“The Republican “Pledge to America,” released Sept. 23, contains some dubious factual claims:
It declares that “the only parts of the economy expanding are government and our national debt.” Not true. So far this year government employment has declined slightly, while private sector employment has increased by 763,000 jobs.
It says that “jobless claims continue to soar,” when in fact they are down eight percent from their worst levels.
It repeats a bogus assertion that the Internal Revenue Service may need to expand by 16,500 positions, an inflated estimate based on false assumptions and guesswork.
It claims the stimulus bill is costing $1 trillion, considerably more than the $814 billion, 10-year price tag currently estimated by nonpartisan congressional budget experts.
It says Obama’s tax proposals would raise taxes on “roughly half the small business income in America,” an exaggeration. Much of the income the GOP is counting actually comes from big businesses making over $50 million a year.
The pledge is far from perfect. Still, viewed incrementally, it’s more likely to move things in the right direction than the wrong one.
You have to do some nitpicking and cherry picking to get a couple of those “fact check” things, though. Since about half of the people making over the magic $250K/year run small businesses, that claim sounds pretty solid. It’s insanely stupid to raise taxes on *anybody*, especially during a recession.
And you’ve completely elided the fact that businesses do not pay taxes. They can’t. Their customers, on the other hand, pay a lot of taxes. They’re just hidden and indirect.
Oh, and government employment going up, even a little, is a bad thing. It needs to shrink. A lot. And soon.