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Hannity Lying: Small Businesses Not Helped By Bush Tax Cuts

Sean Hannity continually says the rich pay an inordinate portion of the overall tax burden, claiming 50% of us pay nothing and .1% of earners pay 20% of the total. If true, it’s only because US wealth disparity has grown, along with unemployment and poverty as rich folks enjoyed steady double digit growth. The Bush cuts have not changed under Obama, so it’s yet another indicator the unfunded cuts were ill-conceived.

Hannity believes the rich are already paying more than their share, but Warren Buffett reminds us that middle class people pay a higher percentage of their income because they don’t pay capital gains rates, they don’t hire accountants and attorneys, they don’t exploit loopholes like offshoring and they don’t hide assets as often as the rich.

This week, a caller who earns $30K per year protested Hannity’s insinuation that the rest of us don’t work hard or pay enough. Hannity then lied to him, saying “I’m in the same boat” not once but twice before backpedaling and acknowledging he used to be one of us but today is exceedingly wealthy, personally pocketing hundreds of thousands extra every year the Bush tax cuts are extended.

The rich pay more of the overall burden because they have more of the wealth and Hannity wouldn’t have it any other way. The Heritage Foundation which pays Hannity to read talking points admits on it’s website “[t]he tax cuts shifted even more of the income tax burden toward the rich.”

It was GOP changes to tax policy that have effectively spread the tax burden out – so the middle class pays more. It’s not only intentional stovepiping, it’s redistribution – intrusive government interference.

Hannity loves the well worn talking point that the US has a spending problem, not an income problem, but his proposed cuts don’t touch the deficit-exploding Bush tax breaks, defense, or corporate subsidies – he even fought on the air for government welfare for the private jet industry as his own callers cried out against teacher layoffs and painful education cuts.

On June 30, 2011 one caller told Hannity the Bush Cuts add $700 billion to the deficit – Hannity replied this was “not true”, claiming without evidence the cuts boost job-creation. The evidence is now in, Mr. Hannity, as reported by CNN, the NY Times and the US Treasury. But even worse, the proof is in that you have been lying to America about the effect of the cuts on job creation:

99% of Small Businesses Would Be Unaffected By Repeal of Bush Tax Cuts
When Hannity, Limbaugh, Paul Ryan, Fox News or some other “conservative” tells you raising taxes on the highest brackets hurts the nation’s jobs creators, you can show them it’s been debunked by The Brookings Tax Policy Center. Not only has it been greatly exaggerated, it’s about 99% untrue – 2009 figures showed that 98-99% of small business owners would not land in either of the top two brackets that would be affected by the expiry of the Bush Tax Cuts.

This was also highlighted in the Washington Post in August, ridiculing UT Senator Orrin Hatch who said allowing the cuts to expire would be “a job-killing tax hike on small business during tough economic times” but Hannity has not yet crossed the talking point off his show notes. Will he repeat it today?

Hannity knows he deceives listeners, but he is outright lying when he says sunsetting the cuts would hamper the small businesses that drive the US economy. Hannity exploits “technically true” wordplay as follows: more than one small business in the bracket gives him the grammatical right to say “small businesses would be affected”. While not a lie, this is intentional distortion, meant to deceive, worthy of FCC complaint, on-air retraction, public scorn and industry shame.

It Used To Be Called Payola: Hannity Takes Cash For Political Messaging
If Republicans were serious about boosting small business, the Earned Income Tax credit expanded job growth dramatically under Clinton/Gingrich in the 90s and is seven times more likely to create jobs now. Even Gingrich isn’t touting what he himself did to balance the budget today.

Only the ultra affluent want the Bush cuts today, and they hire media shills to use small business owners as “human shields”. Hannity and Limbaugh are under million-dollar contracts to publicize the skewed economic claims of the Heritage Foundation.

Ironically, the Bush Tax Cuts are also socialism – government rigging of free market economics and the type of reverse Robin Hood tinkering that turned our 2001 surplus into a deficit to enrich well-connected billionaires at the expense of unborn American children.

Graphic: Hannity Claims Untrue
When taxes on the top 1% are high, it stimulates growth because reinvesting in the business is a great way to avoid taxes. This creates jobs. But Sean Hannity wants to pocket the money without creating jobs, saying the wealthy will leave if we don’t give them lopsided tax breaks. But this only proves they love money more than this country and hold jobs hostage. Hannity lies to his audience telling them lowering taxes on the uber-wealthy leads to more jobs and here is the proof:
Crossposted from The Daily Hanni-Debunk Weekday Liveblog and Archive

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