U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: “Sherrod Brown – Own It”

In an ad going after Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce complains that Brown supported the Affordable Care Act’s “higher taxes,” even though the health care law won’t raise taxes on most Americans and provides tax credits for millions. Citing Brown’s votes in favor of the Wall Street reform law and against a bill to increase drilling leases, the Chamber accuses the senator of supporting more regulations and opposing energy exploration, ignoring the devastating financial collapse and the Deepwater Horizon accident that had occurred just a year before.

Affordable Care Act Does Not Raise Taxes On Most Americans – And Includes Tax Credits For Millions

Affordable Care Act “Will Provide More Tax Relief Than Tax Burden” For Middle Class. According to the Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler: “The health law, if it works as the nonpartisan government analysts expect, will provide more tax relief than tax burden for middle-income Americans.” [WashingtonPost.com, 7/6/12]

FactCheck.org: “A Large Majority Of Americans Would Not See Any Direct Tax Increase From The Health Care Law.” According to FactCheck.org: “It’s certainly true that the health care law would raise taxes on some Americans, particularly those with higher incomes. The law includes a Medicare payroll tax of 0.9 percent on income over $200,000 for individuals or $250,000 for couples, and a 3.8 percent tax on investment income for those earning that much. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the biggest chunk of revenue — $210.2 billion — comes from those taxes. There are other taxes in the health care law — including an excise tax on the manufacturers of certain medical devices and on indoor tanning services. The health care law included $437.8 billion in tax revenue over 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation‘s calculations. Republicans tend to add in fees on individuals who don’t obtain health insurance (which the Supreme Court now agrees can be considered taxes) and businesses that don’t provide it to bump that up to about $500 billion. Some taxes, such as those on medical devices, may or may not be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, but a large majority of Americans would not see any direct tax increase from the health care law.” [FactCheck.org, 6/28/12]

  • Individual Penalty Payments “Tiny” Compared To President Obama’s Previous Tax Cuts. According to FactCheck.org, the increased revenue from penalty payments by individuals who do not obtain health insurance represents “a tiny future increase compared with the tax cuts Obama has already delivered, including an estimated $120 billion in 2012 alone from the 2 percentage point cut in payroll taxes.” [FactCheck.org, 5/17/12]

Affordable Care Act Includes Tax Credits For Millions Of Americans. According to Families USA: “We found that an estimated 28.6 million Americans will be eligible for the tax credits in 2014, and that the total value of the tax credits that year will be $110.1 billion. The new tax credits will provide much-needed assistance to insured individuals and families who struggle harder each year to pay rising premiums, as well as to uninsured individuals and families who need help purchasing coverage that otherwise would be completely out of reach financially. Most of the families who will be eligible for the tax credits will be employed, many for small businesses, and will have incomes between two and four times poverty (between $44,100 and $88,200 for a family of four based on 2010 poverty guidelines).” [FamiliesUSA.org, September 2010]

Health Insurers Poured Money Into Chamber To Attack Reform

Health Insurance Industry Gave Chamber Over $100 Million To Fight Health Care Reform. From the National Journal: “The nation’s leading health insurance industry group gave more than $100 million to help fuel the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 2009 and 2010 efforts to defeat President Obama’s signature health care reform law, National Journal’s Influence Alley has learned. During the final push to kill the bill before its March 2010 passage, America’s Health Insurance Plans gave the chamber $16.2 million. With the $86.2 million the insurers funneled to the business lobbying powerhouse in 2009, AHIP sent the chamber a total of $102.4 million during the health care reform debate, a number that has not been reported before now. The backchannel spending allowed insurers to publicly stake out a pro-reform position while privately funding the leading anti-reform lobbying group in Washington. The chamber spent tens of millions of dollars bankrolling efforts to kill health care reform.” [NationalJournal.com, 6/13/12]

Dodd-Frank Is Designed To Protect Taxpayers Against Another Wall Street Meltdown

The ad cites Senate Vote #208 on July 15, 2010, in which the Senate passed its version of the Wall Street Reform bill, as evidence of Senator Brown’s votes in favor of “more regulation.”

Dodd-Frank’s Reforms Aim To Prevent Another Financial Collapse. From the Associated Press: “Reveling in victory, President Barack Obama on Wednesday signed into law the most sweeping overhaul of financial regulations since the Great Depression, a package that aims to protect consumers and ensure economic stability from Main Street to Wall Street. The law, pushed through mainly by Democrats in Washington’s deeply partisan environment, comes almost two years after the infamous near financial meltdown in 2008 in the United States that was felt around the globe. The legislation gives the government new powers to break up companies that threaten the economy, creates a new agency to guard consumers and puts more light on the financial markets that escaped the oversight of regulators.” [Associated Press via San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/21/10]

  • Dodd-Frank Created Council To Monitor Firms Large Enough To Endanger The Entire Economy. From Reuters: “The new Financial Stability Oversight Council will hold its first meeting on Oct. 1, according to sources familiar with the matter. The council of regulators, which was created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul law enacted in July, is charged with monitoring risks to the financial system. It is chaired by the Treasury secretary and is allowed to identify firms that threaten stability and subject them to tighter oversight by the Federal Reserve.” [Reuters, 9/15/10]
  • Seeking To End Bailouts, Dodd-Frank Empowers FDIC To Take Over And Dismantle Failing Financial Institutions Large Enough To Endanger The Whole System. From Reuters: “Aiming to prevent more U.S. taxpayer bailouts, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms of 2010 set up an ‘orderly liquidation process’ for dealing with distressed financial firms. Here is how that process works: If a large, non-bank financial firm is in default or headed that way, regulators can move to put it into ‘orderly liquidation’ if they think its collapse would threaten financial stability. It is an alternative to bankruptcy. […] Once orderly liquidation begins, the firm is placed in receivership. That means the FDIC takes over. It develops a plan for dealing with the firm’s problems, and it provides funds to keep the firm from collapsing. FDIC receivership can last up to five years. […]The FDIC must dismiss the officers and directors responsible for the firm’s problems. Shareholders of the firm get no money until all other claims against the firm are paid. The FDIC itself may not invest in the firm. Creditors owed money by the firm can file a claim to get it back. The FDIC can disallow claims in part or entirely, and must draw up a priority list of who gets what. To settle the firm’s debts, the FDIC can sell the firm’s assets, sell the firm itself, or merge it with another firm.” [Reuters, 2/25/11]
  • The Dodd-Frank Act Created The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). From a Wall Street Journal explanation of the Dodd-Frank bill’s components: “Consumer Agency: Creates a new consumer Financial Protection Bureau within the Federal Reserve, with rule-making powers and some enforcement control over banks and other financial companies. The new watchdog has authority to examine and enforce regulations for all mortgage-related businesses; banks and credit unions with assets of more than $10 billion in assets; payday lenders, check cashers and certain other non-bank financial firms. Auto dealers are exempted.” [Wall Street Journal, accessed 2/1/12]

Brown Voted Against GOP Plan To Increase Offshore Drilling Just A Year After Deepwater Horizon Spill

The ad’s claim that Sen. Brown voted for “less energy exploration” cites Senate Vote #953 on May 18, 2011 – a vote on the Offshore Production and Safety Act.

Offshore Production And Safety Act Would Increase Leases For Oil And Gas Drilling. From the Washington Post: “The Senate on Wednesday blocked a Republican bill aimed at increasing lease sales for oil and gas drilling, one day after it rejected another energy-related measure proposed by Democrats that would have targeted tax subsidies for big oil companies. S.953, the ‘Offshore Production and Safety Act of 2011,’ failed on a 42-to-57 vote, falling far short of the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster. […] Republicans had contended that the energy plan would have helped reduce the price of gasoline, a key issue on the minds of voters and one that has dominated the legislative action on Capitol Hill over the past several weeks. […] Democrats, however, unanimously opposed the bill, arguing that it would not immediately reduce gas prices and would ignore the lessons of last year’s Deepwater Horizon explosion.” [Washington Post, 5/18/11]

Domestic Production Has Little Impact On Gas Prices

Gas Prices Are Determined By Global Markets. From the Wall Street Journal: “U.S. gasoline prices, like prices throughout the advanced economies, are determined by global market forces. It is hard to see how Mr. Obama’s policies can be blamed. […] When Mr. Obama was inaugurated, demand was weak due to the recession. But now it’s stronger, and thus the price is higher. What’s more, producing a lot of oil doesn’t lower the price of gasoline in your country. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Germans over the past three years have paid an average of $2.64 a gallon (excluding taxes), while Americans paid $2.69, even though the U.S. produced 5.4 million barrels of oil per day while Germany produced just 28,000.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/10/12]

Energy Information Administration Head: “Globally Integrated Nature Of The World Oil Market” And Influence Of OPEC Means That Domestic Oil Drilling “Not Have A Large Impact On Prices.” At a hearing of the House Committee on Natural Resources, Richard Newell, Administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, testified: “Long term, we do not project additional volumes of oil that could flow from greater access to oil resources on Federal lands to have a large impact on prices given the globally integrated nature of the world oil market and the more significant long-term compared to short-term responsiveness of oil demand and supply to price movements. Given the increasing importance of OPEC supply in the global oil supply-demand balance, another key issue is how OPEC production would respond to any increase in non-OPEC supply, potentially offsetting any direct price effect.” [EIA.gov, 3/17/11]

[NARRATOR:] Career politician Sherrod Brown has been in Washington too long. He has consistently sided with Washington over the interests of Ohio taxpayers. Brown has voted for more government as the answer, voting for the health care law and its higher taxes. He’s voted for more regulations and less energy exploration. That’s not the type of leadership Ohio needs. Ohio can’t afford six more years of Senator Brown. The U.S. Chamber is responsible for the content of this advertising. [U.S. Chamber of Commerce via YouTube.com, 7/25/12]