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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fact Check Check

I think I'm going to make this a daily feature. The Washington Post Fact Checker interests me. Today Michael Dobbs responds to an angry Paulican noting an outrageous proposal from Ron Paul. Good quick catch but much too generous explanation of what is false about Paul's claims.

Ron Paul proposes the elimination of the income tax and argues

The idea seems radical, yet in truth America did just fine without a federal income tax for the first 126 years of her history. Prior to 1913, the government operated with revenues raised through tariffs, excise taxes, and property taxes, without ever touching a worker's paycheck...Does anyone seriously believe we could not find ways to cut spending back to 2000 levels? Perhaps the idea of an America without an income tax is not so radical after all.

I guess this is not quite a lie, but he is implying that the Personal Income tax is the only tax taken out of paychecks. In fact, most of the money he would allow the federal government comes from payroll taxes which are taken out of paychecks (although in a pointless dodge half is taken out before the gross pay figure which appears on the pay stub is calculated).

Also he doesn't correct for inflation when he falsely claims that eliminating the individual income tax would reduce revenues to the levels of 2000.

I give the Fact Check 2 stars for this one.

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