Congressional Leadership Fund: “Trick Or Treat”

The Congressional Leadership Fund wants New York voters to believe Rep. Kathy Hochul’s (D) support for ending the Bush tax cuts were really votes “to raise taxes on small businesses,” but that isn’t true. In reality, allowing the Bush tax cuts on top earners to expire would reduce deficits without harming the economy or affecting many actual employers. The ad also accuses Hochul of “personally profiting from companies that outsource and do business with China,” citing a biased website to support the misleading claim.

Hochul Voted To Extend Middle-Class Tax Cuts, Not To “Raise Taxes On Small Businesses”

To support the claim that Hochul voted to “raise taxes on small businesses,” the ad cites House Roll Call Vote 545 on August 1, 2012, in which Hochul voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class.

Hochul Voted To Extend Tax Cuts For The Middle Class. Along with 169 other Democrats, Rep. Hochul voted for H.Amdt.1473 to H.R.8, which “sought to extend for one year certain expired or expiring tax provisions that apply to middle-income taxpayers with income below $250,000 for married couples filing jointly, and below $200,000 for single filers, including, but not limited to, marginal rate reductions, capital gains and dividend rate preferences, alternative minimum tax relief, marriage penalty relief, and expanded tax relief for working families with children and college students.” The amendment was defeated. [H. Amdt. 1473, H.R. 8, Vote #543, 8/1/12]

Those In The Top Bracket Still Benefit From Middle-Income Tax Cuts. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

Furthermore, as Figure 2 shows, under the proposal to allow tax cuts on income above $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers) to expire, taxpayers in the top two brackets would still keep sizeable tax cuts on the first $250,000 of their income ($200,000 for single filers).


[Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 7/19/12]

CRS: Allowing Tax Cuts For Only The Rich To Expire Will Reduce Deficits “Without Stifling The Economic Recovery.” According to Reuters: “Letting tax rates for the wealthy rise will not put a short-term damper on the economic recovery, according to a report by the non-partisan research arm of the U.S. Congress. […] Republicans want the cuts continued for all income groups while Democrats favor letting them expire for the most affluent Americans. ‘If the economy is still weak, a temporary extension (of all the rates) will not harm the economy,’ despite adding to the deficit, the CRS report said, citing CRS economist Thomas Hungerford. But allowing the rates to rise just for the wealthy could help ‘reduce budget deficits in the short term without stifling the economic recovery.’” [Reuters, 7/19/12]

Few Top Income Taxpayers Are Actual “Small Businesses”

CBPP: “Only 2.5 Percent Of Small Business Owners Face The Top Two Rates.” According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “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, 7/19/12, internal citations removed]

  • Conservatives Rely On Definition Of “Small Business” That Counts President Obama And Mitt Romney. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “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, 7/19/12, internal citations removed]
  • Conservative Definition Of “Small Businesses” Includes Multi-Billion-Dollar Corporations Like Bechtel And PricewaterhouseCoopers. According to the Center for American Progress: “‘That’s 750,000 small businesses in America, the most productive, the ones that are the most successful, getting hit by a tax increase on top of everything else that’s happened to them in the last 18 months of this administration,’ said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). But McConnell’s number is only accurate if you take an incredibly expansive view of what constitutes a small business. Included in that 750,000 is the Bechtel Corporation, the largest engineering firm in the country. It is the fifth-largest privately owned company in the United States, posting gross revenue in 2008 of $31.4 billion. […] The auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has operations in more than 150 countries, fits the bill as well.” [Center for American Progress, 10/21/10, emphasis added]
  • Former Bush Economist Alan Viard: GOP’s Definition Of Small Businesses Is A “Fallacy.” As reported by the Washington Post: “Which is why Republicans continually define pass-through entities of all sizes as small businesses, a position [former Bush White House economist Alan] Viard called a ‘fallacy.’ ‘How can it be that 3 percent of owners are accounting for 50 percent of small business income? Those firms they’re owning can’t be all that small,’ Viard said. ‘And that’s true. They’re very large.’” [Washington Post, 9/17/10]

Joint Committee On Taxation: “3.5 Percent Of All Taxpayers With Net Positive Business Income” Fall Into Top Tax Bracket. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation: The staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in 2013 approximately 940,000 taxpayers with net positive business income (3.5 percent of all taxpayers with net positive business income) will have marginal rates of 36 or 39.6 percent under the president’s proposal, and that 53 percent of the approximately $1.3 trillion of aggregate net positive business income will be reported on returns that have a marginal rate of 36 or 39.6 percent. [Joint Committee On Taxation, 6/18/12]

Congressional Leadership Fund Misleads On Ties To Outsourcing

To support the claim that Hochul profited “from companies that outsource and do business with China,” the ad cites the Washington Free Beacon on August 24, 2012. 

WGRZ Buffalo: “Outsourcing” Attack On Hochul Is “A Stretch” And Her GOP Opponent “Also Has Investments In…Companies That Do Business Overseas.” According to a “truth test” of a previous Congressional Leadership Fund ad by Buffalo’s NBC affiliate WGRZ: “This is a bit of a stretch. Hochul does own a number of mutual funds that could total as much as $165,000 that do invest in companies overseas. But, we should point out that [Hochul’s Republican opponent] Chris Collins also has investments in mutual funds and companies that do business overseas.” [WGRZ Buffalo, 10/23/12]

WGRZ Buffalo: Attacks Come From Biased Conservative Website, Hochul “Has No Ties To The Company” They Say Does Business In China. According to a “truth test” of a previous Congressional Leadership Fund ad by Buffalo’s NBC affiliate WGRZ: “The Super PAC behind the ad says the information came from The Washington Free Beacon, and what is that? Well, it’s a conservative website that was established earlier this year and is full of posts that attack Democrats. The website points to the fact that Hochul’s father helped to found Computer Task Group and that CTG now does business with companies in China. But, Hochul’s campaign points out that Hochul’s father retired from CTG about 20 years ago and that Hochul has no ties to the company.” [WGRZ Buffalo, 10/23/12]

[NARRATOR:] “Kathy Hochul promised us lots of treats.” [HOCHUL CLIP:] “I will cut taxes on small businesses and I also won’t raise taxes on middle class Americans.” [NARRATOR:] But, Hochul tricked us, voting to raise taxes on small businesses, investing in outsourcing; voting to raise taxes on New York Families. Hochul treated herself personally profiting from companies that outsource and do business with China. Kathy Hochul: tricking us, treating herself. Congressional Leadership Fund is responsible for the content of this advertisement.” [Congressional Leadership Fund via YouTube, 10/26/12]