The Congressional Leadership Fund goes after Texas congressional candidate Pete Gallego for supporting the “job-killing” health care law “that cuts Medicare $716 billion,” but the claim that the Affordable Care Act will kill jobs has long been debunked, and the law doesn’t cut seniors’ benefits. Instead, it finds savings by reducing future Medicare spending – savings that Gallego’s opponent, Rep. Francisco Canseco (R), also voted for in the Ryan budget. The ad also attacks Gallego for voting to raise taxes as a state legislator, but Gallego voted actually voted against one of the tax bills CLF cites to prove their point.
GOP Argument That Obamacare Will “Kill Jobs” Has Been Debunked
FactCheck.org: “Job-Killing” Claim Is “Health-Care Hooey.” From FactCheck.org: “The exaggerated Republican claim that the new health care law ‘kills jobs’ was high on our list of the ‘Whoppers of 2011.’ But the facts haven’t stopped Republicans and their allies from making the ‘job-killing’ claim a major theme of their campaign 2012 TV ads. […]All of this is health-care hooey, aimed at exploiting public concern over continuing high unemployment, with little basis in fact. As we’ve said before (a few times), experts project that the law will cause a small loss of low-wage jobs — and also some gains in better-paid jobs in the health care and insurance industries. It’s also expected that more workers will decide to retire earlier, or work fewer hours, when they no longer need employer-sponsored insurance and can obtain it on their own with help from federal subsidies. But that just means fewer people willing to work — and it will free up jobs for those who want them. If anything, that could reduce the jobless rate.” [FactCheck.org, 2/21/12]
- AP: Republicans Misuse CBO Statistics To Support “Job-Killing” Claim About Health Care Overhaul. From the Associated Press: “A recent report by House GOP leaders says ‘independent analyses have determined that the health care law will cause significant job losses for the U.S. economy.’ It cites 650,000 lost jobs as Exhibit A, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as the source of the analysis behind that estimate. But the budget office, which referees the costs and consequences of legislation, never produced that number. What CBO actually said is that the impact of the health care law on supply and demand for labor would be small. Most of the lost jobs would come from people who no longer have to work, or can downshift to less demanding employment, because insurance will be available outside the job. ‘The legislation, on net, will reduce the amount of labor used in the economy by a small amount — roughly half a percent— primarily by reducing the amount of labor that workers choose to supply,’ budget office number crunchers said in a report last year.” [Associated Press via USA Today, 1/24/10]
Affordable Care Act Savings Do Not ‘Cut’ Medicare Benefits
Affordable Care Act Reduces Future Medicare Spending, But “Does Not Cut That Money From The Program.” According to PolitiFact: “The legislation aims to slow projected spending on Medicare by more than $500 billion over a 10-year period, but it does not cut that money from the program. Medicare spending will increase over that time frame.” [PolitiFact.com, 6/28/12]
- CBO’s July Estimate Updates Medicare Cost Savings To $716 Billion. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, repeal would have the following effects on Medicare spending: “Spending for Medicare would increase by an estimated $716 billion over that 2013–2022 period. Federal spending for Medicaid and CHIP would increase by about $25 billion from repealing the noncoverage provisions of the ACA, and direct spending for other programs would decrease by about $30 billion, CBO estimates. Within Medicare, net increases in spending for the services covered by Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) would total $517 billion and $247 billion, respectively. Those increases would be partially offset by a $48 billion reduction in net spending for Part D.” [CBO.gov, 8/13/12]
GOP Plan Kept Most Of The Savings In The Affordable Care Act. According to the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler: “First of all, under the health care bill, Medicare spending continues to go up year after year. The health care bill tries to identify ways to save money, and so the $500 billion figure comes from the difference over 10 years between anticipated Medicare spending (what is known as ‘the baseline’) and the changes the law makes to reduce spending. […] The savings actually are wrung from health-care providers, not Medicare beneficiaries. These spending reductions presumably would be a good thing, since virtually everyone agrees that Medicare spending is out of control. In the House Republican budget, lawmakers repealed the Obama health care law but retained all but $10 billion of the nearly $500 billion in Medicare savings, suggesting the actual policies enacted to achieve these spending reductions were not that objectionable to GOP lawmakers.” [WashingtonPost.com, 6/15/11, emphasis added]
- Gallego’s Opponent, Rep.Canseco, Voted To Keep The ACA’s Medicare Savings. Along with 234 other House Republicans, Rep. Francisco Canseco voted “yea” on the House Republican budget. [H.Con. Res. 34, Vote #277, 4/15/11]
Gallego Voted Against A Bill That Cut School Funding While Exempting Businesses From Taxes
To support its claim that Gallego “voted to increase taxes on small businesses,” the ad cites Texas’ SB 1 from June 10, 2011. Rep. Gallego voted against passage.
SB 1 Extended Tax Exemption For Businesses Making Under $1 Million. From the Houston Chronicle: “Texas companies with less than $1 million in annual revenues will continue to be exempted from the state business tax for another two years. Online retail giant Amazon.com must add Texas state and local sales taxes to purchases by Texas customers starting Sept. 1 if the giant online retailer still operates a distribution center in the state on that date. Both provisions were part of Senate Bill 1 that was approved Tuesday by the Texas Legislature before ending its special session Wednesday. The $1 million exemption on the business tax was due to expire next year with the exemption falling to annual revenues of $600,000 or more. The $1 million exemption now will expire in 2014. About 28,000 Texas companies have annual revenues of between $600,000 and $1 million, according to the National Federation of Independent Business/Texas, which lobbied for the two-year extension.” [Houston Chronicle, 6/30/11]
SB 1 Also Cut Public School Funding By $4 Billion. From the San Angelo Standard-Times: “The school finance plan included in Senate Bill 1 – a sweeping bill that also contains billions in ‘nontax revenue’ to help balance the 2012-13 budget – reduces state aid to public schools by $4 billion. [San Angelo Standard-Times via Nexis, 6/10/11]
Gallego Supported Bill To Keep Online Retailers From Skirting Texas’ Sales Tax
To support its claim that Gallego “supported new sales taxes and voted for higher taxes and fees,” the ad cites Texas’ HB 2403 from April 27, 2011. Gallego voted for passage.
Gallego Supported GOP-Authored Bill To Make Amazon Collect Sales Taxes – Not To Levy A New Tax. From the Austin American-Statesman: “Taking a stand against Internet retailers like Amazon.com, the Texas House moved Tuesday to tighten the state’s rules on when online businesses must collect sales tax. By voting 122-23 to pass House Bill 2403 by Rep. John Otto, R-Dayton, lawmakers made their clearest statement to date that they are siding with state Comptroller Susan Combs in her push to force Amazon and other online retailers to collect taxes on sales made to Texans. Otto said his bill ‘is not a new tax, is not subjecting anybody to a new tax and is not increasing the rate of any tax. What this bill does is put into statute a clearer understanding of what constitutes physical presence,’ the determining factor in when a retailer must collect sales taxes.” [Austin American-Statesman, 4/27/11]
Allowing Online Retailers To Avoid Tax Collection Gives Them An Advantage Over Local Businesses. From the Associated Press: “Under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, a company does not have to collect state sales tax if it does not have an office, or some other physical presence, in that state. The tax is still due on those transactions, but the customers are supposed to pay it. They usually don’t. Local retailers complain this gives Internet retailers an unfair price advantage. While Internet sales have gone up, local stores have seen a drop in revenues and blame the sales tax issue. State lawmakers also face a $27 billion budget shortfall over the next two years, and many want to see more efficient collection of taxes already on the books.” [Associated Press via Businessweek, 4/27/11]
Gallego Voted Against Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Cited By Ad
To support its claim that Gallego “supported new sales taxes and voted for higher taxes and fees,” the ad cites Texas’ HB 4 from May 8, 2006.
HB 4 Requires Used Car Buyers To Pay Tax On 80 Percent Of Vehicle’s Value. From the Dallas Morning News: “The House and Senate finished work Monday on a bill that would make it harder for buyers of used cars to cheat on sales taxes. The tax bill approved by both chambers would raise additional revenue from the motor vehicles sales tax by requiring purchasers of used cars to pay taxes on at least 80 percent of the average market value of the car or truck. If they paid more for the vehicle, they would owe more in taxes. Using the average value of a used vehicle in Texas — $7,300 — the minimum sales tax would be $365 under the 80 percent standard. In all, about 3.3 million used cars are sold annually in the state — with about a third of those sold for less than 80 percent of value. There is now no verification system on used-car sales prices beyond a buyer’s word.” [Dallas Morning News via Nexis, 5/9/06]
Gallego Voted Against Motor Vehicle Sales Tax. According to the Texas State House Journal, Rep. Gallego voted “nay” on the motion to adopt the conference committee report on HB 4. [Journals.House.State.TX.us, 5/8/06]
[NARRATOR:] What’s Pete Gallego hiding? Let’s take a look. Gallego supports Obama’s job-killing health care law that cuts Medicare $716 billion. Gallego voted to increase taxes on small businesses, risking 28,000 jobs. And in the state legislature, Gallego supported new sales taxes and voted for higher taxes and fees. Pete Gallego. Shine a light on his record and things don’t look so good. Congressional Leadership Fund is responsible for the content of this advertising. [Congressional Leadership Fund via YouTube.com, 9/21/12]