Favor Ending Tax Cuts For Those Making Over $250,000.  According to CBS News: "The tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush are set to expire at the end of the year, and Democrats and Republicans will spar this fall over whether to extend them for all Americans, or to allow the tax cuts to expire for the richest Americans. A new CBS News poll finds that a majority of Americans, 56 percent, say the tax cuts should expire for households earning over $250,000 per year, as Democrats have proposed. Thirty-six percent of Americans say they should not be allowed to expire." [CBS News, 8/26/10]

Sen. McConnell Covers Up The Bush Tax Cuts' Role In The Deficit

Sen. Mitch McConnell:  What we need to do is to keep tax rates where they are and concentrate on spending and debt, which means reducing spending, which will allow us to reduce debt.  That is exactly what we ought to be doing.

Savannah Guthrie: But you don't dispute that we're all going into debt for these tax cuts? You don't dispute that that would require more debt.

Sen. Mitch McConnell:  Look this has been the tax rate for ten years. We are in the situation we're in because we spend to much, not because we tax too little.   Tax revenues have grown over the years. Tax revenues have grown over the years at the current tax rate. [MSNBC, Daily Rundown, 9/14/10]

The Bush Tax Cuts Ballooned The Deficit, Extending Them Would Make It Worse

CBPP: The Bush Tax Cuts Are The Biggest Factor In The Federal Budget Deficit.  According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, ". If not for the tax cuts enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush that Congress did not pay for, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that were initiated during that period, and the effects of the worst economic slump since the Great Depression (including the cost of steps necessary to combat it), we would not be facing these huge deficits in the near term... Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration - tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs."

[CBPP, 6/28/10]

New York Times: Extending Tax Cuts For The Rich Would Cost $700 Billion. According to the New York Times: "Most of the tax cuts that were a signature domestic initiative of George W. Bush's presidency carried an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2010, to limit the potential revenue losses; supporters assumed that they would be extended when the time came. Extending them for the next 10 years would add about $3.8 trillion to a growing national debt that is already the largest since World War II. About $700 billion of that reflects the projected costs of tax cuts for those in the top 2 percent of income-earners." [New York Times, 8/10/10]

Pew: Extending Bush Tax Cuts Would Cost $3.1 Trillion Over The Next 10 Years.  According to the the Pew Economic Policy Group: "Making the tax cuts permanent for all taxpayers, regardless of income, would cost $3.1 trillion over the next 10 years and inflate the national debt to 82 percent of GDP. This would be the highest level since 1948, in the aftermath of World War II, and well above the average debt-to-GDP ratio of the last 50 years of 37 percent. The current ratio is about 57 percent." [Pew Economic Policy Group, May 2010]