Americans for Tax Reform targets former Ohio congressman Charlie Wilson’s (D) support for ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which the group claims will hurt small businesses and kill jobs. However, conservatives rely on a dubious definition of “small business,” and allowing the top tax bracket to return to its pre-Bush level would not affect many actual employers. In addition, ATR’s charge that phasing out the tax breaks would cause job losses is based on a flawed study that assumes the revenue will not go toward deficit reduction, which is exactly what Wilson and other Democrats have proposed.Read more after the jump.
Organizations: Americans for Tax Reform
Blaming Rep. John Barrow for unemployment figures caused by the recession, Americans for Tax Reform ties the Georgia Democrat to President Obama, who inherited a tanking economy but has lately presided over 31 months of steady private-sector growth. ATR also attacks Barrow over his votes to raise the debt ceiling, which prevented the economic catastrophe associated with default on our debts but didn’t authorize any new spending.Read more after the jump.
In an ad tying Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY) to President Obama’s pre-election statements on cap-and-trade, Americans for Tax Reform accuses Chandler of voting for a plan that would kill Kentucky jobs. But the job-loss estimate comes from an industry-funded study of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which other analysts projected would create jobs and boost GDP while costing consumers little.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Tax Reform attacks Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY) for supporting the Affordable Care Act, relying on a series of distortions about the law’s impact. In reality, the ACA does not raise taxes on most Americans, and it actually reduces the burden on many middle-class families. Moreover, the law reduces future Medicare spending without cutting seniors’ benefits, and the Senate-confirmed board responsible for finding additional savings is forbidden from cutting benefits or rationing care.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Tax Reform suggests congressional candidate Scott Peters (D-CA) ‘violated the law’ by voting to underfund San Diego’s a vote as a San Diego City Council member in 2002, but when the SEC looked into the matter and charged five city officials with fraud, it explicitly stated that Peters wasn’t under investigation. The ad’s suggestion that Peters ignored a conflict of interest in a vote on a city contract is also inflated: According to Peters, a list of affected companies the councilman was given prior to the vote did not include the company his wife was invested in, and neither of them knew that the company approved for the contract was a subsidiary.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Tax Reform attacks Rep. Charlie Wilson over rising national debt, blaming him for “reckless spending,” when in reality, the recession and policies like the Bush tax cuts are the guilty parties. Wilson’s vote for the bank bailout helped prevent a potential depression, and his vote to raise the debt limit didn’t cause new spending — it prevented the economic catastrophe that would have resulted from a default on federal debts.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Tax Reform attacks congressional candidate Al Lawson (D-FL) for supporting the Affordable Care Act, relying on a series of distortions about the law’s impact. In reality, the ACA does not raise taxes on most Americans, and it actually decreases the overall burden on the middle class. Moreover, the law reduces future Medicare spending without cutting seniors’ benefits – in fact, Lawson’s opponent, Rep. Steve Southerland (R), voted to preserve the “cuts” as part of the House GOP budget – and the Senate-confirmed board responsible for finding additional savings is forbidden from cutting benefits or rationing care.Read more after the jump.
Grover Norquist’s anti-tax organization, Americans for Tax Reform, released an ad attacking John Barrow (D-GA). The group, which pushes Norquist’s rigid “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” cites Barrow’s votes for the banking and automotive bailouts as reasons against Barrow’s re-election. However, the ad never mentions the economic context that made both bailouts necessary, or that the bailouts worked. The automaker bailout, for example, saved over a million American jobs in 2009-2010 and one of America’s largest industries.Read more after the jump.
Mitt Romney’s citation of “six studies” confirming his claims about his tax plan has unraveled rather completely at this point. When a candidate makes that kind of claim, it receives deserved scrutiny, and fact checkers rightly shredded the Republican’s line. But the evidence offered by conservative outside groups in political ads receive much less attention, despite being a near-constant presence in voters’ lives on television, radio, and the web.
The network of outside-money conservative groups we monitor often don’t bother trying to ground their claims in objective truth. Some of their most effective TV ads rely on debatable interpretations of legislation or public statements, and many simply deprive the viewer of context in order to mislead. Others cite only a piece of legislation or a floor vote, while making un-cited claims about what that vote or law meant for voters. But these well-heeled organizations tend to get themselves in trouble when they cite more specific studies or news reports to support their claims.Read more after the jump.
Americans for Tax Reform attacks congressional candidate Charlie Wilson (D-OH) for supporting “raising taxes on small businesses,” citing a 2010 measure in which Wilson voted to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class while letting them expire for top earners. Few income taxpayers in the top two brackets are actual small businesses, however, and Wilson ultimately supported a compromise bill that extended the Bush tax cuts for everyone. The ad also cites a flawed business association-funded study to support its claim that ending the tax cuts for top brackets would harm small businesses, but the study doesn’t model Democrats’ actual proposals.Read more after the jump.