Fact Checking the 'Fact Checkers:' Yes, PolitiFact, Biden Will Raise Taxes Across the Board

Posted: Sep 18, 2020 10:25 AM
Fact Checking the 'Fact Checkers:' Yes, PolitiFact, Biden Will Raise Taxes Across the Board

The notoriously left-leaning "fact-check' organization PolitiFact is at it again.  This time, they're calling a new campaign ad attacking Biden on tax policy "mostly false," even though the spot literally plays a direct clip of Joe Biden speaking.  PolitiFact claims the quote is taken "out of context," but it's not.  What we have here is Democratic spin from an ostensibly impartial arbiter -- which is not at all uncommon these days.  Out of ideological bias and fear of 2016-style recriminations (likely both), "news" and other entities that present themselves as neutral are truly going all-in this cycle.  Watch for yourself:

The ad is factual and backs up its claims with citations, along with Biden's own words.  Here's PolitiFact laboring to explain why it's not really true:

Biden didn’t say he will raise taxes on everyone. When a member of a crowd said they had benefited from the Republican-led tax bill, Biden responded, “Guess what, if you elect me, your taxes are going to be raised, not cut, if you benefited from that.” Biden’s plan seeks to raise up to $4 trillion in tax revenues over a decade. His proposed increases are more than Hillary Clinton’s in 2016, but they are heavily concentrated on corporations and the nation’s highest earners.

The ad doesn't claim that Biden will raise taxes on every single American family, an assertion PolitiFact decides to rebut anyway. But it does say -- based on multiple nonpartisan analyses, that it will, on average, raise taxes in every single income group in the country. This was determined to be true by the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, the centrist Tax Foundation, and the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. An analysis from Wharton researchers reached a similar conclusion, estimating that at least 85 percent of American taxpayers will see a tax increase under the Biden plan. So when Biden said "your taxes and going to be raised, not cut," he was telling the truth to the overwhelming majority of the country's wage-earners.  

If anything, it's Biden who's shading and distorting things in the clip.  PolitiFact objects that the 'America First' ad snipped off verbiage about the 2017 GOP tax reform law, which they frame as important context.  Biden was trying to make a point that regular people didn't benefit from the Trump-signed law, which isn't true.  Anti-empiricism Democrats believe so strongly that the tax law didn't benefit anyone except big business and 'the rich' that many liberal New York Times readers were angry when the paper told them the truth: "A huge number of Democrats have deluded themselves into thinking they didn’t get a tax cut from the 2017 tax law. Most of them are wrong," a Times reporter tweeted.  The accompanying Times story wrote this: "If you’re an American taxpayer, you probably got a tax cut last year...the gap between perception and reality on the tax cuts appears to flow from a sustained — and misleading — effort by liberal opponents.”  

In the video snippet, Joe Biden was sustaining that same misleading effort by liberal opponents of the law.  And when someone in the crowd acknowledged that he actually had gotten a tax cut under the reforms, Biden pretended that this person must be very wealthy, then bragged that his taxes would get hiked under a Biden presidency, "if you benefited from that."  Well, the reality is that the vast, vast majority of taxpayers "benefited from that."  And sure enough, the vast, vast majority of taxpayers will see a tax increase if Biden gets his way.  The ad in question is absolutely accurate.  The 'missing context' here entails Biden's deceptive framing.  PolitiFact has once again beclowned itself again by reverting to its far-too-common pattern of running dishonest interference for the Democratic Party.  

So as Democrats plot an aggressive tax-and-spend agenda that threatens to return us to the bad old days of a sputtering recovery (Obama/Biden presided over the weakest US recovery since World War II), and hamper the ongoing comeback from Coronavirus, let's recall how remarkably strong the post-tax cuts and post-deregulation economy really was:

Real median incomes of white, Black, Asian, and Hispanic households all increased from the prior year. Lower-income households did particularly well after missing out on income gains earlier in the expansion. The mean income of the lowest fifth of households rose 9% last year, a larger gain than for any other quintile of households.

The truth about the Trump/GOP recovery is precisely the opposite of what liberals like Joe Biden relentlessly claim.  They're stuck on old, wrong talking points that don't reflect the data.  To wit, the groups of people that Democrats allegedly champion -- people of color and low-income Americans -- were disproportionately thriving under the pre-COVID economy. Policy matters. And results should speak louder than spin.  We rate PolitiFact's "fact check:" False.