28 September 2017

Schumer resorts to fake math

Chuck Schumer spent yesterday trying to find any reason he could to oppose tax reform – something 73% of Americans say should be an important priority for Congress.

Clearly Schumer didn’t have any legitimate issues with the Tax Reform Framework, since, as The Washington Free Beacon notes, he resorted to fake news and false calculations in an attempt to push the “resistance” agenda.

Excerpts from The Washington Free Beacon below –

Chuck Schumer Opened Effort to Derail Tax Reform Spreading Fake News
The Washington Free Beacon
By Brent Scher
September 28, 2017

During his Wednesday press conference, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced his opposition to the newly proposed Republican tax plan and used a false statistic to argue it would raise taxes on working Americans.

“By repealing the personal exemption, Republicans are once again raising taxes on middle class and working Americans,” Schumer said. “A family of two, on this framework, with a household income of $45,000 could see their bill increase by $1,000.”

The claim put forth by Schumer does not add up. The proposal’s doubled standard deduction for married taxpayers filing jointly, from $12,600 to $24,000, more than makes up for the elimination of the $4,050 personal exemptions that would be eliminated in the proposal. Despite the tax rate increase, from 10 to 12 percent, the family of two would see its taxes decrease by about $200.

A spokesman for Schumer acknowledged that the minority leader misspoke during the press conference—the senator meant to say a family of four. Schumer did not correct himself during the press conference.

The spokesman sourced the claim to a string of tweets by Daniel Hemel, an assistant professor at University of Chicago Law School.

Hemel’s quick analysis finds that a family of four’s tax liability would increase by $910 under the Trump administration’s proposal, but, as he pointed out in the thread, his analysis didn’t take into account standard tax credits in either his calculation of the tax liability under the existing plan or the proposed plan.

Applying the child tax credit, $1,000 per child, and the earned income tax credit, which at a $45,000 income would be $1,089, the family would owe no taxes under current law or under the proposal.

Gordon Gray, director of fiscal policy for the pro-tax proposal American Action Forum, was critical of Schumer’s decision to deploy such an incomplete figure: “The calculation was explicitly without any tax credits. He presented the family as having a positive tax liability, which isn’t true under current law or under the proposal.”

“I think its disingenuous when the framework specifically says they’re going to increase the child tax credit to then just go and say, ‘Well, here’s what it would be if they didn’t do the thing they said they were going to do,'” he said. “You only do that if you really want to find fault.”

Increasing the child tax credit is one of the top points on the administration’s one-page summary of its plan.

Gray calculated that it would take a roughly $450 increase of the child tax credit from $1,000 to bridge the gap between the two plans for the family. He argued that the increase is realistically within reach, given the House proposal by Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) to increase the credit to $1,500 and the Senate proposal by Republican Senators Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Mike Lee (Utah) to bring it to $2,500.

Hemel acknowledged on Thursday morning the fact that an increased child tax credit would flip his calculation that the family would be worse off.


Read the full story here