Conclusive Proof Ari is Lying About The Bush Economic Plan

Taken Right From the White House Transcript:

MR. FLEISCHER: The President very much looks forward to traveling to Chicago tomorrow to announce an economic growth plan for all Americans. The President's plan will encourage consumer spending, it will promote investment throughout our country and in the business community and small business, and it will also help the unemployed.

Specifically, under the President's proposal to provide tax relief, 92 million taxpayers will receive, on average, a tax cut of $1,083 in 2003.

Q What's the percentage of the amount of money, $600 billion or whatever it is that's going to go to pay for tax cuts, what's the percentage of that will go to middle class Americans?

MR. FLEISCHER: I'll try to have additional numbers tomorrow, Ron, but as you can see from the numbers, it's focused at the majority of American income taxpayers who are middle class.


What a flat out 100% lie, this load of crap is focused at the top 20% of americans who make over $77,000 a year. The bottom 80% who make less than $77,000 a year will only get (on average) a $323 tax cut or less. Unless Ari considers people who make over $77,000 a year to be middle class he is a flat out liar. People who make over $77,000 a year are in the top 20% of income earners, that is not middle class.

The lowest 20% of american taxpayers make less than $16,000 a year. The second 20% of american taxpayers make between $16,000 to $29,000 a year. The middle 20% of american taxpayers make between $29,000 to $46,000 a year. The next 20% (The Upper Middle Class) of american taxpayers make between $46,000 to $77,000 a year. The top 15% of american taxpayers make between $77,000 to $154,000 a year. The top 4% of american taxpayers make between $154,000 to $374,000 a year. The top 1% of american taxpayers make over $374,000 a year or more, the average of the top 1% is $1,082,000 a year.


Q Are you factoring in when you're doing these numbers, the cost of a possible war with Iraq?

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm talking about the tax cut itself. That's what you're question was addressed to.

Q Back on the stimulus package, how does any of the benefits that you outlined in the tax cuts, especially for the average American family making $39,000 a year, does any of that come from cutting taxes on dividends?

MR. FLEISCHER: The dividend tax -- first of all, I'm not going to comment on anything specific to what the President may or may not propose tomorrow. This is the President's announcement to make the substantive points about it. I can share with you some of the statistics and aggregate information about it.

Speaking generically on the question of a dividend cut, half of all American households nowadays, in our modern economy, own stock through either pensions, 401K plans, or other accounts. That means roughly 70 million Americans, a surge in Americans, own stock. More than 35 million Americans have dividend income. Of those 35 million Americans, more than 10 million are senior citizens.


The above statement is the best spin of the Bush economic plan I have ever seen anywhere. None of it is reality, it is a flat out lie to the american people and the press. Ari does not mention that 80% of the benefits go to the top 20% of the taxpayers. He spins it by saying 70 million americans own stocks, and 35 million of them have dividend income. What he failed to mention is the bottom 80% of dividend earners will only get on average $83 dollars or less in dividend benefits from the 2003 bush plan. On top of that the dividends from pensions and 401k plans are exempt from taxes to begin with.

He says of those 35 million americans, more than 10 million are seniors. What he don't tell you is that out of that 10 million seniors 94% of them are in the top 20% tax bracket. Only 5 or 6 percent of those seniors are in the middle or lower tax brackets. This is classic Ari spin, in my book it is really a lie instead of spin. The really sad part is that the media reporters let him get away with it. This is just more proof of the sad state of the media in america today.


Q So you dispute the notion that cutting taxes on dividends of these 35 million Americans with dividend income, that most of them are well-to-do or better off or well above the average, and what you're really doing is helping --

MR. FLEISCHER: When you look at the statistics, more than half the money from dividend taxation goes to seniors.


Notice how he did not even answer the question. The questions was "do you dispute the notion that cutting taxes on dividends of these 35 million americans with dividend income, that most of them are well-to-do or better off" and well above the average ? Ari Spin Answer: When you look at the statistics, more than half the money goes to seniors. That was not the question, he just ignored the question and gave his rehearsed spin answer to hide the truth.


Q Rich seniors ?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, if you believe that all 10 million seniors I just referenced are rich, then you believe that almost everybody in America is rich.


Here is more classic Ari spin. The reporter never said all 10 million of them were rich, he said 94% of them are, lol. Now suddenly Ari has almost everybody in america rich. In fact all but 5 or 6 percent of the seniors he referenced that get dividend income are rich.


Q You mentioned before that 35 million Americans receive dividend income. The proposal, as we understand it, is going to allocate something like $300 billion over 10 years, eliminating taxation of dividends. Why couldn't $300 billion be put to better use across a much wider array of Americans, rather than just those 35 million who receive dividend income? Never mind that only a small portion of them get a large amount.

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President looks forward to having many announcements that he'll be making. Not only what you're surmising the President will describe tomorrow on the dividend side of the ledger, but all income taxpayers pay income taxes. And the President looks forward to addressing a series of ideas tomorrow that will help lower taxes for all Americans, give a boost to the economy, give a boost to growth.


Not only is that 100% spin it's also a flat out lie. This load of crap will not boost the economy or give a boost to growth. It is just a stock market stimulus plan for the wealthy and a tax cut for the top 20% of american taxpayers. The bottom 80% are left with crumbs that will not do one bit of good for them.


Q What percentage of the total stimulus is tax related, and what percentage is other sorts of things, such as aid to the states and extending unemployment benefits?

MR. FLEISCHER: The overwhelming amount is in the form of providing tax relief to give a boost to the economy and to individuals. The overall number is that 92 million taxpayers would receive on average a tax cut of $1,083 in 2003, based on everything that the President will propose tomorrow.


These numbers are smoke and mirrors, when he says on average, that is if you average out the total cost of the plan and divide it by all 92 million taxpayers. The truth is that the bottom 80% of taxpayers who make $77,000 a year or less on average will only get a tax cut of $323 dollars. The only people who will get a tax cut of $1,083 in 2003 are the people in the top 15% who make over $77,000 a year.


Q And then on this -- the question of the dividend income, the 35 million and the 10 million of those being seniors, there has been some work by people who are not supportive of this plan -- demographic work -- and they conclude that, in fact, these are -- the vast, vast majority of these people are wealthy people. Do you dispute that?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think when you recognize that more than 10 million senior citizens receive dividend income.


WTF, he did not even answer the question. The reported asked if he disputed the data that concludes the vast majority of the 10 million seniors who get dividend income are the wealthy. He just keeps repeating his rehearsed spin line that 10 million senior citizens recieve dividend income. It's like he don't even hear the question, then he spews out his scripted answer.


Q Yes, but they say that, like, only 6 percent of them are people -- are seniors in any kind of middle to lower income brackets. And in fact, there are -- like, over 90 percent of them are seniors who are living in our highest tax brackets, the wealthiest.

MR. FLEISCHER: Again, I think that you'll be able -- tomorrow when the President makes his proposals -- to see any data, and we'll be happy to compare the data. But there's no question that we have created a tax system in America where the lion's share of people who pay income taxes -- let me put it this way -- many individual Americans no longer pay income taxes. And so it's hard to give income tax relief to people who do not pay income taxes.

Q But so you don't dispute the fact that the vast majority of these people in the dividend area, in fact, may be wealthy people?

MR. FLEISCHER: No, I do dispute that. I think very often the critics of tax relief describe everybody in America as rich, in an effort to stop tax relief. And I think that's been an old tactic by people who wanted to raise taxes on the American people in the first place.


He can dispute it until he is blue in the face, it is 100% true. Nobody I have ever seen describes everybody in america as rich, where did he get that crap from. The vast majority of these people in the dividend area are the top 20% of the wealthiest people in america. In fact if you are in the top 20% and you make less than $77,000 a year your average dividend benefit will be $83 dollars or less.

If you make less than $77,000 a year your tax cut benefit will be on average $323 dollars. Not to mention you have to own stocks that pay dividends in the first place to get the dividend benefit from the Bush plan.

In summary: I am not saying the wealthy should not be part of this plan and that they should not get a tax cut. I am saying the majority of this stimulus plan should go to the middle and lower class because they need it and they would spend it now. On the dividend income taxation issue, Bush is asking for a 100% cut in dividend taxes. This is a trick, he will then agree to a 50% cut then claim he was fair to everyone on the issue. The truth is even a 50% cut is a huge windfall for the top 20% of income earners in america. Bush has the whole thing backwards, he has the majority of his plan going to the wealthy. To deny this is to deny reality.


The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy and Citizens for Tax Justice